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Music Industry

RouteNote Distribution: A Complete Review

Photograph of the blog post author, Sam Jones

Sam Jones


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You have just finished producing your new track and are ready to share it with the world. Before you can obsessively check how many listens you’ve got on Apple Music or Spotify, you need to get your music on the platforms first. Choosing a distributor to do this can be challenging. With so many distributors out there, finding the right one for you is no easy task. RouteNote is a music distribution company that could be perfect for getting your music heard. In this review, we will look at what they do, how much their services cost and compare them to some key competitors. 

routenote logo

Whether you’re a popular band or a young independent artist, you will likely need to employ a distribution company. With so much music listening occurring through streaming sites, getting your music on them is essential for your success. This makes picking a distributor a high-pressure decision. After dedicating so much time and effort to producing the song, you need to make sure you choose the best possible option for you. 

By the end of this RouteNote distribution review, we hope you feel a little more confident in choosing a distributor. We will highlight the main features of RouteNote and what makes them different from every other company. 

What Is RouteNote?


RouteNote is a distribution company focused on independent artists. Sharing to platforms globally has made them a prominent choice for many musicians

Making your music available to listen to, purchase, and download online is essential with digital listening being the most common method. RouteNote distribution provides a means to do this doing all the leg work for you. Since being founded in 2007, they have grown massively into a full digital media management service.

What Does RouteNote Do?

routenote info

As you should have gathered by now, RouteNote is a music distributor. One key factor for choosing between distributors is what different services they offer.

Let’s take a look at RouteNote’s services and why they could benefit you. 

Wide Expose 

The main selling point for RouteNote is its ability to distribute your music so widely. 

Most distributors will offer to get your music on popular platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. Even though this is great for an artist, there are countless other platforms that will be missing your music. 

RouteNote distribution, on the other hand, doesn’t only boast some of the biggest names on the market, but a large variety of them too. Currently, they are partnered with 50 of the biggest digital music platforms in the world. This will give you huge exposure and not only in one corner of the world.

Unlike many other companies, RouteNote will distribute your music to platforms across Asia too. Limiting yourself to western countries only limits the potential scope of your songs. Asia has proved to be a new upcoming market where music is concerned, don’t miss out on this opportunity. 

Even though RouteNote distribution offers to share your music with over 200 sites, the choice to pick and choose is completely up to you. 

RouteNote Free

This is a feature that can really make RouteNote distribution stand out from the crowd. They offer distribution services free of charge, but is RouteNote distribution free in reality? Yes and no. 

There are no upfront costs for their main distribution services. They are available to anyone and will still share your music with all the platforms they are partnered with. Of course, this service is not completely free.

Once your music is being distributed they will take 15% of your royalties. For an independent artist who is new to the scene, this can be the perfect start for getting your music out there. With no upfront cost, you never have to worry about any upfront payments and their charges will be deducted from your payout before you even receive it.

This is a perfect option especially if this is your first time distributing music. Even if your music is not the success you planned it to be, you’re no worse off! Furthermore, they offer complete flexibility and you can change your plan at any point. 

RouteNote Premium 

RouteNote Free offers all the same features and partners as premium, so why would you pay upfront? 

Paying upfront for the same service you can access for free might seem a little strange at first. There’s one key difference, however, that can make it worth your while. With premium, you get to keep 100% of your royalties.

Once you’ve made the upfront payments, all profit after that is yours. If you think your music has a high chance of success this is the best option for you. Once you’ve made back the upfront costs, every penny your music makes will be yours. 

Choosing Between RouteNote Free & Premium 

Choosing between the two services can be a struggle. Don’t stress! Because they offer flexibility over your plan you can change it at any time. 

Overall, this choice completely depends on how well your music will do. If you’re a very small-scale artist, the free plan is probably best for you. If your music has a small amount of listens, the royalties RouteNote takes will be less than the upfront costs of Premium. Vice versa, if your music does well, the royalties they take for the free plan may end up being more than the upfront cost of Premium. 

Making this decision can be hard until you’ve gained some experience. If you are torn between the two, go for the free plan and change it as and when. 

RouteNote Direct 

RouteNote directly allows you to have a lot of control over your music and the way it is presented. Most importantly, you can dictate the cost of all your songs.

Other distributors will limit this due to their interest in gaining royalties. You can also control the feel of your store, which tracks you want to distribute to each platform, and when they will be released

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RouteNote Referral 

This is a very cool feature that RouteNote has added. Referral allows you to either refer someone or be referred to the site yourself.

If you refer someone, you automatically gain 2% of their earnings from then on. Don’t worry, the person you referred won’t lose a penny, RouteNote will take the 2% out of their own earnings! 

YouTube Content ID

Getting paid for your content on YouTube can be tricky. RouteNote offers a service to ensure you get paid for all your YouTube content without having to lift a finger. Their content ID solutions allow you to monetise your recording across the whole platform. Using audio fingerprint matching, they can find all your videos across the platform and claim them as your own. 

You will be subject to the necessary criteria to ensure you legally own all the music. Once passed, all your YouTube content will officially be owned by you. 

Music Protection

Protecting your music is imperative to earn your royalties. RouteNote offers a means to do this for free. 

For digital protection, they offer ISCR’s, International Standing Recording Codes. This is essentially a digital barcode and protects your music from being played for free. Similarly, they offer UPC’s, a Universal Product Code. If you share content on your site or with fans and friends this code will automatically redirect them to the site you distribute with. 

SoundCloud & YouTube

RouteNote highlights how their services greatly benefit your music on SoundCloud and YouTube. On SoundCloud, they offer the means to monetise your content and offer real-time stats to help manage your account. With SoundCloud paying its artist through advertisement, this can be a great means to earn as an artist. 

For YouTube, they help manage and monetise your account also being directly signed to them. Furthermore, their YouTube network sees 200 million views each month stressing their ability to get your songs heard here.  

Monthly Reports 

Understanding the logistics behind your music is important for making a successful career out of it. RouteNote publishes monthly insights into all the transactions of your music.

You can download these stats to see where you are most successful and how well their distribution services are working for you. 

RouteNote Pricing


We’ve covered the main services that RouteNote offers. However, this is just a brief overview, and visiting their website at will give you a better understanding of everything they have to offer. Now let’s take a look at RouteNote pricing. 

As we mentioned, their RouteNote free plan has no upfront costs. Once your music is distributed, they will take 15% of your royalties, and the rest is yours to keep. The Premium plan, however, has a few different options.  

Firstly, the plan costs $9.99 annually. How much everything else costs depends on what you are distributing. A single costs $10, and an EP $20. For an album, the cost is $30, and an extended album is $45. Of course, the benefit of the premium plan is that you keep 100% of your royalties. After that initial payment, all money earned from your music will be yours to keep. 

If you are an established artist, you will likely want to take the premium plan. Your royalties will earn you enough to make back the upfront payments. If you are less established the upfront costs could be more than what you make on royalties. Say, however, you are not established so go for the free plan but your music is a success, you can change the plan to Premium at any point. 

Alternatives To RouteNote 

We’ve discussed quite a bit about RouteNote and they may be sounding appealing to you.

To help your decision further, we will now compare their company to key competitors. Choosing between them depends on your specific goals. 

RouteNote vs Мusic Gateway 

music gateway

Мusic Gateway offers many similar services to RouteNote. 

They don’t just distribute your music to streaming platforms but have a strong drive to get your music featured on films, TV, and games. Their drive for competitive return, no matter your size, makes their site extremely accessible for all artists. This accessibility is what makes Мusic Gateway a top competitor. The platform they have provided to artists offers many more services than just distribution and connects a community of musicians to find opportunities. 

Their broad services combined with the platform they have created to bring together artist makes Мusic Gateway an outstanding distribution company. Picking between the two will be a hard decision that should be based on your personal needs. 

What makes distribution by Мusic Gateway so great?

  • You can distribute your music for FREE!
  • Keep 100% of your royalties!
  • Get free mastering to ensure your track sounds the best it can before distributing it!
  • Distribute your music to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and over 300 more DSPs!
  • Instant set up, upload your music and go!

All of this and more allows you to successfully distribute your music through Мusic Gateway with no recurring annual fees.

Also, if you have songs released through other distributors, you may want to think about moving them to Мusic Gateway.  

Most other distributors will take a cut of your streaming and sales royalties. So, move your entire catalogue to Мusic Gateway and start receiving 100% of your revenue. 

It’s simple to transfer a song and we’ll ensure that all your listens, downloads and stats remain. It really is a no brainer!

In addition, they offer exclusive sync licensing opportunities and free sync representation. As well as free press, blog and promotional services.

RouteNote vs CD Baby

cd baby

Often, the key difference between distributors is pricing. All generally offer distribution to the top sites, but the way they charge and take royalties differs. 

CD Baby is one of the biggest music distributors around. They offer nearly as many platforms as RouteNote and have become renowned for their services. Their cost is ever so slightly cheaper than RouteNote with singles costing $9.95 and albums costing $29.

Furthermore, they do not charge an annual fee like RouteNote does whilst also letting you keep 100% of your royalties. However, they charge considerably extra for monetisation which is included in RouteNotes fees. 

RouteNote vs DistroKid 


The way DistroKid charges is very different from all the companies we have previously mentioned. Instead, you can release as much music as you like for a single annual fee and keep 100% of the royalties.

For a single artist, the annual price is just $19.99, cheaper than a single album compared to the other options! They also boast the fastest services compared to any other distributor, claiming your music will be available for listening 10 to 20 times faster than other companies. 

Like CD Baby, however, monetisation costs more. Upgrading your plan is necessary for a lot of extra features too. Say you miss your payment also, all your music they have distributed will be completely removed. 

Now You Know Everything About RouteNote


That was our RouteNote distribution review! We hope you find it useful and has aided your decision in choosing a distributor. Whether you’re a well-established artist or releasing your first ever track, choosing the right distributor for you is vital. With so many companies available, contemplating the pros and cons of each can be laborious. That’s why we did some of the work for you. 

When trying to choose between distributors, there is no right way to distinguish the best for you. Pricing is a very important factor but shouldn’t be the limiting one. Choosing the services that will best benefit your music should be the focus, not the cost of those services. 

We would recommend doing some research into what services will work best for you. And don’t forget us here at Мusic Gateway!

Are You A Musician Or Artist?

Get free music distribution and find opportunities to get your music in film, TV, and more through sync licensing. Finally, you can amplify your music to those that need to hear it music promotion and professional sharing tool. Try all of this out for yourself by joining Мusic Gateway. Get your free trial, no strings attached.


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