Spotify is arguably the most important digital streaming platform or DSP for independent and up-and-coming artists. The streaming platform is incredibly popular, hosts valuable pitching opportunities, and provides a social atmosphere that makes it easier to discover artists.
But how do you get your music on Spotify? And how can you take advantage of the platform’s unique features? We’ll show you exactly how to get your music on Spotify and explain some of the DSP’s key standout features below.
What Makes Spotify Different?
Spotify isn’t the only DSP, or digital streaming platform. You should also take care to upload your music to other major streaming services like:
However, Spotify does set itself apart from other streaming platforms in many largely beneficial ways for emerging artists. Looking past the notoriously low streaming payout rates, Spotify is an essential platform for any musician for the following reasons:
- It is an integrated social media platform. Spotify isn’t just a streaming platform, it’s a social one. Listeners can see what their friends are jamming out to in the integrated friend feed and sharing playlists is incentivized with shared listening sessions, and collaborative playlist features.
- Spotify focuses a variety of its features on music discovery. Spotify creates a variety of widely used personalized playlists like “Release Radar” and “Discover Weekly” designed for music discovery.
- It’s one of the most widely used DSPs with social features. Note that Spotify isn’t the only DSP for socially-integrated features. However, it’s arguably the most widely adopted music streaming service that provides access to a social ecosphere. Even if you dont use Spotify as a listener, you need to get your music on Spotify since you could miss out on a huge portion of your fanbase.
- Artists can benefit from pitching opportunities and algorithmic playlists. Spotify doesn’t gatekeep any artists from release-friendly pitching opportunities and algorithmic playlists which automatically push out your music to future fans if you put in the work to trigger one. Some sites for free playlist submission include:
How To Get Your Music On Spotify In 5 Steps
Without further ado, here’s exactly how to get your music on Spotify.
1. Build Your Album, EP, or Single First
Before thinking about distributing your music, you should have a finished album, EP, or single in-hand fully ready to release. Far too many artists underestimate the amount of time it takes to release work properly and deliver to popular DSPs like Spotify.
Here’s exactly what you’ll need before you get your music on Spotify:
- A mastered song, EP, or album in .wav format
- Cover art exported at 3000 x 3000 pixels
- Production and writing credits
- (Should we discuss making sure your song is registered or that you have the license for your cover song?)
- Track BPM
- The “Moods” of the song or established artists that sound similar to your release
Generally speaking, you’ll want to leave at least 3 weeks in between your initial upload to distribution and your release date. During this period, you’ll be able to pitch one song to editorial Spotify playlists via Spotify for Artists.
Unfortunately, you won’t have access to your Spotify for Artists features until after your first release. From there, you can claim your profile and take ownership of your data and receive pitching power for future releases.
2. Build Your Brand
You’ll want to make sure all of your social media profiles are consistent and cohesive before sending out your music to a distributor. This way, when you’re making your way through the pitching process, or a fan stumbles across your music, they won’t have trouble learning more about who you are as a creator and artist.
Your link in bio acts as an EPK for fans, press, media, and anyone interested in investing in your career. Take the time to optimize your link in bio as a musician so that you can provide a stellar first impression, even during the pre-release process.
3. Find A Distributor
It’s finally time to find a distributor. These platforms help you get your music out to major DSPs and collect streaming royalties on behalf in exchange for an upfront fee, subscription fee, percentage of the royalties or a combination of the factors. To leave adequate time for pitching and pre-release press, leave at least 3 weeks in between delivering your music to the distributor and the scheduled release date.
Thankfully, most distribution platforms release directly to Spotify, since it’s one of the major streaming platforms. Here are some of the most common platforms indie artists use to get their music on Spotify:
- Amuse: This distribution service is completely free and allows you to keep all of your rights and royalties. However, there is a cap at 12 releases for free and a fee for splits, though you can upgrade to a paid version of the service.
- CD Baby: CD Baby is one of the original music distribution platforms for indie artists and has 150+ digital distribution partners. You’ll pay an upfront fee of $9.95 per single or $49 per album.
- Distrokid: Distrokid lets you upload to all streaming platforms and social media sites while keeping all of your royalties. The service operates on a yearly subscription model, starting at $19.99 a year.
- Spinn Up: This independent record distribution company is owned by Universal music group. Artists keep 100% of royalties, and you pay $9.99 upfront per track. The platform also promises to show top performing tracks Universal Music Group A&R team, which may help artists become signed.
- Tunecore: Tunecore distributes your music to over 150 services for a flat fee of $9.99 per single or $29.99 per album. Artists keep 100% of their royalties.
- United Masters: United Masters allows you to distribute your music to all of the major platforms, and offers access to sync opportunities for some artists. You can join their premium service for access to all benefits for a $59.99 annual fee, or distribute for free keeping 90% of your royalties.
4. Pitch To Editorials
After you’ve claimed your Spotify for Artists profile, you’ll be able to submit one track for editorial consideration per release. Editorial playlists can provide underground musicians with significant exposure and help you amplify your online presence. These playlist spots aren’t easy to earn (over 60,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify every day), but you definitely don’t want to miss out on this opportunity since it can be transformative, especially for small artists.
5. Have A Solid Release Week Strategy And Keep Promoting
The work behind an album doesn’t just stop once you’ve delivered your song to a distribution– far from it. You’ll need to prepare a solid release week strategy so that you can build off the momentum of a freshly released song.
On the night of your release, don’t forget to update your link in bio with a Spotify Embed of your new music. Encourage your fans to add your music to their personal playlists, and reach out to playlist curators to consider your tracks.
With a bit of luck and lots of hard work, you’ll be able to trigger some of Spotify’s algorithmic playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar, Daily Mix, On Repeat and Repeat Rewind, and Spotify Radio. These playlists will push out your music automatically to more users on the platform, helping you cultivate newfound fans.
And there you have it! With a little time and effort, you’ll have no trouble getting your music up on Spotify for the masses to enjoy.