As technology evolves, and new technologies are developed, we develop more efficient ways to perform day-to-day tasks. In some cases, new technologies will ultimately replace our old methods of doing things.
This what is known as digital disruption. Think about what Uber has done to the taxi industry, or what Airbnb has done for the hotel industry. In the music industry, digital disruption is most evident in physical album sales.
Nowadays, most music is no longer consumed from a physical disk; instead, most people are either buying music from platforms like Apple Music or streaming it from Deezer or Spotify.
Traditional Distribution Channels
In the past musicians have had a shockingly small level of control over the distribution of their music. The musician would record their album, and the record label would then take care of the distribution. The label would have deals with music stores and agents to take a certain number of physical albums.
That is, of course, an incredibly simplified explanation. In reality, there would be a few middle-men between the recording stage and the sales stage, and each of these middle-men would take a small cut of the profits.
This meant that albums would be more expensive, while the musician would earn pennies on the dollar.
Digital Distribution changed all of that. No, the musician has full control over the distribution of their music. By cutting out a few of the middle-men, musicians can now earn more money, without potentially sacrificing the reach of their music.
Thanks to digital distribution, you can also release your music faster, and cheaper. Now you don’t need to worry about printing CD covers, buying cases, pressing physical disks; you can simply record and upload.
We Live Online - So Should Your Music
One of the first things you learn in digital marketing is to go to where your audience is. So if most of your audience is on Facebook, advertise on Facebook.
Taking your music digital means that you can take your music directly to your fanbase. According to a post on ifpi.com,
That stats are clear. Digital distribution isn’t a fad, and it’s not an optional extra. It accounts for over half of all income from recorded music. So, if your music isn’t online, you are leaving money on the table.
Digital Distribution Channels
Digital Distribution Services
There are dozens of music streaming platforms. Managing your music on every channel can take hours. And if you’re not 100% comfortable with digital distribution methodologies, it can seem like an impossible task getting your music online.
Fortunately, there are services which, for a small fee, can manage your digital distribution for you.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Doesn’t that leave us in the same position as before, where music prices get hiked up to pay middle-men royalties?”.
In short, no. Not really.
Music streaming services charge their members a flat monthly fee; regardless of how much music they consume. So the price of the music remains unchanged by middle-men.
That does, however, mean that the musician earns less money.
But the fundamental difference is that before, a musician would have no choice. Nowadays, the musician is fully capable of handling their distribution. But if you choose to let someone else do it for you, you should expect to pay a small fee.
7 Digital Distribution Services
If you’ve decided that you do indeed want someone else to handle your distribution for you, you now need to determine who would be the best service provider for the job. Here are a few digital distribution services that you could use.
Partner with LANDR and sell your music on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and every streaming platform, today. With LANDR, you keep 100% of your earnings and creative control. LANDR distribution is the platform that you need in the modern music landscape.
Make your music available on 150+ streaming and download services around the world, including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube, and Deezer, all for a one-time setup fee. Wherever your fans prefer to listen to music, they’ll find you!
In 2006 TuneCore changed the game by partnering with digital stores to allow any musician to sell their songs worldwide while keeping 100% of their sales revenue. Today, TuneCore is the world’s leading digital music aggregator.
Ditto Music is passionate about artists’ rights and making the music industry fairer for independent musicians. Their unlimited distribution service allows you to release all of your music onto the world’s biggest platforms, while you keep 100% of the rights to your songs and all the money you earn from sales.
Sound Drop has no upfront or annual fee for distributing original music, and you can license covers for a one-time fee of $9.99 per song. You always keep 85% of your net digital revenue and are free to release as much music as you want without worrying about the rising or repeating costs of maintaining your catalogue available online.
Independent artists built Symphonic. A partnership with Symphonic will ensure that you have a personal touch, forward-thinking technology, and most of all, an experienced team to drive your music and marketing vision.
With local offices around the world, AWAL’s services include global distribution, marketing and release management, A&R, funding, playlist promotion, radio & PR, YouTube monetization, and access to real-time comprehensive music data and insights through the AWAL App.