Philip Kaplan, AKA “Pud”, AKA The Guy Who Made Being Online In The Late 1990s Bearable has just announced the official launch of DistroKid, a service for musicians to release unlimited tracks to various online music stores for a flat yearly fee. Folks wanting to try it out can upload any song for free without submitting a credit card.
Artists get 100% of the royalties for their music.
“I’m the only employee. I’ve been working on it for a little over a year,” said Kaplan. “The final major piece just went live a couple of days ago (Amazon distribution went live). Which is why I’m opening the service up to a wider audience today.”
Kaplan has bootstrapped the company and has seen 16,338 songs uploaded to the service. Kaplan expects to double that this month.
The site’s major competitors are TuneCore and CD Baby, but at $29 per year and $59 per album respectively, DistroKid’s offering is far cheaper.
“The founders of both services have publicly endorsed DistroKid over their own services (which is crazy yo!),” said Kaplan.
For example, CD Baby founder, Derek Sivers, wrote on Hacker News: “This is exactly what I would have created if I didn’t sign a non-compete agreement when I sold CD Baby. I just created an unlimited account on DistroKid and I’m uploading all of my own music in the background as I type. I’ll be sending everyone I know to DistroKid now.”
It’s unique that founders have rallied around Kaplan and his project, especially considering they compete (or competed) directly in his space.
“Conversely, DistroKid makes uploading music to stores more like uploading a video to YouTube or copying a file to your Dropbox — super easy and low friction. You don’t have to think about it — you just upload everything you have, whenever you want,” said Kaplan. “I’m a musician. Sometimes I record band rehearsals, sometimes my live shows, sometimes I make music at night using Garage Band. I have a ton of music. I just wanted a simple service that let me upload every song into stores after I’m done recording it. Current options make that nearly impossible/too expensive/too difficult.”