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Distrokid: Where Musicians Keep 100% of Royalties

Notable iSchool alum Philip Kaplan (@Pud) is famous for his ventures Fandalism and F-ed Company. As an avid musician himself, Kaplan has dedicated his talents as a technologist and musician to helping those who love music as much as he does. In a recent announcement, Pud launched his latest project, Distrokid

The music industry has changed from what it used to be, as Kaplan discusses in his post releasing DistroKid. Kids no longer run to their local music store when their favorite artist releases a new album. Gone are the days when teenagers would sit in their rooms listening to albums front to back after tediously stripping plastic stickers off the covers of albums. Appreciation for albums is no longer; it’s all about the latest single out on iTunes. Music is now bought online or listened to on YouTube. Music is digital.

Kaplan noted that it’s currently “impossible to get your music into stores unless you’re signed to a record label, or if you pay (usually $40 per album) distribution services like TuneCore and CD Baby.” The process can take an absurdly long amount of time, and can also be frustrating. It was about a year ago that Kaplan decided “that it should be easier for musicians to get their music into stores like iTunes and Amazon.”

Distrokid homepage showing a musician playing guitar with headphones on
Distrokid homepage

Thus, the idea for DistroKid was born. 

DistroKid allows musicians to upload songs to the stores people most often purchase music from, at a faster speed and less expensive rate than what those large companies charge. Users can upload one song for free, or $19.99 a year for an unlimited number of songs and albums. Additionally, artists keep 100% of what they make. DistroKid makes no money off the music sold.

For musicians, this is huge. I’ve personally spoken to several bands who are desperately trying to sell CDs after a show that have said “If you’re going to buy music, buy it from us. We barely make anything off iTunes.” Providing musicians with a platform to sell their music quickly (and for a low cost) can revolutionize how people get their music into stores. 

Kaplan’s technological endeavors have allowed him to help connect the music community. His other project, Fandalism, aims to connect musicians with one another through personally uploaded content. DistroKid is another amazing project that further allows musicians to connect to an increasingly digital world. Kaplan has been a great supporter of the music community with these projects, and the newly launched DistroKid will only continue to further assist aspiring musicians. 

Check out DistroKid and let us know what you think!

 

Anne Marie Suchanek

Anne Marie Suchanek

Hi, I'm Anne Marie and I’m a two-time graduate of the iSchool. I received my B.S. in Information Management and Technology in 2013, and then stayed with the iSchool to earn my M.S. in Information Management in 2014 through the Fast Track program. I'm currently working as a Program Manager at Microsoft in Seattle, WA.

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