TechCrunch suggests that DistroKid is ‘an affordable way to upload music to stores like iTunes’, with a story that goes a little hard on the startup’s claim that existing digital distributors are too expensive. The service costs $19.99 a year for unlimited uploads, which is part of a longer downwards-drive in the cost of digital distribution rather than a sudden pricing revolution. Artists get to keep 100% of their royalties from sales, with monthly payments. DistroKid is spinning out of an existing company, Fandalism, which launched a social network for musicians last year, and introduced a distribution feature earlier this year (Bulletin, 21-Jan-13). Where DistroKid has a stronger case for its disruptive powers is its promise that albums will be on iTunes within 2-4 hours of the artist uploading it – the service also supports Spotify and Google Play, but not Amazon yet – with  regular emails keeping them posted on its progress. However, with DistroKid and Fandalism both one-man operations (the same man: entrepreneur Philip Kaplan), the challenge will be to provide a good service when problems arise. “I’ve automated absolutely everything,” claims Kaplan. “Every now and then there will be a problem, and rather than just fixing a problem, I have to build a system to fix the problem.”

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