Are you ready to unleash your new songs upon the world? Naturally, you want as many people as possible to enjoy your music. So, where should you go?
In this guide, we’ll show you how to sell your music online: let’s dive into platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and more!
In today’s digital age, there are endless opportunities to release and sell music online. Many of you may have already tried uploading music as YouTube videos or used free services like Soundcloud or Bandcamp.
But often, these platforms yield limited results – those 17 subscribers or fans on your channel won’t make you rich and famous.
So, it’s time to aim higher: wouldn’t it be fantastic to release your masterpieces on industry giants like Spotify, Apple Music, Napster, and more?
But how does that work exactly? How do you get access to these platforms? Is it even possible? The answer is yes, and this is where online music distributors come into play.
They offer a range of services and offerings, and in the following sections, we’ll provide an overview to shed some light on this digital labyrinth!
How to Sell Your Music Online
What Does an Online Music Distributor Do?
The term “music distribution” is quite self-explanatory – it distributes your music to music shops and streaming platforms on the internet.
This enables musicians without record contracts to release and sell their music online.
The distribution process encompasses both the technical and financial aspects of online distribution.
Even smaller labels utilize these services when they don’t have their own distribution channels. Depending on the model, the online music distributor takes either a fixed fee and/or a percentage of the earnings.
So, you send your songs and artwork to the distributor, and they take care of the rest. They serve as the “bridge” between you and the sales/streaming platforms.
The significant advantage here is that ANYONE can distribute their music this way, even if they’re not experienced professionals or successful musicians yet.
Different Distributors and Models for Selling Music Online
There is now a wide range of online music distributors on the market to help you sell your music on the internet. Of course, there are differences in terms of pricing and services.
Typically, you’ll pay a base fee that varies depending on the scope – an album costs more than an EP or a single. In addition, most providers take a small percentage of your earnings.
Beyond the “standard services” like digital distribution, many companies offer a wide range of additional services.
These include CD/Vinyl pressing, merchandise, website builders, email newsletters, and professional audio mastering. Since the offerings vary from distributor to distributor, it’s worth comparing them!
Legal Considerations Before Release
The most crucial aspect is that you have the copyright to the songs you intend to market! Covers are allowed as long as the name of the original artist isn’t mentioned.
However, once you make changes to the song (omitting a verse, etc.), it can become legally complex. Also, recordings that use copyrighted samples or bootlegs are generally not approved.
Mixtapes fall into this category as well. In case of doubt, it’s better to contact your chosen distributor before release to avoid unnecessary trouble.
Typically, you only assign marketing rights to the distributor (logical, as without these, they can’t share your music with the world).
Do We Still Need Online Distributors in the Future?
Spotify appears to be challenging the ever-expanding digital distribution market. A few weeks ago, they unveiled the beta version of an upload tool for artists.
According to Spotify, their goal is to offer more music than anyone else. Therefore, the initial release is free.
Currently, only American musicians can benefit from this new feature, but if it proves successful, online distributors may become obsolete worldwide, at least for Spotify.
The world of online music distribution offers incredible opportunities for musicians to reach a global audience. Choosing the right distributor and understanding the legal aspects is essential to your success.
With platforms like Spotify becoming more artist-friendly, the future of online distribution is certainly intriguing.
So, seize the opportunity, share your music, and let the world hear your melodies! Start your journey to success in the digital music industry today.