The life of music artists never appears easy. They love what they’re doing like it’s the case with any other artist and just live for their passion. Unfortunately, artists are often seen as penniless. Some people even laugh at them for wanting to make a living out of music. But this is not the case anymore, as the options in this day and age are plenty.
Digital distribution companies are their biggest entry door to sharing their passion with the whole world. And that’s why these companies are becoming more and more popular among modern music artists. You can find the best ones in this article.
They Keep Their Rights
As soon as you sign a record deal with a music label, you lose all rights to your music. Any music you’ve written and recorded becomes the property of the music label. Of course, that’s also the case with any new songs you create. And that’s quite a huge disadvantage if you dream of signing with a label.
Since you don’t sign a deal with digital distribution companies, all of your rights remain with you. It doesn’t matter via which companies you publish your music, none of them owns it. However, some can offer a label deal. Amuse and ONErpm are currently the only two companies offering a label deal to musicians that catch on.
No Strings Attached
Digital distribution companies work independently. Some of them are owned by parent companies such as:
- AWAL (Kobalt Music Group)
- CD Baby (Downtown)
- Soundrop (Downtown)
- Spinnup (Universal Music Group)
- TuneCore (Believe Distribution Services)
- United Masters (Translation Enterprises)
Even so, there are still no strings attached. As each company offers different services, you may want to publish music via several ones. For example, if you recorded music with a band as a feature, the commission or distribution fees could be more favorable with a digital distribution service you don’t usually use.
If you’d like to test the waters, you could choose one that doesn’t ask for distribution fees. Or maybe you’d simply like to test several companies to see which one works best for you. You are not obliged to publish your music with only one service. With digital distribution companies, you remain completely independent.
No Worries About Royalties
Once you sign a record deal, you won’t have to worry about royalties, but you only receive about 20% of them. The rest are spent on marketing, recording, writers, producers, and CEOs. Moreover, record labels don’t usually pay their artists monthly. Many musicians only receive their royalties annually or every six months.
You can attempt to publish music directly to streaming platforms. But even if they do accept music directly from indie artists, you’d have to contact each platform for your royalties. That’d be quite a hassle to follow up. Digital distribution companies collect the royalties for you, either directly or via a service. Best of all is, you actually get about 80% of your royalties at least. You may get 100% if you opt for those that don’t have commission fees such as
- Fresh Tunes
- Horus Music
- United Masters
However, be aware that even if some digital distribution services work commission-free, they’ll have some other hidden fees. But even so, you still receive most of your royalties.
When it comes to royalties, traditional music labels don’t offer intelligible and transparent reports. You get your money and shall be happy. This is not the case with digital distribution services, or at least most of them. You receive transparent reports and know how much you’ve earned for which song on which streaming platform.
Publishing Music is Easy as Making a Pie
Traditional music labels do take a while to finally publish your music. After you record, there’s post-production, artwork, etc. It takes months until the music gets to your audience.
You’d have to do all the recording and artwork yourself if you are working with digital distribution services. This means you have full control over your products, and it’s basically just one click away to upload your music. The speed depends on each service. Some are faster than others. Within a day or up to a week, your music is out there. If you wanted to publish your music on a certain date, it couldn’t be easier. Just upload your music and set up a publishing date.
Music is Published on Hundreds of Platforms Simultaneously
As an indie artist, it’d take you a while to forward your tunes to several streaming platforms, some of which you may not even have heard of. That’s where you miss out on potential royalties. Plus, it’d take you quite a long time to get to all the platforms you know. And how would you manage to forward your music to TikTok, Instagram, or even Chinese streaming platforms?
Some platforms like Apple or Spotify won’t accept music by indie artists directly anymore. It’s not because they wouldn’t like to support you, but there’s just too much paperwork. Additionally, each streaming platform has different guidelines in formats. Digital distribution companies save you that work. Once you’ve uploaded your music, they put it into the right format and forward it to hundreds of platforms. As a cherry on top of the icing, they also forward your music to TikTok, Instagram, and Chinese streaming services- an important new market with millions of listeners.
With some companies, you’d benefit from YouTube and Soundcloud monetization. Horus Music, ONErpm, and RouteNote are the three top ones that offer this service, even without any additional fees.