With the rise of streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Spirits Music Hall’s partner radio steaming service, Rock Rage Radio, getting your music in front of a global audience has never been easier. However, the process of publishing your music on these streaming services can be daunting for first-timers. In this post, we will guide you through the key requirements and steps involved in getting your music published on most streaming services, as well as what to expect once your music is published.
Key Requirements for most steaming Services:
Before you can publish your music on streaming services, you will likely need to meet the a few key requirements:
- Have the rights to your music – this means owning the copyright or obtaining permission from the copyright owner to distribute the music on streaming services. As a bonus tip, you will need to register your work with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) such as BMI in order to get royalties from plays on many services such as radio stations, live events and more.
- High-quality audio recordings – most streaming services require your music to be at least 16-bit/44.1 kHz and in a lossless format such as WAV or FLAC and more rarely MP3. Some steaming services have specific requirements, so pay close attention as getting this wrong can delay your work and create frustration for you.
- Album art – you will need high-quality album art that meets the streaming service’s requirements. This is part of your branding and VERY important to help you get noticed and recognized.
- Metadata – this includes the title of the song, artist name, album name, release date, and more. This often overlooked step will cause your content to be rejected, or worse, abandoned in the bin of poorly tagged content. Make sure you spend the appropriate effort applying the necessary metadata to your content if you want to get the most (or anything) out of your submissions!
OK, you’ve done all that, now what?
Once you have met the key requirements, you can start submitting your music to streaming services. The steps involved in submitting new music vary slightly between services, but generally follow this process:
- Choose a Distributor – you can choose to work with a digital music distributor to help you get your music on streaming services. These services offer you an easier way to check many boxes and can be an effective way to get distributed. Each service has it’s pros and cons, so be sure to compare and choose the best partner for you. Examples of distribution partners include DistroKid, TuneCore, and CD Baby.
- Create an Account – seems pretty obvious, but you’ll need create an account on the chosen distributor’s website and follow their instructions to upload your music. Be sure to read the terms and conditions you’re signup for!
- Enter Metadata – enter the required metadata for your songs, including song title, artist name, album name, and more. This data is used to inform listeners about your content. Without this, your music cant be found, attributed to you or your album. Another seemingly obvious tip, but Verify ALL spellings and that you’ve filled out everything correctly! This is what your listeners will see in their player!
- Upload Audio Files – upload your high-quality audio files in the required format — be sure to follow their guidelines or your music may not be listed at all.
- Upload album art – upload your album art in the required format. Some services have specific size and resolution requirements.
- Choose release date – choose a release date for your music! This is important if you intend to time the launch with an event or another release of content, such as a video premier.
- Pay Your Distribution Fees – A simple but crucial step, even if nobody likes this part: pay the required fee to distribute your music. Once you’ve completed this process, in most cases you’re done and simply waiting for the scheduled release and watching the listens roll in.
- PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE! – The process of being published will take some time, so this is the time to plan your marketing strategy. There is no limit to the value of promoting your content to all possible avenues! Your website, social media, print & publications, radio stations willing to spin new songs and the like are very effective ways to get your content found. Never underestimate the power of a great community!
What to Expect once you’re submitted
Once you have submitted your music to a streaming service, it can take several days or even weeks for your music to appear on the service. During this time, the streaming service will review your submission to ensure it meets their requirements. Once your music is published, you can expect to receive regular reports on how your music is performing, including the number of streams, downloads, and revenue generated. Now go promote Your Song!
Revenue Potential – How Much Can You Expect?
The amount of revenue you can generate from streaming services depends on several factors, including the number of streams, the streaming service’s payout rate, and the revenue split between you and any collaborators or copyright owners. On average, an independent artist can make anywhere from $0.003-$0.0084 per stream. To generate a meaningful amount of revenue, you will need to have a significant number of streams. According to a study by Digital Music News, it takes around 336 streams on Spotify to earn $1. While this may sound like a small amount, the revenue can quickly add up for popular artists with millions of streams.
Getting your music published on streaming services is a relatively straightforward process that can greatly increase your exposure to a global audience. By following the key requirements and steps involved, you can successfully publish your music on streaming services and start generating revenue from your music. Now get out there and share your art with the world and make sure you share your links with your favorite partners!