In the record industry the traditional term ‘distribution’ refers to the ways in which records are delivered from the record companies to the retailer. A distributor normally acts on an exclusive basis for a record company. The distribution stage is a process where you will have to convince third parties of your products commercial potential. A distributor can be harder to convince than an A&R person – they are all about the numbers.

Distributors will usually only work with labels that have been in business for a while and can demonstrate some sales from previous releases – you may need to prove this by showing them how many records you have sold through live sales, internet sales, and any other alternative methods.

The Plot

The distributor is going to need to know your ‘plot’ and you will have to make a clear pitch to them about your label, artists and releases. They will have to convince retail that you will sell and so you have to convince them.

Types of Deal

  • P&D – production and distribution (marketing services also?)

  • Catalogue – for a label and more than one artist

  • Single Item Distribution Deal – for one ‘release’

Digital Distribution

Distribution has changed radically with digital media but products still have to have a profile and be both visible and accessible to consumers

Digital music warehouses - are the core of the digital media business. They hold licensed content in various formats for distribution to media and retail businesses. E.g. Media Net http://www.mndigital.com/

Independent aggregators - Independent aggregators have a similar role to the big warehouses, handling more titles and artists but distributing to lower volume outlets as well as the bigger ones. e.g. 7 Digital / AWAL / Tune Core

UK Download Stores - http://www.pro-music.org/Content/GetMusicOnline/stores-europe.php