Updated: Apr 14, 2020
To distribute your music online through famous platforms like Spotify, you need to have an assigned label or in case you are an independent artist, you should find a digital distributor first.
If you have signed a contract with a label, probably you need not worry about how your music gets upload on digital platforms. Just read your contract, it is not like an app update’s agreement that you just agree and sing in. this is the contract over the ownership of your art, your signature under that contract is one the most important signatures that you ever sign.
But if you don’t have a label contract and want to upload your music on your own. There are still several ways for you to do that. First, you should choose a digital distributor:
As you can see there are a lot of options here. And despite what it seems like, having a lot of options really makes it harder to choose one final decision. But don’t worry, we are here to help you.
How does digital distribution work?
There are some rules that you should consider before uploading your music. All of these rules are available on each of these distributor’s websites. But in general, you should have a good sound quality with an acceptable mix and master. You can use the MP3 format of your music to upload, but it is really recommended to use the WAV, FLAC or AIFF format. You must check first to see which format with what qualities your distributor accepts.
Then you need to have a nice artwork without any advertisements of your social media accounts on it, and your name and the name of your album or track should be clear and readable.
Now you should just open your account and start uploading. You will need to provide some information regarding your music based on which genre your music is and which distributor you chose.
If you are going to upload classical music, keep in mind that not all of the distributors do that, check it first before starting the process.
Which distributor to choose?
Well, it is really up to you which one to choose. You need to see if they cover your genre, and how much they charge you for it.
Generally, there are three types of distributors:
Fixed Fee: CD Baby and some other platforms charge you for a fixed amount and upload your music, then every year they just get a percentage of your music income for their services.
Small Fixed Fee plus yearly subscription: Tunecore and some other, charge you with a lower amount than CD Baby and don’t get any percentage of your sales. But, they charge you for almost ten dollars every year after that, and if you don’t pay that money, they will delete your music from all platforms.
Yearly Subscription: Distrokid and some other platforms, charge you yearly. You can buy a yearly account and upload as much music as you like. The fee will be the same if you upload one track or five albums in a year. But again, if you don’t renew your account and pay the yearly fee at any point, they will delete your music from all the platforms. There are lots of different plans with different fees in each of these websites, you may even find free plans in some cases.
If you want to upload one album and you are not sure about the next one, platforms like CD Baby give you better options. You just pay them once and your music will be on the internet forever.
But if you have a constant workflow. If you release a new single track every month or two and you are not about to quit making music any time soon, then the other options may be better for you.you can have a yearly account with a low price and upload all your music whenever you like to.