In this post I’m going to guide you through the process of uploading your music to the digital music service Distrokid, so you can get it on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon etc
So, a little context here. I have been with another service called Ditto music for a good few years now, but from time to time I’ve run into a few issues including one time where my music just dropped off some of the streaming services
On the whole they’ve been fine, apart from some issues, but I thought it was about time for a change. I eyed up Distrokid as I’ve heard some good things about them, and Spotify lists them as a preferred partner, so I thought why not?
So, what I’d like to do now in this video, is go through the process of uploading one of my releases through Distrokid and go through any issues we might come across. So, if you’re thinking about joining up, you might get a little insight. I’ll also show all the notifications I get and eventual appearances in all streaming stores. Let’s do it!
So, I’m in my Distrokid account and as you can see, I’ve actually signed up to this ‘Musician Plus’ option. This enables me to look after two artists which I’m doing for my solo self-titled music ‘MrSteJ’ and my band ‘Wired to Follow’.
A quick side note before we move on from here, I’m not getting anything from Distrokid for this video. This isn’t a paid advert or anything. They may turn out to be rubbish a year down the line! Saying that, at the moment they’ve been really good.
If we have a quick look at the music I’ve uploaded to my account you can see that I’ve got a couple of MrSteJ releases as well as a bunch of Wired to Follow ones. You can also see on the right-hand side here, all of the stores that music has been sent to. I’ve still got a bunch more Wired to Follow releases to upload so let’s get going!
Uploading a Music Release to Distrokid
To get started we’re just going to hit that upload button so we’re taken to the new upload page. I’m going to leave all the Stores ticked as I want my music everywhere it can be.
Now I’m planning on uploading the Wired to Follow release ‘ELIZA 66’ which contains 5 tracks, so I’ll select that for the ‘Number of Songs’ option.
This has been released before, December 7th 2017 to be exact, so I’ll choose Yes and input the date there.
I’ll leave the artist name as Wired to Follow and note that I’m already on Apple Music and Spotify so this release will appear under that profile.
As this is an older release, I won’t actually be able to let people pre-order it as that wouldn’t make sense, so I’ll leave that option as is.
For the record label, I’ve used NewPath Records which I’ve set up as a sort of umbrella label for all of my releases. You can only edit this label if you are on the Musician Plus plan or above, otherwise you get a random Distrokid label name.
Now, moving on to the Cover art we’ll told that the optimal size is 3000 by 3000px and that stores will reject anything with URLS or just bad quality. I’ve had issues with this before as one of my other releases has the Wired to Follow logo on it displayed quite prominently and stores kept rejecting it, so I had to make an edit. Hopefully this one won’t run into that issue, but we shall see!
Moving on I’ll just leave the price as is as the stores will look after that anyway, same with the Language but I’ll set the genres to Alternative and Rock.
OK now we get to upload our tracks. Just before we add out title, just note some of the ‘rules’ below it. I’ve had to make some compromises here as some stores (and to be honest I think it’s Apple) are really strict on formatting.
For example, one of my other releases 90Y had 3 tracks called 90Y Part i, Part ii and Part iii in the format you can see here on Bandcamp but apparently that format is a no-no, so I’ve had to opt with this format for streaming services as you can in Spotify.
Anyway, let’s go ahead and add the first track title which is ‘Cube Alloys’ and then we’ll click the ‘Choose file’ button to upload it.
We’ll leave the Songwriter option as default as we wrote it, but I’ll add both of our names as songwriters.
There’s no explicit lyrics, in fact there are no lyrics so I can check that under the instrumental option too. I’ll leave the radio edit and Track Price as is and instead of making you sit through me inputting the 5 other tracks, I’ll skip ahead to…
…Now where we can have a look at the Extras. I’m going to tick that Instagram & Facebook option, so our music shows up in their social media products such as stickers.
There’s also the option to add your music YouTube’s content ID system here which I’ve been very tempted if I’m honest, but I doubt our music gets played enough on YouTube as yet to justify it.
I’m not fussed on the Store Maximiser option which adds your music to new stores if any come about. I can always come back and get in touch with them about that.
The Leave a Legacy option is a bit weird. They’ll never take your music down if you stop paying or even if you pass away, I’m good with that for now… I think.
Just a few checkboxes to check here and we’re good. They basically let us know that since we’re uploading to YouTube Music, it’ll appear on well. YouTube. The rest are to make sure you are who you are say you are and that you’ve read the T&C.
We’re done, so go hit that Done button to finish. Now all of the tracks and artwork will begin to upload.
Waiting for Notifications
So now we wait for an update from Dirstrokid who’ll let us know if there are any issues with the submission or that’s the release has been submitted to stores. So, we’re all going to time travel until that point. Isn’t that exciting. See you in a bit!
I’m back! And I’ve got some email notifications I’ve received from Distrokid, yay… let’s have a look.
First off, I’ve received one telling me the artwork has gone through ok.
Another one telling me the tracks have all been verified.
Another telling me the release has been submitted to stores.
And one last one telling me how to let people pre-save the release on Spotify. This is actually pretty cool as it allows you to collect email addresses of people wanting to pre-save your music.
Right, let’s time travel one last time so we can hopefully see it appear in streaming services…
A day later and we’ve popped up on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer and Google Play! I’m really impressed.
And that’s pretty much it. Hopefully that was helpful in some way, do let me know!
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