How to Switch Digital Music Distributors

How to Switch Digital Music Distributors

Are you satisfied with your current music distributor? If not, consider switching to another digital music distributor. It's not a complicated task, as your current distributor might have made you think so. In this article, let us explore the reasons for switching to a different music distribution service and the steps needed for the process.

Why should you consider switching to a different music distribution service?

Music distribution, like any other service, is always changing. Numerous service providers exist today, each with a wide range of service offers, prices, and features.

Given the variety of options, you may think about whether you're in a decent deal, particularly if you are becoming dissatisfied with your present distributor. You may have several reasons for switching to another digital music distributor. Here are some of them.

To keep your music playing, you must continually pay.

Not all streaming services for music are open and honest about what happens if you cancel your subscription.

Sure, some providers may appear to offer more affordable costs than others at first glance, but many services contain hidden fees that consumers must continue to pay in order to keep their music available on streaming services.

I've heard artists rants online about how some music distributors were eliminating their tracks because they weren't paying them.

Therefore, you might want to think about other options or strategies if you're concerned about keeping your music available on streaming platforms eternally without making a long-term financial commitment.

There aren't as many features as with other service providers

Services for distributing music are not all created equal.

Some companies concentrate on providing labels with extensive catalogs and well-known artists with concierge-caliber client support.

On the other hand, some distributors concentrate on providing inexpensive services that are more appealing to independent artists and casual makers.

The greatest offer, though, is one that combines distribution services into a bigger product—one that also contains plugins, samples, mastering, and other things—for the aspiring artist.

The level of customer service is not satisfactory

The low-cost distribution providers cannot spend money on hiring customer service personnel if they want to remain in business.

You will instead receive self-serve help and a chatbot with answer boxes. If you do have a question, you might receive a response days later in your mailbox.

The stress of releasing music is already high, and having to deal with technical difficulties in the absence of any form of helpful human interaction simply makes matters worse.

You can't choose to keep all of your streaming income

The choice to not have your distribution service deduct a portion of your streaming money is maybe the worst of all.

Don't allow them to take the money you earned from that investment; you already paid them to get your songs on Spotify and Apple Music.

Instead, stick with a distribution platform that enables you to keep all of your streaming income, ensuring that you receive every penny you've earned.

Steps to switch digital music distributors

1. Utilize the free distro switch-over template to get organized.

Prepare to copy and paste a little bit of information here; you'll need to log onto the platform of your current distributor and be sure to port over all the essential data.

Download the Switchover Template.

2. Export your data

Let's make sure you have all the information you need to switch over now that you have the template.

You might or might not be able to bulk export the data from your catalog depending on your distribution service provider.

Great if you can export everything! Simply copy and paste all the necessary data into the template to begin adding it to your new platform, and switching will be quite simple.

No concerns if you can't export your metadata.

Put some relaxing music on and enter the details of each song into your spreadsheet by copying and pasting them. When you log into the platform of your service provider, you should be able to discover all the details for each song.

3. Verify your ISRC codes and information

You must submit identical metadata and ISRC codes (International Standard Recording Code) to ensure a smooth changeover.

Getting your ISRC codes correct is crucial since streaming services utilise them to recognize your music and payout streaming royalties.

The following information must all be identical: artist name, song name, album, EP, or single release type; release date; and artwork.

Therefore, check that everything is formatted correctly before uploading your data to the new supplier.

4. Upload the identical audio files

It's time for the main event—your audio—now that the data has been formatted and is prepared to go.

Regrettably, a new version of your music cannot be uploaded and seamlessly transitioned.

To switch distributors, you must upload the exact same audio file from your initial release.

Therefore, get the original master file and upload your track.

5. Set the release live and keep a cool head.

Okay, you assiduously exported your data, codes, and other details.

You entered your data and uploaded music to your new distribution platform after that.

Amazing work! The challenging portion is over.

Wait for it to arrive at distribution stores before making the release live.

After you have gone through the process, you will have to wait for some time for your tracks to appear on streaming services. Things could seem strange at first since you'll have the same release live as two different releases for a while. Don't get worried; this is natural.

Your release will be "merged" on the streaming platform once it goes live on the new distribution network and will then appear as the single release it always was.

You will be able to issue a takedown notice and terminate your contract with your former distributor after the release has been integrated.

It's time to cheer, you've successfully changed music distributors.


So if you feel dissatisfied with your music distribution service, don't wait. Just switch to some other distribution service.

MIX Recording Recording keeps you updated with the trends in the music industry as well as provides tips on how to be successful in the industry, besides helping aspiring artists with music production services.

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