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LabRat

Submitting Music Independently to Streaming Platforms

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This is a quick how-to submitting music to Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming and online music services. 

Uploading music to streaming platforms or online music stores without a record label is quite simple. All you need is some 3rd party involvement, I guess commonly known as distributers. Most of these distribution services offer something slightly different. I'm not going to go through all of them and what they do, that's something you can do the research on but I'll put down links of a few of the commonly used ones.

By submitting your music to these platforms, they take care or all the little business things the labels would have to do (paying royalties, licensing and monetisation, and above all else the distribution). The good thing about going independent is you take total control of your works and you retain 100% of your intellectual property rights, meaning you own everything which I feel is very important. Record labels take the IP rights from you making your music their asset. In exchange, they're supposed to invest in you as an artist but it can go either way. Whatever happens, whether you become famous or not, they still own your works for along as the contract states and if you were to part ways from the label you'll then need to seek permission to perform the music that you wrote. Artists big and small fall into this trap all the time. Kesha and Taylor Swift are prefect examples of artists struggling to claim royalties or performance licensing because of record labels refusing to cooperate. 

Below are 3 commonly used services; 

https://cdbaby.com

CD Baby is a popular service that gets your music just about everywhere and they're a pay-as-you-go service. They have a bunch of stuff they can do for you like mastering and production of physical copies, CD's etc. As far as the royalties go, you get 91% paid to you.

https://distrokid.com

I use distrokid for my submissions. They're subscription based with a limited number of artists you can distribute under, so if you wanted to set up a little label I guess you could do that through distrokid and have up to 5 different artists. It's a super easy process to submit music and the dashboard is nice and clean to navigate so you can keep track of your releases and make changes to them whenever you like. Distrokid pay 100% of the royalties to you. They're currently beta testing submissions to Beatport so if that's going to be your primary source of output I'd suggest looking elsewhere.

https://www.tunecore.com

I think TuneCore is a pay-as-you-go service too and I believe you also collect 100% of the royalties. I haven't done too much research about whether they submit to Beatport so you'll have to have a look. It's not a service I looked too much into, even just scraping the surface of their website didn't tell me too much. 

I know it's all super bland but everyone's needs are going to be different but hopefully the 3 above give you that little bit of a head start. There are many more that offer lots of different things.

If anyone has any further questions I'll be happy to try assist where I can

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26 minutes ago, Cupe said:

This is awesome, thanks for taking the time to write this up chief.

Does it end up getting expensive for a heap of tracks?

No worries. 

This is why I chose to submit with distrokid using their subscription based service. For the cost per year (which is around 60-70 bucks) I can upload as many tracks as I like. If you choose not to renew, you can pay extra fees on your tracks so they'll remain on these stores for life, otherwise just keep subscribing. If you got a massive catalog of tunes it's really helpful to just keep uploading throughout the year. There's a few extra fees, like submitting to Shazam for example which is only a few bucks, but distrokid just makes it super easy (for me anyway) knowing you can log on, upload and 4 or 5 weeks later your track is released. It's recommended you give a minimum of 4 weeks notice too. Some stores take longer to submit to than others. 

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These ones are the most popular? The amount of these services online is overwhelming and there are some pretty big differences between them... still trying to figure out wich one to use and why. 😵

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On 22/02/2020 at 4:07 PM, ValveAudio said:

These ones are the most popular? The amount of these services online is overwhelming and there are some pretty big differences between them... still trying to figure out wich one to use and why. 😵

Commonly used services

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1 hour ago, LabRat said:

This one seems better than the last few haha

Yeah I removed the spam links in its sig.

Wouldn't mind a few bots like this bumping threads around town tbh

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