How to distribute music online? Everything you need to know!
Want to know everything about how to distribute your music online? We will briefly introduce you to this industry and the main streaming and download platforms. We’ll also discuss about basics your should know concerning your future online music release, to be able to focus on the best strategy for success.
Some informations on the sector:
Thanks to this table from Information is beautiful, here we have the latest statistics related to the online music industry. For example, this graph shows the number of subscribers per platform, the average revenue per artist per track, the proportion of free subscribers, and much more.
You said streaming?
The novelty of streaming quickly put it under the fire of critics and it was thus accused of not paying enough artists. But, streaming services have become one of the primary source of revenue for them.
Streaming plays on a completely different model of the download. Streaming generates small, regular revenue over a long period of time, instead of giving the artist a big deal at one time, as it was generally the case with paid downloads or the sale of physical albums in commerce. Regarding revenue, streaming has the advantage of allowing a small cash flow, which is always better than nothing, but it also guarantees the artist direct access to his audience. It’s an easy way to conquer and retain new fans, to become known and to be offered more opportunities for concerts. Since the 1990s, music industry revenues have been declining, but specialists predict that the trend could be reversed very soon, thanks to streaming!
What are the best platforms to stream my music?
Some platforms are now safe in terms of sales and audiences. You will find below a small overview of these essential.
At last, Apple has started streaming and now concentrates all its efforts on Apple Music while maintaining its download service on iTunes. With over 36 million users, the average revenue per artist per track is now about $ 0.0074.
With over 157 million active users and 71 million subscribers, Spotify is a showcase of choice for your songs. The $ 8 billion paid to rights holders, with an average revenue per artist and per view of about $ 0.0044, is a significant source for your turnover.
Deezer has 16 million users in 2018 and is available in 180 countries around the world. In comparison, Spotify is only operational in 65 countries. Deezer is therefore the most international music streaming platform.
With 1 billion users, YouTube is the champion of online music, especially among the youngest. You can subscribe to Youtube’s Content ID to increase your revenue, especially if you optimize your channel. The platform has also implemented a new streaming system called YouTube Music, available since May 22, 2018.
Napster was thought dead and buried, and yet the platform now has 5 million users and pays artists 0.0190 dollars per track listened to.
Jay-Z’s streaming platform has 4 million users, but faces challenges and its future looks uncertain. It is however the platform offering the best remuneration to artists, with an average of 0.0125 dollars per track listened to.
Nearly 2/3 of the music downloads are made via the iTunes store, which makes it the champion of the sector. Selling your music on this platform is therefore an essential objective to achieve.
Available in 58 countries and downloaded 22 million times a year, Google Play has become the reference application for downloading music on smartphones.
The world of electronic music swears by it ! Beatport music files are available in high definition, with no loss of quality when downloading. This highly valued feature can help you increase your income.
Amazon is in a strong position. The net giant has indeed 20 million registered users (2018) who are at your fingertips with your music.
What do I need to distribute my music?
10 minutes and a few simple steps are enough to put your music online with our MusicDiffusion service. For that, three elements must hold all your attention.
Your audio files
You want your music to be of the highest quality on all platforms, of course. To do this, make sure you have a .WAV file, in 16 or 24 bits, and in 44.1 kHz.
The album or single cover
It’s a creative part both playful and essential! Choosing or create a visual to represent your music is crucial. Opting for a unique image that truly matches your style can make a huge difference! The criteria to be respected are:
– the format: a JPEG file with a resolution of 3000 x 3000 pixels;
– identifiers: the name of the artist and the title of the single or album must be present on the cover;
– the content: no nudity or violent act.
Metadata information like ISRC and barcodes
For all your songs, you’ll need to enter metadata such as artist name, song title, contributor name, and ISRC codes (unique worldwide codes that allow you to identify and to follow your music). In addition to this, a unique UPC / EAN code will be generated to ensure the output of your songs. If you do not have ISRC code or UPC/EAN, MusicDiffusion provides them for free when you distribute your music with us.
What is your digital release strategy?
Preparing your publishing strategy is especially important. Do you want to broadcast the whole album at once? Or do you prefer to play on a waiting effect by dropping out two or three singles before the official release of your album? Do you want to start with an EP that you can then present to interested labels ?
Once you have decided what type of release you want, carefully choose your release date to make sure you have enough time to promote your songs. In general, the best days for a release are Friday and Tuesday. We also recommend scheduling your release date at least four weeks in advance. You will have enough time to develop your promotional campaign.