Today, there are a large number of music distributors and a few content aggregators offering their services: CDBaby, Believe Digital, YouTunez, iMusicianDigital, Tunecore, Finetunes, ReverbNation, DittoMusic, etc. However, when we wanted to sell our own music in 2008, we couldn’t find anyone whose offer completely matched our ideas. We thought, “We can do this too, and more importantly: much better!”
Due to the lack of suitable alternatives, we eventually founded our own aggregator and music distribution service: recordJet.
Comparing our offer
recordJet’s mission was, and still is, to do things differently, to offer the perfect service by musicians for musicians. You can never be perfect in this field, but we try to achieve this lofty goal as often as we can. That’s why we keep developing and improving, sometimes thanks to the many good ideas our passengers have given us. But what is the real difference in our philosophy? What was it that bothered us about other digital distributors and content aggregators, or what did we feel was missing? Very often, it’s the little things that can make a big difference!
Important notice: compare, take a close look at other offers and form your own opinion!
Exclusivity / Rights / Freedom – recordJet works non-exclusively
It’s important to take a look at the Terms and Conditions to choose the right distribution service. recordJet is a service that works for you non-exclusively. This means we only take the rights that are really necessary. This is one of the most important points to us because it means that you have the freedom to do whatever you like with your music beyond that.
In detail: You give us exclusive rights for one single release only, and only for the stores that you chose. This means whatever you do beyond the stores that you chose is up to you. You may, for example, offer your music on your own homepage or sell it in other stores (even via a different distribution service also working non-exclusively). In addition to this, you can order a takedown, a removal from the stores, at any time and free of charge. Normally, it takes less than two weeks to remove your release from all the stores.
Very often, digital distribution services mention in your contract that you have to organize all distribution via this single provider. This also means that your whole music catalog is bound by this contract, you cannot get out of it whenever you like, there is no choice in stores and/or you are not allowed to sell anything via your own or other websites. This is exclusive distribution with a binding contract and without freedom, even if it’s sometimes presented in a different way.
Conclusion: There is absolutely no advantage when a distributor boasts about distributing your works exclusively, because this takes away your right to do whatever you like with your music.
Fees / Shares
Of course, service isn’t free, and this marks the most obvious difference between the providers. Each one has its own pricing model. Our aim was to offer a good music distribution service in exchange for a six-pack of beer and a pizza. Everybody should be able to afford it and thereby make a much bigger profit from the actual sale of the music. Nevertheless, we can also make your personal dream deal a reality – more on this subject later.
Pay attention to additional costs as well. They are often hidden away in the Terms and Conditions or much too high. To sell your music, you need certain codes for the identification of a product (GTIN, EAN, UPC, ISRC), or sometimes you no longer want to offer an album for sale (takedown). All of this should ALWAYS be free and inclusive.
Paying out up to 100 % of the net income only works when you have your own contracts with the stores, which is why we only have direct contracts and have developed our own technology. So firstly, we offer the technology and the contracts of a content aggregator, and secondly, we offer the services and the customer service of a music distributor. By doing so, the number of people and companies who want their share of the revenue is reduced to a minimum – only the store takes its share. However, many providers perform their service via other distributors and aggregators, who, of course, want payment for their service too. This leads to a very bad average profit for the artist. Here is an example:
|Sales price iTunes:||0,99 €|
|iTunes’ share (incl. collecting societies, taxes, etc.):||-0,28 €|
|Payment to recordJet (you receive this sum from recordJet by booking our Business Class Premium-Deal)::||0,71 €|
|Payment to recordJet (you receive this sum from recordJet by booking our Business Class Basic-Deal):||0,64 €|
|Content aggregator’s share (15 %):||-0,11 €|
|Payment from a different content aggregator:||0,60 €|
|Music distributor’s share (20 %):||-0,12 €|
|Your earnings with a different music distributor:||0,48 €|
This means 23 cents (-32 %) less per song than you get from recordJet. The distributor in particular earns a lot of money when the artist sells his or her music very well, even though the effort per artist is more or less the same for a Madonna release or a release by a completely unknown artist. As a consequence, it would not be legitimate for us to earn more money without any additional service effort. You should only pay for what is actually done. The result of these different remuneration models becomes perceptible very quickly, even when the share is rather small.
Here is an example for an album that is sold for 9.99 € in the iTunes store:
|RECORDJET BUSINESS CLASS PREMIUM-DEAL||RECORDJET BUSINESS CLASS BASIC-DEAL||PROVIDER A||PROVIDER B|
|Payment from iTunes:||6,00 €||6,00 €||6,00 €||6,00 €|
|Your share:||100 %||90 %||80 %||68 %|
|Your revenue:||6,00 €||5,40 €||4,80 €||4,08 €|
|Your revenue from 100 sales:||600 €||540 €||480 €||408 €|
|Lost revenue from 100 sales:||0 €||-60 €||-120 €||-192 €|
|Your revenue from 500 sales:||3000 €||2700 €||2400 €||2040 €|
|Lost revenue from 500 sales:||0 €||-300 €||-600 €||-960 €|
Some like to emphasize that providers who offer shares have the advantage of not charging an annual fee. This point should be analyzed very carefully as well. If a single release costs 25€ with this provider, your single could be online with recordJet for circa three years. The percentages that will be deducted on each sale (mostly 10 % to 35 %) also have to be added to the release costs. An example: You sell 100 albums with provider A and this costs you 120€, which corresponds to circa four years of annual fees with recordJet.
The only time your release will be free with a provider who takes a share is when you really do not sell a single unit in one year. Whether it makes sense to keep the release online in this case is a question of prestige. It might even be more reasonable to offer this release as a free download for promotional purposes. Another plus: recordJet allows you to cancel your contract at any time. Many other providers do not offer this possibility.
Finally, the pricing model should not be an obstacle. We can offer you your personal dream deal (even a pricing model from our competitors). Just ask us and we’ll see if we can make it possible. This way, you can keep the pricing model you’re used to but still benefit from our advantages.
Payment – recordJet credits immediately
There are stores that only make quarterly payment calculations – but does this justify such rare calculations by the distributor? To the distributor, it’s the same amount of effort to credit the income immediately or only 1 to 3 months later. But this money might help the musician or their label to coordinate further promotional activities, to make a video or to organize a tour.
So why not offer immediate crediting? Of course, it’s a little more complex because every store establishes its calculations differently, over different periods and at different times. It’s not always easy to retrace the source of the different incoming amounts. Nevertheless, we have decided to credit instantly: This way, your money does not remain on our accounts until the next quarterly payment. As soon as we receive the money from a store, the payment is checked and credited to your recordJet account.
Service – recordJet answers your questions 24/7 through every channel
Everybody knows that if you have a question or a problem with a provider, then you want to get an answer as soon as possible. It’s very unhelpful if you write to them and receive a standardized email one week later that doesn’t even answer your question.
“How do we imagine service?” was our question at the beginning. First, everything has to be explained properly. It would be best if emailing was unnecessary because the answers could already be found in the FAQs. Otherwise, an answer within two days would be nice, preferably the same day. And telephone availability of course. Yes, this is how we’ll do it, we decided. And it has worked out very well to this day.
Promotional tools / Players
Many providers offer you their own players to present your music on your website, for example. However, it is much more attractive to use the affiliate programs of the stores because by integrating their players in your website, you earn extra money on every sale. Our blog describes how it works.
When it comes to promotion, things get a little more complicated because promotion is always individual and needs creative ideas. It would be perfect if there was an ultimate tool to make you rich and famous. But without promotion there’s no success. If nobody knows you, nobody will buy you – random purchases are rather rare. Good quality standard tools for newsletters, websites, blogs, widgets, etc. are readily available all over the place and for free. However, it is not as easy to find good services that will really help you get ahead, by organizing interviews, articles, reviews and tours or spreading your music video. There are professionals for everything though, and you can book them via recordJet too.Or you do the things you’re able to on your own. To get started, we have collected many expert tips in our blog. This makes more sense to us than promising you magic tools and then taking percentages or charging fees.
Stores – recordJet prefers quality to quantity
We are often told: “You only have 200 stores, not 400?! Absolutely correct, and we are not going to supply every tiny little store. What counts for us is quality, a fair deal, and the reliability of the store. If we don’t like the quality and the deal, we will not sign a contract until the store makes changes. Music is something valuable and it should not be sold dirt cheap at any price. The cooperation will also show us how reliably the store works and pays. If we are not satisfied, cancelations and legal actions may follow.
You’d like to see a specific store at recordJet? Send your request to the support crew.
Independence – recordJet is autonomous
From the beginning, we knew: recordJet is and will always be independent from investors and big corporations. For you, this means:
- Stability: we can keep our price level because we are the only ones who define our prices.
- Continuity: Thanks to our solid growth, we can uphold our philosophy and guarantee you an excellent service.
- Flexibility: we keep progressing according to your wishes and our principles.
Independence also means not having any middlemen, directly supplying the stores, and thereby making the maximum revenue possible. This is why recordJet is a content aggregator with its own technique and its own contracts with the stores, and a distributor offering maximum service – the supply chain is as efficient and as short as possible.
Do you have further questions? Take a look at our FAQs or write to our support team.
Do you have ideas, suggestions for improvement or critique? We look forward to your email!
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Our perfect deals with excellent support. Digital distribution as we envisage it.
- Up to 100 % of the revenue for you
- Detailed interactive trends and sales
- 48-hour tech, on-site and Facebook support
- You can choose the stores in your territories
- Maximum freedom without fixed-term contract
- Well-thought-out upgrades that will move you forward
Our individual deals with the most personal service for the big issues.
- Special playlist marketing
- Store promotion and campaigns
- Personal contact
- Release consulting and planning
- Emergency express deliveries and updates
- Optimisation of monetisation