The music marketplace is constantly changing and as an independent artist, things can easily get overwhelming. Getting your sound out there isn’t just about the music. There is a ton of planning and organisation that you need to get your head around before you can enjoy the excitement of sharing your music with the world.
Our weekly ‘Music Industry Mondays’ events always deliver golden nuggets of wisdom from practising industry professionals. We recently discussed LCCM’s Top Tips for Music Distribution in 2023. From campaign planning to metadata to digital service providers, we’ve got everything you need to organise yourself before the big release right here.
How to get yourself organised
We’re starting our list with probably one of the most important things you need to bear in mind when it comes to distributing your music. The last thing you want is to be chased by collaborators or producers for their cut because you’ve filled in the metadata incorrectly. Thankfully, we’ve got some questions you can ask yourself to make sure you’re ready to move onto the next stage of the distribution process:
- Have you signed split sheets with your collaborators and co-writers?
- Have you agreed with your producers and paid them?
- Have you made a list of credits (aka label copy)?
- Have you filled out your metadata? (This is how you get paid!)
- Have you thought about any additional services you might need?
If you haven’t thought about these things, you might want to bump this to the top of your to-do list. If you find yourself tripping up later down the line, it’s definitely because you haven’t given these things enough thought.
Plan your campaign
Having multiple tracks or singles in the pipeline is a great way to generate buzz. As you’re planning the release of one single, don’t stop there, think about how many singles you can distribute in the next six months and how you can plan them out accordingly. Maybe you could even get a Christmas single lined up. Who doesn’t love a good festive bop?
The best way to plan your campaign is by planning out the next couple of months with a spreadsheet. This doesn’t just have to be for social media. Perhaps you’ve got a brand partnership coming up or live performances lined up. You can enter all that information into your spreadsheet calendar to keep yourself organised.
Just think about how awkward it will be when you find someone who says, “Wow, I really love your song, when does your next single drop?” and it’s crickets. Get planning!
And because we’re so nice, here’s a calendar template ready to edit with some content ideas to get you started.
How to choose the right distributor
You have a lot of options when it comes to picking the right distribution service for your circumstances. When picking your service, there are two different ways you can go about it. You can either pay upfront and keep 100% of your royalties or you can choose not to pay upfront and give a percentage of your earnings back to the distributor.
You’re also free to move around to different services that meet your requirements at the time. Let’s say you’ve planned your campaign, released your music, distributed it using SoundCloud and it blows up. You could then transition to somewhere like AWAL where they can help you out with some additional marketing.
There’s a range of services you can use but JD, our Industry Liaison who is a successful Artist Manager, has done the hard work and given you a list of some of his personal favourites:
- 3tone Music
- Stem (A&R)
- AWAL (A&R)
Pitch your music
And this is where the fun starts. Or where the panic sets in, depending on your personality. It’s time to get your music out there! One of the most obvious choices here is using Spotify for Artists. With Spotify, you can do everything yourself; pick the instruments used on the track, your mood, write a quick pitch of about 150 words and you’re done.
With other digital service providers (DPS) like Apple or Deezer, it’s harder to pitch as they’re a little walled off. For these DSPs, you’ll need to go through your distributor’s trade marketing services where they pitch on your behalf.
If you want even more advice and tips to help you flourish in the music industry, why not come along to our next Music Industry Mondays event? You can grab some tickets here for our next one or watch the full event with JD and his distribution tips right here.