Send All Your Music to Spotify, Apple Music and Youtube Music for $1,50 a Month
I thought that everyone knew about that but I’ve seen a few artists that are not even using distribution because they thought they would go bankrupt before even getting traction on the streaming platforms so I wrote this to help get your music everywhere. Also, If you already know about Distrokid there is still information that might be useful in the article. Since I am myself with Distrokid to distribute all my beats, I can give you 7% Off your subscription. Like other referral promotions, I make a few dollars if you sign up using my link so please, make sure you do so if it helped and to get the discount
Distrokid Vs Other Distributors
Long story short, you can distribute everything you want on all major streaming and sales platforms for a single $20. Distrokid is completely unlimited. I always like to compare different services, so here are some comparisons :
- Tunecore (annual fee per release) – Renewing a single album for a single year cost $60, nothing else to add
- CDBaby (single fee per release + 9% of earnings) – If you make no money at all, it would cost the same as distrokid if you post a maximum of 1 album every 2.5 years. Even if it was free, it would start costing more than Distrokid if your streaming and sales revenue is more than a mere $18,52 a month
- OneRPM (15% of earnings) – Would be a good choice if you make less than $11,11 a month with your music. Make only $220 every months and you are now paying around 20 times more than with Distrokid
This gap between what Distrokid charges and what other distributors charge mainly comes down to the fact that Distrokid automates the process while the others don’t and make you pay because they do the distribution process manually.
Releasing Singles Is Important
What I often tell artists is to release singles. Not one or two to promote a 12 songs album, no… mostly singles. Except if you have specific reasons to do just that, an album is a thing of the past, defined by the physical and marketing constraints of the CD or even previous mediums. Nowadays, you aren’t required to bundle music together in order to sell it. Listeners will embed your music in their life in anyway they see fit and the payout will be automatically transferred.
If you want to bring listeners to your music, most of the time, it will be a lot more efficient to hook listeners by exposing them to a small amount of native content once in a while repeatedly and let them make their way to the rest of your stuff on their own. Dropping a giant body of work in front of them probably won’t work in your favor. Just think of your YouTube Subscription feed – Should an artist drop 12 videos with the same cover image once a year, or would individual songs released once every months with different visuals be more effective? Distrokid will let you have the freedom of releasing your music however you prefer, without worrying about the financial repercussions of not packing your individual songs into giant albums.
For newer artists, expecting random people to put a full hour aside to listen to your complete album the date it is released isn’t thinking things through. Making your strategy by looking at what bigger artists are doing is also a bad idea. Usually, labels or agencies will have teams of people that can rely on data collected, marketing strategies, all from extensive past experiences, to push an artist using the album as a product or even just using the album as more marketing for the shows ($$$).
Make a release schedule and structure that fit your strategies. Don’t plan your music and marketing by comparing yourself to corporate powerhouses.
Don’t Forget to Setup Your Profiles
Don’t forget to add the proper information for your artist pages on different platforms. Brand image is important. Don’t neglect this small step. If listeners ends up on your page and they see a single letter as the default artist profile picture, no cover photo, no bio, no additional links, maybe even songs that aren’t yours, it will hurt your brand’s credibility. Contact the platform’s support for artist separation when your content was merged with another artist because of similar names. The process is different on every platforms and you can complete your profile by registering on webpages for artists management. Here are a few :
- Google – https://artists.youtube.com/ (Wish I made the article earlier, it was formerly Artist Hub but was replaced by YouTube for Artists. I’m not sure if there is an easy way to request access to the new system yet)
- Apple – https://artists.apple.com/
- Spotify – https://artists.spotify.com/
Don’t Rely On Spotify For Growth
Remember : Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, etc. likely won’t be the best place to be discovered by new listeners. Those platforms will be a good place for audience retention and monetization. Spotify claim to have a good discovery algorithm but, in my opinion, they don’t have a large enough user base or a good enough incentive to send test users to your content and enable promotion for it. A good example of the opposite would be YouTube since the platform will send multiple viewers to every video and conduct tests to evaluate if your video is worth promoting amongst different kinds of audience as fast as possible. To increase discovery on music streaming platforms, you will likely need to bring in a substantial fanbase on your own that will be active on the service, therefore triggering additional sources of viewership.
If you really want to use those platforms for discovery, there are still some ways to do so. The most common way is to submit or get picked for a playlist with a large audience.
Public Service Announcement : Don’t Enable YouTube Claims
Lastly, whether you are on Distrokid or any other platforms, whether you are using my beats or someone else’s, if you are not making ALL the music from scratch, you do not have sufficient rights on your work to use this option. Distributors may call this service YouTube Money, Social Video Monetization, or similar. What they offer is ultimately called Content ID or Audio ID and what they do is add your music to the database that YouTube uses when scanning every video constantly to search for matches. It is illegal to add any content to the system without full ownership rights which is rarely the case for most songs or even beats using samples (no samples on my beats but good to know if you ever get ownership on a beat using one). YouTube does not have any system in place to see if the content is already registered so If you do add a song by mistake, it will go through and I will be notified right away to contact your distributor. While receiving a DMCA claim for stealing beats may lead to your distributor deleting your entire catalogue, misusing the content id system probably won’t lead to such extreme consequences but always make sure to understand Copyrights and licensing rights properly.
Also, don’t forget to purchase the beats before any commercial distribution of your songs