Distributing your recordings is simple with today’s technology and resources; many companies distribute your music to all the primary online music retailers and streaming services. Once you have your single or album ready for distribution, search out a company like CDBaby or Distrokid to distribute your album to online music retailers and streaming services, and you’re done. The shortest blog written, but there’s more to say.
Each online distributor has their unique services and structure. For example, some are subscription-based, and others are one-time payments. Each distributor offers you a range of free and paid services to help promote your albums. Some distributors require a continual payment for leaving your albums in the stores; with others, it’s a one-time payment. Each distributor has their way of paying out royalties, either giving the artist one hundred percent of their earnings or a percentage.
Which distributor is best depends on how many recordings you’re releasing, how many you plan to, and how long you want your recordings kept in online music retailers and streaming services. With some companies, once you pay, the recording is in the online stores, never intending to be pulled down; with some subscription-based services, once you stop your subscription, they contact the retailers to pull down your recordings. Some distributors let you pay an additional fee to have your recordings permanently in the stores and streaming services.
If you’re distributing your music for fun, none of this matters, but cost matters if you’re trying to make a profit. Suppose I pay a one-time fee for album distribution, and my audience is small. In that case, I may be willing to give up a more significant portion of my earnings because I know the money received will eventually be more than the cost of the submission. On the other hand, if I have a large fan base, and the subscription is twenty dollars a year, receiving one hundred percent of the earnings may cover the yearly subscription fee, and I start making a profit. These things may be worth considering depending on who you are and your motives for distributing your music, whether for fun or business.
Ultimately, it’s your music; you took the time to make something you want to share with the world. Share away. Thanks for reading; I’m just a music teacher having fun; catch ya on the next one.