Distributing your music, especially as an independent artist, can be incredibly overwhelming and extraordinarily confusing. Where do you start? What types of digital distribution are there? How do I decide where to distribute my music? How do you get your music on Spotify and other streaming services?
There are so many different avenues to help distribute your music. From downloading services like iTunes and Google Play, to streaming services like Spotify.
Why Should My Music be on Spotify?
There are a lot of artists who are boycotting the use of Spotify and other streaming services claiming that these companies aren’t paying artists fair wages for streaming their music. While there may be some truth to this, the reality is that this is how more and more people are getting their music, and it’s effectively reducing the amount of piracy in the music industry. In my opinion, these are awesome additions to the music industry as a whole.
According to a recent announcement by Spotify, they now have over 100 million… yes MILLION… subscribers. Half of which are paying for the service on a monthly basis. This means that your music has the potential to reach millions of people. You may not love the idea of streaming services, but this is something you can’t afford to miss out on. You’ll find new fans, and make a few bucks while you’re at it.
How to Get Your Music Uploaded to Spotify
Getting your music uploaded to Spotify is not the easiest, or most intuitive. Let’s just say it would be easier to escape prison than get your music up there!
Ok, I may be exaggerating a little bit.
If you’re signed to a record label or have a distributor, you’re golden. Your music may already be up there! If it’s not, talk to your manager or record rep and they’ll be able to help you out.
But for those who don’t have a record deal or distribution deal, your journey to get your music on Spotify will be a little longer, and a little more involved. You’re going to have to sign yourself up with service providers called “aggregators”. Aggregators are companies who can deliver your music to Spotify and collect royalties on your behalf.
As artists, Spotify recommends using one of the following aggregators:
Of the above list, my personal favourite is CD Baby, but that’s only because I have more experience using them, and they have great customer support. Each service is a little different, so be sure to do your research and select the one that makes the most sense for you.
These services all handle the licensing and distribution of your music and will pay you royalties when your fans stream your music on Spotify. And of course, since nothing in life is free, these services will normally take a fee or very small percentage of royalties as compensation.
For CD Baby (I’m sure the other aggregators are similar), getting your music on Spotify is as simple as selecting the digital distribution channels you want your song to be added to when you’re uploading your music. To ensure your music gets found, it’s important to ensure your track or album information is totally complete. This includes the genre, style, similar artists, and location are all filled out accurately. Spotify (and other streaming services) use this as primary indicators to show your content.
Once your music has been submitted, you will be able to access your Spotify Artist account, edit your profile, create playlists, etc.
Is it Worth Uploading Music to Spotify?
This is a bit of a loaded question, and totally depends on who you talk to. I’m, clearly, on the Spotify bandwagon and see it as a completely amazing marketing tool. It only makes sense to go where your fans are, and since over 100 million people are on this service, it’s a no brainer to be there too.
That being said, it does you no good to just throw up your music and hope for the best. You have to be active on the platform and promote your music in order to find success. You should be promoting your music and profile on your other social media platforms, your website, and even when you perform live.
If you need help optimizing your Spotify profile, tracks, or albums, let me know. I’m always happy to help!
What next? How to Measure Spotify Success
But what’s next? What do you do once your music is uploaded to Spotify?
It’s very easy and tempting to just leave your profile alone and hope for the best. However, once your music and artist profile are up and running, you will be able to access the analytics section of the platform to see who your audience is, where they are to determine touring schedules, and the types of music that is resonating with your audiences and help make informed decisions on the future of your career.
Many people are saying that digital distribution and streaming is where the music industry is going to go, but I have to say, this is where the music industry already is! The time of digital distribution is now, and if your music isn’t readily available on digital channels, you are totally missing out, and should really think again about it.
Let me know if you have any questions about digital distribution and I would be happy to have a discussion with you 🙂
Song of the Day
I’m all about sharing new music that inspires me, or helps me get through the workday. That’s why each blog post includes a song that I’m really into right now, in the hopes that it may do the same for you.
Miranda Lambert – Tin Man