The future of music

Free Music Distribution: 6 Companies That Are Worth It

December 29, 2023
free music distribution

There’s no doubt about it: making your own music is fun and exciting.

But when you come to the part where you want to distribute your music, things can get a little complicated.

Luckily, we live in a time when most artists distribute their music online, and there are ways to do it without a big budget. 

In fact, there are online platforms that offer free music distribution for artists who are just starting out.

So in today’s article, we will introduce you to the best music distribution services and companies – all of them are popular, trustworthy, and free.

Best Free Music Distribution Services 

If you want your music to be heard by people across the world, you need to distribute your music to large streaming platforms. 

And sometimes, that can come at a cost, especially if you want to distribute a lot of music.

But the companies on our list work in a different way. They will allow you to upload your music for very little or no cost. 

And some of them will even offer to sign a deal if you catch their attention.

Either way, most music distribution companies for newcomers provide two options:

  • Uploading your music for a fee
  • Giving away your royalties later on

Nevertheless, if you want to reach a wider audience and get yourself noticed, distributing your music by using a trusted, well-known platform is a must.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best companies that offer free music distribution services.

1. Amuse

Amuse music distribution platform

Amuse is one of the most popular music distribution platforms, and it’s completely free to use. 

Founded in 2015 in Sweden, Amuse is a digital music distribution service as well as an independent record label.

They are allowing artists to upload their music for free so it can be available on major streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer. 

And with an Amuse Boost and Pro account, you can also get access to social media platforms and reach listeners on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

You can release music with Amuse without signing any deals, but if your music gets noticed and the company likes it, they can offer you a tailored licensing deal.

You don’t have to accept the deal if you don’t want to, and you can simply continue using their digital distribution services.

So, the company is basically offering free services because they’re always looking for new artists to work with. 

Amuse Music is also very easy to use – uploading your music only takes a few minutes, and then it will be out there for the world to hear it. 

You can easily upload and keep track of your music with their Android and iPhone apps. You’ll also get detailed streaming analytics and audience data.

All things considered, Amuse is a great music distribution platform – it’s free and easy to use, and it may very well be the first step toward building your music career. 

Pros:

  • Free 
  • Offers record deals to promising artists
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • It’s app-based

2. AWAL 

awal logo

AWAL is another well-known distribution company worth checking out. 

It’s owned by Sony Music Entertainment, and it’s generally known as an alternative to the traditional music label deal. AWAL artists can keep their music and creative rights.

Just like many other distribution platforms, AWAL allows users to upload their work for free, but it takes 15% of revenues generated later on. 

In other words, AWAL has no upfront fees because it takes a 15% commission from the revenue they gain for you – and that also depends on your success.

However, AWAL seems to stand out from other free music distribution companies for one particular reason.

Unlike other similar companies, AWAL works as an invite-only. Plus, the ideal candidate should already have an engaged fan base.

So, if you want to get accepted by AWAL, you’ll need to have a certain level of popularity on platforms like SoundCloud, Spotify, and YouTube. 

And that’s why AWAL has a deal with many famous artists: Jungle, Little Simz, Kim Petras, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, and Moby, just to name a few.

Also, there are three levels of AWAL to look out for:

  • AWAL Core – this is the lowest tier of entry, and you can try to get there via their submission form, their A&R, or suggestions. But their team will make the final decision.
  • AWAL+ – this tier is “designed for a smaller group of artists they think are on the verge”, so for this level, you have to be even more popular. Besides distribution, AWAL+ artists get a team to promote them, financial support, and many other benefits.
  • AWAL Recordings – this tear is as close as it gets to getting a traditional record deal. However, artists will still keep their rights, and that’s why many big names decided to go with this option. 

Pros:

  • No upfront fees
  • You can keep your creative rights
  • Great options for successful artists

Cons:

  • It’s invite-only (you need to grow your audience first)

3. FreshTunes 

fresh tunes music distribution platform

If a platform like AWAL seems a little too overwhelming and demanding for you, you can check out FreshTunes.

FreshTunes is completely free, and it will distribute your music to all the important platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Beatport, iTunes, and Shazam.

It’s not one of the most updated websites, but it definitely does the job, and it’s generally a great option for newcomers.

Plus, if you decide to release music with FreshTunes, you’ll be able to keep 100% of your income and royalties. 

On the other hand, if you want to invest some money, you can order promotion of your tracks and videos. You can start with as little as $25. 

You can also get reports (streams and downloads analysis) for $1. 

So, although it’s free, FreshTunes earns money from these extra options. They also offer a Pro subscription account which gives you additional benefits.

But even if you distribute your music with FreshTunes for free, you’ll be able to release your music in all relevant stores and hopefully grow your audience. 

Pros:

  • Free
  • You can keep royalties
  • Additional features available for a fee

Cons:

  • It doesn’t look very up to date

4. LANDR

landr logo

Another great option for distributing music for beginners is LANDR.

LANDR allows you to distribute an unlimited number of songs, and it also offers online collaboration tools and other cool options. 

However, LANDR is not completely free – You can become a member for $12.50 a month. 

And considering what you get, that’s really not a lot.

Moreover, LANDR doesn’t take any royalties from its artists (like many distributors do), and that’s why we believe it’s certainly worth checking out. 

Apart from free music distribution, LANDR is also known as a digital mastering platform. So for $12.50 a month, you’ll also get music mastering tools, curated plugins, and free sample packs.

All in all, LANDR is an excellent creative platform, and it’s a great option for musicians interested in making their own music as well as distributing it.

Pros:

  • You can distribute an unlimited number of songs
  • Doesn’t take any royalties
  • Offers additional services and tools

Cons:

  • It’s subscription-based 

5. Music Gateway

music gateway company

Music Gateway is a versatile company focused on music distribution, promotion, publishing, and other music-related processes.

With Music Getaway, you can distribute your music, and they will deliver it to many major digital storefronts. 

However, this is a paid website, and you can access its basic features for free for only 14 days.

After your free trial runs out, you can continue using their services for $22 a month. 

With a Music Getaway subscription, you’ll also get access to their licensing, publishing, promotion, and mastering services. They also provide a variety of useful music tools.

But with this basic subscription, you only get 5 masters per month. So if you want to release more music, you have to opt for an Unlimited plan which will cost you $37 per month. 

Plus, the company takes 20% of revenues.

All things considered, Music Gateway is certainly not the most budget-friendly option on this list, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

Pros:

  • Offers promotion and publishing 
  • Provides music tools

Cons:

  • It can be pricey
  • It takes  20% of revenues

6. RouteNote 

RouteNote music distribution platform

RouteNote is a good option for anyone looking for a simple free music distribution platform. 

RouteNote is free to use, but it does take 15% of royalties. 

Alternatively, you can opt for an upfront fee and a subscription fee. That way, you’ll keep everything you earn.

Their RouteNote Premium subscription ($10/month) gives you access to all services, an unlimited number of uploads, and other cool benefits.

They also offer a Custom Pricing option. This includes tailored service, account management, and pitching assistance, so it’s ideal for professional labels.

Nevertheless, if you’re a beginner and you just want to release your tracks, RouteNote will provide you with everything you need. 

But if you start earning serious money, you should upgrade to a Premium or look for another distributor. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Free
  • Custom Pricing option for labels

Cons:

  • It takes 15% of royalties (unless you subscribe) 

How to Distribute Your Music 

Making music is a complex and exciting process.

Once you’re done with songwriting, recording, mixing, and mastering, you’ll probably feel exhausted and incredibly excited.

But you can relax – the hard part is done. With a good music distribution platform, you can release your music without breaking a sweat.

Most platforms we mentioned today are very easy to use – you just need to upload your music and they will deliver it to Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and other relevant platforms.

And that’s arguably the easiest way to distribute music.

If you want to distribute your music on your own, you’ll most likely come across some obstacles. 

The thing is, it’s possible to distribute music by yourself, but many relevant outlets simply don’t allow individuals to upload their music. There are simply too many artists. 

Releasing your music with a distributor also makes things easier for you. You don’t have to worry about anything except making a few clicks to upload your track. 

It’s quite affordable as well. Many websites offer free music distribution services, and others take small revenues or upfront fees. 

Either way, you should opt for a platform that fits you best. 

Some websites offer mastering and publishing services, online tools, promotion, licensing, scheduling, and many other valuable features. 

It all depends on your plans, needs, and expectations. 

Before deciding anything, make sure the platform you opt for offers everything you need as an artist. 

silver microphone

Fortunately, there are so many great options for musicians out there. 

And although many of these websites take a certain percentage of royalties, they are actually a good way to get started.

Ideally, you’ll be able to keep your creative rights as well as every cent you earn. 

But each platform comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

You just need to find a distributor you believe it’s best for you.

See also: Best Music Distribution Services & Companies

Music Distribution Tips

With digital music distribution companies, releasing new music is quite easy. 

You just need to upload your music, and they will do the rest.

However, you should always keep track of your progress and make sure you’re not losing too much money. Many websites take revenues, and at some point, you might feel like you want to keep your music royalties. 

You should always release your music with a distributor that fits your needs. And needs can change, so make sure the platform you use aligns with your goals and preferences.

On the other hand, every digital platform comes with its pros and cons, so don’t expect to get perfect conditions. At least not right away.

Regardless of what platform you choose, you should make your music searchable. When submitting your album or song for digital distribution, pay attention to the title, your name, release date, track titles, genre, and other relevant data.

Finally, if you want your music to reach a wider audience, you need to promote yourself.

Yes, your distributor will deliver your music to relevant streaming platforms and stores.

But don’t expect them to do the promotional work for you. Music distribution companies usually don’t offer promotion services for free, so unless you opt for their subscription plan that includes promotion, you’ll have to do it by yourself.

So, take advantage of social media and other promotional tools you have at your disposal. You can even create hype for your album before its release. 

Before wrapping things up, let’s quickly summarize our tips for distributing music:

  • Find the right platform
  • Keep track of your progress
  • Make your music searchable
  • Be active
  • Promote your music 

Free Music Distribution – Final Thoughts 

Releasing your own music might seem intimidating and difficult, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you find a reliable music distribution platform that fits your goals and preferences, you’ll be able to release your music without any problems. 

After all, distributing your music to all the best streaming platforms is the best thing you can do as an aspiring artist. 

Hopefully, your music will get noticed and you will grow your audience.

And maybe that will be the first step toward getting the record deal of your dreams.

You may also like: 15 Ways to Promote Your Music

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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