Best Distribution Platforms

Forgive me if there’s a better channel for this discussion.

What services are you guys and gals using to distribute your music both to (a) traditional (ha!) streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, et al. and (b) listeners outside of those (thinking Soundcloud, Band Camp, etc).

Or, perhaps more openly, what’s your favorite way to put your music out into the world?

I’ve always liked Bandcamp in both distributing and streaming/downloading capacities, I think it works for me for reasons of documentation - it encourages ‘liner notes’ and I enjoy reading whatever detail has been shared about the music. I also appreciate that it doesn’t seek to be an endless playlist. To this extent I feel that it’s not seeking user passivity.

My ideal would be completely self-hosted - which would likely strip me of any potential audience but give me fullest control over the parameters of distribution.


I don’t record anything i make, thus i don’t distribute.
I as a consumer, i use bandcamp, because i can listen freely to an album, or some tracks(depending on what the artist or label chose).
The reasons i prefer bandcamp are:

  • I like that i can buy albuns there
  • My understanding is that artists get more revenue, which i find better
  • the spotify or apple music monthly fee allows me to rent music, but if i spend that ammount in bandcamp every month, i give more to those that created the music
  • i don’t like subscription models
  • bandcamp doesn’t have the fake artist and those playlists like spotify uses to increase their profits
  • Bandcamp has good recommendations

Soundcloud for privately streaming unmixed/unmastered/unfinished work and random ideas, Bandcamp for public streaming and for both physical and digital distribution. I’m not interested in putting myself on other streaming platforms, and would only do so in the case of a compilation or a label other than myself releasing my music.


To answer your first question distrokid seems to be well liked: they charge a simple yearly fee for unlimited uploads, which is nice, especially if you’re prolific!

For the second, I use both SoundCloud and Bandcamp

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Thanks to this, i have been listening (and enjoying to do so) to you bandcamp for the last 30 minutes.


Thanks! Hopefully I’ll get some new recordings up there soon. Most of my recent “releases” are subscriber-only since they aren’t what I’d consider “canon” (live recordings, outtakes, and miscellaneous stuff), but I’ve got a couple of things ready to be recorded.


I prefer Bandcamp too. I’m not a fan at all of the big streaming services and feel the artists are exploited by them. I also still like to produce physical media.

Soundcloud as a social platform. Bandcamp as a shop. Recycled cassettes as physical medium.
EDIT: vimeo for mixed media.


Bandcamp is the last remaining hope, for individuals or labels etc wanting to sell digital music, or cds / vinyl, betamax cassettes or popup books & other merchandise, direct to fans… sadly…
Bandcamp is excellent as most people here seem to agree… for both fans and people selling.

For all other platforms, streaming etc, i would recommend people employ the services of an Aggregator to handle it. We use a service called Zebrulation.
the advantage of a aggregator is that, instead of dealing with 15 different platforms or organizations, you just deal with one… and they of course take a cut…

this works out fine for our situation as a small label. as we would rather pay someone 15% (or whatever it is) to do all the admin work, than do all that admin / communication work ourselves…

i think there are quite a few aggregator services out there offering a similar service

the other options are dealing with a Distributor yourself.

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As a litener I’m using Bandcamp for most of my music purchases + some physical / online shops for vinyl and CDs. I avoid music streaming services like Spotify and Apple music for various reasons. I don’t like what they are doing to the music world, I don’t like having big corporations having so much control over what we are allowed to listen to and what not, and I generally don’t like the concept of music streaming.


I really like Bandcamp but not just for releasing my own music, it’s become my source for discovering new artists and labels.

I think Ujo has some interesting potential, but it’s sorely lacking many of Bandcamp’s advantages and is yet in early stages. I have a particular use for Soundcloud, but I honestly would just as soon ditch it if it didn’t just barely fill a little niche of functionality missing from Bandcamp. So yeah, I was an early adopter of Bandcamp and still feel it’s far and away the best option out there, but I personally do yearn for something a bit more decentralized.

as a streaming platform, is worth a look.

the stream to own policy is kinda great

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My combo has been Bandcamp + Distrokid. That gets my albums up in all of the most readily available places. Distrokid is one upload to get on itunes, Spotify, google whatever.

Bandcamp has generated the most income and Spotify has generated the most listening time.

I like Bandcamp both for buying and for selling; it’s easy to use and, like others have mentioned, does a pretty good job of pointing me to other things I might like. But I always wonder just how many non-musicians really use it. Bandcamp sometimes feels like a huge room full of musicians handing one another cash (though occasionally some of it is grabbed up by the people who keep the room tidy instead), which, I dunno, I guess it could be worse. But my sense is that if your stuff isn’t on Spotify, or uploaded to YouTube for free, etc., you’re basically blocking most people from hearing it, or at least from listening to it regularly.

The violence of the underlying meaning of a quote like this will never cease to virtually punch me in the stomac.

Yes, pretty much. This is what private owned control of distribution channels by venture capitalists and multinational mega corps will do to you. And in this particular matter, I think unless Spotify magically takes down Apple Music, Youtube and other services like it and become monopolistic (that’s their advocated business model) we’re all just waiting for which GAFAM will buy them back and consider the monthly net loss is worth the gain in whichever area actually makes them real money.


I have for the last 30 years (since i was 9) a record collector, but as i grew older (about 16) i realized that the physical object itself is a “nice to have”, i have learned that buying either physical or digital makes no difference. i am giving my money to the musicians and help them continue with their craft as well as enjoying their music.

Of my friends, i am the only one using Bandcamp as a listener/consumer. All of them use either one of those streaming platforms.
It’s a bit like social networks and those messaging apps. for 6 months i used a dumb phone. All my contacts use Whatsapp or facebook messenger as a means of communication. During that time i never heard any news from anyone, except family and 2 or 3 friends.

Those streaming platforms are just like Whatsapp and Facebook.
The heard goes there, and to reach them you must be present there as well, yet the majority ignores the fact that those streaming platforms don’t give musicians their due money. And most of them don’t really care. They want to listen and there is the easiest way to do so.


As I felt we discussed that a hundred times already elsewhere I looked for a thread about “Streaming Platforms vs Selling Records” or “Streaming Platforms business model” or “The problem with Spotify et all” (WHAT? You think it’s a bit oriented as a topic name? Can’t see why.) but actually found a web of various topics about some technical details of streaming platforms (practicallity, agregators, soundcloud possibly closing, etc.) but none that actually discuss as a starting point… Well what we basically always end up discussing whenever someone asks “Hey ! Distrokid CdBaby or Tunecore ?” “Well my friend, bandcamp is ace and streaming sucks” “Oops I heard soundcloud may be closing” “Soundcloud is a site I need but it’s also shit and bandcamp is getting better but mostly streaming sucks” “Let’s make a lines playlist !” “Hey I’m all for that it’s great but then, I guess it’s on spotify which bums me because streaming really sucks” (Actually it really does bum me I don’t use Spotify, I need to check if anything else came out of that thread).

So maybe we need a thread for that ? Like, you know, a ring to sort all this anger (that I have and am apparently not alone to feel) and punch things without deraling otherwise perfectly understandable topics (agregators is a jungle, making playlists is cool, soundcloud is indeed quite fundamental etc.).

If there’s one already I couldn’t find it so maybe we should just bump it with the last posts here ? Anyway. Just wanted to reflect on that !

Are there any Canadians using Distrokid? Years ago, when I had a contract with another aggregator, it was annoyingly complex dealing with payments as they had to filter through US income tax, then to me, and then required some further paperwork to avoid being double taxed…all for cheques barely worth the effort. Curious if Distrokid has solved cross-border payouts to artists? My web searches are coming up empty on this topic.