So you’ve created your first track and you’re ready for the world to hear it so you can start growing your fanbase and making some money. Before we even get started on promoting your track so people can hear it you’ll first need to upload it onto a music streaming platform like Spotify.
How to Get Your Music on Spotify
Spotify doesn’t allow you to upload your track directly onto their platform. Instead you have to upload your music to a music distributor. If you’re signed to a record label this should be handled for you, so don’t worry about it.
However, if you’re an independent artist then you’ll have to upload your music to a distributor yourself.
What Is a Music Distributor?
In the olden days a music distributor was important, because they would deal with distributing your CDs to stores, then they would give you your cut from that deal (your royalties).
Obviously physical distributors still exist, but these days digital distribution is more important.
A digital music distributor does basically the same thing as a physical distributor, but instead of CDs, they distribute audio files (along with all the required metadata, in the right format). And instead of giving this to stores they send it out to streaming and download platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and TikTok.
These music distributors will then collect the royalties from the streaming platforms and pay you your cut, which varies depending on the distributor.
So that’s what you need to keep in mind while reading this article – you upload your music to a distributor > they get it on Spotify > Spotify pays them based on how often your music was played > your distributor pays you.
Different distributors will charge different amounts, some charge per track uploaded, some charge a recurring fee, and others take a cut of your streaming royalties.
On top of this each one offers slightly different services, so you’ll need to do your own research to find one that will provide what you want.
We plan on producing a guide on the best music distribution services soon, but in the meantime you can check out Spotify’s list of preferred and recommended providers. Also take a look at Soundchart’s guide to music distribution to get an idea of what different providers offer.
How Do You Manage Your Music and Profile On Spotify?
Once your music is on Spotify, you then want to get to grips with understanding how fans engage with your songs and how you can get the most out of your profile.
To do this you will need to sign up for Spotify for Artists. Here is where you will manage your profile, add tour dates, share your playlists and link out to your merch. You can’t sign up via the Spotify app, you’ll need to do this in a browser.
In addition to this you also get access to stats about your audience, monthly listeners, the ability to upload a canvas for your tracks, and also pitch your songs to the Spotify playlist team.
There are a couple of ways to sign up. The first is to visit the Spotify for Artists page (once your music is on Spotify) and claim your profile. Alternatively you can upload music via one of Spotify’s preferred providers and you will automatically get access.
How Much Does It Cost To Put Music On Spotify
Spotify doesn’t charge artists a fee to upload songs, however, they require you to use a distributor, who will charge you in some way.
Often distributors will package other services alongside their distribution, which increases the price of their services.
However, there are distributors who will get your music on Spotify for free, if they take a share of your royalties. Alternatively if you want to keep all your royalties you can upload tracks through some digital music distributors for as little as $10. We recommend you do your own research to find out what the best platform is for you.
How Do You Get Paid by Spotify?
The amount and frequency at which an artist gets paid will depend entirely on the distributor you use, and the percentage of royalties that need to be paid out to third parties (e.g. your record label or collaborators).
The amount of money you get paid is worked out based on your stream share, which is basically your number of streams as a percentage of the total streams from that same time period. You then get your percentage of the total amount Spotify allocates for royalty payouts for that time frame.
You don’t actually get paid directly by Spotify, instead payment is managed by the music distributor you used to distribute the track . The distributors will receive the royalty payments and then pay them to you.
In most instances you will be able to review a report on your activity within your account for the chosen distributor. They will receive reports from Spotify every 6-10 days detailing the royalties that have accrued, and you can then choose to withdraw these funds at an interval of your choosing.
Obviously this will vary slightly from distributor to distributor so be sure to do your research and make sure you choose one that works for you.
How Long Does It Take To Get Your Music On Spotify?
Usually about a week. About a day or so of this time will be your distributor processing your music, and the rest of the time (5 business days) is Spotify doing their processing.
Spotify has been known to take longer than this occasionally, so if you’re planning on uploading a song for Spotify Editorial playlist consideration you should upload your track 2 weeks or more before its release date.
Also the time it takes for your distributor to process your track will depend on who you choose, so do your research if this is important to you.
How Do You Change Or Update Your Music On Spotify?
Spotify displays the information sent to them from distributors. If there’s an issue with your track names, album artwork, or anything else like this you should contact your distributor or label.
All your distributor needs to do then is send Spotify the correct information.
How Do You Remove Your Music From Spotify?
If you want to remove your music from Spotify, you’ll need to get in touch with your distributor.
Most distributors will provide the option to submit a takedown request. You’ll need to provide the required information and then once your request is processed you can expect your music to be removed within a couple of business days.
So that covers what you need to know about getting your music on Spotify. Once your track is up, be sure to notify your fans and share it on social media to encourage interaction.
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