Have you ever wanted to put your song on iTunes? or Spotify, Amazon, etc. This process is usually tedious, so as usual, a group of people have come together to do the tedious work for you in exchange for pay. These people are called Music Aggregators. Now there are several music aggregators out there, so let me tell you about the top 4 aggregators I know of. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and some are better for releasing a single song, some are better used when releasing an album; some for record labels and another for individual artists.
1. CD Baby
CD Baby distributes music to iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, Rdio, eMusic, Rhapsody, Myspace Music, Simfy, Nokia, Last.fm, Xbox Music, MediaNet, MOG, Tradebit, GreatIndieMusic, 24-7, 7digital, Myxer, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Omnifone, Sony Music Unlimited, Shazam, Bloom.fm and Muve Music. That’s distribution to 26 outlets/stores. I bet you don’t know half of them (and most of your fans won’t either) but there is nothing like too much distribution, right? In addition, CD Baby has their own store where they claim you keep 91% of the sales you make. Most stores give you 70-60%.
Another perk is that you can sell physical CD’s as well. CD Baby will place your CD for sale on Amazon and on their store. People that order it will have your CD shipped to them.
With their sync licensing, they set up your YouTube page to receive payments from adverts placed on your YouTube channel and also make your music available for TV, film, video games, etc to use on their content. Now, I don’t have to tell you that if you get the latter that will be mega money but then again, that make the chance of that happening very slim.
Also, if you sign up for CD Baby Pro, they will help you collect royalties from radio and TV stations. Now, I’m pretty confident that this will not work for Nigerian media but there is a chance of you blowing up in foreign lands though so you might as well go for it.
CD Baby charges N8 000 per album – both digital & physical copies and N2 100 per single (no physical copies of course). If you decide to opt for the Pro package, it’s N16 000 per album and N6 300 per single. In addition, they will take N600 off every physical copy you sell and 9% of your digital sales. Fans have the option of paying via credit cards or PayPal when purchasing from the CD Baby store itself. Their customer service is very good and they tend to reply within a day.
Tunecore does not distribute your music to as many stores as CD Baby but it distributes to the core stores – 19 of them:- iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, Rdio, eMusic, Rhapsody, Myspace Music, Simfy, Nokia, Xbox Music, MediaNet, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Sony Music Unlimited, muvemusic, wimp, Shazam, and gracenote. Tunecore does not do physical distribution though and neither do they have a store like CD Baby – in fact among all the services I will mention, physical distribution is unique to only CD Baby. The cool thing about Tunecore though is that you get to keep all your profits and all the rights to your music. The downside is that their pricing model is based on subscription i.e. you pay a yearly or monthly fee to have your music distributed. This is favourable if you’re an artist with a big fan base but if you are coming up, a service where you pay a percentage of sales might be a more prudent decision. The advantage of this pricing is that you can have multiple releases all under one initial charge. They also help collect royalties for a N12 250 one time charge and have a Ringtone Distribution services
Almost every independent (and even major) artist must have used Reverbnation before. If you are a starting artist, I advise you to sign up. They provide (almost) every tool an artist needs to launch himself. It only makes sense that they will help put your music in stores as well. Reverbnation is very similar to Tunecore – you keep all your rights and earnings and you pay a monthly/yearly fee. For N5 500 they deliver to 34 stores and for N9 600 they deliver to 40 stores! This is cheaper/more expensive option than Tunecore’s N8 000 per year. They also have a great Customer Service that is much more faster than CD Baby as they are ready to reply questions in maximum of an hour. Still I would recommend Reverbnation to core users of the service, else I recommend any of the other options
JTV is a company that just started this year but they are making a lot of noise already. They are also into the subscription model where you can pay N22 000/year or you can pay per single/EP/Album. For a single it is N500, an EP (max of 8 tracks) is N2 857 and a full length album for approx. N7000. They also have discounts for multiple orders. They deliver to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Grooveshark, YouTube, imusica, Nokia store, Rhapsody, juno download, digital tunes, gracenote and movistar. They also have some very helpful extras which are not as cheap as their distribution packages but are really helpful. They have a custom website package (hosted on wordpress) for N108,000 they have song mastering packages for N3 000 per track, and so much more. They even offer consultations but one will have to contact them for a quote.
JTV has the absolute best customer service I’ve come across. When you visit their site, a representative begins chatting with you and she will answer all your questions. I’ve been there thrice and she has been available 2 out of 3 times.
Here is a summary of everything discussed
|Aggregator||Price*||No. Of Outlets||Earning Taken||Extras?|
|CD Baby||N8 000 per album
N2 100 per single
|26 Outlets||N600/physical sale
9% per physical DL
|Tunecore||N8 000||19 stores||None||No|
|Reverbnation||N5 500 or
|34 – 40 stores||None||No|
|JTV Digital||N3 000 per album
N500 per single
*all prices are approximated, SO WHO WOULD YOU RATHER DEAL WITH?
A-Maz is guilty of having two addictions in his life – music and tech. This young Computer Engineering undergrad is a gifted singer and a learner in playing the guitar. He is a total bookworm and likes sharing the useful bits of information he comes across. You can follow him on twitter @KING_AMAZ to get an insight into his completely unexciting life or check his website www.kingamaz.com where he puts up all the (presentable) music he has recorded.