A truly lived passion shall be rewarded. Instead of just relying on cashing in some funds at live gigs – which are hardly possible at present anyway – you need to take advantage of all tools for publishing your music. A lot of digital distribution companies offer you some extras that can help you to earn more. If you want to learn more about digital music distribution, get professional advice.
Publish Your Music on Multiple Outlets
Digital distribution companies help you to get your songs to millions of listeners. They collaborate with various music outlets to forward your music to, such as:
- Apple Music
There are a lot more music outlets than those few mentioned above. It’s not enough to make your music available only on iTunes or Spotify. Digital music distributors forward your tunes to hundreds of outlets simultaneously. If not, you can potentially miss out on royalties. At present, Amuse, Fresh Tunes, Soundrop and Spinnup send your music to the fewest music outlets.
Instagram and TikTok
These would be two more important outlets for your music. Any music on Instagram and Tiktok can be used by video creators. Not only can you earn additional royalties with this, but your song can go viral with one smart video someone created. Songs on these outlets can also be used by marketing companies for advertisements.
The good thing is, all digital distributors send your music to Instagram and Tiktok. The only exception is Fresh Tunes that don’t forward music to Instagram. Amuse requests you to sign up for a Pro subscription plan, which costs $60 a year, to send your music to these two outlets.
Don’t ignore the Chinese market
China is a promising territory for streaming music and the Chinese do pay for it. There already are some indie musicians who manage to make a living just from this market. If digital distribution companies don’t forward your music to China, you’re missing out on a lot of potential royalties.
NetEase is the most important streaming service in China at present. So make sure your distributor gets your music on this platform. It’d be great if they also send it to other Chinese outlets.
Pandora and Beatport is also important
Beatport is an outlet that focuses on dance music only. So, not all distribution services send your music there. These include Soundrop, United Masters, Tunecore, CDBaby, and Amuse. Ditto takes a fee of $49 to send your music to Beatport.
Pandora is another streaming and podcast outlet not all companies send your music to. However, Distrokid, Ditto, LANDR, ONErpm, RouteNote, and a few others do. Make sure to include Pandora in your list of outlets to get your music on.
Take Advantage of YouTube
YouTube is one of the most important outlets for videos of all sorts. People love some visuals as they listen to your music. You could keep it simple with lyrics or you can create your own professional videos. Whatever the case, make sure you make use of YouTube monetization for extra profits.
Soundrop and Spinnup don’t do YouTube monetization at all. With other companies like CD Baby, Distrokid, Ditto, AWAL, and Songtradr, you can opt for this option. ONErpm and Amuse do it automatically. The same goes with Horus Music, and they don’t even take any commission for your YouTube content ID monetization. A lot of other companies have an extra commission fee on this, whereas AWAL and LANDR request the lowest percentage of 15 % at most.
The same goes for SoundCloud monetization
Wherever you can monetize your music, you can make more profits. While music is typically sent to Soundcloud, it doesn’t necessarily include monetization. Horus Music, ONErpm, RouteNote, Symphonic, and United Masters appear to be the few that’d get you on that program as well.
Pay Attention to Commission and Distribution Fees
Most digital distribution companies ask at least for either commission or distribution fees. In this area, you have to weigh out the pros and cons of each service for your purpose. Of course, it’s best if the fees are as low as possible since you get to keep most of your profits.
The only companies that ask for neither are Amuse and Fresh Tunes. Awal, ONErpm, Soundrop, Stem, Symphonic, and United Masters don’t request distribution fees but only ask for 10 – 15% commission. Other distributors like Distrokid, Ditto, Horus Music, and Songtradr, have an annual distribution fee. As an incentive, you can release as much music with them per year as you desire with no extra charges.
The Little Cherry on the Icing With Digital Distribution Companies
With digital music distributors, it’s always worth looking out for that bit ‘more’ they can offer. For example, pre-sales or pre-saves are helpful to get people excited and maximize your profits. CDBaby, RouteNote, and Horus Music offer you free marketing services for your pre-saves on Spotify to grow your number of followers.
Although you are mostly on your own with promoting your music, RouteNote is an exception. If they notice that your tunes catch on, they will target playlist editors and tastemakers to give you a little push. You wouldn’t know of it and it doesn’t cost you any extra charges. At the same time, it can boost your profits.
You can also still look into the physical distribution of your music. CDBaby is the only digital music distributor that collaborates with a provider for CDs and vinyl. Physical CDs and vinyl have lost a lot of importance since the digital era arrived with tons of streaming services. But there are still a lot of people who prefer to physically own your music. In fact, you can earn as many royalties on 500 sold vinyls as on 1000 streams.