December 15


Best Tunecore Alternatives: Looking for a More Cost-Efficient Distributor?


Online music distribution is a rapidly expanding industry. There are many music distribution companies formed to cater to the ever-growing demand. Distribution of music online is very convenient as it provides musicians, especially upcoming and independent artists, with a platform to reach a worldwide audience without having to go through a record label.

One of the biggest players in the music distribution industry is Tunecore. Tunecore has made the distribution of music easy and straightforward, allowing musicians to make money from their craft.

Tunecore is the world’s leading platform when it comes to the sales and distribution of music. It makes it possible for the music of its users to be available on a large network of leading online music stores and streaming services such as iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube, Amazon Music, just to mention a few.

These music stores and streaming services will make sure that your music gets exposure and has a chance to cross borders to new audiences worldwide.

Tunecore users get to enjoy 100% of the revenue generated from the sales of their music. The company does not charge any commissions and you get to earn everything from the sale of your music. Tunecore is one of the few online music distribution platforms where artists get to keep 100% of their royalties.

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Key Features

Tunecore has several impressive features that make it stand out from other online music distribution platforms. These features are designed to ensure that users have an easy experience when interacting with the platform.

This is what makes it possible for artists to catapult their careers to another level by giving their music access to the international market. Some of the features that make Tunecore stand out from its competitors include:

Publishing Administration

Tunecore is one of the few online music distribution platforms to offer publishing administration. Through this feature, artists are able to collect 100% of the revenue generated from the downloads of their music worldwide. Once your music is uploaded, you can collect full royalties when anyone plays your music anywhere in the world.

This feature is very useful since a lot of musicians get conned of a significant amount of money by most distribution artists. Tunecore is the only platform at the moment that provides artists with such a high level of security for their music.

Sync and Master Licensing

Another major service that Tunecore provides is sync and master licensing. This interface is designed to help you get your music played in video games, TV commercials, and even films.

This feature not only gets your music played on such platforms but also ensures that you get paid. This makes Tunecore stand out because very few online music distribution platforms offer this service. Sync and master licensing is a very difficult deal to land. Tunecore, however, makes the whole process much easier.

In order to add this service to your Tunecore package, however, you will have to part with some money. The pricing is worth it since when you land on such a deal, you can earn a lot of money.

Besides, Tunecore increases your chances of landing such a deal as it has partnered with some of the best performing rights organizations that will make sure that you get paid your full royalties once you land on a sync licensing deal. Through this feature, Tunecore ensures that you get paid for everything you are owed.

Tunecore Social

Tunecore has a social media tool known as Tunecore Social. The purpose of this feature is to help you make yourself relevant as you release your music to the world.

Tunecore Social allows you to do this with ease as it updates your social media handles with relevant valuable information concerning your music such as a new video alert, the most trending songs, the number of new releases, and much more.

What makes Tunecore’s social media tool stand out from other online music distribution platforms with social media integration is the fact that Tunecore Social allows you to post infinitely on both Facebook and Twitter. It also allows you two media posts per month to Mixcloud and SoundCloud, which are among the most popular music streaming sites in the world.

You also get comprehensive analytics of your social media platforms for up to a year. To be able to use Tunecore Social to its best potential, you have to pay a subscription fee for you to be able to access more of the unlimited options.

Analytics and Reporting

Tunecore also features an impressive analytics and reporting platform that lets you know how your music is performing. This feature collects reliable and relevant data that helps you advance in your career.

Tunecore collects data from important sites such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and social media platforms. This feature also lets you know the rate at which your songs are being streamed or downloaded. In this way, it helps you to make the right decisions when it comes to your music.

tunecore distribution

Distribution Credits

The distribution of credits feature comes in handy for artists who intend to distribute their music through the platform in terms of saving. This feature enables artists to buy distribution credits for their upcoming albums and releases in advance.

When you buy the distribution credits in bulk, they tend to be much cheaper hence saving you a lot of money. Before committing to this feature, however, you have to be completely sure that you will be releasing your music through the platform in the future. If not, it won’t be necessary to use this feature as it might not be profitable for you.

Effective Payout Feature

Tunecore has an incredible payout feature that ensures that you receive payment for the streams and downloads made on your music. The platform has several payout options that allow users to access payout from the platform they are most comfortable with. Users can access their Tunecore accounts and request payment via PayPal, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), or via check.

Unlike most other online music distribution platforms, Tunecore users are able to withdraw their money at any time without having to surpass a threshold. Also, if you are in a band or in a music group, you can send money to individual band members, making the whole payment process much more efficient.

If you have an excellent track record on the platform, you can ask for an advance before making any sales with ease. This service is only available on Tunecore.

Price and plans

Tunecore has an elaborate payment plan that is easy to understand. The platform is free to join and sign up. Tunecore charges $9.99 per year for you to distribute a single. For the distribution of an album, you are charged a distribution fee of $29.99 for the first year and then you are charged an annual distribution fee of $49.99 for the subsequent years.


  • It comes with the Tunecore social app
  • You get publishing administration
  • You also get to keep all the royalties you earn
  • Good variety of payout methods
  • It comes with iTunes pre-release.
  • Once your track is up, you can make changes to it without reuploading


  • You have to pay high YouTube commissions if you want that service
  • The subscription fee is quite expensive
  • Most charges are annual fees that add up
  • It doesn’t come with SoundExchange collection
  • If you do not pay your subscription fees, your music is removed from the site

Alternatives to Tunecore



iMusician may not be a well-known online music distribution company but it is a very good Tunecore alternative.

For instance, iMusician sees to it that your music is distributed to more than 250 music stores worldwide. This is very convenient for musicians who want their music distributed to more music stores.


iMusician is free to join but there are charges for the distribution of your music.

The platform has 4 different payment options that have different commission structures. These payment options include; Starter, Regular, Rockstar, and Pro Unlimited.

  • The Starter option charges $5 per release to distribute your music to one shop and charge a 30% commission on your earnings.
  • The Regular option charges $9 per release to distribute your music to more than 250 shops and plus a 15% commission on all your earnings.
  • The Rockstar option charges $29 er release and distributes your music to more than 250 shops and does not charge any commission on your earnings.
  • The Pro Unlimited option charges an annual fee of $499 for the distribution of your music to more than 250 stores with 0% commission on your earnings.


  • It distributes your music to more than 250 music stores
  • It has a very reliable customer support system
  • It offers YouTube Monetization
  • It offers mastering options


  • The platform requires that you have more money for you to be charged less commission on your royalties
  • Does not offer publishing administration
  • You have to pay more for your releases to be delivered faster
  • Does not offer payment splitting
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Distrokid was founded by Philip Kaplan in 2013 and the online music distribution company is already making big waves, out-showing more established companies. The platform has innovative features and a simple pricing system making it an excellent alternative for Tunecore.

It is a cheap alternative that offers unlimited worldwide distribution of your music for an annual fee. The platform also does not charge any commission from the money your music generates.

Distrokid has a legacy program that ensures that your music remains to be available on the platform even when you are unable to keep paying the platform’s annual fees. It charges a one-time fee of $29 for a single or $49 for an album. This feature is only unique to Distrokid, making it a good alternative for Tunecore which does not offer this service.


Distrokid has an enticing pricing system. Most of Distrokid’s features, however, have hidden charges.

The platform has three pricing tiers to choose from; Musician, Musician Plus, and Label.

  • The Musician payment plan costs an annual fee of $19.99 and the package can be used either by an individual artist or by a band.
  • Distrokid’s Musician Plus costs an annual fee of $35 and can be used by either two artists or bands.
  • The Label pricing tier costs an annual fee of $79.99 and it allows you to manage between 5 and 100 artists or bands.


  • It distributes your music to more than 150 outlets
  • It charges no commission and you get to keep 100% of your earnings
  • It offers payment splitting
  • It has a legacy program that lets you keep you single or album online forever
  • It has no payment threshold


  • Does not offer publishing administration
  • They take a commission for YouTube monetization and charge an annual fee on top of that
  • The platform constantly tries to upsell you to more expensive plans
  • You pay extra for you to be able to access Shazam and Store Maximizer
  • Effective reports and analytics only available on more expensive plans
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Routenote is an online music distribution platform founded by Steven Finch and Rolf Munding. One of the features that makes it a suitable alternative for Tunecore is its flexibility. Routenote users have the liberty to switch between payment plans. The platform is very flexible making it a very nice alternative especially if you are not sure of the amount of money your music will generate.

As a user, you can opt to begin with the free plan which is completely free and then change to the premium plan the moment your music starts making enough money.

The platform has also partnered with more than 200 music stores to facilitate the distribution of your music worldwide. Routenote is also set to introduce publishing administration in the near future to ensure that users get to keep 100% of their royalties.

Routenote is the only online music distribution platform that offers both a free and premium service. Routenote does not have any hidden fees and its premium option is one of the most affordable in the industry.

Routenote also offers YouTube monetization at a cheaper price than Tunecore. The platform does not demand any additional fee but takes a 15% commission from the money your music makes from YouTube. Tunecore, on the other hand, charges a one time fee of $10 and a 20% commission.


Routenote is the online music distribution platform that offers both a Free and Premium service. The platform has no hidden fees and is very affordable.

  • The Free plan does not have any fees. Routenote charges a 15% commission on your earnings.
  • The Premium plan charges $10 to upload a single, $20 to upload an EP of 2-6 songs, $30 to upload an album of 7-18 tracks and $45 to upload an extended album of 18 tracks or more.

There are no commissions taken in the Premium plan. Routenote users can switch between these plans at any time.


  • Users can switch between Free and Premium plans with ease
  • Efficient distribution of music to Asia
  • Offers payment splitting
  • You can directly sell your music to your fans through Routenote Direct
  • You can upgrade to SoundCloud Unlimited for free


  • Does not provide cover songs licensing
  • Your releases may take more than three weeks before they go live
  • Does not offer publishing administration yet
  • Does not offer sync licensing
  • There is a 45-day delay before you get paid
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Tunecore does a very good job when it comes to distributing your music. It has many unique features that are hard to beat in the industry. However, their pricing can be a bit high, especially when you consider the fact that many competitors are way cheaper.

There are also some very attractive features offered by distribution platforms such as iMusician, Distrokid, and Routenote that Tunecore does not have, making these platforms very reasonable alternatives to Tunecore.

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