I was surprised to come across this question. But as I have been involved in the independent music business for a few decades, It is easy for me to take this information for granted. The truth is I am more than happy to share with you any info that might help you in your journey in the music business. So today we will take a look at how to get your music on Spotify.
So you worked hard to record and polish your tracks. Now is the time to share them with the world. You might have even checked out the Spotify website to look for a place to submit your music.
The truth is, to submit music to Spotify, Apple music, Amazon and to several other online streaming services and download stores, you need to use a digital distribution service. These digital distribution companies for a small fee take your music and distribute it to most streaming services and download stores.
Why should you pay for the middle man?
Yes I know, we all are worried about someone stealing our music. The truth is, most of us never make any money from the music anyway. To get even 1000 listens on a track on Spotify for an unknown artist requires a lot of hard work, and just about pays for a few cups of coffee.
So why should the artist split their hard-earned profits with a distribution service? The fact is that most streaming services don’t want to deal with individual artists. This would just be too much work. And for us artists, we would spend endless hours submitting songs to hundreds of streaming services. So take my word for it, a good digital distribution service is worth every penny. Besides, getting a 90% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
Choose a reputable company
Us musicians talk. If we use a service we like, most of us are happy to recommend them. So if you hear over and over again a name of a certain distribution company, that usually is a good sign.
I would pay attention to a few things. Is there a setup cost? This usually is fair charge as it does take the distribution company some time to set everything up and distribute it to all of the stores. Is there an annual fee? As a rule of thumb, I would avoid this. The only exception would be if your tracks are getting millions of plays, and the annual fee replaces any percentage cut. But for most of us independent artist, a small percentage is a much better option. This way we only pay a cut from the money we have made, not an annual fee, even if it is more than what we made form the streaming.
Also, some of the better companies out there will provide you with detailed analytics on where and what platform your music has been streamed. And some promotional tools as well. So make sure you check out what the distribution company you use can offer. It pays to shop around.
This is in no way an endorsement, nor are we paid to say this, but CD Baby has been around a long time fighting the corner for the independent artists. They offer very competitive rates and provide a great service with a lot of useful extras. So if we were to recommend one company, CD Baby would be it.
They do charge a reasonable setup fee and a 9% commission. In our experience, this is very reasonable. Once you have chosen your package, you can upload your tracks to their website, and they take care of the rest. And all you are giving them right to is to distribute your music and collect the money from it in your behalf. You still own 100% of the rights to your music.