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Amuse Distribution Review 2024: An In-Depth Assessment of the Platform

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Amuse Distribution

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Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.
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Over the past few years, Amuse has established itself as one of the most popular music distribution services for DIY artists.

I sat down with Amuse to get a deeper understanding of how they have evolved since their inception in 2017.

Amuse boasts that they are in the top 5 DIY distributors globally in terms of volume of releases, working with hundreds of thousands of artists. With the ever crowded space of getting music onto major streaming platforms, this is no small feat.

For clarity, for artists to get their music into DSPs (some call these music stores, streaming platforms, etc) like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, you need a music distributor. There are many and I did a comparison review of many of the biggest ones HERE.

Music Distribution Companies: Full Comparison Chart

I signed up for an Amuse account to poke under the hood and they gave me a demo account so I could get a look at some insights and analytics since I haven’t released any music with them yet.

Because Amuse started as a mobile-only distributor, the mobile experience (primarily on their app) is exceptional. I know artists appreciate being able to get a real-time glance at their royalties, analytics, and artist profiles on the go.

Amuse has changed its business model quite dramatically over the past few months.

They no longer offer a free tier (which I applaud as this floods the market and pulls resources away from other artists needing support). Like most other distributors these days, Amuse offers unlimited distribution for an annual fee.

The main difference between the “Boost” $19.99/yr plan and the “Pro” $59.99/yr plan is the ability to distribute multiple artist projects. This is typically an upgraded feature at other similar DIY distributors like DistroKid and Tunecore. Something else that sets Amuse’s “Pro” plan apart is enhanced support and speed.

Amuse’s release timing is a little confusing to me.

Pro users have two options: Release as soon as possible or Select a release date. However to select a release date you must select at least 10 days out. It would make a lot more sense if I could select any date from 2 days out forward without restriction. What if I want to release a song a week? You can’t really do that without planning ahead a bit.

Some major holes that Amuse lacks currently is the ability to distribute lyrics and full credits.

Most distributors these days have lyric distribution as part of the distribution process (to at least Apple Music and TIDAL). However, to get lyrics on Spotify – no matter which distributor you use – you’re required to use Musixmatch. Which is a headache and a pain.

Amuse also doesn’t distribute any credits other than Songwriter, Producer, and Mixer. With many DSPs displaying full credits (TIDAL, Amazon Music, Pandora), it would be nice if Amuse allowed this. Give this trumpet player some love!

Payment splitting has become a deal breaker for me when it comes to choosing a distributor. If they won’t pay out my collaborators automatically, I’m not going to use them. It’s too much of a headache to have to calculate all of this myself. Fortunately, Amuse offers payment splitting, however they do take an additional 15% cut for collaborators who are not Amuse members. Other distributors like Symphonic, TuneCore, Landr and Too Lost offer free payment splitting for non member collaborators. And Amuse doesn’t offer recoupment either. Meaning, if my producer is entitled to 20% of my royalties after the $2,500 I spent on the track, I should be getting paid 100% of the royalties until I reach $2,500, then we split the rest 80/20. Other distributors like DistroKid and Symphonic offer this.

Streaming fraud is one of the most serious issues affecting the music industry currently.

I have reported on how innocent artists are being penalized for fraudulent streaming activity that they had no part in. It seems no distributor nor DSP has figured out how to combat this. Too Lost and Symphonic have gotten close by requiring ID verification, but the others have begun passing along the fees and penalties DSPs like Spotify and Apple Music have levied to their artists – whether they are guilty of fraud or not. Amuse states that they have a warning system in place, but will soon be passing along fees and possibly removing tracks if there is fraudulent streaming activity detected, which is the wrong approach considering many artists are innocent simply getting caught up in the broken system that is the pro-rata payment streaming model.

Amuse only distributes music to 35 total outlets. Now these 35 are the most popular ones, but if it’s important to you to have your music in certain DSPs (usually more popular in secondary markets), you’ll want to check to see if Amuse distributes to them. Notable missing from the list of outlets they distribute to include Gracenote, Soundscan, and SoundExchange.

Amuse has a Presave link maker, but it leaves out a few important features.

The main reason to do a Presave campaign these days is to get your fans’ data. Namely their email (and sometimes phone number). Of course, the song will be added to the fans’ Spotify and Apple library upon release, but if they don’t play it, that “save” is useless. Other important presave must haves nowadays is “forever presave” and the Spotify login bypass from Instagram. This may seem in the weeds, but it’s literally the difference between a 5% conversion and an 80% conversion rate. Making the user resign in to Spotify from Instagram (when they’re already signed into Spotify in app) is an annoying headache that prevents most people from finishing the presave action. Many other presave services like Feature.fm and ArtistHub have these features and gives you your fans emails when they presave.

Re-releasing music with Amuse is a lot easier than most other distributors

Like including a previously released single on an upcoming EP or album. Or simply switching from a previous distributor. I appreciate that if the track has been released before the old ISRC is required. This is listed big bold and red so you can’t miss it. Other distributors don’t require this and it can easily be missed. If you don’t use the same ISRC code for the new release, neither your stream counts or playlists will transfer. I appreciate that Amuse holds your hand through this process – which can be very confusing. The fewer decisions we need to make the better!

All in all, Amuse is a legit music distribution service for independent artists with a great reputation.

There are a bunch of features to seamlessly tap into as you grow your music career.

If you’d like to see how Amuse compares to other music distribution platforms like DistroKid, Too Lost, Symphonic, Horus, Tunecore, CD Baby and the rest, check out the full comparison chart and article HERE.

Amuse has distributed some notable releases like: the original upload of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” “YKYIM?” by Yot Club and “eXplosion” by Black Eyed Peas (will.i.am is a cofounder).

Check them out HERE.

Use code ARIS10 for 10% off Boost or Pro.

Questions

Is Amuse a legit music distribution platform?

Yes, Amuse is a legit music distribution platform that distributes to 35 major outlets, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, SoundCloud, TikTok and more. Many artists praise it for its user-friendly interface and transparent reporting system.

Is Amuse really free?

As of March 27th 2024, Amuse is no longer offering their free plan. You can sign up for their Boost plan ($19.99/year) or their Pro plan ($59.99/year).

Can I get advance royalties through Amuse?

If you are already getting a substantial amount of streams on your catalog, you can apply to get access to up to six months of your upcoming royalties with their automated advance services: Fast Forward and Early Access. They offer from $10 up to over tens of thousands of dollars per advance.

Does Amuse promote your music?

At this moment, Amuse only does direct marketing and promotion with their signed artists (How do I get signed by Amuse?). Their blog provides some strategies on how to promote your release.

+26 Things to Do Before You Release a Single or Album

Does Amuse own your music?

No, Amuse offers digital distribution, funding, and artist services to independent artists and management, who keep 100% of their master rights.

Does Amuse offer admin publishing?

No, Amuse does not offer admin publishing for songwriter royalties. They only make sound recording royalty payments.

+Admin Publishing Comparison

About The Author

Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.

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