Ditto Vs Distrokid – Which is Best For Your Music

Ditto Music and Distrokid are arguably the two biggest names in distributors for getting your music distributed to every relevant music store or streaming service. I’ve personally used both to upload and distribute a little under a dozen projects I’ve released music under over the years, so I thought I’d put together a Ditto Vs Distrokid comparison to anoint a winner in determining which is the best option for releasing your music today.

Ditto Vs Distrokid

ditto vs distrokid

When it comes to a music distribution service like Ditto Music or Distrokid, the relevant factors are cost, features, ease of use, and reach. Let’s break down each category and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Cost

As I mentioned in opening, I’ve been using both of these services for roughly 10 years now (Distrokid a little longer). The price has largely stayed relatively the same in that time, though I’ve noticed it tick up in the last couple of years in particular.

Before I get into specifics on price, I should mention that the industry of distributors has come a long way since the very early days of the iTunes store more than 20 years ago and even the beginning of streaming services like Spotify 15 years ago.

Getting your music distributed once cost a lot more than it does today, with services charging per album or song, and charging you annually for each. Admittedly a lot of distributors out there still charge via a per release system (pro tip, don’t use them).

The ability to release unlimited music under a single artist name and just pay an annual subscription fee is much more artist friendly, but as I mentioned the prices have come up a little in recent years.

These are the most recent prices at the time of this comparison in 2024:

Ditto Music Pricing:

Starter Plan (1 Artist), £19/year
Professional Plan (2 Artists), £59/year
Label Plan (5 Artists), £89/year

Distrokid Pricing:

Musician: 1 band/artist, $22.99/year
Musician Plus: 2 bands/artists, $39.99/year
Ultimate 5: 5 bands/artists, $89.99/year

Note that Ditto Music’s pricing is in Euros as they’re a UK based distributor, as such it’s generally couple to a few dollars more (depending on the tier) when accounting for the exchange rate.

As you can see, there’s not a big difference in prices between the tiers. They each offer plans to accommodate customers who are releasing music under 1, 2, or 5 or more artist names.

The main difference in price between Ditto Music and Distrokid is in the 2 artist tier which as you can see is a good $20+ more for Ditto.

I mentioned the price increases.

Distrokid’s “Musician” plan is up $3, “Musician Plus” is up $4, and the “Ultimate” is up $10.

Ditto’s “Label” plan is up £20, but their “Professional” plan especially ballooned from £29 to £59, or a £30 increase!

This is since I last checked roughly 16 months earlier, so a little over a year ago.

The only tier which hasn’t changed is Ditto’s single “Artist” plan.

It seems like Distrokid might be the marginal winner here, but something I like to draw attention to is how each store handles distributing your music to new music stores/services.

Ditto Music gives you the option to automatically add your release to new stores as they become available:

ditto new stores

Conversely, Distrokid has the nerve to CHARGE you for what should just be a standard feature with something they call “Store Maximizer”:

distrokid store maximizer

In other words, if by some long shot some streaming service comes in and supplants Spotify as the most popular and consequently one you’ll want your music on, Distrokid won’t automatically add your music whereas Ditto will.

Here are three of my older releases on Distrokid:

distrokid releases

As you can see, the oldest album is featured in 5 less stores/services than the newer album.

For what it’s worth, you can take down then re-upload your release via Distrokid to get it in all of the stores, but it’s a hassle and definitely nothing something you should have to do or be charged for.

One more relevant area where Ditto is the clear winner is in the event you miss a payment or cancel your account. Ditto keeps your music up in stores regardless unless you tell them to pull it.

Distrokid on the other hand will pull your music in the case of the above events. You can offset this by paying a $49 fee PER ALBUM/RELEASE called “Leave a Legacy” which keeps your music in stores forever.

distrokid leave a legacy

Incidentally, the amount of offers which Distrokid greedily pushes on you as you’re checking out is pretty annoying.

Getting back to the price comparison of Ditto Vs Distrokid, the price tiers are comparable aside from that 2 tier plan which both services claim is their most popular which is where Ditto is more expensive at over $20 more.

That said, you shouldn’t have to pay or jump through hoops to get your music automatically added to new stores if you like or worry about your music disappearing if you have an issue with your account/payment which Distrokid does.

For what it’s worth, you can also get a free 30 day trial with Ditto which you can’t with Distrokid.

With all that in mind, I’m going to give the nod to Ditto in the pricing department.

Winner: Ditto

Features

Let’s compare the many features offered by both Ditto Music and Distrokid. This is taken from their recent sales/pricing pages to give a complete rundown of the features you get with each tier, starting with Ditto:

ditto music pricing

… Followed by Distrokid:

Honestly, despite the many “Features” each services boasts (Ditto in particular), there’s both not a clear winner nor anything which is especially impressive.

I appreciate that hovering over any specific features on Ditto’s list reveals more information versus Distrokid’s nondescript “21 free tools”.

The important thing is both distributors offer:

Analytics – Track your daily plays/purchases for your various artists, albums, and songs. Neither distributor’s interface is all that good, detailed, or advanced. You get a snapshot of all activity for the last 7 days or period of your choosing overall, but to see a specific song, album, artist, etc. it requires going into some filtering settings. You also can’t do any comparisons like putting different albums or stores side by side. Anyone familiar with proper analytics or data software which lets you truly analyze your data will be disappointed, but it’s definitely fun to see your plays going up!

Royalties – An obvious one, but both services track your royalties and pay you in a timely fashion when you hit a minimum threshold. Note that reporting and royalties are paid on a delay of three months; this is frustrating but standard in ensuring you get the properly amount of royalties you’re owed.

Royalty Splits – Just a practical feature which is useful for ensuring everyone involved gets whatever percentage of the earnings for a particular song, album, etc. they have coming to them.

SmartLink/HyperFollow – SmartLink and HyperFollow are the terms which Ditto and Distrokid, respectively, give to the link hub which is generated after your release is approved. You can share this on social media, your website, email list, etc. so that people can pre-save your release in their streaming service of choice and be notified in some cases when it gets released on those platforms.

Lyrics – Both distributors allow you to include lyrics which will get published with your song depending on the platformer.

There’s others which aren’t especially practical or useful, many of which will lead to an up charge, and certainly nothing which tips the scale one way or the other.

Winner – Tie

Interface/Ease of Use

Ditto Music’s interface for uploading your music and pretty much their website in general is much cleaner and professional looking:

ditto interface

Distrokid could take a page out of their book, as it’s more of a jumbled mess with much smaller font and a lot of information being thrown at you so it’s easy to miss something or enter something incorrectly.

That said, I prefer that Distrokid confirms that you’ve got the right artist when you upload to ensure that your music doesn’t appear next to another artist going by the same name:

distrokid duplicate

You can confirm this yourself by clicking on the link for each of the main stores to ensure the release is going up alongside the right artist/catalog.

One area where Distrokid DEFINITELY wins is in how you schedule your release.

Whereas Ditto requires you to schedule your release at least 10 days in advance:

ditto 10 days

…Distrokid allows you to release it ASAP with it appearing in a day or two in some stores:

distrokid release time

I wouldn’t mind the 10 day delay of Ditto, but whenever your release gets flagged for silly reasons like the album art and title don’t exactly match, you have a few seconds of silence they don’t like (NO HIDDEN TRACKS apparently), you have “generic” wording in a song title (what does that even mean?), you need to resubmit and start the clock anew.

I’ve had releases I’ve had to resubmit 3-4 times and if it sounds like a massive and frustrating if not incensing headache, you’d be right!

They also typically don’t notify you that there’s a problem until a week after submission, so this can really set back your release schedule.

If you plan out your releases a month in advance then this likely isn’t an issue. If the idea of having inspiration strike then recording a new song and having it drop immediately appeals to you (like me), Distrokid is the winner.

Overall I find I have slightly fewer release issues with Distrokid, so I’ll give them a slight nod here.

Winner: Distrokid

Reach

So how about the number of stores/services that each Ditto and Distrokid get your music into?

From doing a rough count on the release screen of each, by my count Ditto publishes your music to roughly 70 (while somehow claiming 150) services whereas Distrokid does it to roughly 30 (though that number is likely higher as MediaNet publishes to a number of smaller services).

Ditto Music Stores (Sample):

ditto music stores

Distrokid Stores:

distrokid stores

There’s not really a winner here because between Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, and a couple others which they both include you’ve got 95% of the population covered.

Winner: Tie

Ditto Vs Distrokid – The Results

The Overall Winner: Distrokid (Barely)

The honest truth is that there’s no perfect service out there, even between the best two.

Neither one is completely artist friendly, and while you can argue that Ditto is generally more artist friendly, I like how easy and quickly it is to get my music in stores with less of an issue with Distrokid.

And again, Distrokid’s website/interface hasn’t had a somewhat needed update in years, all of the added premium features they try to sell you on gets tiring, especially when it’s something which should be included like automatic additions to new stores for no charge or leaving your music in stores regardless of if you miss a payment.

You can easily make the argument that Ditto should be the winner, and admittedly some artists may prefer it and can forgive its flaws while having a bigger issue with Distrokid’s.

It’s probably why I still use both, but after all this time I can still attest that both services are the best options out there for relatively affordably releasing as much music each year as you like.

If nothing else, you now better understand some of the differences and certainly the pros and cons associated with each from someone who has used both for roughly a decade.

Give Distrokid a try today.

OR use Ditto’s free trial and get your music everywhere without spending a dime (for 30 days).

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