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As a content marketer or creator, creating engaging content is just one part of the challenge. Distributing it is the other part. While most people post their content on one or two platforms and call it a day, serious creators diversify their visibility by cultivating viewership and listenership across various platforms.
The best platforms for content distribution are Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. For educators, Skillshare and Udemy are perfect, while Apple Music and Spotify are ideal for musicians and podcasters, respectively.
In this article, you'll learn about 19 content distribution platforms, including:
Amazon Prime (Prime Video Direct)
Your Own Website
Your Own Mailing List
Content Distribution Platform Vs. Content Distribution Service
Before you assess any roundup of content distribution platforms for your content dissemination strategy, you must be aware of the fundamental distribution between distribution services and platforms. The audience exists on the platform, whereas the service allows you to access/distribute to the platform.
For instance, Spotify or Apple Music are platforms for music distribution. But not just anyone can upload directly to these content distribution platforms. You need to use content distribution services like Distrokid and CDBaby to get to the content distribution platforms like Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Spotify.
As a content creator or marketer, your priority should be the platform. Once you know which platforms you want your content to be on, you can decide which distribution services to use, if any. If you decide to distribute your music via SoundCloud, for instance, then you don't really need a distribution service because you can manually upload content to the platform.
As we dive into the different content distribution platforms, we will look at whether the direct distribution is possible or if a distribution service is required.
The Best Content Distribution Platforms In 2023
Content Distribution platforms usually have an audience and the ability to host or display your content. There are hundreds of platforms that meet these two criteria but the ones that are worth the effort are as follows.
Youtube, owned by the same parent company as Google, is one of the best content-distribution platforms for long-form and medium-length video creators. It is responsible for the stardom and success of creators like Joe Rogan, Joji, and Lilly Singh, who have gone on to become successes outside of the Youtubesphere.
Its importance is evident from celebrities joining the space and turning their star power into youtube traffic. Youtube's strongest point for creators is its massive reach and excellent discovery. Both of these aspects make it the best content distribution platform. That said, it has format limits. If you have audio-only content, you need to convert it to video before it can be hosted on the platform.
You don't need a special distribution service to upload to Youtube because Youtube's own creator-specific platform, Youtube Studio, helps you with uploading and scheduling operations. However, you might need a format-flipping tool like ContentFries to turn your audio into videos (with an audio visualizer) and to convert your longer content into Youtube Shorts.
Facebook is the world's largest social network thanks to parent company Meta's acquisition and appropriation policy. As of 2023, Facebook has 2.85 billion users, making it an excellent platform for creators regardless of niches and categories. It is a mass-market platform with niched communities in the form of groups and fan pages.
What sets Facebook apart from Youtube is that Facebook has multi-format distribution. While Youtube allows community posts with images, Facebook's main feed is optimized to deliver a mix of image, vertical video, and text content alongside conventional long-form video as well. It, therefore, becomes a must-use platform for people who create content across different formats.
Instagram started off as a picture-distribution platform that quickly turned into a pan-media behemoth, thanks to Facebook's acquisition and appropriation policy. Now, Instagram co-opts media formats from other popular social media apps if it is unable to buy them outright. It is a great platform to bet on long-term because it keeps evolving with time and maintaining its relevance.
You can upload pictures, videos, vertical videos (reels), and temporary broadcasts (IG Live) alongside going live on Instagram. You can upload directly to Instagram and even schedule posts with the app itself. Alternatively, you can use distribution services like HootSuite to aggregate your posting efforts across different social media.
ContentFries can help you caption videos for IG Reels and repurpose content you've made for Youtube or other platforms for Instagram's content formats.
Discord is a content distribution platform with a caveat. It doesn't have a strong in-platform discovery feature. While 300 million people use Discord, almost none of them get to see fresh discord chats. It is a great platform to build and protect your community.
Other creators cannot poach your audience, and you can participate in discussions about your craft and content with people who like it.
Spotify is a music distribution and podcast distribution platform. It has some of the highest earning potential of free-consumption platforms paying 8 to 10 times more than Youtube. However, it doesn't allow direct uploads. You need to use distribution services like CDBaby to upload to Spotify.
This can cost money, and there are no guarantees that you'll earn your investment back from your music streams.
7. Apple Music
Apple Music is the iPhone equivalent of Spotify. It has a similarly large user base and a playlist-driven discovery experience. You cannot upload music directly to Apple Music and have to rely on an aggregator service like CDBaby.
Snippets from your music can be turned into TikTok or Instagram ads with a ContentFries visualizer. Apple Music is unlike Spotify in one way: it doesn't allow podcast distribution. You have to use Apple Podcasts for that.
8. Amazon Music
Amazon Music is Amazon's version of Spotify. It is a streaming service where fans can listen to your music. The services that distribute to Apple Music and Spotify often also distribute to Amazon Music, so you don't really have to dedicate any effort to individually aim for this platform. It is just a check box to opt into when you're distributing your music.
9. Apple Podcasts / Google Podcasts
Between Apple Podcasts and Google podcasts, pretty much the entire podcast consumption audience is accounted for. Both of these are podcast streaming platforms, albeit for different devices.
The users who own Android phones usually use Google Podcasts or Spotify to listen to their podcasts, while the users who own Apple devices use Apple Podcasts to get theirs.
Podcast distribution services like RedCircle, allow podcasters to upload their podcasts to almost all podcasting platforms with an RSS code. No podcast platform has a strong enough discovery algorithm. You're more likely to get listeners into your podcast listenership by repurposing bite-sized content from long-form podcasts and distributing it to other platforms. That's something you can do with ContentFries.
Udemy is a course-distribution platform for people who have something to teach. Whether you're an educator or someone who has mastered a soft skill worth teaching, you can always create a course and put it on Udemy.
Platforms like Udemy are excellent for building a loyal audience because your audience consumes content that is genuinely valuable to them. Most people who find Udemy courses worthwhile then choose to follow the course creators across their social media.
Reddit is like Discord but with a broader discovery potential. You can post your content to dedicated subreddits that align with the market in which the content is valuable. For instance, an SEO specialist can share his article to a subreddit dedicated to Search Engine Optimization.
Since Reddit started leaning toward the infinite scrolling model, it is very valuable to have short clips on different subreddits. While ContentFries can help you with that, it cannot make your posts subreddit-compliant. Read the rules of different subreddits before you post your content.
Some forums allow you to post content about yourself, while others have a serious aversion to the practice.
We have covered platforms for educators, podcasters, and musicians alongside those for regular content creators. Pinterest is one for creatives. From Quote cards to aesthetic mood board shots, Pinterest is a platform to distribute content masquerading as inspiration.
It has medium-to-high visibility but low loyalty because people care more about the asset than the creator. Still, it is worth distributing to if your end goal is to get as many eyeballs on your art as possible.
14. Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime is a major Netflix Competitor. And while you cannot get into Netflix without getting past its gatekeepers, it is fairly straightforward to get on Amazon Prime. For that, you have to use prime video direct, which will make your video pop up on Prime.
It can be borrowed, viewed, and even purchased, giving you and Amazon a split for the money it earns. Distributing to Prime can have branding advantages, but the criteria regarding the content that is accepted are pretty restrictive.
Vimeo has a wider acceptance policy but caters to the indie-film community. High-quality documentary and arthouse movies can be distributed via Vimeo. The platform is like a smaller Youtube with a higher concentration of paying viewers. It is a worthy platform only if you want to sell your videos as products. You can create clips to market your Vimeo content on other platforms.
Hyping up content with other content is the way of the internet. Medium.com is an online digest where you can pen articles and guides to an already established audience (Medium Publications). Alternatively, you can build your own audience by writing original content and using an outreach strategy to establish an initial readership.
17. PR Newswire
If the content you distribute is newsworthy, then your number one way to score interviews and media features is to send out a press release. PR Newswire is a content distribution platform as well as a service. The PR pieces you post on the Newswire go on the PR Newswire website alongside the inboxes of all the journalists subscribed to the service.
18. Your Own Website
Where PR Newswire is a hundred-percent borrowed-audience medium, your own website is a hundred percent owned-audience medium. You own the audience that is loyal to your website. In other words, you don't have to fight for visibility on the website because you own it.
In contrast, any video that you post on a third-party platform is at the behest of the platform's algorithm. No matter the type of content you create, you should have your own website to consolidate your content.
19. Your Own Mailing List
Finally, you need a mailing list. It is your only direct path to your audience. If you have a direct mailing list, you can send emails to your audience using a distribution service like MailChimp. These services charge you to send your message, but they don't dictate whether or not your audience gets your message.
Unlike social media traffic, this channel depends entirely on the quality and the relevance of the users on it. You must build your mailing list slowly and avoid aiming for volume at the cost of relevance or quality.
Once you have a list, you should work to cultivate a relationship of value with its subscribers. That way, your emails are opened more often and are less likely to end up in the spam folder.
Which Content Distribution Platforms Should You Use?
Now that you know about the 19 top distribution platforms, it is time to acknowledge the reality that you will not distribute your content to all of them. That's because creating and distributing content is an effort-intensive process. You must choose the platforms that give you the maximum return for your effort. Here is how you can optimize your content distribution strategy.
The first factor to consider is whether there is an audience for your content on a specific platform. Ask yourself why people open specific apps. People who appreciate comedy might be on LinkedIn, but they're not on LinkedIn to consume comedy.
How aligned with your content is the Audience of a platform? This question is more relevant for smaller platforms because general-use platforms like Facebook and YouTube have people with all sorts of interests.
Competition Vs. Demand Vacuum
One of the things you need to think about is the demand for your type of content compared to the supply of it. When there is a hunger for a type of content but a vacuum of creators, you have the first-mover advantage and a disproportionate return on your publication efforts.
Once you've narrowed down to the platforms that have a higher content demand compared to the supply, you should look at all the possible platforms that accommodate similar content formats. A video made primarily for YouTube can end up on Instagram and Facebook.
Understanding how far you can stretch your content repurposing strategy can dictate which platforms you can bring into your content distribution.
Contentfries: Your Key To Be Everywhere
Recently you might have seen a phenomenon of clipped content being re-uploaded across different platforms and channels. It really works. MrBeast got 6 million followers on a secondary channel from doing nothing but repurposing old clips with translation. Every major podcast has a dedicated clips channel.
Most viewers see such clips and assume that they can never have something similar for their content. And that assumption is driven by how professionally done the repurposed content looks. You, too, can seem to have a whole team editing your content by mastering ConterFries over a weekend.
Contentfries is a program that can be used to convert one piece of content into 36+ context-specific clips that are individualized for different platforms. Read our post on What content repurposing is to learn more.
There are hundreds of Content Distribution platforms available to creators today. Some are limited to specific formats, while others are for certain communities. They all have their respective limitations and strong points. Fortunately, content repurposing programs have made it possible for creators to distribute context-specific content to different platforms without having to create thousands of individual pieces of content.
The 19 best distribution platforms are covered in the article above. You just need to start repurposing your content to dominate most of these channels without compromising the quality of any individual piece.