How to Successfully Distribute Your Music: A Guide for Artists

All artists love the creative parts of making music, jamming with friends, and daydreaming about breaking out into the mainstream. But making music is, ironically, oftentimes the easy part. It’s much harder to promote and successfully distribute your music so you get your shot at fame and recognition.

If you’re a new artist and aren’t sure how to distribute your music successfully, keep reading. We’ll explore how you can distribute your music as an up-and-coming artist step by step. 

Pick a Distribution Service

Your first major step should be to choose an online music distribution service or platform. In essence, a music distribution service will put your music on the biggest online music stores, like Apple Music, Spotify, and more.

Of course, there are major differences between different distribution services in terms of the percentage of revenue they take, the artist profile customization features they offer, and much more. Out of all potential music distribution platforms, DistroKid is the superior service.

DistroKid offers many distribution plans to choose from, which start at just $19.99 per year. You can create an artist profile account and include a lot of metadata, which is important for improving SEO or search engine optimization (more on that below).

Regardless of the service you choose, do your research so you pick the right platform for your music release plans and artist persona.

Consider Metadata for Each Release

The “metadata” for your music includes the artist name, album title, release date, label, genre, and other information that will show up when someone searches for your music on Google or on your chosen distribution platform. Therefore, you need to input your metadata accurately and thoroughly so your future fans can find your music once you release it.

It may be smart to consider SEO as you write your metadata before uploading any music to your chosen platform. Think about similar artist names, song titles, and other factors when deciding how to label your music. The more unique it is, and the more related to your chosen genre it is, the easier a time your music will have finding new listeners.

Write an Artist Bio

You’ll next need to write a compelling artist bio, which will be displayed on your distribution platform’s profile page. The artist bio is more than just a replaceable paragraph or two. In fact, it’s one of the major things that can bring new lifelong fans to your work.

If someone likes an initial song they heard, they might check out your artist bio to learn more about you and your journey. Many people connect with artists, particularly if they deeply love their favorite bands. Write an artist bio that is honest and engaging, and your music release will come that much more smoothly and successfully.

Create Good Artwork

The phrase, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” sounds nice, but it’s not accurate. In fact, people can and do judge books – and music albums! – by their covers all the time. With that in mind, design or hire someone to create excellent album artwork for your upcoming music release.

The better your album artwork is, the better. If possible, make your album artwork into a thumbnail (again, by hiring a specialist if necessary) so you can upload the same artwork to your music distribution platform when the time comes for your music launch.

Promote, Promote, Promote

To successfully distribute your music, you need to promote it, especially if you are early in your career as an artist. Promote your music everywhere you can, such as by:

  • Posting on your personal website
  • Putting up Google PPC or pay-per-click ads (in some cases)
  • Cross-promoting with other artists, especially those in your friend or social group

The more promoting you do, the better your music release will go. 

Drum Up Hype on Social Media

This tip deserves its own section. You need to hype up your music release on social media as much as possible. Post regularly about your upcoming music releases so people know the day and time at which they can download your songs from their store of choice.

If possible, ask all of your followers, friends, and family members to purchase and/or listen to your music at the same time and on the same day. Doing this can temporarily boost your newly released music up to the top of the charts, helping new listeners discover you for the first time.

Release Your Music!

If you’ve made it to this stage, congratulations. Now you can upload and release your music to the public! If you’ve done everything right, you’ll get some downloads immediately and positive word-of-mouth will spread in no time. With a little luck, this is just the start of your career as an artist.