Posts Tagged ‘Apple Music’

Bot Streams vs. Organic Streams: Why Earning Real Streams is a Winning Formula

With how prevalent digital streaming platforms are in the music industry today, there is no question that streams are a crucial component and determinant of an artist’s success. Consequently, the market has become infatuated with services that give artists the opportunity to buy streams on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL, and much more. These companies claim that if an artist was to pay them a small sum for the use of their services, they will push these artists to new heights and audiences on digital streaming platforms. Though this may seem appealing at first glance, a more thorough investigation will uncover that often times these companies will provide the artists with artificial bot streams: those that do not come from fans or at times, even people. This is a severe problem for artists attempting to grow their fanbase and reflects badly on the artist even if this was happening without their knowledge. For these reasons, it is important to avoid the scams and instead, use authentic playlist builder services like PlaylistStreams.com to organically boost your streams and truly grow your audience.

How Do Organic Streams and Bot Streams Differ?

Legitimate, organic growth is observed when real fans listen to an artist’s tracks and discover their music through the exposure it gained from the artist’s work with marketing, playlist curators, and public relations. In contrast, bot streams are those accumulated by companies through fake fans or computer programs. On top of the fake users streaming their client’s tracks, these scams often do the bare minimum by streaming the tracks for solely 31 seconds on Spotify since the platform only counts streams after 30 seconds.

These types of corrupt practices have caught the attention of digital streaming platforms particularly because of bizarre stream totals on one day that are much higher than other days and streams only originating from one specific location. Once they have flagged the artists engaging in these fraudulent practices, Spotify sometimes prevents releases of their music and even blacklists the profiles. Therefore, it is ever so important for artists to do their research because they might unintentionally engage with such a fraudulent playlist builder and suffer these consequences which would hamper their musical careers. Though it may seem beneficial to boost your streams in the short-run in this manner, the truth is that getting streams simply for passing the 30-second stream mark is not helpful to an artist’s overarching career as it prevents authentic fanbase growth. Artists must understand what constitutes a lawful business, such as paying a marketing or PR team to place you in touch with playlist curators, and what is considered theft, such as paying for pseudo streams.

Besides the individual harms of the potential of being blacklisted on platforms and losing a chance to develop genuine growth of fans, bot streams take away a portion of the monetary pie from the entire community of musicians. Upon purchasing pseudo streams from an inauthentic playlist builder service, you are taking away royalties from artists who have promoted their music the genuine way with organic streams. Spotify distributes royalties among artists by taking the global amount of revenue from monthly subscriptions and dividing it by the total amount of streams and then multiplies this value by each artist’s streams. Hence, increasing the quantity of pseudo streams will result in a cut of the revenue that other artists with organic streams will get.

Identifying The Legitimate Services

It is quite difficult to tell which services are genuine and which are mere “click farms.” Each of them advertises their services in similar fashion and guarantee boosts in streams and popularity in order to attract you to use their business. The key to distinguishing the two is paying attention to the nuances of their advertisements, prices, promised results, and campaign packages. Most importantly, trust your gut: if it seems like it is too good to be true, chances are that will be the case.

At times, the graphics and presentation of a company’s website alone will be enough to surmise if the service is inauthentic. Furthermore, if you see lofty claims about how one of their artist’s popularity multiplied by a few hundred percents with just one small payment, you can also begin to suspect something is off. Do your due diligence through a simple Google search and see if the popularity that they claim their artist has now gained through their service is also reflected on any websites or businesses that are not theirs. If the answer is no, you can safely assume that the service is using pseudo streams because popularity to the extent they claim should be complemented with artist interviews, concert dates, and much more.

PlaylistStreams: Premier Playlist Builder and Organic Growth

PlaylistStreams has dedicated itself for the past few years to help artists attain authentic support and elevate their careers through organically integrating them into playlists across various streaming platforms. The company ensures that its clients avoid the dangers of bot streams and inactive playlists with the use of trusted research and a result-oriented approach when discovering playlists. The Century City, California based PlaylistStreams has a database of thousands of playlists and helps its clients secure placements on those best suited for their music and goals for exposure.

A plethora of artists have partnered with PlaylistStreams and benefitted tremendously from the organic growth the company provided them with. For instance, after being placed on 25 specific playlists by PlaylistStreams, the rapper Young Pooda saw his music and audience organically grow to the point where he saw his music added to over 1,100 playlists. This growth was not just limited to Spotify, as the organic growth also resulted in exposure on other services like TIDAL, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. The company even helped Torey Lanez increase his placements on Spotify playlists during his tenure at Interscope Records.

What separates PlaylistStreams from other companies in the field is its deliberateness and authenticity. Not only are the playlists which their artists’ songs are being added to real, but the company also coordinates these placements after a thorough overview of which playlists would be most beneficial for exposure given the artist’s style and current stage of career. PlaylistStreams is every artist’s go-to service for boosting their streams organically and ultimately, bringing the artists closer to their fans.

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. Though 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!

How do I get my song on Spotify/Apple Music/ Tidal etc.?

We get asked by a numerous amount of people how do they get their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc. Digital distribution is what you would need. Distributors are the ones who get your music on all the Digital Service Providers (Spotify, Apple, etc.) libraries. Some companies whom you can sign up for distribution are Tunecore, AWAL, DITTO, Distro Kid, United Masters etc. Each one of them are different and you should weigh the pros and cons of each company.

We found a great and very informative article comparing these distribution companies. The article covers everything from what distribution companies do, how to work with a company, how to get a distribution deal, the fee structure and services.

In addition, it also has a chart comparing each distributor side by side. When deciding on a distributor make sure you work with a company who best fits your goals as an artist. For detailed information please read the article by the music distribution gurus.

Once you have your song upload to a distributor, you then can send us a link to your music so that we can get them on Playlist.