To all musicians, bands, and recording artists:
Please consider carefully what I’ve outlined here before you decide to do business with online music distributor Distrokid.
There are many online music distribution companies; Distrokid is one of them — based upon my experience with Distrokid, I can’t recommend their service to musicians, bands, and recording artists.
I won’t go so far as to say Distrokid is a scam, a ripoff, or a fraud. I can’t make that determination, and I’ll leave that up to you to decide after reading my story.
In June 2013, I signed up to use Distrokid’s music distribution service for my music with Just Offshore and a few of my label’s other artists. For an annual fee, Distrokid will distribute your music to online music sites such as Apple iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, and others. I signed up for the service plan for my label, for which Distrokid charges an annual fee. This annual fee allows you to upload and have distributed as many albums and singles from as many artists as you like. I uploaded our music and our other artists music, and it was distributed to the various online sites.
This process continued without any issues until June 10th, 2016, when I noticed 8 unauthorized credit card charges on my bank statement from Distrokid. I disputed these charges with our bank and was credited back the unauthorized charges. Keep in mind that we are current with our annual fee that was paid to them.
On July 4th, 2016, I logged into our account at Distrokid after having recently uploaded some new tracks. I noticed that our download and streaming data reports were not available and that our earnings report was missing. We had a small amount of earnings being held by Distrokid that I had not yet requested payment for. At first, I thought that maybe they were experiencing technical issues, so I sent them an email and asked them about it. I received the following reply shortly afterward:
“Thanks for reaching out! I’m happy to help. Your account has been cancelled due to the fact that you have disputed charges from us, via our credit card processor. Your albums have been deleted from stores. Please try another distributor.”
When I first signed up there was no explanation that music we uploaded to the various online stores would be removed if we were no longer using Distrokid’s service. Also, Distrokid has no terms of service posted on their website. They have not responded to my request for them to pay us the small amount of earnings they have been holding. Please think about my experience before making a decision as to which online music distributor to use for your music.
Just remember, your music could be removed from stores and your earnings confiscated this easily, as my experience with Distrokid demonstrates.