(Hypebot) — As an artist, choosing the best video distribution option for you or your band can be complex and confusing. Here, we help make the decision easier by comparing the pros and cons of some of the well known platforms, as well as a few more obscure options.
Guest post by Vanessa Schiano of the Symphonic Blog
Here at Symphonic, we place the utmost importance on being as upfront and honest as possible with artists about everything we do, especially when it comes to how our prices compare to the competition. That’s why we’ve decided to share our research on the music video distribution market, so you can make a quick and informed decision on where to distribute your work. Here’s everything you need to know…
Comparing Video Distribution Pricing So You Don’t Have To
Before deciding which service to use, you have to know about the different platforms you may have access to. — The main well-known platforms are:
VEVO hosts music videos from both Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment syndicated on YouTube and its website, with Google and Vevo sharing advertising and similar benefits.
Tidal is a subscription-based music streaming service that rivals the likes of Spotify but targets audiophiles who want higher-quality, lossless audio. It also offers high-definition music videos and curated editorial content from big names in the music industry including its owner, Jay Z.
APPLE MUSIC (iTUNES)
iTunes is a media player, media library, online radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc. It is used to play, download, and organize digital downloads of music and video (as well as other types of media available on the iTunes Store) on personal computers running the macOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The iTunes Store is also available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
One of the newer music distribution platforms, Vidzone has grown to become one of the largest online music video VOD services in the world. Vidzone is operated by London-based company VidZone Digital Media and Sony Computer Entertainment. Vidzone’s online service provides free streaming of music videos from the VidZone.tv website, in addition to music distribution through a number of mobile networks worldwide.
Facebook Premium Music Videos (PMVs) offer a unique music video experience for labels, artists, and fans. Facebook PMVs are published in the Videos section of artist pages and allow artists to capitalize on the built-in reach of an existing fanbase and to easily engage with it to drive views. Plus, facebook serves as a great hub for artists to house all of their content in one space.Did you know that Facebook Premium Music Videos (PMV) have integrated with Symphonic Video Distribution? Click To Tweet
Sharpen your skills…
There are other platforms beyond these that offer more curated experiences, like for example, XITE, which offers the best music video experience on TV and OTT-platform through its interactive app, and Symphonic Spotlight, Symphonic’s very own media brand which showcases music news, interviews, editorials and video content.
Getting your music on the right platforms is one of the most crucial steps to becoming successful. Symphonic believes that having your music video placed on a wide array of video distribution platforms will help increase your music’s exposure, but in the end, the platform you choose will be solely dependent on:
- How many videos you want distributed.
- Which partners you want it distributed to.
What about Symphonic?
Symphonic offers distribution of your music video with our Base package to Vevo, TIDAL, Apple, Facebook, and Vimeo, and has the optional Plus partner promotional package which includes XITE and other promotional platforms like Symphonic Spotlight.
Other video distributors have limited platform offerings. For example, Ditto only offers distribution to Vevo, and MarvMent to Vevo, iTunes, and VidZone only.
Video distribution with Symphonic does not require a membership or annual fees. In addition, you can use Symphonic for your video distribution needs only while distributing your audio tracks elsewhere — meaning you do not have to be an audio client to use our video distribution service.
As we will discuss below, these other video distributors only offer access to certain platforms under subscriptions only, and some restrict their video distribution services to clients who are also audio clients.
We strive to be as accurate as possible in regards to our research BUT some details are very hard to find on some of these distributor’s websites. That said, here’s the nitty gritty in regards to pricing:
- Symphonic offers a simple, one time fee of $95 per music video distributed to one or all the Base video platforms listed above, and an optional $55 to add on the Plus package.
- The artist retains 70% of the royalties from Vevo, Apple, Facebook, and TIDAL.
- Video ISRCs and UPCs are included free of charge.
- We only will reject a video if it does not meet the technical specifications and content guidelines—as given to us by the video partners.
- We also give you an opportunity to make revisions and resubmit the video after our suggested revisions to meet these specifications.
- We will not reject a video submission based upon social media following, as we know a lot of independent artists are just starting out and may not have a significant following yet.
You also have the opportunity to have your music video pitched to Vevo or TIDAL, at no additional cost to you, as an added benefit of Symphonic’s video distribution service. We have been very successful with our feature placements and do not hesitate to share our client’s successes on our social media pages.
Vydia provides labels with the infrastructure and tools to power their business. With a full suite of services, they offer video and audio supply chain, global distribution, analytics, rights management, payments, detailed revenue reporting, and marketing. Vydia serves music entrepreneurs and their labels, so that is the primary criteria in evaluating applications to determine if Vydia’s product and services are a fit. Becoming a client with Vydia is through an exclusive invite or through a referral from an existing client. Once accepted, clients would then need to select a Vydia Plan – starting at $20 annually. (Rates are determined based on client needs and terms.)
- Clients can then deliver unlimited video content to Vydia’s premium video partners, including Vevo, TIDAL, Apple, and Facebook.
- Since they are invite only and serve a more exclusive audience, Vydia is able to offer Vevo Channel creation as part of their annual Vydia plan.
- In regards to royalties, clients’ splits vary depending on their deal terms.
Ditto offers distribution to Vevo, but you have to be an audio distribution client in order to use their video distribution service
- Ditto’s rate is $99 for distribution of your first music video and includes a Vevo channel creation.
- Each additional video distribution to Vevo after this initial $99 would be $29 each, and you retain 100% of the royalties from Vevo.
- ISRCs are also included free of charge. (Although you are paying a considerable amount more than Vydia, you are able to keep 100% of your royalties, versus Vydia’s 65%, so there is a slight trade off between these two.)
Ditto has three annual fee options: $12/year (Artist), $19/year (Pro) and $45/year (Label), whereas Symphonic does not have any annual fees. Also, with Symphonic, for $95 you get your video on 5 platforms and 70% of royalties, while with Ditto for $99 you get your video on Vevo only BUT you retain 100% of the royalties from those platforms. So in the end, it all depends on what platforms you want your video available on, and how you approach the benefit of royalties versus annual fees.
MarvMent offers delivery to Vevo, iTunes and Vidzone. Taking a slightly different approach, MarvMent has a set of three yearly subscription packages for Vevo and Vidzone distribution.
- There is an additional $25 distribution fee per music video to iTunes outside of these package options, and you retain 70% of royalties from the video’s monetization.
- Marvment’s cheapest package is $69 and includes one Vevo channel creation with unlimited video uploads.
- However, ISRC’s are a separate cost of $32 each, which can add up quickly. (The other distributors mentioned offer ISRC’s for free with their distribution.)
This package also does not include any Vevo feature requests. The second package is priced at $199 and includes 5 VEVO channel creations with unlimited video uploads, 5 ISRC codes with each additional after that being $32 each. In this package, requests for a Vevo feature placement can be done for two videos per year only. The final package is set to $399 per year and includes unlimited Vevo channels and video uploads, as well as unlimited ISRC codes. — If you are a label managing several artists who all need their own Vevo channels, this may be a good option for you.
To make all this information a bit easier to visualize, check out the price chart below:
As a final note, we want to emphasize that it is up to you, the artist or record label, to decide which distributor will work for you. If you want your music videos to have as much exposure as possible, then Symphonic Distribution with its 5 Base platforms would work best for you. But, if you want your music videos on Vevo only, then Vydia, with its unlimited music video submissions, might serve you best – IF you are accepted. In the end, Symphonic is here to educate as much as possible so that you decide what is best for YOU. There are other video distributors out there besides these we have discussed, so make sure you do your homework before selecting a distributor and always ask these questions:
- What is your rate per video?
- What is your royalty split for videos?
- Are there any annual fees?
- Are ISRCs and UPCs a separate fee?
- Do you offer feature placement pitching with the partners you deliver to?
- Do you have to distribute audio with you in order to use your video distribution service?
- Are there any other hidden fees?
Symphonic strives to remain transparent not only in our pricing information but also in our offerings. Want to learn more? We’ve got everything readily available on our website.
Vanessa Schiano is the video coordinator for Symphonic Distribution. She is an avid Disney fan with a healthy obsession with cats and also speaks fluently in movie quotes.