How To Get Your Music On iTunes & Spotify As An Unsigned Artist

Whether you’re an established artist or a new start-up band practicing in a garage, you’ll no doubt want to get your tracks into the world’s most popular music stores and out to your current and potential fans. But without the backing of a major label, just how easy is to release music on Spotify, iTunes and other music platforms?

It’s actually never been easier for independent bands and solo artists to get their music into the biggest online music stores and start earning extra cash doing something they love.

The modern music industry is more of a level playing field than ever before, thanks partly to independent music distributors, also known as aggregators, who help unsigned talent get their tracks into iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and hundreds of other music platforms.


Get your track ready for release

Before you even think about uploading your tracks to any online stores through an indie music distributor, the first and most important thing to do is get a high-quality recording. Whether you’re releasing a single, EP or full album, the quality of your recording, mixing and mastering will be a huge factor when it comes to promoting your track, selling copies and generating enough interest to start earning worthwhile royalty payments.

If you know what you’re doing and you have a relatively simple set-up, recording your songs at home with any easily-accessible software and a reasonably priced microphone is great affordable option. However, if you’re inexperienced with studio tech, you should consider hiring a producer and heading to a local studio for a professional recording session.

Choose an independent distributor

There are plenty of independent music distributors to choose from, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good deal before signing up. Some distributors will only release your music in exchange for a cut of your royalties, while others will allow you to keep 100% of everything you earn, so do your research before signing up.

You’ll also want to make sure your distributor offers the services and support that can help not only to maximise your sales, but also quickly solve problems should something go wrong. The most effective distributors will provide tools like iTunes Pre-order, SMS keywords and worldwide chart registration, which can help to boost your sales total and make sure your music can enter the officials charts.

Once you’ve found an aggregator you’re happy with, you can simply sign up, and for a small fee, upload your tracks and watch as they begin to appear on the world’s most popular music stores.


How much money will I make?

Realistically, you’re not going to get rich quick by selling and streaming your music online, especially if you’re an independent artist with a small budget and limited promotion. Spotify currently pays out as little as $0.0011 per stream, while iTunes only offers slightly more for every download, so unless you can rack up hundreds of thousands of streams, you won’t be retiring on your royalties any time soon.

However, royalty payments aren’t the only reason to get your tracks into the major online music stores. Making your music available on iTunes and Spotify gives you a more legitimate and credible profile, and makes it easier for potential fans to easily find and discover your music.

Also, if you’re hoping to get signed by a major label in the future, releasing your music independently is essential. Nowadays, major labels are only interested in signing artists who already have a good following, so reaching new fans early in your career is key, and once your music is out there, who knows where it could take you!

This is a guest post from the guys at Ditto Music who can help you get your music on all digital retailers with the minimum of fuss.

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Lee Jones

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