How to Get Your Music on Streaming Platforms
From the start, the internet has revolutionised the music industry, giving artists a space to promote and showcase their music to a worldwide audience. Today, streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and others deliver the exposure artists of all genres need to make that essential connection and start earning. In this guide, we’ll give you the step-by-step process for getting your music onto streaming platforms, along with costs, how to use the different platforms, and the best music distribution services to use.
Why use a music distribution service?
The fact is that there are so many streaming services out there that it’s a nightmare for an artist to submit songs, track revenue, split earnings, and monitor distribution. That’s where music distribution services come in handy. They take over all the administration for you by delivering a single platform for you to use. They’ll make sure your music is uploaded, available on all the platforms you want, and ensure that your royalties come back to you from all streams into a single platform – and they protect your rights at the same time.
Simply put, if you’re asking what the best way to get your music on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, or TikTok, this is the way to do it.
What to consider when choosing a music distribution service
Although they all offer to put your music on major streaming services while protecting artist rights, they differ in key ways. Here are some things to consider to help you find a service that’s the right fit.
- Fees – Let’s start with the necessities – money. Some platforms are free but offer pro upgrades that you can pay to use, others charge an annual fee, and others charge per upload. Depending on how much you intend to upload and what services you want, you can find a good match between fees and features.
- Exposure – The best music distribution services get your music onto all the major streaming platforms. However, some give you full exposure to a selection of streaming services and then need an upgrade to access more niche streaming services. Others offer exposure that goes beyond online streaming, to their own label, representation for film and TV line-ups, or even project funding. If you are starting out, you may want a more basic package that covers all the most significant bases, but if you are an established artist, you might want to go beyond that.
- Customer support – You’re putting your passion and life’s work into the hands of a company, so you want to know that they’re taking it seriously. A service that works more as a partner in your success than a business will have exceptional client service. You should get responses quickly, they should personalise their service to you, and be actively improving the platform as they grow. Be sure to do some research online to look for customer service red flags before you sign up.
- Values – The platform’s values should be more than just good marketing speak – they should align with what you want to achieve and what you think is important in the industry. From working to bring your music to the world to ensuring you keep 100% of your rights, to creating deals that support the growth of artists, you want to make sure that your music distribution partner shares your values for the industry.
What are the best music distribution services?
There are hundreds of music distribution services available, but we recommend starting with those that have a good record and audience. This includes:
One of the original platforms for independent artists, CD Baby was founded in 1998 in Woodstock, New York. It offers global music distribution on Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Amazon, Deezer, YouTube, Pandora, and others. One great feature is that it takes all revenue streams from streaming, downloads and physical sales onto a single platform, and it gives you access to some great music marketing tools too.
There are no annual fees, but there are publishing fees, including a $9.95 fee for a standard single, $29.95 for a pro single, $29 for a standard album, and $69 for a pro album. You can also upgrade to Pro if you want CD Baby to collect additional royalties.
This service offers a completely free platform for artists, with no fees and no commissions taken from your digital distribution revenue. You keep 100% of your rights, and your songs and albums are distributed to all major platforms including Apple Music, Shazam, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Tidal. You can upgrade to Pro and Boost to put your music on additional social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, as well as local stores around the world. The royalty splits tool is a great feature for bands and collaborations, and Amuse also has its own record label that you’ll get exposure to, including artist-friendly licensing deals.
Another good music distribution service to check out is this great platform. It looks a little commercial, but don’t let that put you off – it has a great reputation. Partially owned by Spotify, it also allows you to get your music up on Tidal, Amazon Music, Apple Music and the other big names in the game. You get unlimited uploads, you keep 100% of your post-tax earnings, and you can set up splits for band members and collaborations. You also get paid when other people use your songs on YouTube, your music is fully backed up, and you get a YouTube Official Artist Channel too, so there are loads of features.
It isn’t free, but it is competitive at $19.99, especially when you consider that uploads are unlimited. One thing to consider is that the platform charges $5 per year to collect revenue from YouTube.
A World Artists Love is a great platform for artists looking for something a little more exclusive and who want the exposure that can break them through their final barriers to success. If you are an established artist looking for professional music distribution services to take your music online, then this is a good option. They have no upfront fees but do charge a 15% commission on digital distribution – but it does give you a lot of value for that cost. This includes streaming on every major streaming service, detailed analytics and real-time statistics for major streaming platforms, and representation for film and TV line-ups or project funding.
Step-by-step guide: How to get your music on streaming platforms
Step 1 – Choose your music distribution service
Take some time to get to know top music distribution services, their pricing structure, and offering to find the right fit.
Step 2 – Sign up
All of the best music distribution services have a quick and simple sign-up process on their websites. These will walk you through the available options to make sure you get exactly what you want.
Step 3 – Upload
Upload your music and albums to your account.
Step 4 – Sit back and relax
Now it’s time to let the platform work for you, as they take on the process of uploading your music to streaming platforms on your behalf. You’re done!
Since its start in 2003, Kore Studios has become one of the leading recording studios in London, working with new and established artists including Amy Winehouse, House of Lions, Kasabian, and Ellie Goulding. To book a session in our fully-equipped studio, contact us today.