Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Sure, Soundcloud might be nice for up-and-comers looking to gain exposure, but artists tend to be taken more seriously when on Spotify, iTunes, iHeart Radio, and other major platforms that the big boys use to make money. I used to think it required a label to get my music on major websites, but it turns out, there are several ways to get your music on Spotify and all other major streaming platforms independently.
The First Step
Some of the stores these platforms offer require high-quality content before they'll upload your music. You could be the best artist in the world, but it wouldn't matter if your music sounds like it was recorded in a closet. The best two ways to make sure your music sounds fresh is by visiting a local recording studio or buying the best home recording equipment possible. If you opt for the home recording method, consider buying the Behringer Complete Recording Bundle. It has everything you need to get you started.
Personally, I use TuneCore to upload my music to streaming sites. With TuneCore, you get to keep 100% of your revenue for a small cost of $10 per song per year. To upload a full album, the cost is $30 per year, making it an effective way to save money if you'll be releasing multiple songs. By uploading a Wav. file, appropriate artwork, and naming your track, your release will go live in all stores selected. Stores and platforms include: iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Deezer, and many more that are available all over the world. TuneCore also offers video monetization through YouTube and Facebook to assure you are receiving all the revenue you're entitled to.
2. CD Baby
Another website that will do the hard work for you is CD Baby. CD Baby allows singles to be uploaded for $9.95 and albums for $49 with no yearly fee or cost to add to new stores. In fact, when a new store becomes available to CD Baby, the distributor will send your song automatically and free of charge. CD Baby also boasts that due to their partnership with Apple, music will be uploaded to iTunes and Apple Music quicker than any other streaming platform is able to. The store and platform selection resembles that of TuneCore, but is competitive due to having zero yearly fees, zero fees for adding stores, and zero cancellation fees.
Landr is another option for independent musicians looking to upload their music online but the payment plan is a little different. Using Landr, artists must pay $1 per month or $12 per year for 10 tracks, $2 per month or $24 per year for 30 tracks, and $4 per month or $48 per year for unlimited tracks. Landr will also master your rough tracks for an additional cost. For $4 per month or $48 per year, Landr will roughly and quickly master tracks and release them. For $9 per month or $108 per year, the site will master small files with a better sound than the basic plan and release. The professional package, costing $25 per month and $299 per year, will master your tracks to "the gold standard" and release them.
4. Ditto Music
Ditto Music will allow artists to release unlimited tracks to all stores and streaming platforms for only $19 per year. For two artists, the price for unlimited uploads is $29 per year, which includes compilation releases. For small labels with five artists, Ditto will allow all artists to upload unlimited music for only $69 per year, including compilation albums and priority support. Ditto can accommodate labels with up to 40 artists with unlimited uploads for the price of $299 per year.
Getting noticed as an independent artist is no small feat. These music platforms make it possible for independent artists to sale their music online to their fans without a major label or any label at all. In the age of technology, being an artist and releasing music is easier than ever. To decide which platform to use, I suggest visiting them all, reading the terms and reviews, and making the best choice to suit your individual taste.
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