Music Distribution

Are you an artist or band who wants to release music? It may be more attainable than you think. Whether you have been in the music industry for years or are just starting, music distribution is always something you should keep an eye on.

Here is everything you need to know about music distribution and how to use it to your advantage. 

Music Distribution Defined 

Music distribution is a part of the music industry that many people do not think about. In fact, most people have probably never given it much thought. It makes sense. Who thinks about this while listening to their favorite song or album? The point is that all the music you listen to was probably not uploaded or manufactured by the artists that created it. They need a music distributor to do this for them. 

Has It Always Been part of the Music Industry? 

Music distribution has been a necessary component of the industry since the beginning. Whether you sold vinyl records or sheet music, you needed someone to manufacture the items and distribute them to stores and dealers. 

Distribution was not cheap, but it was necessary. This was a hurdle for bands and artists in the early years. Essentially, forcing them to need record labels to make it in the public eye.

Has it Changed Throughout the Years? 

Music distribution has been needed since the beginning, but this does not mean it has stayed the same. The music industry has changed dramatically over the past several decades, and the distribution game has changed along with it.

Online music streaming has become the primary way people listen to music in recent years. Distribution companies have adapted and become a one-stop location for uploading music onto all of the major streaming platforms. 

How Does Music Distribution Work? 

If you are an aspiring artist or band, you are probably curious about how this new way of distribution works. After all, it is much more attainable now that it is as simple as uploading music to streaming platforms, right? This is, more or less, correct. Here is more about how it all works. 

DIY Distribution 

The first thing that many artists will do is upload music themselves onto their desired platforms. The only issue with this way of distributing music is that it is very limiting. Only a handful of platforms actually allow individuals to upload their own music. One example would be Soundcloud. However, major platforms like Spotify and Apple Music require a legitimate music distributor. 

Hiring Distribution a Company

Hiring a distribution company is now easier and more budget-friendly than ever before. Distribution companies typically charge a small monthly fee, about $20, and offer distribution to nearly every major streaming platform. 

Many companies will go above and beyond and still offer physical distribution, playlisting, and other helpful features for an additional cost. 

Can You Still Make Money? 

This is the question that every musician should be asking. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the rise of streaming services and financial payouts for artists and songwriters. The good news is that these distribution companies help with this. They keep track of all the streams across the various platforms and allocate royalties to ensure you get the money you deserve. 

Where Do You Begin? 

Finally, it is time to discover how to get your music from your computer into the world. Here is the best way to do it. 

Find A Distribution Company 

First, find a distribution company that fits your needs. While many companies offer distribution to most major platforms, they may be missing a few platforms that you really want to be on. For instance, some may not include Tidal or TikTok. Not being on these platforms would be a deal breaker for many artists. So, carefully weigh the pros and cons of a few companies and choose the best one for your needs.

Learn How to Play the Releasing Game 

Next, do not just start releasing music. You may be excited, but there is an art to releasing music, and you must take time to learn this art before putting your stuff out there. Spotify is one of the most used streaming platforms in the world, and understanding how it operates could mean the difference from 1,000 streams on your first week of release to 100,000 streams. 

First and foremost. If you want to submit your album for major Spotify playlists, you must upload your song to the distributor at least two weeks before the release date. The earlier, the better. Next, it’s a strategy game of knowing when and how to release your music to best trigger algorithms. But have faith, researching this rabbit hole will be well worth the work. 

The Takeaway

Music distribution is a long-standing essential part of the music industry. Before you can release music, you must understand how distribution works and know how to use Spotify to your advantage. You are on the right track! So, spend time researching distribution companies and ensure that the music you worked so hard on gets the best chance of being heard. 

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