People often ask me how to get their music out there. Well, with this latest article, I’m going to give you my top tips on how to release your music on all the major streaming services.
I’d like to start on the topic of mastering, because this is the first step you should consider before releasing your music. I’ve covered the topic of mastering in much more detail in my previous blogs, so I won’t get into the detail today. Briefly, the purpose of mastering is simply to prepare your music for commercial release and to ensure it is optimized for all forms of media and/or streaming services. A professional master should translate to all relevant formats and you should not feel that you need to have separate masters for streaming, CD etc. You should also ensure you are using a high-res WAV file as your master (as a minimum 16bit 44.1hz sample rate, which is the equivalent of CD quality, 24bit is preferred).
Now that your music is mastered and ready to release, you need to research an appropriate online distributor. The purpose of the distributor is to facilitate the release of your music to all of the available streaming services online. There are a wide variety of distributors offering this service and it’s important to research each one and find out which one is the best fit for you. Some of the more prominent names in distribution are Tunecore, CDBaby, Distrokid and MondoTunes. Each offers different structures and costs for music releases, some of which charge annual fees, per-release fees or a percentage of streaming revenue. Once again, research and choose the one that best suits your budget and requirements. Once you’ve signed up, the process is fairly straightforward to upload your WAV files and prepare to release.
It is important to have your cover artwork prepared prior to release and upload to the distributors. I always recommend engaging the services of a graphic designer to not only handle the overall design of your cover, but to ensure it is compliant with the upload requirements for the distributor. In my experience, high resolution JPEG files that are 3000 x 3000 pixels is the most common requirement. This requirements may vary, so once again, check with the specifications on the distributors website so that you can inform your graphic designer.
Arguably a less exciting, yet very important aspect of releasing your music. Metadata is all of the text information that is entered into the back-end of the distributor’s upload page. The information usually includes song titles, album title, artist name, release date, genre, producer’s details etc. It can also be hard coded into MP3 files, however I do not recommend using MP3 files at any stage when releasing to the major streaming services such as Spotify or AppleMusic. The reason is because your audio will be further rendered down to a lossy MP3/AAC codec, so you want to start with a WAV to ensure a better result at the decoding stage. The benefit of having detailed metadata will assist in listeners searching for your music online and can also help in being matched for certain playlists.
CREATE A BUZZ
Now that you’ve completed the upload of your music to the distributor (and ensured you have at least 1-2 months lead time to release date) it’s now time to create a buzz for the pending release! You can do this via your social media channels, your website or email subscriber list or booking a release gig is an excellent method for building a buzz via a launch show.
ARTIST PROFILE PAGE
Most of the major streaming services have an option to have an artist profile page. This is an excellent opportunity to tell people more about you or your band and have some great promotional photos to have your page looking striking. The reality is, no one wants to click on an artist page to find zero information about the artist or their history. People love reading back stories on how you started out and your journey that lead you to this latest music release. You can talk about your influences and how you arrived at this creative point with your latest release. A perfect opportunity to show more of your personality and paint a picture for your listeners.
I hope this has been a useful introduction on how to release your music to all the major streaming platforms. All the best with your pending release!
Until next time,