This is not the case anymore. With the DIY atmosphere in music starting to get real recognition, there is no need to sit and wait.
You can go out and go after what you want. Platforms like CDBaby and Tunecore help you get out to your core audience. For a small fee they offer help with the distribution of your music to mjor online retailers like iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon and eMusic; just to name a few. So for a fee, you can have widespread distribution for a fraction of what it would be with a major label, and the great thing is you can pick and choose what platform works best for you.
There are a few other distribution aggregators, but let’s stick with examining the two platforms I mentioned above CDBaby & Tunecore. Both offer fairly similar features. They both offer digital and physical distribution of your music. Both will help you upload it to digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon. And they both also offer help with sync licensing, so your music can be bought and used on TV or movies. The main differences between the two companies are mainly fees; and how much they take as commission in certain areas.
Here are the numbers:
For a full album, TuneCore will charge you $29.99 for the first year, and $49.99 for every year after. This is for every album you choose to upload, and this is only for digital distribution. CDBaby will charge you a one time fee of $49.99 for every album sold. CDBaby has a wider digital retailer list, and will also help you release physical copies of your record.
For single songs, Tune Core will charge you $9.99 for the first year and every year after. CD Baby will charge you a one time fee of $12.95, and will take a 9% commission of every song you sell. So with TuneCore, you get 100% of the sales from the song, and 91% with CDBaby.
They both offer different packages regarding disc manufacturing, and depending on what your need is, it’s worth checking the deals out. They’re roughly the same price. CDBaby does offer download card with a physical release, which is a definite plus.
These are the two leading companies for DIY distribution for hip hop artists and musicians. But as I said there are other companies that offer similar programs to what CDBaby and Tunecore do. It’s worth checking out the competition as well, instead of just going with the two heavy hitters. The other companies are Ditto Music, Loudr, MondoTunes, Zimbalam, Distrokid and ReverbNation. While CDBaby and Tunecore are more likely to offer larger areas of distribution and better deals, the smaller companies might be more hands on with you, and be able to guide you a bit more regarding where you are in your career. It’s always important do your research before you sign up for these sites, see what works best for you and where you are. If you’re gonna put down that kind of cash into your career be sure it’s a step in the right direction.