|TEAC Portastudio, launched in 1979.|
DistroKid allows musicians to upload and release an unlimited number of songs to iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Spotify for a flat $19.99 annual fee, while retaining all royalties. That's a pretty great deal compared to TuneCore and CD Baby which charge $49 per album per year. (CD Baby even takes a 9% cut of sales revenue.)
But DistroKid's killer feature is its ridiculous ease of use: Just upload artwork and audio files -- and within a couple of days, your music is available for purchase and streaming across all four online music retailers. Sales reports are provided on a monthly basis, and payment is made via PayPal.
To test the service, I decided to upload an album I recorded about 10 years ago:
|iTunes | Amazon | Google Play | Spotify|
DistroKid doesn't offer many frills: The site just provides the bare-bones functionality needed to get the job done. If you want to make changes to an album, you'll need to delete it and upload a new version. (For some reason, album delete requests take much longer to be reflected in the online stores -- as much as a full week.)
I couldn't find any obvious bugs in the site, but I did identify one security risk: The site's account setup and login screens are not protected by an HTTPS connection, which means that your password will be sent in the clear. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend signing up or logging in from a wireless access point that is open to the public. (Thankfully, the credit card payment screens are secure.) [UPDATE 10/23/13: Users can force a secure login connection by going to https://distrokid.com. Kaplan says he is working on a fix that will redirect all users to a secure login connection.]
All in all, DistroKid is a terrific online service for musicians. It's inspired me to start recording again. I highly recommend it.