Comparison of Wire Services for Press Release Distribution

Few things are more confusing than deciding which wire service to use for press release distribution.

Free or paid? SEO add on? Are images free?

At Firecracker, we figured if we were having problems, imagine everyone else.

So here is a comparison of some of the more well-known wire service companies:

(Here’s an article we wrote with everything you wanted to know about wire services.)


PR Newswire

Widely considered the granddaddy of wire services, PR Newswire is also the most expensive.

Most journalists pay attention to PR Newswire if it’s related to their beat. National distribution in the United States plus a photo or two can easily run you over $1,000 per release.

Reporting features are quite robust.

Recommended for larger companies or publicly traded companies.

Smaller companies may want to consider putting out very important announcements on PR Newswire, such as funding announcements, new product launches, key customer wins, major awards won.

Wire services usually have a word limit (sometimes around 600) with additional charges for each set of words after that (usually by the next 100 words or so).


BusinessWire logo

BusinessWire, owned by Berkshire Hathaway (yes, that Berkshire Hathaway), is about as well respected as PR Newswire while slightly less expensive.

Like PR Newswire, they charge for photo distribution and have different rates for different types of distributions (geography, industry, media). National distribution can run you maybe 25 percent less than PR Newswire.

Recommended for mid-to-large-size companies or publicly traded companies.



GlobeNewswire, owned by Notified, is the final of the “Big 3” wire service companies.

They are frequently used by publicly traded companies and large brands.

Like PR Newswire and BusinessWire, their prices are relatively high.

Recommended for mid-to-large-size companies or publicly traded companies.

INEXPENSIVE: PRWEB (A Cision company)


There are many other cheap or free wire services around, but PRWeb is now part of Cision, a large media company, and thus likely more reputable and reliable.

The cheapest package starts from a low $99 flat, with tiered upgrades up to over $300.

Unlike the others, their fee isn’t based on word count. They also allow you to post two photos free of charge.

Reporting leaves something to be desired; the web clips simply direct you to Google News.

Distribution is also not as wide as the other, more expensive services.

Recommended for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and announcements that aren’t that “important” (such as new executive hires, exhibiting at a trade show, small promotions, etc.).


Nova Release logo

Nova Release is launching in 2023 as a reseller for GlobeNewswire, and thus will have packages and rates that are more friendly to startups and one-off releases.

More info to follow as they get closer to launch.