Planning a release is one of the most time-consuming activities in any musician’s career, and music distribution is one of the most important aspects as it is the link between your finished record and your potential fans. The process to distribute new music can easily wear you out, but when done right, you’ll be able to reap its full benefits.
Distributing New Music: Then and Now
Brick and mortar distributors used to be the only way for record labels and independent artists to get listeners to hear their records, with middlemen taking a percentage of the revenue. However, digital music distribution dramatically changed the game and has become every musician’s priority, so that their music can land in the hands or ears of listeners.
The goal of digital distribution is to get your music on streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play, among many others, so that listeners can stream, buy, or download your music. Through each of these is how you receive your earnings, depending on where and how your music is listened to.
Finding the Right Service to Distribute New Music
You’ve got your audio files ready for distribution, the record has been mixed, mastered, and your album art is ready to go. It’s time to go find the right music distribution platform to get your music out into the world. A distributor is necessary because the company will get your music onto all the relevant streaming platforms and social media sites for you. Take note that before uploading your songs to a distributor, it is very common to register yourself first with a Performing Rights Organization, or P.R.O., as well as a publishing company.
There are over 30 digital distribution platforms available for you to evaluate and determine which suits you as an artist and your goals the best. Because the chances of you working together with this distributor for a long time are high, it’s recommended to carry out thorough research and contemplate these factors: sign-up fee, distribution fee, how credits are being distributed, how fast your music will take to be uploaded onto the platform after putting in a request, takedown fees, commission, and revenue, among a whole lot more, before signing up with one.
Upon signing up with a distribution service, you won’t have to worry about much else because you will be guided through the process of submitting your songs. Each service will have a submission process unique to them, however, the data needed to complete your music’s registration is almost the same.
No One Way to Distribute New Music
Just like many other things, there is no “best” or “worst” distributor for all artists out there. Since each company has its own unique selling points, such as Publishing Administration, or additional services like Content ID, or better pricing, and every artist’s goal and situation are different, you would have to figure out what will work best personally for you in the long run.
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