Complete List of Digital Service Providers
“Let me tell you why you’re here.”
Digital Service Providers (DSPs), also known simply as “music services,” are online platforms where users can stream, download, or interact with your music.
“You’re here because you know something.”
As an independent artist, you can use distributors such as CD Baby, TuneCore, and DistroKid to get your music onto DSPs, such as Spotify and Apple Music.
“What you know, you can’t explain, but you feel it.”
If you think that Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Google Play Music, Deezer, Napster, SoundCloud, and TIDAL are the biggest (or only) players in the DSP space, you would be… [drum roll, please]…. wrong… oh, so very wrong! Are you starting to get an uneasy feeling?
“There’s something wrong with the world.”
WARNING! I have to say that I have mixed feelings about sharing this data with you. If you’re wondering what’s up with the movie quotes, well, I sort of feel like Morpheus in the scene from The Matrix movie, where he offers Neo (you) the choice between a blue pill and a red pill.
“Do you want to know what it is?”
If you take the blue pill, you can stop reading now and go on believing that the digital music world is relatively simple, constant, and dominated by just a few services… and if you’re in the US, you can continue believing that Spotify and Apple Music are the big services that you should focus all of your energy on. It’s so much simpler with the blue pill; ignorance is bliss, so they say.
“After this there is no turning back.”
So here’s your chance to stop reading now. But if you decide to continue reading on and take the red pill, so to speak, then let me warn you that you are in for a rude awakening!
OK, so you’ve decided to take the red pill and awaken from your dream world… you might want to hold onto something!
Starting to get dizzy…
Like the music industry as a whole, the music service space is amazingly complex, always changing, and absolutely gigantic. Trying to figure out how to collect all of your royalties is a pain, and then trying to understand your royalties and rates once you get them can be even harder. As I was doing research for this article, I was once again shocked with just how big the world is, and how many music markets and niches exist. Rather than get disheartened by it all, how about taking the optimistic approach and get excited with all of the opportunities out there for people to hear and download your music?
You’ll start to feel the effects of the red pill as you try to answer these next few quick questions. If you answer “no” to all of these, don’t feel too bad… I’m certain most independent artists in the US would do the same.
Welcome to The Digital Service Provider Matrix!
- Did you know there are music services out there that have more monthly users than Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Google Play Music, Deezer, Napster, SoundCloud, and TIDAL all combined?! Ever hear of Kuwo? QQ Music? Kugou?
- Did you know there is a music service that is over three times as big as Apple Music and they just rebranded their music service last month? Yep, it’s Qianqian Music. Never heard of them?
- Did you know that there is a music service that is in China that has at best a quarter market share there, but still probably has more monthly users than Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon combined? Does NetEase ring a bell?
- Did you know that when distributors like CD Baby, TuneCore, DistroKid, Routenote, etc. say that they distribute to 100+ stores or 200+ stores, many of those stores have shut down, or they are telecom companies, or they have to do with physical CDs (not digital)? For example, at the time of this writing, it feels like every other company or service on MondoTunes’ partner distribution list is now defunct, closed, rebranded, or has to do with physical CDs.
- Did you know that you can get a premium subscription on the new YouTube Music service as well as on Google Play Music via the new YouTube Premium service, which used to be combined together as YouTube Red, which used to be YouTube Music Key, which you used to get for free if you were a Google Play All Access subscriber? Oh, and that is all totally separate from plain old YouTube. Simple, right?!
- Did you know that many Spotify listeners on Windows 10 were previously using Groove Music, which used to be Xbox Music, which used to be Zune, which started out as simply a modified version of Windows Media Player?
- Did you know that Sony’s PlayStation Music is actually now powered by Spotify, but it used to be its own service called Music Unlimited, which used to be Qriocity, which used to be part of the Sony Entertainment Network, which used to be known as Sony Network Entertainment?
- Did you know that if you distribute through CD Baby, then your music should also be distributed to QQ Music, even though CD Baby is not partnered with QQ Music? That’s because CD Baby is partnered with Kdigital, which then distributes to a ton of other providers, including QQ Music. In fact, many providers on the list below also act as distributors and can provide your music to hundreds of other music services around the world! Yes, that means there are multiple “hidden” paths to distribute to each music service below… ugh!
Alright, I think you’re now ready to see the music service world as it really is: vast and wide and riddled with tombstones of bygone services. The chart below should completely rip apart your sweet little digital music service provider reality.
I spent days of research and work to cobble together this long list of DSPs, which includes links and information for over 350 digital service providers from around the world! I even included their monthly active users (MAU) where possible. And, if you can believe it, I intentionally didn’t include probably over 200 other services that distributors listed as DSPs they deliver to… that’s because I couldn’t find any substantial info online about those services, or they were just a telecom or technology company without any obvious music services available. Of course, the list below will never really be “complete,” but it’s the closest thing to a complete list that I know of. Enjoy!
NOTE: Since the music business is ever changing, please help me keep this list current by letting me know if you find anything outdated, incorrect, or missing. Thanks!