Is It Time to Roll Your Own Distribution Service? SonoSuite Is Quietly Claiming the White Label Distribution Space

SonoSuite home base Barcelona, Spain (photo: walkerssk)
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SonoSuite home base Barcelona, Spain (photo: walkerssk)
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SonoSuite home base Barcelona, Spain (photo: walkerssk)

From data collection to rights management and everything in between, there are endless moving parts involved with music distribution in today’s streaming-dominated landscape. Now, SonoSuite is quietly equipping indie record labels, aggregators, management and promotion agencies, and even other distributors with the tools to roll their own distribution services.

Metadata, encoding, and the distribution process itself also demand attention — as well as expertise — on the part of both established and prospective distributors. These increasingly complex considerations produce multifaceted challenges, and the pitfalls of tackling distribution without the required knowledge are accordingly significant. In other words, there’s a pretty good reason why distribution is typically outsourced — though SonoSuite is quietly upending that market structure.

Here’s SonoSuite’s white label pitch: In order to help labels and even existing distributors thrive in the digital age, the company has developed an enterprise-level solution for modern distribution. By drawing from firsthand experience — the company began as a digital distributor in Spain before expanding into Latin America and ultimately breaking into the white-label space — SonoSuite has tailored its infrastructure and tech to make a customized, white label distribution backend a viable solution.

With these assets functioning as a standalone distribution platform, clients can forgo the cost and hassle of in-house development, zeroing in on management, label services, promotion, compliance, legal clearances, and the other important elements of a successful operation. Attracting new customers and worthwhile creative partners will become easier and more straightforward as distribution to DSPs and other endpoints runs smoothly in the background.

Similarly, SonoSuite’s aggregation, data-management, and royalty processing resources contribute to better overall targeting and market strategies, besides an enhanced ability to detect and combat piracy. For example, identifying stream bots is decidedly easier with the help of the SonoSuite Quality Control team, and professionals can block royalty payments in the event that the platform detects potentially fraudulent activity.

SonoSuite’s customizable platform, which companies can personalize and utilize on existing domains, centers on a one-stop database for organizing and reviewing catalogs.

From here, bulk distribution to all major streaming services – and occasional takedowns, updates, and the creation of UPCs and ISRCs – takes little more than a few clicks and a couple moments.

In a stark contrast to most other music distributors, however, SonoSuite brings with it a far-reaching collection of reporting tools, which provide detailed revenue breakdowns for clients and their teams. Additionally, a transactional and payment gateway (complete with a ticket-based customer support system) demonstrate that stellar security and thorough data are not mutually exclusive.

SonoSuite also emphasizes precise metadata — and the accurate payments that they lead to in the long term.

The aforementioned Quality Control workflow checks all uploaded audio, album artwork, and metadata to assure compliance with digital service providers’ content guidelines, and promptly dispatched correction notifications are designed to prevent headaches (and missing compensation) down the line.

The latter point is particularly noteworthy given the immense popularity and broadening scope of modern content platforms. SonoSuite cofounder Maarten van Wijck told Digital Music News that traceability is the key to targeted advertising and bolstered earnings in the era of user-generated-content (UGC) apps like TikTok and Triller.

With hundreds of millions of combined monthly active users (MAUs) between them — not to mention the music-integration features on video-sharing options like Instagram, Snapchat, and others — exercising careful data habits lays the groundwork for future UGC royalties.  That’s been an increasingly important part of DMN’s ongoing music industry coverage, which made our partnership with SonoSuite all the more valuable.

“Right now, it’s about expanding your network and indirect monetization,” SonoSuite’s CEO and cofounder José Luis Zagazeta told us.

As more music industry clients look to capitalize upon the revenue and exposure that these applications offer, the insights of correct metadata and customizable datasets will prove invaluable.

Despite the impressive technical characteristics and capabilities of the core platform, SonoSuite actively responds to distribution’s inherent obstacles. Updating the distribution pipeline to meet current DSP specifications, managing DSP relationships, and gathering and reporting data represent just some of the many functions that team members carry out as part of their effort to deliver an all-inclusive distribution experience for the information era.

The coming months and years are set to introduce challenges — and opportunities — on the digital technology and distribution fronts. Mega DSPs like Amazon Music, Spotify, and Apple Music are continuing to expand their libraries and reach new listeners with each passing day, and this concentration of music and users means that professionals cannot afford to forego bulk distribution due to outdated systems or non-compliance with upload standards.

But the widespread pivot to streaming (and a few key DSPs) has also unlocked a comprehensive listener-data reservoir. If stored and organized by a platform like SonoSuite, this information can be utilized to more effectively target adverts, make better user recommendations, and tap into fresh audiences.

Furthermore, users’ growing interest in voice-enabled searches and filtering options is ushering in additional music-discovery possibilities – and potential difficulties.

Maintaining stellar metadata and complying with DSP upload guidelines even as technical standards evolve is integral, for distributors, and failing to do so will inhibit discoverability moving forward. Plus, the underlying issues will only compound as more music fans begin using smart devices to find artists, albums, and tracks by voice.

The music landscape has experienced no shortage of changes in recent years, and new tech-based innovations and trends are undoubtedly forthcoming. SonoSuite says its distribution backend is helping clients to remain ahead of the distribution curve.

And in a larger sense, the underlying technology is contributing to a “glocal” transformation in countries around the world, empowering distributors in emerging and well-established markets alike.

Regardless of their size or their location, SonoSuite wants its clients to have the ability to offer quality distribution services to indie music communities, connecting them – and, in turn, tomorrow’s biggest artists – to leading DSPs and millions of potential fans. That makes sense: with the right tools and support, nothing can stop creators from playing a prominent role in the contemporary music industry.