Posts Tagged ‘MusicDistributionServices’

How Will COVID-19 Change the Music Business?

To say we are living in unprecedented times would be an understatement. COVID-19 has truly not only changed the way billions of people around the world live their lives on a personal level, but it has also altered the manner in which all businesses, including the music industry, function in some material form. Before the coronavirus hit the USA the strongest in March 2020, the industry was seeing high revenues; in fact, in the first half of 2019 total revenues grew 18% to an aggregate of $5.4 billion. Additionally, streaming covered about 80% of the music business’s revenues in 2019. But once the virus’s effects began to be felt strongly as March progressed, former leading forms of revenue such as streaming and concerts were now nonexistent due to social distancing and limitations on large gatherings for the sake of public health. A six-month shutdown was estimated to cost the industry more than $10 billion in sponsorships. Though this is devastating, make no mistake, the music business is fighting back and learning how to function in the midst of this global health pandemic. No one can be sure about what the future has in store, but the one thing we can ensure is that the measures that are taken now will be pivotal in understanding how we can expect to see the industry transform in the years to come.

The Live Sector – A New Way to Engage with Fans

With bans on mass gatherings, artists can no longer perform and promote their music via the medium of a live concert performance with thousands of fans in attendance. The effects of this reality are larger than one may think as it extends to everyone that would be involved in making live performances a possibility: artists, fans, technicians, bartenders, agents, security, setup /cleanup services, and so many more.

One of the first alternatives that arose was that venues provided a live stream of artists’ performances at that venue which fans can watch online. However, the sites that offered these services quickly shut down and now artists have turned to platforms like Twitch and Instagram TV/Live to broadcast their music directly from their own homes. This medium has actually increased the audiences of a myriad of artists and recognizing the larger audience, record labels have begun to support these methods by providing artists with live stream equipment. This relatively new form of performing has also led to new forms of monetization for artists aside from the traditional viewer rates: some allow fans to purchase memberships which give them early access to exclusive content, while others even allow for unique commenting abilities. This new form of performing has actually led to musicians seeing substantial growth in their incomes.

With the reality that fans may not be able to attend large scale concerts until Fall 2021, this may be a strategy that is here to stay. Other businesses have taken note of this tool Verizon is working on bringing its services to Live Nation Entertainment in order to help organize larger virtual gatherings through which artists can showcase their music. Vivendi is also establishing a service through which artists can perform their music with their fans while also sharing exclusive musical content with them. With all the players in the field of virtual performances and online gatherings, it seems like the Internet and live streaming will be one of the alternatives we will most heavily see in the age of the coronavirus.

Advertising and Distribution

Advertising has also taken quite a substantial hit in the music industry because of the coronavirus. Nearly a fourth of all media brands have temporarily halted their advertising for the first half of 2020, and almost half of them have reduced their expenses on it altogether. This will severely impact music channels that are dependent on ad revenues and further impact the income specific artists receive. A prime example of this was seen with Spotify, who announced that it missed its advertising revenue targets due to the changes it experienced in advertisement budgeting. This effect is not just limited to Spotify, but also its artists who use the platform like this can lessen their individual income. Will advertisements see a resurgence in the future? The answer is likely yes, but in what form and exactly when that would be is still up in the air.

When it comes to distribution, coronavirus has caused a number of artists to delay their releases into later in the year. This is partially due to the inability of artists to now go on tours to promote their music as a plethora of music festivals and events have been momentarily postponed or canceled. The absence of live performances can be understood as nearly a cut of half of the industry’s total revenue; pushing artists and agents to explore other mediums for gaining back that lost capital. Although live stream performances are a start, that is nowhere near enough and record label groups have understood this.

Groups such as Universal Music Group and Live Nation Entertainment, as well as streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, have provided funding efforts to aid artists whose incomes have been diminished due to the coronavirus. They have also established practices in distribution that is more helpful to artists such as interest-free advances on royalty payments. It is truly a rallying of the music community to help sustain the one thing all entities in the field love: music. Consumers have begun to use more streaming with the loss of live performances and also stream the music on home appliances much more such as televisions. The coronavirus has undoubtedly shifted the advertising and distribution sectors as well.

The Future

The Internet will be the prevalent home for artists and fans for the time being. With less physical interactions between musicians and their audiences, virtual performances will be the new normal for at least a year into the future. With the success many artists have been having with this format, who knows? There is a possibility that even after the pandemic comes to a close, online performances will become just as customary as live ones. Additionally, the coronavirus has shifted distribution and advertising practices. The good thing for the fans is that this means there are more possibilities for them to get exclusive content from their favorite artists now. However, what is most interesting is the change in the sound of music.

Spotify has reported that in addition to adding subscribers to its streaming platform in the first quarter of 2020, it has also noted a boost in listeners of their relaxing and peaceful musical genres. Whether or not this is due to the isolation and introspection that comes with quarantine, artists should and will pay attention to this and reflect the relaxing elements into their music as well. To achieve success in this day and age, success in streaming is still a constant. With PlaylistStreams.com, artists can do just that by achieving their desired organic streams at a competitive price; thus with our service, even in these confusing times, artists can deliver their music to their fans. With the coronavirus, there is no telling when things will get back to the future. However, we will all get through this and so will 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!