Think back to when you were a kid, dreaming of making music for the rest of your life.
Dreams like this were more elusive before the rise of YouTube and online music streaming apps. Now, artists can get their music in front of millions of people without a record deal.
And this digital music revolution isn’t slowing down.
Easily, the most popular music streaming app of the bunch is Spotify. Boasting an impressive 180 million users, it’s even credited with launching the career of Grammy Award-winning artist, Lorde.
Could you be an upload away from turning your dream into a reality? Is Spotify the right platform for you and your music?
How to upload music to Spotify, the pros and cons of Spotify, and how to get the most from this platform:
Create Your Artist Page
Before your Spotify upload, you need to create your artist page first. Spotify can be a powerful marketing tool, so this is a great opportunity to flex those branding muscles.
Is your current band photo looking a little dated? This would be a good time to update everything from your photos to your official bio.
Spotify gives you 1500 characters to tell your story. You can also include links to your website, music magazine features, and your merch store. Don’t hesitate to talk about the artists, events, and stories that inspire your music.
These little details can help people connect with your music. Keep building that connection by including your own Spotify playlist. This is a great way to show love to fellow artists and give fans another way to get to know you better.
Syncing Up with Spotify
Once you’ve registered for Spotify and set up your artist page, take a look at partnerships that Spotify has with other digital services.
These Digital Services include:
- CD Baby
- Emo Bands
If you sell music, concert tickets, and merchandise through any of these services, connect your accounts to make them appear in your Spotify page. This is a quick and easy form of cross-promotion.
Syncing your CD Baby, Emo Bands, and Distrokid accounts will also verify your Spotify page, making you a verified artist on Spotify (blue check and all!).
How to Upload Your Music to Spotify
Spotify had an attempt at making it easy for artists to quickly upload their music. The idea was you didn’t have to go through music distributors, like Label Grid, and instead you could upload to Spotify directly. Unfortunately, as of July 2019, Spotify discontinued direct access.
Almost a year ago, we started to beta test a feature that lets independent artists upload their music directly to Spotify. Today, we notified participating artists about our decision to close the beta program, along with how we can help them migrate their music to other distributors over the next month.
> Please refer to this link for the full press release.
Regardless, there’s plenty of distributors that allow direct upload to Spotify, so you are not out of luck.
If you want to submit a playlist directly to Spotify, it must be unreleased music and done via Spotify for Artists. Plan accordingly and make sure your release date is no less than a week away before submitting.
Is Spotify Free for Artists?
One of the first questions artists ask is whether or not Spotify is free.
The good news is, yes! Spotify does not charge artists to upload music. However, keep in mind that the music distributor you use will likely charge a fee or commission.
Spotify also allows artists to promote merchandise without a fee.
How Much Can You Earn Through Spotify?
This is where Spotify receives its biggest criticism. In recent years, the streaming service has received significant scrutiny over their revenue model for artists.
Despite nearly a million streams per minute, Spotify only pays out $0.006 to $0.0084 per every stream. Worse, this revenue is paid directly to the music holder. This means the revenue is often split between artists, writers, music producers, and their record labels.
This makes it much harder for new artists to earn a living from Spotify.
While Taylor Swift may be one of the biggest artists in the world, she too took up the cause against Spotify when she pulled nearly all her music from the platform in 2014. Swift called out the platform for directly cutting into paid album sales.
Despite Spotify claims that working musicians can make up to $425,000 in monthly royalties, Swift’s own claims further shed light on potential problems with the service.
Is Spotify the right platform for you?
Here’s a recap of the top takeaways of Spotify:
- 180 million users and almost a million streams per minute
- Create your own branded artist page
- Tell your story, sell your albums, and promote your merch
- Get your music on Spotify through your music distributor of choice
- Direct uploading for Indie artists is by invitation only
- See which music trends best with built-in analytics
- Spotify is free but your music distributors will charge a fee
- Artists can only earn $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream
Spotify is part of a special club of digital streaming services for both fans and artists. Other services include Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Prime Music, SoundCloud, and Pandora.
Start Making a Name for Yourself
Feel music stardom within your grasp?
If you’re ready to try your luck and upload music to Spotify, bookmark this guide right now and get to work on your Spotify presence!
But remember, Spotify is just one piece of the promotion puzzle. If you really want to get your music out there, start building your powerful list of industry contacts now or talk to an expert who can help.