Digital Decisions

Whatever your opinion on Digital Distribution is, whether you love it or loath it, you can’t deny the massive impact it has had in changing the industry how we see and use it today. Since 2009 we have seen the figures in physical CD sales rapidly decrease as the digital age has slowly eaten its way up the pecking order. It seems these days that more and more people prefer to buy their music digitally as it gives them the “freedom” to listen to whatever and whenever they want, no record or CD player needed. This has been the case for a while now and that is why whether you are a new, old or present artist in this industry, releasing your music digitally is the way forward to drive your sales.

So, what is there available?

This solely depends on what category you would put yourself into as an artist. Are you within the 7% of people who sell more then 100 units on iTunes? Or are you in the 93% that just don’t quite manage that? Distribution companies will take this into mind when deciding on whether to distribute your music or not, it all depends on what they are going for.

Ditto Distribution

So, Ditto Distribution works with over 85,000 artists whether they are independent or signed with a label. This straight away becomes appealing to unsigned acts as offering a full distribution service just like ‘Absolute’ but for all acts, rather than just ones that have a HUGE budget. Being created  by Matt and Lee Parsons, 2 unsigned brothers, they say that they know how difficult it can be without a label to distribute and they understand how important it is to unsigned artists to get their music heard.

Prices

  • Single = £6
  • Album =£20
  • Plus (Unlimited Releases) = £49

Advantages

  • Keep 100% of all rights and royalties.
  • Sell music worldwide in leading digital distribution stores, more than 200.
  • Always getting new opportunities to showcase your music around the world.
  • 24 hour customer care.
  • Work with all genres as well as signed and unsigned artists.
  • Offer a promotional service.

Disadvantages

  • Pay an upfront fee for every single or album your ever create and the ‘Plus’ choice is renewed each year.
  • If you want to keep your music out there in the big wide world you have to continue paying each year, it kind of reminds me of a gym membership in a way. Everyone starts out and then they never end up going but refuse to stop the payment just in case they decided to start going back again. This situation is exactly the same, people don’t want to admit defeat and will carry on paying in the hope that someday the ‘right’ person comes along and sees it.

Artists Worked With

  • Sam Smith
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Lady Leshurr
  • James Arthur
  • Deaf Havana
  • Catfish and The Bottlemen
  • You Me At Six

AWAL Distribution

AWAL, only being founded in 1997 has already become one of the World’s leading digital distribution companies.

Advantages

  • Worldwide delivery to more than 200 digital stores and services.
  • No fees for encoding, uploading or delivering your music.
  • Fast turnaround from content upload to being delivered to the stores.
  • Detailed and transparent monthly sales report that clearly shows all accounting, downloads and streams.
  • Client support team.
  • May receive advice from KOBALT on label services as they own AWAL.

Disadvantages

  • They take a 15% commission off of all sales.
  • Do not offer a full service of promotion for the music they release digitally.

Artists Worked With

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Radiohead
  • Gabrielle Aplin

So, who do you chose as an unsigned artist?

If I was an independent artist, I would be persuaded to use AWAL as my company of digital distribution. They may not offer the full service that Ditto offer in terms of promotions for my music but promotions are something that I could always do myself. Promotion comes at a cost and if you haven’t got the budget to provide a company with to do their job properly, they are not going to take you on board. I would also rather pay 15% of all my sales than risk having to put money upfront for something that may not sell, I know this isn’t everyone’s opinion but in mine it would be more beneficial. Both AWAL and Ditto claim to help everyone from independent artists to signed artists but I personally just get more of an indie feel from AWAL. After all, they’re called AWAL for a reason…

ARTISTS WITHOUT A LABEL (AWAL)

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