Top 5 music distributors; the companies that will break your music.

Posted on 23rd October 2019

You have written the hit and with it you have spent countless hours in the studio tweaking and polishing. You ask yourself; what happens next? How do I get my music to fans and a larger audience? The answer – you need a digital distributor to get your music out there.

In the traditional music industry, distribution was an important function for a record label. The label needed to supply key  retailers with physical product. Fast-forward to 2019 the process still exists. However, it is being outmoded by digital distribution companies. This is an exciting time for independents and DIY artists. As testament to this, major artists such as Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X have broken to massive audiences largely due to DIY efforts.

The label’s power as a gatekeeper is fading. The power to release music to the masses is yours. In a sense, you don’t have to wait for the music industry to offer you a contract; you are your own music industry.

In addition, there are a multitude of things you can do to promote a release. A six-week PR campaign, photoshoots, music videos, creating social media content or all of this activity. However, there is one thing that needs to be at the centre of your strategy; the distribution of your art.

In the age of option paralysis, who do you pick to distribute digitised audio to fans? Who can do this safely and with care? Who will release your music to Spotify, and the big music stores? Never fear, the team at WaterBear wants to give you five recommendations that are up to the task!


AWAL are one of the first distributors to offer label services alongside distribution. Over the years the platform has become choosier about the artists that can join the roster.

Reasons to join.

Enhanced data analytics - see where your music is being played and market to it.

A&R functions and capacity - gain industry attention and opportunities if your music does well.

Potential difficulties.

It can be hard to join their network if you are just starting out.

A 15% take of revenue can work out pricey for some artists.

Ditto Music

Ditto music distributes your music to the biggest music stores such as Spotify and Amazon. They offer optional extras such as chart registration, pre-release and Vevo distribution.

Reasons to join.

Unlimited distribution to digital service providers (DSP) with cross platform analytics.

Keep 100% of your Royalties.

Potential difficulties.

 Yearly fee (£19) might turn some people off.


Originally offering online mastering services to artists., Landr has now branched out into the distribution game. Another strong competitor that offers the usual menu - access to leading DSP’s but with the addition of mastering your tracks via their app.

Reasons to join.

Built in quality mastering service.

Distribution to a network of music stores.

Potential difficulties.

It can work out quite expensive if you are using the Pro plan and not uploading a lot of music.

Spinnup Music

Set up in 2013 and part of the Universal group, Spinnup Music offers music distribution and the potential to be scouted by Universal Music. It offers release to all major players; and comes with a great analytics suite priced at a competitive rate.

Reasons to join.

Potential to be headhunted by Universal Music.

Full suite of release tools to break your tracks.

Potential difficulties.

Although competitively priced, the more you release the more you are charged. There could be cheaper alternatives.


Fuga are an innovative artist/label service provider. They work with large labels who are making at least £750 per month from their recorded music revenue. They offer the largest network of music stores to release to including niche stores.

Reasons to join.

Large network of distribution to music stores.

Advanced analytics aimed at understanding micro shifts in your business.

Potential difficulties.

Not suitable for an artist starting out. However, one to aim for if you are serious about making money from recorded music.

I hope that makes your journey through distribution a little easier and thanks for reading. If you are interested in learning more and are serious about progressing in your career as a musician, please join us at WaterBear HQ for an Open Day or Order a Prospectus.



by Laurance Bridge
An experienced bassist that’s had broad studio & live performance experience, having played legendary venues such as the Concorde 2, The Borderline, The Camden Barfly, Ronnie Scotts, Whelans Dublin and The Brighton Dome. His recorded work has achieved airtime on BBC Radio 6, Amazing Radio, RTE 1 and BBC introducing. He’s also performed at The Great Escape, Beautiful Days, Camden Rocks and Black Deer Festivals supporting artists such as The Libertines, Pete Doherty, Rat Boy, Yonaka, The Levellers and Frank Turner.
View all posts by Laurance Bridge

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