With over 381 million monthly active users, Spotify is one of the top streaming platforms for sharing your music. But how exactly do you go about getting your songs uploaded to Spotify as an independent artist? This guide covers the two main methods – using a distributor or submitting directly to Spotify – as well as tips for setting yourself up for success on the platform.
Use a Music Distributor
The easiest way to get your music onto Spotify is by using an aggregator or distributor that will deliver your tracks to all the major streaming services.
How Distributors Work
Digital music distributors act as intermediaries that get your songs onto online stores and streaming platforms. They handle all the technical processes like metadata formatting, digital encoding, license acquisition, and uploading.
Here's an overview of how using a distributor works:
- Create an account with your chosen distributor and provide information like your artist name, album details, label if you have one, etc.
- Upload your finished audio files and artwork that meet the technical specifications.
- Enter key metadata like song titles, genre, copyright info, and more. Distributors need this to properly tag your tracks.
- Select which streaming platforms you want your music delivered to. The distributor will encode files and send them out.
- Monitor your analytics to see how your music is performing on Spotify and other services. Distributors provide streaming statistics.
Top Music Distributors
Some of the most popular distributors for delivering music to Spotify include:
- LANDR – Offers distribution to Spotify plus mastering tools and analytics. Pricing starts at $19 per release.
- DistroKid – Simple distribution with unlimited uploads for $19.99 per year. Fast delivery times.
- Routenote – Free distribution with 15% commission on earnings. $20/year for statistics access.
Ability to select Content ID, Routenote has the capability to distribute to RN Direct, iTunes & Apple Music, Amazon, eMUSIC, Spotify, Google Play Store, Anghami, Deezer, WiMp/Tidal, Claro-musica, Juke, SoundCloud, Shazam, Gracenote, Kanjian, Pandora, Napster, Melon, iHeart Radio, 7Digital, Saavn, Bugs!, Facebook, Naver/Vibe, Netease, and Tencent.
Pros of Using a Distributor
Going through an aggregator makes getting music onto Spotify straightforward. Benefits include:
- Streamlined delivery – Don't have to pitch your music manually to each platform.
- Wide reach – Most distributors deliver to Spotify plus hundreds of other streaming services, iTunes, YouTube, etc.
- Hassle-free metadata – Distributors properly format all the required metadata.
- Analytics – Access streaming stats to see listener demographics, popular tracks, revenue, etc.
- No fees – Most take a small commission from your earnings rather than upfront fees.
Using a distributor like LANDR or DistroKid makes self-publishing music easier than ever.
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Tips for Artist Success on Spotify
Once your music is live on Spotify, there are things you can do to help it find listeners on the massive platform:
- Optimize your artist profile – Fill out your bio, profile pic, monthly listeners stats and make sure it looks professional.
- Promote your Spotify links online – Share Spotify track and artist links on your website, social media, emails, etc.
- Get added to curated playlists – Pitch your tracks to playlist curators to get in front of new audiences.
- Analyze your data – Use Spotify for Artists analytics to inform release plans and marketing.
- Engage listeners – Comment on discussions about your music and respond to users.
- Collaborate with other artists – Joint tracks and guest vocals can expose you to new listeners.
- Claim your artist profile via Spotify's verification program to unlock more features.
With the right distributor and promotional strategy, Spotify provides invaluable exposure to broaden your reach as an independent musician.
FAQ About Getting Music on Spotify
How much does it cost to get my music on Spotify?
Using a distributor is either cheap or completely free. DistroKid charges just $19.99 per year for unlimited releases. With Routenote and others, there are zero upfront costs and you keep 85% of royalties.
Can I get my music on Spotify if I'm unsigned?
Yes, you do not need to be signed to a record label. All the major music distributors cater specifically to independent, unsigned artists.
How long does it take to be published on Spotify?
When going through a distributor, it usually takes 1-2 weeks maximum for your release to appear across all platforms including Spotify. Direct uploads may take longer to get approved.
Can I get my music taken down from Spotify?
Yes, most distributors allow you to easily take down any release whenever needed. For direct Spotify uploads, you can unpublish tracks via your Spotify for Artists dashboard.
Do I keep all my royalties with Spotify?
What metadata do I need to provide?
You'll need all the basic info including artist name, track title, album title, track number, genre, release date, label (if any), copyright info, ISRC codes, cover art, and more.
Distributors simplify the process by gathering all the essential data during upload. But you need to provide accurate, complete information.
Thanks to distributors and direct submission options, getting your music onto the world's top streaming service Spotify is easier than ever. As an independent musician, take advantage of this opportunity to share your music with over 381 million Spotify listeners.
Focus first on releasing consistently great music. Then leverage distributors to get your tracks in front of streaming audiences. With persistence and hard work, Spotify can help propel your music career to new heights.