The act of taking a digital recording and moving it into a marketplace for sales. This includes mobile (the is no mobile w/o it being digital 1st.
Digital Distribution deals widely vary from self-posting to iTunes and other services to 3rd teer Digital Distributors that are reselling a 1st teer Distributor like INGrooves with over 200 outlets and tied to very world wide iTunes partners; 2nd teer is everyone else with as few as 9 outlets – DistroKid or 85 outlets – Tunecore – Orchard*- CDBaby*.
Only a few of the Distributors also place releases into Public LIbraries and with over 120,000 of them in the USA alone don’t overlook or underestimate their streaming payouts.
This is where the Fair Digital Distribution Pledge (FDDP) really comes into play. With so many channels for sales, and on top of that monitoring against online piracy, as distributors that have signed and maintained their pledge ensure that artists the content creators get their funds from rights societies like Sound Exchange by not going and claiming them.
*Had signed the FDDP and now are collecting on behalf of their suppliers.