Music Business

Horus Music Distribution Review: Is Horus Music Any Good?

Photograph of the blog post author, Holly Alïce

Holly Alïce

19.10.2021

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Horus Music logo

Horus Music is the middle-man between creators and their audience, a role traditionally undertaken by record labels. They provide a range of services from basic music distribution to marketing and promotion as well as music video production.

Horus takes an artists’ music and distributes it all over the world. Unlike record labels, they do not tie artists into extensive record deals before they can release the music. Instead, artists pay a fee to keep music live on the site, and in exchange, artists keep all of the revenue their music generates. Horus Music aims to be a one-stop-shop for all promotional and music distribution needs.

What Is Horus Music?

man playing guitar

Horus Music is an internationally recognized digital distribution and label service. The company is aimed at musicians and filmmakers. Horus was established in 2006, by Nick Dunn, and is located in Birmingham, UK.

It is an exciting platform that deals with a wide range of services, such as music synchronization through its publishing division, promotions, and marketing.  It offers many kinds of promotion: from radio to live music campaigns. When the company was first created, it dealt with artist management, then moved into music distribution. Horus’ first release in October 2007 charted at number 20 on the Official Charts company’s indie charts.

What Does Horus Music Do?

horus music distribution logo

In this article, we are going to focus mainly on the music distribution side of Horus Music. But they offer a lot more than just that! For further information, check out their website for more details.

Quality Control

A wise first step to getting music online is to send it to Horus Music. The professionals at Horus will listen to artists’ music to ensure that it gets on the highest quality and most relevant playlists and pages. If the submitted music is of low quality, they will also mention this and advise – they won’t want low-quality music attached to their name, and neither should the artist! Any professional opinion is worthwhile.

Horus Music Distribution

horus music logo

Horus’ distribution is one of the best, and with the ‘Artist’ package, Horus Music will give the musician unlimited releases. This is an advantage over other distributors who charge per release, and per year. Horus also handles pre-orders with no additional fees, too, which adds to its advantage over other brands.

With this deal, artists’ music can be delivered to more than 200 different stores throughout 100 different countries, with the specific barcode and ISRC information alongside it. There are no extra fees for Horus Music’s distribution alone however there are some fees that come with other aspects of the service. As an artist, you get to keep 100% of the commission on revenue generated by the music!

Music Mastering

Using Horus’ mastering service can incur an additional cost; Horus Music’s mastering services are offered to make sure artists’ music is of the best possible quality, and sounds the most professional. This is usually the last step in the process of making a song and can help make a compilation of songs (for example an EP or album) sound consistent.

Music Promotion

If artists hope to give their music an extra push, a variety of promotional services are available with Horus Music at a reasonable cost. This is a very useful tool offered by experienced music professionals, which helps sift through the multiple available online services.

Horus Music encourages artists to pitch their music to the best and most appropriate playlists. In the era of digital music and streaming, playlists are definitely the greatest tool for smaller artists to get acknowledged. Horus Music will facilitate the music being registered to the charts for an extra fee. The effectiveness of this specific feature is somewhat questionable; musicians will only benefit from being chart registered if they gain a lot of streams and sales in the first place. However, if artists do gain those numbers, having their song chart can generate a real snowball effect on the popularity of the music, causing a lot more interest to be gained.

Video Distribution

Just like promotion, video distribution is another service that Horus Music offers and can be used to promote musicians’ work.  Horus Music gives both the tools to create a music video and to distribute the video. This will include sending it to places such as Tidal Video, iTunes, and VEVO. As expected, this comes at an extra cost.  

Urgent Delivery

Horus Music understands that time is sometimes of the essence. For an extra fee of £75, Horus Music will accelerate the delivery of music to online stores within 24 hours of submission. It should be noted this service will only speed up Horus Music’s own process, however once submitted to the various music stores, their lead times are still applicable.

Horus Music Pricing

Drummer playing the drums

The annual subscription offered by Horus Music has two options, the ‘Artist’ package, and the ‘Label’ package. As you would expect, the artist package is intended for individual artists/bands and the label package is for those who are starting their own music label.

Horus Music’s pricing is competitive and affordable: the Artist package costs £20, and the Label costs £30. Note that since the company is based in the UK, the dollar rate could vary due to the exchange rate.

There are individual release packages, centered on different arms of business: if you want to make use of Horus Music’s chart registration feature, you will need to purchase one of these packages. There are many other extras that each carry additional costs, such as:

  • Single Distribution – £25
  • EP Distribution – £35
  • Album Distribution – £45
  • Chart Registration – £25
  • Music Mastering – (Starting from) £20.

Horus offers many forms of video distribution, including:

  • VEVO Video Package – £20
  • VEVO Channel Package – £75
  • iTunes Video – £100

Unlike many music distribution platforms, these are one-off costs, and not yearly. The primary pricing for Horus Music’s distribution deals is extremely competitive. But it can add up when you get into additional services. This is especially the case for taking music down from the platform. For this, Horus Music will charge £100 ($123).

Pros And Cons of Horus Music

horus music distribution

There are a couple of pros and cons to Horus Music, and it is important to understand these when choosing who to trust with distributing the music:

The Pros of Horus Music

  • Artists keep 100% commission on revenue earned.
  • Distribution to over 200 separate stores, in over 100 countries.
  • Can provide many promotional tools, such as video and music services.
  • Chart registration for single songs.
  • Distribution to all territories, including China and the Asian market.

The Cons of Horus Music

  • Horus requires use of Western Union for pay-outs.
  • Many additional costs beyond the basic distribution deals.
  • Very expensive to remove songs from the platform.
  • Charges extra for faster delivery to stores.

Competitors Of Horus Music’s Distribution

Horus Music vs Distrokid

DistroKid Logo

It would seem that Horus Music is for those based primarily in the UK as there are more advantages to using the platform within the mainland. If the features listed above are of interest to you, having the budget to take advantage of them is key. If you are on a budget and some of the features aren’t a huge benefit to you then you will be better off exploring other distributors such as Distrokid.

Distrokid was one of the first non-major distributors to gain a deal with the popular video-sharing platform TikTok. This gave every DistroKid artist an opportunity to have their music used by fan-generated videos all over the globe. Plenty of distributors have since followed suit, but DistroKid was a market leader.

With DistroKid, Artists get to keep 100% of royalties and the most cost-effective option is only $19.99 per annum for unlimited uploads. They also offer multiple plans including Musician Plus $35.99 per year, and the Label $79.99 per year, which is cheaper than Horus Music.

One of the issues with Distrokid is it has so many users that there is a ticketing system – getting answers to questions can be difficult. Support teams are required to close tickets after sending a generic reply, they may not always understand the issue, and referrals to more experienced members of the team are frequently reserved for the top-performing artists.

Horus Music vs RouteNote

RouteNote logo

Horus Music is comparable to competitor RouteNote. However, one of RouteNote’s best features is that it offers flexibility; artists are not required to be tied into one specific plan. This is beneficial if musicians don’t know how much money they will earn with their music. Artists can simply start with the free plan, then change to the Premium plan if they begin to earn enough money.

RouteNote is also very competitive in terms of the number of partnerships they have – allowing them to distribute music globally. They are also the only distributor to offer a free service alongside the paid. Unlike DistroKid and other flat fee distributors, there are no hidden fees, and their Premium service is potentially one of the most affordable in the world, costing between $10-$45 depending on the size of the album!

Horus Music Vs Music Gateway

Music Gateway logo

Here at Music Gateway, we offer an accessible music distribution service and pledge to empower creatives in order to help grow their talent, regardless of how big or small. 

Like Horus Music, Music Gateway provides a music distribution service that gets artists’ music heard through all major platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Furthermore, they get to keep 100% of sales profit as Music Gateway will not take any money off artists.

Music Gateway also masters artists’ music for free to make sure that they sound the best they can before release. With a free account, musicians get two free songs to start with and can get more based on the choice of plan. Music Gateway also offers more competitive returns and should definitely be considered for all music distribution needs.

That Was Our Horus Music Review!

Horus Music is a solid platform, and for the right artist, it can be a great partnership. There are plenty of features, more than most distribution companies but this comes at a price. Musicians should consider their probably return on investment and whether or not it will help grow their career. Horus Music is very tempting and with an annual fee and no commission it certainly strengthens them as a top choice music distributor!

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Also, check out our Sync opportunities page to get your music on TV and Film. Try it out for free today by signing up or clicking the button below.

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