Everything Music Artist Need to Know about Digital Music Distribution.
Digital Music distribution is the link between your finished record and your future fans.
Distribution is a important part of music promotion. In store music distributors used to be the only way for record labels and independent artists to get their records in the hands of listeners.
But digital music distribution has taken the center stage and digital has surpassed sales of physical mediums for the first time in 2015.
So here is everything you need to know about digital music distribution and how to do it right!
What Is Music Distribution?
Music distribution is how music gets delivered to the listener. Traditionally, distributors enter agreements with record labels to sell to stores. However, digital distribution changed all of that by cutting out the middleman—allowing artists to distribute music directly to online stores while keeping 100% of their royalties.
How Digital Music Distribution Works Today
The goal of digital distribution is to get your music on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and other streaming platforms and digital music stores.
Think of them like a digital record shop—Once you get your music in them, people can stream, download and buy your music. In exchange you receive royalties depending on how and where your music was listened to.
Just like traditional record stores, digital music stores receive music from digital distribution companies. But instead of shipping boxes of vinyl every week, digital distributors deliver digital music to the major music stores I mentioned above.
So what used to take weeks or months of shipping and manufacturing—not to mention a lot of upfront costs—is now as simple and fast as a couple of clicks.
The Best Music Distribution Companies There are tons of music distribution services out there. Keeping 100% of your royalties is key. Educate yourself on all their fees and what you’re getting into before you decide. Some say they don’t take a cut, but there are hidden fees in some cases. Do your research!
More about choosing your digital distributor below, read on!
The Many Benefits of Digital DistributionWhy choose digital distribution?
Digital music sells the best, and will continue to rise. The revenues of the music industry make it clear – digital is the way to go. Here are the global revenues of the industry in 2016:
So be strategic. Make your music available where your fans actually hang out: online. You’ll have more chance of reaching them!
Save yourself the costs and hassle of physical distribution – especially on a first album. Start by building an audience and a name with digital releases.
Plus, many digital distributors don’t have exclusivity deals. It means that you’re not giving up the rights to your music. That’s huge. Because if your next record is better represented by another distributor, you’re free to end the non-exclusive agreement anytime.
There’s also added perks like recommendation algorithms. These might suggest your tracks to people based on what they listen to. That’s how people discover new music in the digital world!
Ready to jump into distribution? Here are the steps to follow:
Find The Right Digital Distribution Platform
Ok, so your record is ready. You’ve mixed it and mastered it. Your album art is ready to go. You’re excited to get it out.
Now you might be wondering how to get your music on iTunes, Spotify and all the other major stores. The first step is to find the right online music distribution platform.
Choose the best one for you Each of these platforms has their own pricing. It’s either:
Plan your budget: carefully read each distributor’s pricing plans and terms. Remember that a distributor is a new professional partnership. Choose the most beneficial one for you. Make sure the distributor fits your needs, your resources, and your goals.
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