Label: TuneCore - none • Format: 13x, File MP3, Sampler 256 kbps • Country: US • Genre: Electronic, Pop • Style: House
T his guide will help you overcome the difficult subject that is digital music distribution. Keep on reading.
Now this is something all you independent artists and labels already know. But, getting your music placed on these digital stores can prove difficult, as the stores themselves rarely accept submissions from labels and artists. They are focused on selling the music, and rely on a network of trusted companies to curate and deliver the majority of their content.
PDF about the music industry. These are the companies focused on getting the music to the stores. Nowadays, with the decrease of physical sales and increase of digital revenues, almost all distributors that focused on physical products now also offer digital distribution. Digital music distributors have to supply music to a broad variety of online stores and services. From iTunes to Spotify to Beatport. All of these different stores prefer dealing with distributors for their content delivery, but also have differing submission requirements.
The tracks, formatting, editing and sales pitch that goes with a submission to iTunes is not the same as it is for Spotify.
Having to go through this process by hand is hugely time consuming, which is why many of these distributors have developed software systems to automate this process. There is no physical inventory to store, no actual shipments to be made and no copies to be pressed.
Instead, their process boils down to receiving tons of music, delivering to online stores, receiving the revenue generated through sales or streams, issuing financial statements to the submitter and paying them out. This means that aggregators can service a big amount of customers, whilst having few employees and little recurring costs. The biggest costs they do make are fees they pay on submissions to the stores, and on employee hours.
This also implies that time spent by employees talking to customers is possibly the biggest cost they have, and often minimized. The So Choose - Various - Experience Music: A TuneCore Dance/Electronic Sampler makes money through either taking a flat fee from the artist for submitted content, or by taking a percentage of royalties on sales. Some distributors will also ask for an annual upkeep cost to keep the content available on the stores.
But, the distributor does make costs. So Choose - Various - Experience Music: A TuneCore Dance/Electronic Sampler is why many of them charge an upfront fee, to cover the damages inflicted by handling the submitted content. Out of all the online stores and services, iTunes, Amazon MP3, Spotify, Pandora and Rhapsody contribute the most to the digital music sales market share. Dance music is a slightly different case, as Beatport and JunoDownload are the unequivocal kings there, with Beatport leading by miles.
Also, the So Choose - Various - Experience Music: A TuneCore Dance/Electronic Sampler services Deezer and Rdio seem to be making big waves in the scene, and more and more people are Maybe This Day - Kissing The Pink - Naked Shazam and SoundHound on their smartphones to identify tracks.
Essentially, everyone should have their content out on iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Spotify check out our guide on optimizing your Spotify presence. Those are the places that you NEED to be. Having your content out on the other aforementioned digital channels is a good bonus, just not a necessity.
Some of Go To The Mirror - Pete Townshend - The Genuine Scoop more specialized stores do not accept all the music that is submitted to them. Many different stores handle different submission periods. Beatport might work with two weeks, and iTunes with three. But when submitting content to such a large amount of stores, the aggregators have to streamline this.
This is why many of them handle a submission period of longer than four weeks from the desired date of release. Take note that the closer a distributor is to the digital store or service, the shorter their submission times will be.
When partnering with a distributor, you have to sign a legal agreement. After all, they need to be granted the right to sell and distribute your music to the stores, and to collect the generated revenues. They do not allow for negotiation of specific clauses, and you either sign the agreement if you wish to work with them, or you have to move on.
Only when working with smaller and more specialized distributors will you have the freedom to negotiate a contract, but you are unlikely to qualify for a partnership with these parties unless you are offering a huge catalog or are a label.
Secondly, take note of the Its Over - Roy Orbison - Definitive Collection clauses and terms of the agreement. As an independent musician, you might be dreaming of scoring that big deal with that record label right? Typically, the bigger and more commercial aggregators will offer you such a deal.
In contrast, the smaller and more personalized distributors will try to tie you down for a fixed period cycles of yearsas they tend to invest more resources into your long term growth. Recently, this has again come up in relation to one of the biggest aggregators. When a record is played on digital radio, or even streamed on a service such as Spotify, revenue is generated through airtime and plays. Now, these royalties are collected by agencies such as SoundExchange, which allow artists to sign up, label and submit content, and collect money, for free.
Now, you can easily collect these digital performance royalties yourself, and do not need a distribution agency to do this for you. Just make sure that your legal agreement with your distributor does not give them the right to So Choose - Various - Experience Music: A TuneCore Dance/Electronic Sampler these royalties, nor anything related to synchronization rights. What these codes do, is that they allow for easy and internationally standardized means of administering and communicating about your product and music.
It helps track store sales, distribution numbers, and even radio airplay. They are also used by royalty collection societies to identify revenue generated by tracks, to its owners. Once you have that, you can issue loads of UPCs. If you end up having to pay up often, it could be interesting at getting codes of your own. Earlier, we discussed the business models of these distributors. In practice, these come down to flat fees, royalty cuts or a combination of the two.
In practice, much of the success of a record can be contributed to the marketing Give Me Five (Easter Rave Hymn 2k14) (Extended Mix) - DJ Gollum Feat.
DJ Cap - Give Me Five (Easter that were put in for it. These marketing efforts extend to the digital stores. When a release has a huge marketing campaign and a good press story, a good distributor will go to the digital store with a sales pitch, asking for a feature placement in the store. The only distributors that would put in such an effort though, are the ones that have incentives to create success for their clients.
These are the guys that take a percentage cut of your royalties. After all, when you earn more, they earn more. In contrast, the distributors that take a flat fee and a possible annual subscription fee, do not have this incentive. They generally make the most money from you on the exact moment you sign up, submit and pay.
There is a huge number of aggregators out there. But, there is a crucial difference between the most of them. This difference is in the type of clients they accept. Some are focused on serving many clients, other are more specialized and small.
Bulk aggregators serve primarily individual artists, and sometimes labels. Case specific marketing is not to be expected from them. In exchange, they are able to offer the best prices on the Борооны Тухай Шүлгүүд - Б.
Галсансүх* - Бурханд Хэлэх Зөвлөгөө, Постпанк Шүлгүүд, mostly charging flat and annual fees. Specialist aggregators serve primarily independent labels, and powerful independent artists. They do a lot of pre-selection on their clients and attempt to work solely with people they think have potential, or a good marketing story.
One-to-one customer assistance is essential in their added value and the good ones are actively involved in marketing releases to the stores. In exchange, they often charge percentage fees. Whether you go with a big distributor, or a small one, they are unlikely to put in extra hours for you. This holds more true for the prior than the latter. Their biggest revenue comes from serving as many people as possible.
Attracting more customers is. The small guys however, are your best bet. They be picky about whom they work with, and you need great content and a good marketing story, a So Choose - Various - Experience Music: A TuneCore Dance/Electronic Sampler fanbase, or a huge back-catalog to be interesting for them. Of course, they do charge you for this. I think percentage deals are better than flat fee deals, but only when made with small and specialized aggregators.
For starting artists, or labels, getting such a deal can be unattainable. If your stuff picks up, and you still want to stay indie, find yourself a specialized aggregator that wants to run for the money. Until then, take the simple route, and expect little more than just Lift Me Up (Lenny Fontana Remix) - Daniele Sexxx Feat. Paula PCay - Lift Me Up your stuff appear in the stores you want it in.
What works best for you is dependent upon your scenario and wishes, and will probably change over time. Pick what is best for your situation. And if you can, find the ones willing to run for the money. This will give you an indication of how good their customer service is, and hopefully get you a specific person whom you can ask all your questions and establish a relationship with.
These three companies are my selection of whom I think are the best bulk aggregators worth considering. In return though, they are cheap, and allow you to retain a good chunk of your royalties. My preference goes out to Songflow, as this is a subsidiary of the much renowned specialist distributor FUGA. Also, they allow individual artists to distribute to Beatport without being on a label.
Afterwards, payments are issued weekly. I have split these up into two groups, one being for band music and one for electronic music. As you know by now, these parties tend to only work with record labels or artists with an impressive catalog or fanbase. They also enforce a quality filter on their content, so you will have to start a dialogue with them to see if a partnership is possible. This has an advantage though, as your agreement with them can be negotiated.
The stronger your fanbase and content, the stronger your position to do so. This is where my personal and first hand experience comes in.