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AWAL Music: The Most Comprehensive Guide On The Internet

Photograph of the blog post author, Joelle Banton

Joelle Banton

1.12.2020

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The internet has changed the way we listen to and play music. Musicians no longer have to rely on being scouted by a major music label. Nowadays, it’s quite easy for artists to make a comfortable living from their music without even being signed. Many of the apps and websites out there are free! That’s one of the best things about AWAL Music.

awal music logo

This free music distribution platform is all about helping aspiring artists. Their main effort is to replace the role of the traditional recording label. So far it has helped artists such as Lauv, Little Simz, Finneas, and many more reach stardom.

AWAL music does this all whilst not impeding on their artists’ creative freedom or music rights. Never heard of it? We’ve written a short review on everything you need to know about AWAL; who is it for, how it works, and if signing up to this platform is worth it. 

How AWAL Music Started

awal app on mobile phone

AWAL Music was founded in London in 1997. They have set out to transform the lives of many artists ever since. Through handling the distribution of their music, music promotion and marketing and sync licensing.

From then onwards, AWAL operated primarily as a recording company as it replaced Kobalt’s music distribution services. A lot of money has also been pumped into AWAL distribution. All to turn it into the go-to platform for aspiring artists wanting to get their career off the ground, and get their music played on major distributors.  

How Does AWAL Work?

awal logo

AWAL is all about supporting the right of artists in the right ways. There isn’t one standard approach to how they work with their artists.

There are, however, three key categories that artists fall under. Based on what stage they are in their career. Depending on what the musician is classed as, AWAL caters their music promotion and music distribution strategy accordingly.

These three stages are AWAL core, AWAL +, and AWAL Recordings. Let’s dive a bit deeper.

AWAL Core

Most of the artists who approach AWAL fall under this category. These are artists who are fairly new to the scene, but already have a few tracks and a small following.

Artists who join AWAL at this stage are usually referrals by one of the A&R team who was blown away by their online submission.

Those who enter the AWAL core stage can expect their music to be distributed to most digital service providers and global digital music stores. Artists who join at this stage are also given access to AWALs multi-platform streaming analytics.

These insights include how many times listeners have completed & skipped your song, similar artists who were included on playlists, how people discovered your music and so much more!

AWAL +

AWAL + is the next category that artists fall under. The deals in this category are catered to artists who are slowly on the rise and are already starting to show star potential.

Musicians usually come on board at this stage through their manager or through working with an entertainment lawyer. If you are lucky enough to make it into the AWAL + category, you can expect very big things.

Artists such as Kyle Dion, Channel Tres, and Lion Babe all joined AWAL at this stage and their music has blown up ever since. AWAL even helped Kyle Dion reach 10 million streams of his album Suga in the first 2 months of release!

AWAL + also comes with a dedicated rep who will ensure your music campaign and release strategies are top-notch. As well as a project funding plan to help drive your releases, and added DSP and sync support. 

AWAL Recordings 

The last category which artists fall under is AWAL recordings. The final stage specifically designed to help artists make it big in the music industry. 

The focus at this stage is to maximise the artists’ vision and heavily promote this on all major platforms. From YouTube ads to National Radio Hit countdowns. 

How Do You Get To Be A Part Of AWAL?

awal performer who uses awal

Is AWAL recording sounding like something for you?

Unlike other music distribution services, not everyone is automatically accepted. On their website, AWAL states that the right artist for their company is not always easy to find.

After reviewing an artist’s initial upload, the dedicated and experienced A&R team at AWAL analyse how well the artists’ work is performing on streaming platforms, how their fan engagement is on social media, and how many views their music already has on Youtube.

The number of streams on platforms such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube music are key determining factors when deciding on new artists who coincide with AWALs brands.

Social media and your digital brand is also important and not just about the number of followers you have. The number of comments as well as likes is also important to the talent scouters at AWAL music.

How an artist performs during live shows is also crucial. Potential candidates already have some experience performing on stage and in front of a crowd. After all, the team at AWAL is more to promote talented artists, not train inexperienced artists.

Another thing that can help you get noticed is the press. This can also help grow your online fan base. While this may seem like an unusual way to gain exposure, and definitely not a requirement, there is no harm in getting in touch with a few music journalists to write a press piece about your music. 

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Why Is AWAL Distribution Different?

From its inception, AWAL has aimed to replace traditional A&R and major record labels.

This philosophy is the focus for how this music distribution company operates. Artists keep 100% of their music and they’re not locked down into a long-term contract. 

How Much Does It Cost?

money on computer

AWAL is completely free and there are no additional fees associated with the membership. The music distribution platform, however, does take a 15% commission.

Compared with other music distribution platforms and even the percentage taken from most record labels, a 15% commission is a small price to pay when you get to keep all the creative rights associated with your music.

It’s also one of the few music distribution platforms that pay artists most of the royalties earned from music streams. 

Bonus Tips and Tricks

Ensure that you have album/single cover art and that it looks clean and represents your music clearly. As AWAL pays close attention to your social engagement and mentions online, make sure you have set up an account on all major social platforms that again link back to your work.

Most importantly, ensure your music is of high-quality and shows your artistic talent well. Many A&R personal will understand that you may not be able to afford top-notch music equipment, so submitting your best music that is of the highest quality is key. You want to blow the people away at AWAL so they have no choice but to bring you on board! 

Our Final Thoughts On AWAL

awal software with head phones

Thinking about approaching a record label but not sure if it’s right for you? Submitting a sample of your music to AWAL could be the thing for you.

Not only does being an artist under the AWAL realm give you access to a wealth of benefits from in-depth music analytics to a dedicated team of music promoters. However, this platform also allows you to keep complete freedom and rights over your music. This means that you’re not tied down to a constraining music contract.

Entering a partnership with AWAL at any stage would be highly beneficial to any artist’s career. However, getting noticed and then accepted by one of the members of the A&R team at AWAL is not as straightforward. 

AWAL look for professionalism as well as star power and musical talent. If you are fairly new to the musical scene, seriously consider building your music collection and online presence before even thinking of submitting a tape.

Also, consider getting in touch with an entertainment lawyer or music manager who might have good connections with the team at AWAL already – this could seriously boost your chance of becoming an AWAL artist.

In addition, having a clean and professional website that links to where your music can be streamed/downloaded is a good place to start!

Most importantly though, don’t forget us here at Music Gateway!

Music Gateway’s Free Music Distribution!

music gateway logo

We have recently launched our free music distribution service!

Our incredible distribution gets your music onto all major platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.

What’s more, you keep 100% of your sales and unlike AWAL distribution, we don’t get a penny from you. We may be biased, but we think this is the better deal!

We also master your music for free to make sure that you sound the best you can before your release. With a free account, you get 2 free songs to start with and you get more based on your plan.

In addition, a membership with Music Gateway gets you exclusive sync licensing opportunities and sync representation, music reviews, access to a global music industry marketplace to collaborate and even more. We may be biased, but we think this is the better deal!

Are You An Artist?

If you are looking to shine on music streaming services Music Gateway can help you reach your fans and amplify your talent with our music promotion services.

We can help with spotify promotionmusic marketingartist development and much more! As a member of Music Gateway you also get access to free cloud storageglobal collaboration and Sync opportunities. Try it out for free today by clicking the button below.

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