How To Get Your Music On Spotify, Apple Music & More
Distributing Your Music In Today's Time
Should I Make CD's Still?
Alright so I'm not saying don't make CD's for your band I'm just saying you need to think really hard about if it's worth it or not for YOUR fanbase. Recently I sold 25 cassette tapes for my bands EP release because we are an Indie Punk band that attracts 90's kids and alternative people that dig that stuff but we didn't make CD"s at all. If your fans want CD"s then I won't stop you because they still have great margins and have something you fans can put in their hands.
That being said, YOU NEED TO BE ON ALL STREAMING SERVICES!!!! I even recommend being on stuff that doesn't pay you anything for streaming like Soundcloud and Bandcamp because the number one objective is to make it as easy as possible for people to consume your stuff and get attached to your music. Money will come if your writing great music and getting it shown but for now worry about getting it every place your fan is.
How Do I Get My Music On Apple Music, Spotify, & All The Streaming Services?
It is way easier than it sounds. You need to get your music distributed to these streaming services from a music distributor. A music distributor is a company that takes all the info from your record like your album artwork, notes, song names, etc, and delivers it to all these companies as a middle man between all the artists and the steaming services to keep things organized as much as possible.
The top three music distributors I recommend are:
1. CD Baby
These are by far the most used, and provide the best results in my opinion although there are others out there and would love to hear if you like one better. I personally use Distrokid.
You can pay as low as $19.99 for the year to put out an unlimited amount of music and collect all the streaming income from it without a percentage from Distrokid so I was drawn to their service by how economic they are. I will say that I think CD Baby and Tunecore offer more services you can utilize to grow fanbase if you don't have any other systems in place. Distrokid is great if you don't feel like you need a lot of back up but want your music distributed everywhere with out a lot taken out of what you make.
These are constantly changing and offering new services and other perks so I recommend taking the time to research what will make the most sense for YOU. My band is different than yours and the way I work to get my music out there might be a different approach than what works best for you so take the the time and check out what will be best for your music.
Quick Tips For First Time Distribution
1. Launch A Single First!
It can be a stand alone single or maybe even a single off your album to create some hype. This is helpful because although the music distributor sends your information out to all the steaming services it can still be a little clunky how all those different market places set up your profile with them. Unfortunately we had the same name as another artist and they haven't found a great solution for that yet so our music fuzed together with that artist on every platform so I had to go through and dispute all of it to clean up our store presentation. If you have the ability to change your name if there's another artist out there I HIGHLY advise it but we were too far in that we were stubborn and are both out there doing our thing so it can be done but getting out there quickly allows you to clean this up so when you launch larger music collections your fans won't be confused by who you are.
The other thing this does is give you a change all around to clean up all your markets. You will have to go and make an Apple Artists account and Spotify artist account to claim the music you just put out there and set up your profile to be more appealing. Every store accepts or denies music at different time frames so this also allows you to make sure everything is established so when it's time to launch your music at an exact release date and time you can be sure it will get to them by the date you advertise to all your fans. Very worth it to avoid headaches.
2. Start Your Album Artwork When You Start Recording
When you are uploading all your info to your music distributor of choice they will require your album art completed and formatted EXACTLY how they like it. You don't want to get all the way through your recording cycle then be ready and excited to share with fans just to be held up by the artist for your album art or the confusion in formatting it properly for upload. Start on this right away so when it's time to upload your audio files you have everything you need to get it uploaded in the timeframe you want. All the specs for what they are looking for are on their websites so be sure to look it up particular to the distributor you have as well as Apple and Spotify but be prepared to make a few different sizes and shapes to make sure it is good to go for every market you want to be in.
Overall don't wait, get your stuff out there. We live in an amazing time where it's that easy to get it everywhere in the world so everyone can hear it so why not?
I will be releasing more indie music tips each week! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 603.275.2020 anytime.
Dave & The Crawlspace Audio Team