A cartoon of someone listening to music

How to Get Your Music on a Streaming Platform

If you’re an independent recording artist hoping to be discovered, it’s important to get your music out to the masses. The best way to do that is to make your singles or albums available on streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, and others. According to Statista, there were 400 million streaming music subscribers worldwide in the first quarter of 2020, and that number is likely to continue to grow. Streaming is where it’s at, and it’s where your music needs to be. Here’s how to get your music on a streaming platform.

Make sure your music is awesome

First, understand that when you post your music to streaming platforms, you are competing with the best of the best. If your tracks aren’t awesome, they aren’t going to stand out and get the attention you want. Practice, do multiple recordings, and only run with the music that you are most proud of.

Choose a music distribution service

Unless you are fortunate enough to be signed with a record label, you’ll have to work with a music distribution service to release your songs to the most popular online music stores and streaming platforms. Most of these services charge some sort of fee, or may instead take a percentage of any royalties you make from music sales, downloads, and streaming revenue. Below are some of the most popular music distribution services; do some research and determine which best suits your particular needs.

  • Amuse
  • Distrokid
  • CD Baby
  • Tunecore
  • Ditto
  • Record Union
  • Spinn Up
  • AWAL
  • United Masters
  • Level

Prepare your audio files

Once you have awesome music to share, make sure it is properly mixed and mastered. Then you’ll want to have an audio engineer send you high-quality WAV audio files (44.1khz, 16-bit) that are mastered specifically for streaming for optimal sound quality.

Create cover art

When you’ve selected your music distribution service, check out the file requirements for your cover art. They will usually ask for a specific file type (JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.), pixel size, shape, and other requirements. If you don’t have artwork for your single or album, they may let you choose a default option or create something for you, but good cover art can help your music stand out so don’t skip this step.

Launch on streaming

The music distribution service you choose will either have an online form or an app where you can include all the information about your release such as song title, artists, songwriter, music genre, and release date. When you’ve filled out all that information, uploaded your song(s) and artwork, you can finalize your release and the service will post your music to all the main streaming sites, including:

  • iTunes and Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Google Play
  • Tidal
  • Pandora
  • Napster
  • Deezer
  • YouTube Music
  • iHeartRadio
  • Shazam
  • eMusic
  • And more!

Note that your music will appear on some platforms within a couple of days, while others could take several weeks.

Build your fanbase

Congrats! Your music is now streaming everywhere! Unfortunately, no one knows it’s there yet and no one may be searching for you. You’ll have to do some manual work promoting yourself and your music. To build a fanbase, you may want to make music videos that you can manually upload to YouTube or TikTok, or post MP3s to sites like SoundCloud, BandCamp, or SoundClick. Consider also joining different social media groups, communities, and online forums where new music is shared and becoming an active participant. When you start to get fans, they will be happy that they can listen to your songs on their favorite streaming site.

Releasing your music to streaming sites is an important step in pursuing a career in the recording industry. To get a competitive advantage, you should know how to get your music on a streaming platform but also check out the programs at the International College of Broadcasting (ICB). With programs in Audio and Video RecordingBroadcasting, and Multimedia, ICB is helping talented students like you get the training and skills they need to bring exciting new music and media to the world. Contact us today to learn more!