Symphonic Distribution and AWAL both make the admin work easy for labels and artists by providing their clients with access to a wide variety of services to ensure they have the tools they need to thrive. However, there are a couple differences you should know about. Here’s the rundown…
Comparison: Syphonic vs AWAL
Symphonic Distribution and AWAL both have a selective process when reviewing applications. They’re looking for artists and labels who are independent but have an understanding of the importance of marketing themselves. The ideal candidate has a decent following, brand representation, and quality music.
There is no sign-up fee, release fee, or yearly fee charged by either of these distributors. Once accepted, the standard agreement is that the distributor only takes a percentage of royalties.
Let’s talk payments
Let’s face it. Everyone wants to get paid.
Symphonic issues a monthly payout while AWAL issues payments with a 2-3 month delay. AWAL and Symphonic have a payment threshold you must meet in order for funds to be distributed; AWAL’s requirements are $45 and Symphonic’s requirements are $50. In addition, Symphonic’s team starts grinding as soon as the month closes to ensure funds are distributed accordingly and as efficiently as possible.
As far as we know, AWAL does not appear to offer direct payment splitting, but Symphonic does. Symphonic provides artist statement breakdowns (i.e. if it’s a track with shared artists and if it’s an artist under a label, we’ll show that breakdown).
Now… where is my music distributed to and how quickly?
Here is where we start to see some variation in the services that Symphonic and AWAL provide.
- Symphonic delivers to over 200+ outlets, including Beatport, distribution to nearly every territory in the world, and can have your tracks live on DSPs within 5 days across all channels.
- AWAL requests that they get 4 weeks to distribute to the DSPs and notes that they distribute to 100+ outlets.
What about video distribution?
Content is important, and we all know the value of making sure you have a wide variety of it.
Symphonic offers two video distribution packages starting at a flat rate of $95. The base package includes distribution to Facebook, Boomplay, CoolNerd, Tidal, Apple/iTunes, VEVO, our very own Symphonic Spotlight mobile app, and Amazon. If you purchase the plus package for an additional $55, Symphonic can deliver you to additional partners as well.
- To learn more about our video distribution offerings, check out our video distribution comparison post.
Label Services and Playlists, Playlists, Playlists
Both Symphonic and AWAL offer playlist pitching by request to their clients. Once accepted, all Symphonic clients have access to the playlist submission request form found in the Symphonic Management System. All they have to do is follow the recommended steps and timeframes to ensure requests are set up for success.
Beyond playlists, Symphonic offers an extensive amount of additional services. (Note: some of these are at an added fee due to the time-sensitivity and hands-on nature.) These additional services include marketing plans, creative design, release packages, video design and optimization, social media management, and more.
On the other hand, AWAL reserves these services to artists of a certain caliber. (You can review the way they break out services and tiers here.)
What about Sync and Publishing Admin services?
Both Symphonic and AWAL are uniquely positioned to offer these services to artists who are a good fit.
Symphonic also operates Bodega Sync – our official one-stop sync licensing arm – and we’ve partnered with Songtrust for publishing administration.
AWAL, now as part of Sony and The Orchard, states that only artists of a certain level can be given the opportunity for sync placements and admin services.
What distributor is best for me?
AWAL and Symphonic offer a lot of options. With this, we want to be as unbiased as possible in this comparison. It’s important to note that AWAL was recently acquired by Sony and The Orchard, a very large corporation, so it remains to be seen what will happen with the brand and further how attentive they may be to their client base once fully integrated.
All in all, the choice is always yours whenever choosing a distributor and we hope this article has helped shed some light. However, we understand that you may still think we’re being biased here, and we don’t blame you for being skeptical! So, here is an additional unbiased comparison of what is available here.
We want to make sure that what we’ve written is fair to all parties. If you see anything that is incorrect, please contact us and we would be glad to correct it to ensure it reflects the current positioning.