Archive for the ‘Music Distribution’ Category

The Future of Music: How Streaming Services Are Changing Everything

How Streaming Services Are Changing the Music Industry

The music industry has been through a lot of changes in the past few decades, but none have been as significant as the rise of streaming services. Streaming services have made it easier than ever for people to listen to music, and they have also had a major impact on the way that music is created, distributed, and consumed.

The Impact of Streaming Services on Artists

One of the biggest impacts of streaming services has been on artists. In the past, artists made most of their money from album sales and touring. However, streaming services pay artists much less per stream than album sales or ticket sales. This has led to a decline in income for many artists, especially those who are not as well-known.

For example, a study by the music industry trade group RIAA found that the average artist earned just $0.0038 per stream in 2020. This means that an artist would need to be streamed over 26,000 times in order to earn just $1.

In addition, streaming services have made it easier for people to listen to music for free. This has made it more difficult for artists to make a living from their music. As a result, many artists have had to find other ways to make money, such as touring, selling merchandise, or licensing their music for use in commercials or films.

For example, the band Metallica has said that they make more money from touring than they do from streaming. And the singer Taylor Swift has said that she has stopped releasing her music to streaming services in order to protect her copyright and to ensure that she is paid fairly for her work.

The Impact of Streaming Services on Labels

The music labels have also been impacted by the rise of streaming services. In the past, labels made most of their money from album sales. However, streaming services have reduced the amount of money that labels make from album sales. This has led to a decline in profits for many labels.

For example, the music label Sony Music Entertainment reported a decline in profits of 17% in 2020. And the music label Universal Music Group reported a decline in profits of 12% in 2020.

In addition, streaming services have made it easier for independent artists to get their music heard. This has led to a decline in the power of the major labels. As a result, many labels have had to find new ways to make money, such as investing in streaming services or signing deals with independent artists.

For example, the independent record label Sub Pop has said that they have been able to grow their business by signing deals with streaming services. And the independent artist Billie Eilish has said that she was able to get her music heard by signing a deal with the independent label Darkroom.

The Impact of Streaming Services on Fans

Streaming services have also had a major impact on fans. In the past, fans had to buy albums or singles in order to listen to music. However, streaming services allow fans to listen to music for free or for a low monthly subscription fee. This has made it easier for fans to discover new music and to listen to their favorite music whenever they want.

For example, the streaming service Spotify has over 400 million active users. And the streaming service Apple Music has over 60 million active users.

In addition, streaming services have made it easier for fans to connect with artists. Fans can now follow artists on social media, watch live streams, and even attend virtual concerts. This has created a more personal connection between fans and artists.

For example, the singer Ariana Grande has said that she loves using social media to connect with her fans. And the band BTS has said that they love using live streams to interact with their fans.

The Future of the Music Industry

The music industry is still in the midst of a major transformation, and it is not yet clear what the future holds. However, it is clear that streaming services will continue to play a major role in the music industry for years to come.

As streaming services continue to grow in popularity, it is likely that the way that music is created, distributed, and consumed will continue to change. It is also likely that the music industry will become more decentralized, with more power shifting to independent artists and fans.

Only time will tell what the future holds for the music industry, but one thing is for sure: streaming services are here to stay.

The Business of Music: Understanding Contracts, Royalties, and Revenue Streams

In the dynamic and ever-evolving world of music, understanding the intricacies of contracts, royalties, and revenue streams is essential for aspiring musicians and industry professionals alike. These elements form the backbone of the music business, shaping the financial landscape and determining the success of artists and their ventures. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating realm of the music business, exploring the key concepts behind contracts, royalties, and revenue streams. Drawing insights from authoritative sources such as “Run Your Music Business” by Audrey K. Chisholm Esq, “Indie Artist Guide” by The Industry Unveiled, and “Music Business Essentials” by Kevin Craig, we will shed light on the vital aspects that shape the modern music industry.

Contracts: The Foundation of Music Business
Contracts serve as the bedrock upon which the music industry operates, ensuring that all parties involved are protected and fairly compensated. Audrey K. Chisholm Esq, in her book “Run Your Music Business,” provides valuable guidance on the intricacies of contract negotiation, emphasizing the importance of understanding the terms and conditions. Whether it’s a recording contract, publishing agreement, or licensing deal, artists need to be well-versed in the legal language and clauses that govern their rights and obligations. By carefully reviewing contracts, artists can safeguard their creative output, ensure proper compensation, and avoid potential pitfalls.

Royalties: Unlocking Income Streams
Royalties are the lifeblood of musicians, enabling them to earn income from their creative works. “Indie Artist Guide” by The Industry Unveiled offers a comprehensive exploration of the various types of royalties, including mechanical royalties, performance royalties, and synchronization royalties. Mechanical royalties, for instance, are generated from the reproduction and distribution of music, such as sales of physical copies and digital downloads. On the other hand, performance royalties are earned when music is publicly performed, whether on the radio, in live venues, or through streaming services. Understanding the nuances of royalty collection and licensing agencies is crucial for artists to maximize their earnings and ensure they receive fair compensation for their artistry.

Revenue Streams: Diversifying the Music Business
In an era of digital music consumption, artists must explore diverse revenue streams beyond traditional album sales. “Music Business Essentials” by Kevin Craig provides valuable insights into the modern music landscape, highlighting the significance of exploring new avenues for generating income. Revenue streams such as streaming platforms, merchandise sales, sync licensing, and live performances all contribute to an artist’s financial success. The book emphasizes the importance of artist development and strategic marketing, enabling musicians to promote their work and build a dedicated fan base effectively. By diversifying revenue streams, artists can enhance their financial stability and create sustainable careers in the music industry.

Navigating Copyrights and Intellectual Property:
Understanding copyright laws and protecting intellectual property is paramount in the music industry. Both “Run Your Music Business” and “Music Business Essentials” provide in-depth coverage of copyright registration, infringement, and the protection of creative works. By registering their compositions and recordings, artists gain legal protection and can enforce their rights in case of unauthorized use or plagiarism. Additionally, knowledge of fair use, public domain, and licensing can empower artists to explore collaborations, sample existing works, and create new revenue opportunities.

Contracts, royalties, and revenue streams are the pillars that underpin the business of music. By comprehending the intricacies of contract negotiation, royalty collection, and diversifying revenue streams, artists can navigate the complex music industry landscape and build successful careers. Additionally, leveraging innovative platforms like Playlist Streams can help artists gain exposure, increase their streaming numbers, and reach a wider audience, ultimately boosting their chances of success in the competitive music market.

10 Essential Tools for Musicians to Build a Successful Career: From Social Media to Tour Booking and Merchandising

As a successful touring musician, I have found that utilizing technology and social media can greatly aid in building a fan base, selling merchandise, and planning tours. Here are 10 tools that I have found to be particularly useful for these purposes:

  1. Music distribution platforms: Platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Bandcamp allow you to easily distribute your music to a global audience.
  2. Social media management tools: Platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer make it easy to schedule and automate your social media posts, which can be a huge time-saver when you’re on the road.
  3. Email marketing software: MailChimp, Constant Contact, and ConvertKit make it easy to send targeted, personalized emails to your fan base, keeping them informed about upcoming shows and new releases.
  4. Online merchandising platforms: Websites like BandMerch and TopSpin make it easy to sell merchandise online, including t-shirts, CDs, and vinyl records.
  5. Tour booking software: Platforms like Bandsintown and Songkick allow you to easily plan and book tours, and can be used to promote shows to your fan base.
  6. Crowdfunding platforms: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to raise money for recording projects, tours, and other expenses.
  7. Video hosting platforms: Platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are great for sharing music videos, behind-the-scenes footage, and other content with your fans.
  8. Live streaming tools: Platforms like Facebook Live make it easy to live stream shows and other events, allowing fans who can’t attend in person to still experience the performance.
  9. Music notation software: Platforms like Sibelius and Finale allow you to easily create and share sheet music, which can be helpful for fans who want to learn your songs or for other musicians who want to cover them.
  10. Music production software: Programs like Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, and Pro Tools allow you to record, edit, and produce your music, giving you more control over the final product.

Overall, these tools are just a few examples of the many ways that technology and social media can be used to help musicians build and engage with their fan base, sell merchandise, and plan tours. By using these tools to their fullest potential, musicians can greatly enhance their ability to achieve success as a recording and touring artist.

BMI vs ASCAP vs SESAC: What PROs Do?

A Performance Right Organization (PRO) is a non-profit organization that represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers by collecting and distributing royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works. These organizations are responsible for monitoring public performances of music, including those on radio, television, live venues and streaming platforms, and then distributing the collected royalties to the appropriate copyright holders.

There are three main PROs in the United States: ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Each of these organizations has its own unique requirements and processes for becoming a member and registering your copyrighted works.

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, was founded in 1914 and is the oldest and largest of the PROs. Membership is open to any songwriter, composer or music publisher, and registration of works is done online through the ASCAP website. Once a work is registered, ASCAP will monitor and collect royalties for any public performances of that work.

BMI, the Broadcast Music Inc., was founded in 1939 and is the second largest PRO in the United States. Like ASCAP, membership is open to any songwriter, composer or music publisher, and registration of works can be done online through the BMI website. BMI also offers an affiliation program for independent musicians who are not yet ready to become full members.

SESAC, the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, was founded in 1930 and is the smallest of the three PROs. Unlike ASCAP and BMI, SESAC operates on an invitation-only basis and only represents a select group of songwriters, composers and music publishers.

To become a member of a PRO, you will need to provide proof of your identity and proof of your copyright ownership. This can include copies of your songs, album liner notes, or any other documentation that shows you are the creator of the work.

Once you are a member, you will need to register your copyrighted works with the PRO. This can be done online through the PRO’s website, or by mail. The PRO will then monitor public performances of your music and collect royalties on your behalf. You will receive regular payments from the PRO, which will include the royalties collected from public performances of your music.

It’s important to note that you can only be a member of one PRO at a time, and you can only register your copyrighted works with one PRO. Therefore, it’s important to carefully research and compare the different PROs to determine which one is the best fit for you and your music.

In summary, a Performance Right Organization (PRO) is a non-profit organization that represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers by collecting and distributing royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works. There are three main PROs in the United States: ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Each of these organizations has its own unique requirements and processes for becoming a member and registering your copyrighted works. To become a member you will need to provide proof of your identity and proof of your copyright ownership and then you can register your copyrighted works with the PRO. Remember that you can only be a member of one PRO at a time, and you can only register your copyrighted works with one PRO, so it’s important to carefully research and compare the different PROs to determine which one is the best fit for you and your music.

New Technology For Songwriters to Help Detect Plagiarism: Developed by Spotify

New Technology For Songwriters to Help Detect Plagiarism
New technology for songwriters to help detect plagiarism, developed by Spotify.

Music Business Worldwide shared that Spotify filed a European patent for new technology that will detect plagiarism for songwriters.

The patent, titled “Plagiarism Risk Detector and Interface” will be able to track down plagiarism on musicians lead sheets. If you’re not familiar with a lead sheet, it is a kind of musical score that makes note of the songs core elements such as the lyrics, melody, and harmony.

The technology will function by sending lead sheets through the detector. It will comb through the elements from the lead sheet while screening through Spotify‘s vast collection. It will then generate any similarities found for review. This could be anything from chord progressions to sections of melodies.

View the full patent here.

New Technology For Songwriters to Help Detect Plagiarism

Above is an excerpt of the patent from Music Business World Wide.

Traditionally the plagiarism detection process has been done manually, and it outsourced to members of an artists team. This new technology and process makes things seemingly easier as well as more accurate, with its visualizations of exactly what is deemed to be plagiarized.

Richard Busch, one of the most well known lawyers, who you will remember handling the infringement case against Pharell Williams and Robin Thicke ripping off Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up, with their hit Blurred Lines. Spotify’s patent adds that “manual detection of music plagiarism requires substantial effort, skill and excellent memory, and is generally known to be impractical”.

Another key feature of this, is that fact that it also can be done and used in real time. This would help artists to avoid infringement before they move forward with labels and the full release strategy and risk running into problems down the line once the track has already been released.

The world of being a musician and producer is not for everyone. It comes with many challenges and speed bumps along the way, and one slip up can cost you your entire career. Softwares like these are a step in the right direction, to help combat unoriginality. With Spotify developing automated technology to help detect plagiarism for artists it makes the music industry a better place for all. If you’re outsourcing your plagiarism detection, you might find there is much other work to be outsourced to help you focus on your sole purpose, making music. Here’s more on 4 Reasons You Need A Music Marketing Agency.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a new artist or a label executive:

 Playlist Streams can help you get more Spotify streams with organic marketing.

Apply now to start making money from Spotify playlists!

Apply Now

Social Media For Musicians: What You Need To Know To Be Successful

Social Media For Musicians: What You Need To Know

If you want to build a loyal fan base, social media is the best way to go. MusicWatch found that social media users are more likely to follow a musician than any other celebrity or public figure –  57% of social media users follow at least one artist or band on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. With more than 3.80 billion users across all social media platforms, independent artists have the opportunity to reach diverse audiences with organic marketing techniques.

But there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to social media for musicians, and inexperienced artists can waste time, money, and resources on ineffective marketing techniques. Here are three things that you should keep in mind when you use social media to promote your music:

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

When it comes to social media marketing, most people don’t know how to get started. There are dozens of social media platforms to choose from, and the most popular marketing channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, & YouTube) are extremely competitive. Without the benefit of expert guidance, many independent artists spread themselves too thin by creating content for all of them.

This is the best way to fail at creating social media for musicians. Each platform has a different audience and different requirements to succeed at organic marketing. For example – Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same parent company, but Instagram is a better choice for inexperienced artists because they can use hashtags to reach new audiences. Twitter also prioritizes hashtags, but the platform is designed to promote short text and video messages, while Instagram focuses on high-quality pictures, storytelling, and in-app purchases.

If you have to create multiple posts for each platform, you won’t have time to tailor your content to each audience. That means that you are wasting time and energy on posts that won’t help you gain new followers, streams, or online purchases.

Focus On Your Marketing Goals

The best way to use social media for musicians is to focus on one or two platforms that will help you achieve your marketing goals. Are you interested in gaining an organic following quickly? Instagram and Twitter may be the perfect fit. Would you like to focus on video content? Add YouTube to the mix. Are you trying to reach an older audience? The average age of Facebook and Twitter users is significantly higher than people who use Snapchat, which tends to appeal to a younger demographic. Want to sell merchandise? Instagram allows you to build an online store on your profile, and a carefully curated Pinterest board can help you reach people who are looking for new music to listen to.

The Best Social Media For Musicians

That means that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the best social media for musicians. Don’t try to do what everyone else is doing – instead, choose the social media marketing techniques that will work best for your genre and your career.

Build A Loyal Fan Base On Spotify

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a new artist or a label executive:

 Playlist Streams can help you get more Spotify streams with organic marketing.

Apply now to start making money from Spotify playlists!

Apply Now

What is a Master Recording?

Prince oned said, “If you don’t own your masters, the master owns you.” In the music industry, the term master recording refers to the official recording of a musical performance, song, or sound that can be played back or reproduced. As the term “masters” entails, this is the version from which all copies are made. Why is the master recording so important? It is the key through which you profit off of your work, retain ownership of your music, and push your message as an artist out to the world. The manner in which master recordings are dealt with varies greatly, especially between major record labels and independent labels. A tremendous part of how successful an artist will be in this business is through their relationship with the masters recording; thus, it’s significance should not be underestimated.

Multi-purposeful Usage

An artist can profit off their master recordings through a variety of means. For one, with the ownership the masters provides them of their work, artists can reproduce and sell copies of their music directly to their fans. This includes, but is not limited to, making CDs that can be sold to an artist’s audience at their concerts. An artist can also make money from their masters by using a digital music distribution service like Ditto that can distribute the copies of the master recordings to streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. Lastly, one can profit off the master recordings by signing with a record label who will aid you in the production of copies of your work and also take care of the aspect of distribution to your audience.

Clearly, owning your own master recording opens a gateway of possibilities on how to profit off your work as the legal rights to your work would be yours in this scenario. The majority of the revenue from your work will be yours to keep. Additionally, this type of unilateral ownership of your work would allow you to license other institutions to use your music for advertisements, TV shows, and much more. The issue is that more often than not, this sole ownership of music does not exist in the industry.

Who Owns the Master Recording?

Is it the artist, the producer, the record label, the recording studio, the sound engineer, or someone else? The answer is a complicated one and before we uncover this information, it is important to understand why the simple misconception of an artist maintaining all their recording’s rights is rarely the case. The individuals who work on an artist’s work such as a producer and sound engineer may also have some ownership of the master recordings and this split ultimately comes down to the contract between these parties and the artist. Besides sharing ownership, artists may also have to give up their rights to their master recordings altogether depending on the record label they have signed with to complete and distribute their music. As seen in these two cases, unilateral ownership is difficult to sustain in this day and age where additional parties are involved to enhance the quality and distribution of an artist’s work.

Instances where artists completely relinquish the rights to their master recording are most prevalent for new artists who need the financial assistance, service promotions, and distribution bandwidth of a record label company. At the beginning of the careers of artists with such needs, deals are made with the condition that the artist will sign over their masters to the record label until a certain amount of revenue is achieved or a specific amount of years have passed. During the time until either of these two conditionalities is met, there is a mutual understanding that the record label can use the newly obtained master recording for whatever purpose they deem fit and the label does not need to obtain permission from the artist for said usage. Thus, these master recordings can now be licensed out for TV shows, movies, commercials, sports events, and much more. The money that the record label makes from the usage of the master recording then is shared between the label and artist in the manner that was agreed upon in their original contractual agreement.

The way this revenue is shared depends upon if an artist is signed with a major record label company versus an independent record label. In the case of larger record label companies, artists typically lose all rights to their master recordings for a set period of time because of the sheer amount of financial and distribution-related resources the label provides in return. In contrast, independent record label companies typically allow artists to sustain their master recording rights and take other forms of payment as compensation such as a portion of the revenue from streaming. Though this may seem better, one should also keep in mind that these indie record labels may not have the ability to deliver your music to the audience to the extent that a major record label would be capable of doing.

Retaining Your Master Rights

There is no doubt that there is a myriad of benefits from owning your master recording rights. But what are the ways in which an artist can do so in the current climate of the music industry? For one, they can pay recording studios to record their music as opposed to labels and even try to record at a home studio. Nowadays, recording a premier quality album can reach expenses as high as six figures. Due to these growing expenses, artists sometimes see no alternative but to give up their rights to a record label with expansive resources. However, turning to studios with lower rates and home studios may result in just as great of a final musical product at a much lower aggregate cost. In addition to the lower cost, you are also able to sustain ownership.

Yet another way artists can maintain the rights to their master recordings is through sharing the revenue of the music rather than the rights of the master recordings. In this scenario, the artist still signs with the record label company but he or she signs a master license deal which provides a certain percentage of all licensing earnings over to the music record label. This is a small price to pay for all that the label provides the artist with and also allows them to worry less about who has control over their master recordings.

Regardless of which route you take, all artists should always have written agreements from the onset which make it clear who owns how much of the master recordings. This will help artists prove that they retained ownership of their work no matter which parties come into the picture, even if they are newer ones that bought out the rights of the original party. Master recordings are a crucial part of an artist’s journey and alternatives such as sharing revenue from streaming could be the difference between you maintaining your masters and a record label holding onto them. At Playlist Streams, we use organic methods to boost your streams and ultimately your revenue from your music on platforms like Spotify, YouTube, and many more. This additional streaming revenue that we can provide you can help you negotiate with other parties about sharing this income rather than master recording rights. It may seem hard to believe, but the master recordings can very well dictate the course of even the most popular recording artists.

Royalty Structures: How Do Artists Make Money?

The answer to how much music streaming services pay their artists has always been a complicated one, but today, we will begin to unravel this key component of the music business. Aside from the immediate differences in payments due to distinct digital streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify, other factors such as reach and aggregate users can also influence royalty rates and the ability of artists to propel themselves to the upper limits of success.

In the music industry, royalties are payments that individuals with the right to pieces of music (artists, songwriters, producers, and composers) obtain from anyone who uses their licensed music. In other words, people compensate the right holders for the ability to use their music. When an artist’s music is distributed through digital streaming service (DSP) as it is often the case nowadays, they receive a payment for each stream of their music. Interestingly enough though, these platforms such as Spotify and Amazon Music do not have flat and fixed payments that they allocate per stream. Instead, a stream’s royalty rate is determined through the listener’s country and specific location, the artist’s royalty rate, how pricing and currencies vary amongst countries, and if the listener has a free or premium account. Due to these various factors which are always subject to change, it becomes extremely difficult to ascertain a specific stream royalty rate.

Nonetheless, studies of musicians’ payments on a number of digital streaming services have been conducted to gain a general understanding of estimated royalties across platforms. Some general findings include that per stream, Napster pays $0.019, Tidal pays $0.01284, Apple Music pays $0.00783, Google Play Music pays $0.00676, Deezer pays $0.0064, Spotify pays $0.00437, Amazon Music pays $0.00402, Pandora pays $0.00133, and YouTube pays $0.000069. Though these approximate royalty rates for each stream may alert artists to pick the highest paying services first, it is crucial to remember that the platforms with lower payments may still provide unique advantages due to them having higher user totals and greater international reach. Additionally, when artists release music on platforms some of the lower-paying platforms like Apple Music and Spotify, they provide a direct route to the fingertips of millions of fans; a process that used to be much more tedious, taxing, and expensive than now. These factors help provide an artist with the whole picture in digital streaming services and remind them that royalties are just reflections of the value these services bring to the client.

With numbers as low as these, an artist may wonder how it would be possible to achieve financial success to the extent they which through solely streaming. Playlist Streams is how! When an artist uses Playlist Streams, all their streams generate royalties and their music get exposed to large audiences. Although it is possible if your music is received extremely well by the users, this also points to the fact that royalties are simply one part of an artist’s finances. Other aspects such as touring, gigs, CD sales, and so much more will all help artists succeed financially and work in unison with streaming royalties. Furthermore, even if artists were able to make significant sums from just streaming royalties, then a large portion of it will be eaten up by other entities in the process of getting to the artist. For example, the Economist conducted another study in which their experts say that a billion streams on any subscription services bring an average of $7 million for big label companies and $1 million for the artist responsible for creating the music. Through this $1 million may seem like a substantial amount, we must put it into perspective as it is a sum that only a select few artists who top the charts for the day or week will receive. Every artist is nowhere near that popular, and the nonprofit organization Music Industry Research Association found that in a survey of 1,277 musicians, the median musician made $35,000 in 2017 and only $21,300 of that sum was from music-related sources. Clearly, there is a disparity between not just the payments received by label companies and big-name artists, but also between those larger name artists and the majority of the other artists in the industry. There needs to be much more improvement in relation to these rates and allocating a larger portion of them to the creators of the work.

Regardless of the fact that royalties are just one part of the equation and that they need improvement, they are undoubtedly one of the biggest portions of an artist’s financial journey because it allows them to be compensated for each time their music is used for enjoyment and even commercial purposes. Services such as Playlist Streams help boost your streams in an organic manner that will help you gain exposure while also monetizing upon it through the royalties. Ultimately, these royalties are dictated by a myriad of factors and are only one part of your financial journey as an artist. However, the exposure that these streams and royalties can help you gain is unmatched and truly beneficial for your journey in the music industry.

The Ins and Outs of Music Distribution!

In the age of digital streaming, one of the most important decisions that an artist will make is choosing a music distribution service that can best promote their work. Gone are the times of everyone solely using vinyl records and cassette tapes: now, record labels and artists made the colossal change to use the intermediaries of digital music distribution services to push their music to audiences in every corner of the world.

Understanding Music Distribution Services

First things first: What is the purpose of a music distribution service? You can picture them as the middleman between you, the artist, and the major listening platforms in the world known as the Digital Service Providers (DSPs). These companies take care of the procedural and administrative work that needs to be done for your music; this extends to listening to your songs, selecting the genre that it will get the most exposure on, and negotiating with listening platforms. These online music streaming companies only take music releases that come to them through distribution services. Therefore, they are necessary to bridge the gap between an artist’s work and the audience. The question arises as to how some of the most popular distribution services function and this information will ultimately help you as an artist decide which service is best suited for you. When selecting, artists should be cognizant of fee structures, stored services, added services, and lastly, the reputation and experience of the platform. Once your song is upload via a distributor you will be ready to apply for a PlaylistStream campaign to build your fanbase. Let’s take a look at some of the nuances of the leading services that I recommend to help you make your decision.

Ditto Music: The All Rounder

Launched in 2005, Ditto Music is a distribution service that is open to all and has over 200 outlets. Upon registering with Ditto, the service helps promote your music to online platforms like Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, VEVO, and many more. It not only pushes your music to stores around the world, but gives you the liberty to limit which regions you want to focus on spreading your music too. The service markets its clients both online/offline, and also through the PR deals it signs to further expand the audience base of artists. Additionally, Ditto Music covers your Airplay-Royalty Registration, which ensures that you receive the appropriate royalties for when your music is played on the radio. The distribution service also takes care of its artists’ copyrights and uses their digital fingerprinting to prevent potential copyright infringements. Yet another positive of Ditto Music is that it gives the artist complete autonomy in regards to the royalties and earnings. They do not charge any hidden costs and execute secure financial transactions. The distribution fee for an unlimited amount of songs is $19 and there is also a $19 annual fee per artist. Ditto does not take any portion of an artist’s earnings or royalties and provides transparency with the records of both of these components as well.

Some of the shortcomings of Ditto are that although it covers the digital distribution of your music, it does not perform physical distribution as well. Ditto also only does music promotion if its artists have purchased the specific packages for that service; a general registration alone does not provide its clients with the full breadth of their promotion services. Furthermore, although artists have the independence to alter their track order before uploading their music, this ability is gone after the release has been officially processed. Ditto is reported to have a poor user interface online and its customer service also needs improvement. Lastly, Ditto also only covers an artist’s original video content and will not help distribute videos that it may see as obstacles for new artists it may sign with.

Taking all of this into consideration, I recommend Ditto as a great music distribution service for both up and coming artists as well as experienced ones. Its diligence in taking care of all the work that needs to be done before the release of the song all the way until the actual release and beyond truly eases the journey for the artists. It helps project your music across the world while also maintaining transparency about your earnings and royalties. Though it has its fair share of weaknesses and limitations, I believe that Ditto should still be a top choice, especially for artists still getting a grasp of the music business.

EmuBands: For the Independent Artist

Based out of the UK, EmuBands is yet another premier music distribution service that is tailored for independent artists. The versatile EmuBands team consists of seasoned professionals from all fields of the music business. The company has worked with thousands of clients since its 2005 origins and thus their experience is not something you should worry about at all. Unlike Ditto Music, EmuBands has a stellar reputation with customer service and even goes as far as naming an Account Manager for every one of their artists so that they can receive all the guidance and help they need. Additionally, EmuBands takes transparency with its artists one step further by providing them with direct access to their respective sales data and market trends: all from their personal user account. Artists can download this data and examine it offline with tremendous ease. EmuBands also provides the free service of automatically registering your music on Shazam to ensure that anyone who is unfamiliar with your music can discover your work right away. They also give more power to the artists by giving them the ability to pick when they want their music to be pre-ordered or released. This is a functionality that many music distribution services fail to offer and separates EmuBands from its competitors. Lastly, the service also provides a royalty payout system with a great user interface as an artist can continually receive updates on their payments and other information. EmuBands lets you obtain your payments as quickly as you want while also eliminating minimum payment thresholds.

EmuBands has room for improvement; for instance, it currently has no admin publishing services. Furthermore, it also is quite expensive with its release fees which start at $42. Along with this price, there is no payment splitting functionality or YouTube content ID, both of which many other distribution services offer. Despite these few cons, I still believe EmuBands is a leading choice because of both all the benefits listed as well as its commitment to address its issues. EmuBands has shown a commitment to continual progress and it will not be long before these issues are also resolved. The higher price is well worth it because of the sheer amount of independence it gives the artists as well as services it provides at no additional fee. For a single plan of $42.50 with 1-2 tracks, you can get a lifetime of unparalleled support and services while also keeping 100% of your royalties. EmuBands is truly willing to go above and beyond to push their artists’ music to audiences.

Landr: Unparalleled Collaboration and Mastery Services

Lastly, Landr is another distribution service that I highly encourage to consider in your search. With just an annual fee, artists are able to upload an unlimited number of songs throughout the year. A unique feature of this service is that artists can make their work accessible to other artists, friends, and even producers to get the opportunity for feedback. With this feature, artists can get a sense of the critical reception of their music before releasing it and even improve their music with other musically savvy professionals. To the other end of this collaboration feature, artists can also access to free music samples from other producers to create their own versions of them with a unique spin. This type of free and legal transparency between samples is something quite amazing about Landr as several other services are still attempting to figure out how to do the same thing. The user interface is engaging and facile to use because they have a free app that artists can download on their laptops. Landr also established Landr Academy; a portion of their services dedicated to providing their clients with tips on how to maximize their promotion and collaboration potentials. Finally, Landr also helps register you with other services and even gives you the ability to link your account with your SoundCloud account at no further costs.

Like all music distribution services, Landr also has areas in which it can use a bit more work. It also does not provide a publishing administration and can be a platform that requires some time to get used to handling. The pricing can be confusing as well because it is difficult to see what the differences are between the packages and if some are truly worth the greater price than the others. The three primary plans are the basic plan ($48 yearly), advanced plan ($108 yearly), and pro plan ($299 yearly). There is always a push for its clients to spend more money to also pay for the mastering services which the advanced and pro plans provide. Finally, if an artist was to cancel their subscription then all of their releases would be frozen. Despite these cons, Landr is both a reputable and amazing music distribution serivce. Landr is a platform that takes no commission from you, lets you maintain all your earnings, and also provides complementary educational content and AI mastering tools for its artists to sound like true professionals. This type of genuine care for the quality of their clients work is hard to find in the music distribution service industry.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether you pick one of these three services or any of the countless others, remember that this is ultimately your decision. As an artist, you should be asking yourself: which service makes me feel most comfortable and also has my best interests at heart? The answer to these questions will vary for each artist, but just remember how much easier music distribution services can make your journey in delivering your music from your room to the ears of people around the world. Keeping all these factors in mind, will make the decision of selecting a service all the simpler.

Once you’ve picked your distributor and you have your music listed in the DSPs, you can then promote your music via PlaylistStreams to maximize your listeners, build your fan base and get your career rolling!

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