Indian creators, check out the best 2021 distribution services

When the streaming boom occurred a few years ago in India, musicians were faced with the question of how they can simplify the process getting their music maximum reach. After all, any musician would want to be available on as many streaming platforms throughout the world.

By 2011 that Nielsen and Billboard reported that digital sales of music had surpassed physical sales, aided by the likes of iTunes, Pandora and Spotify. Today, digital distribution of music is wholly necessary for artists and they turn to services which not only allows their tracks to be up for streaming, but also pitched for editorial playlists and higher visibility. Here’s a look at some of the music distribution services thriving in India and their rates.

CD Baby

Among the longest standing music distribution services worldwide, CD Baby has no system of monthly or yearly fees for distributions. Reaching music out to over 150 stores, they also have an option of sending out weekly payments on streaming revenue to artists.

Commission: 9% of royalties from platforms

Rate: Rs 755 per single, Rs 2,200 per album


Also claiming to distribute music to over 150 partner stores, Distrokid charges an annual subscription fee and works on a per artist basis. Its unique selling point arguably lies in the unlimited song distribution feature within the plan and earning full royalty every month. Their Musician Plus and Label plans also allow for additional customisations like release date, pre-order date, synced lyrics for Instagram and more.

Commission: 0% of royalties

Rate: $19.99 per year, $35.99 per year (for two artists), $79.99 per year (label plan, for five to 100 artists)


These folk were also among the earliest music distribution platforms in the world, starting in 2006. They official launched in India last year, with special discounted plans that aggressively fought for market space in the country. Similar to some services, musicians keep 100 % of all royalties via Tunecore and have their music available on over 150 platforms.

Commission: 0% of royalties

Rate: Rs 499 per single, Rs 1,499 per album 


Among the Indian distribution platforms which started out with a strong bent towards Indian independent music (which continues to this day), OKListen moved beyond just being a store for music purchase. They charge a one-time fee per release from artists, sending the music out to several stores and payouts occurring every quarter.

Commission: 15% of royalties from platforms 

Rate: Rs 699 per single, Rs 1,499 per album/EP

Divo Music 

Originally starting with a focus on video services, Divo began music distribution in 2014 along with several offers for artists. This includes digital marketing, functioning as a record label and publisher as well. With distribution, they also focus on Caller Ring Back Tunes across India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the Gulf, which remains a priority for some artists.

Commission: 20% of royalties from platforms 

Rate: No upfront fixed fee

Horus Music 

Globally prominent music distribution firm Horus Music opened an India branch in Mumbai in early 2016, following a “successful trade mission” in the country in 2014. They promise to deliver music uploaded by artists to over 200 music platforms in 195 countries. Like other companies, Horus Music offers “custom music tools” for artists and labels, assigning an account manager to figure out strategies. Royalty rates are paid out on a monthly basis.

Commission: 0% of royalties

Rate: £20 per artist annually for unlimited distribution, £25 for single distribution, £35 for EP distribution, £45 for album distribution


Offered up as a service for new musicians who want to put their music up on streaming without any financial commitments, Amuse offers three different plans. While amuse may start users off on a free service, the caveat is they only distribute to 10 “major streaming services” – Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, Audiomack, Shazam, Deezer, Claro Musica (popular in South America and Central America) and Boomplay (popular in Nigeria and other African countries).

Commission: 0% of royalties 

Rate: Free (up to 12 releases in a year), $24.99 per year (for unlimited releases), $59.99 per year (unlimited releases, with songs released in 10 days of uploading) 


Owned by Sony Music Entertainment, AWAL have gained popularity because they position themselves with a touch of exclusivity. Where artists would usually sign up with distribution services, AWAL in turn picks and invites the artists they wish to work with. Their focus is divided into three categories – AWAL Core for emerging artists, AWAL+ for those “on the verge” of breaking globally, and AWAL Recordings for chart-topping and billions-streamed artists who are signed on to label services.

Commission: 15% of royalties

Rate: No upfront fixed fees


Indian media company Songdew leverages its TV presence for artists to sign up for its distribution services, promising to give their music videos air time as well as worldwide reach to over 150 digital stores. Although the signup is also vetted on the basis of applications received from musicians and then green-lit for distribution on Songdew, there are over 45,000 artists who have worked with the company in the past.

Commission: 15% of royalties 

Rate: No upfront fixed fees


Although they’re also involved in the copyright, licensing and digital marketing fields, RouteNote are primarily known for music distribution. They claim to cover over 95% of the digital music market, RouteNote says they also have a focus on Chinese and South East Asian music territories. They offer three different packages, including RouteNote Free, RouteNote Premium and the invite-only RouteNote All Access.

Commission: 15% of royalties (RouteNote Free plan), 0% of royalties (RouteNote Premium and RouteNote All Access plan)

Rate: Free (RouteNote Free), RouteNote Premium and All Access – $10 (per single), $20 (per EP), $30 (per album)

Words by Anurag Tagat

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