How to Get Your Music on iTunes and Spotify

29 Aug 2018

Choosing the Best Digital Distributor

Want to sell music online, get a fan base and get noticed? That’s where digital distribution comes in. But what is independent music distribution?

Digital distribution companies are the link between you - the artist or record label- and the big streaming platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Shazam and Pandora.

How to distribute my music?

1.Go Direct

You could create a label or artist account with each of the platforms and distribute things yourself – however, platforms like iTunes or Spotify, and other larger stores, won’t deal directly with you or your label. They work with distributors, also called music aggregators, instead. So, unless your targeting specific stores or only want to deal with someone like Bandcamp exclusively your best option is a music store distributor.

2.Digital Music Distribution Companies

Set up your own label or if you’re a solo artist you can approach a digital distribution company, sign a contract with them, work out the best distribution options for each release, and trust them to handle the setup and aggregation.

You get to deal with people directly who know the market, give smart industry advice and rapid tech and PR support.

You will be asked to send your music in a file, setup the relevant information and artwork, then the music aggregator will upload your tracks to multiple stores (check which streaming services your distributor deals with).

3. So how do you choose?

The best place to sell music online may not be with a larger distributor.

Firstly, not one size fits all and an artist’s needs may change over time. By researching each aggregator, the artist can chose the best site to sell music online in terms of costs, affordability and profit returns.

Not all music distribution platforms accept indie artists –they only accept certain types of music or curate their artists.  First, check and compare the following info on each site:

  • Rights- Always keep 100% of your rights
  • Synchronisation
  • Publishing
  • Digital service providers that suit your music genre
  • Submission criteria
  • Delivery times
  • Fees
  • Terms

4. Level of Support

Call them-you need supportive, professional PR and tech staff who know your market and are in your time zone. In Australia and New Zealand there are very few digital music companies that take all comers and where you can talk to a human being.  You need good support staff to handle the uploads and release dates. Fast phone and email contact is a must.

5. Bottom Line

There are more digital distribution companies than Ditto Music, Believe, AWAL and Tunecore. New companies are starting up all the time and the newbies like GYROstream, may provide a much better, cheaper or faster service than the key players do.