How To

How To Upload Music To Spotify – The Complete Guide

Photograph of the blog post author, Joelle Banton

Joelle Banton

27.5.2020

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Spotify is one of the leading streaming services for artists to get their music onto. So, how do you upload music to Spotify? In this article, we will take you through getting your music onto the platform, how DSP’s work, how you earn money from Spotify and more. Read on to find out more!

spotify logo on mobile phone

“I probably wouldn’t be doing this without using Spotify” says Chattanooga singer Paul Johnson. In 2016, Johnson was an underground artist with a low-key music career supporting himself with a few part-time jobs. Suddenly, his folk-pop song “Firework” was included in a Spotify playlist, and Johnson’s career exploded. At the peak of his music success on Spotify, he was making over $16,000 a month. Other artists such as Arizona Zervas, Lorde and Tones all developed their fanbase firstly on this platform. But why is Spotify so important to artists? And how do people actually earn money and build up a following from Spotify?

Why Artists Should Put Their Music On Spotify

Spotify screens

Many small artists have found that Spotify is a great way to reach an audience and earn a living. Getting your song onto one of Spotify’s’ 3000+ playlists can propel an artist’s career overnight! Spotify has tools for artists to get their music heard by the right listeners (such as the playlist pitch tool). Also, Spotify for Artists also gives musicians an in-depth insight into their audience. 

Actively, there are 86 million monthly active users on Spotify – and this number is growing at a considerably fast rate during the current crisis. The platform a great way to gain exposure as an artist… but actually getting your music isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. 

Artists should also remember that the music industry takes Spotify statistics very seriously. A few thousand streams might only pull in a few hundred pounds. However, this could generate interest from a record label, manager, or booking agent. Spotify statistics are one of the first things the music industry will look at. Regardless of how you are introduced, their first question will almost definitely be “how well is your music doing on Spotify?”.

Creating a great pre-save campaign before you release a track is also really important and helpful to creating a fan base and building hype for your upcoming release!

Can You Upload Music Directly To Spotify?

Spotify on computer screen

In short, the answer is no. However, there are still many ways to get your music on the platform.

In 2018, Spotify introduced a new trial feature that allowed independent artists to upload their music directly to Spotify. The tool allowed musicians to deliver music straight to Spotify and plan for the perfect release day. 

Artists were paid every time someone streamed their music, and also received a report of how much their streams were earning alongside other insights (a feature enabled through Spotify for Artists). This trial was also appealing to artists, as the platform didn’t even charge any fees or commissions no matter how frequently you released music. Sadly, Spotify scrapped the Now in Beta trial in 2019.

How To Upload Songs To Spotify Now

multiple spotify songs

The trial feature that let independent artists to upload their music directly to Spotify came to an end in July 2019. Nowadays, artists can deliver music to the platform through working with one of Spotify’s distribution partners that have been serving the artist community since the platform was introduced. Over the last two years, Spotify has vastly improved their work with distribution partners to ensure metadata quality and protection for artists from infringement. They also provide their users with instant access to Spotify for Artists, and much more. 

To get your music on to Spotify, independent artists will have to use a Digital Service Provider (DSP). A DSP is a platform which focuses on distributing media to streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and more.

Independent artists will sign up to an online platform and submit their music, which is then served to Spotify. Most major record labels handle getting their artists music played on Spotify, and often act as the DSP themselves. 

The Best Digital Service Providers

We have rounded up the best digital service providers to help you out!

RouteNote

Routenote DSP

RouteNote is the only DSP listed in this article that allows artists to upload music to Spotify for free. This DSP will also post your music to 19 other platforms, including iTunes and DEEZER. Check out the complete list of all of the platforms that this DSP will post your track to. The only drawback to this DSP is that artists will only receive 85% of the profits from each posted track. 

RouteNote also has another fee-based service. This version allows you to receive 100% of the royalties. You can choose whether to pay the fee at any time. This is great as you can decide if a track is paying enough to just pay the fee and get the royalties. 

TuneCore

TuneCore DSP

TuneCore is another great DSP, because of its affordable music distribution fee. This platform also has a variety of packages available to suit any budget and goal. 

It costs $9.99 to post a single on Spotify using TuneCore. A discount is available based on uploading multiple tracks. Compared to other platforms, TuneCore does more to get your music listened to and played on Spotify and other streaming apps. A few more great features that this platform offers:

  • Keep all the rights to your music
  • Keep 100% of your music royalties
  • You gain access to Apple Music Trend Reports
  • Receive monthly music sales reports
  • Given the chance to add single/album custom cover art
  • You get a free media player

Many may see the fees as a drawback of TuneCore, but in my opinion, it is definitely worth it!

LANDR

LANDR DSP

Another multi-purpose platform that will do more than just upload your music to Spotify! LANDR even includes a mastering service that prepares your music for it to be distributed. 

This DSP works on a subscription-based service with a monthly fee. After paying this fee, you can upload as much content as you want (provided you have the right subscription). LANDR offers many types of subscriptions. The three main types are Basic ($4 a month), Advanced ($9 a month) and Pro, which costs $25 per month. There is even a low quality “mp3 only” membership for as low as $1 a month (with a limit of 10 tracks). For those artists on a budget, this DSP should be at one to consider.

Here at Music Gateway, we also offer a Sync Licensing service to help artists get their music on streaming platforms. After submitting your songs, our in-house creative team in London & LA work directly with music supervisors placing music to media, including Spotify playlists. We can also promote your music and amplify your streaming presence – so why not do it all in one place? 

How Do You Earn Money From Spotify?

royalties music money

Essentially, when songs are played on streaming platforms, the artist receives payment in the form of royalties (based on the number of streams). 

Independent artists have agreements with physical or online distributors of music for a one time set up fee (e.g., Tunecore), an ongoing subscription fee (e.g. LANDR) or a continuing percentage of net receipts.

There are 3 types of streaming payouts:

  • Mechanical Royalties which are paid to songwriters and their publishers (the owners of arrangement) for the right to reproduce the music.
  • Public Performance Royalties, which are paid to songwriters and their publishers for the right to perform their music publicly. Since none of the music is technically owned by the listener, every stream is considered a public performance, even if it is simply listened to on a phone. 
  • Payout To Recording Owners. This stream, which makes up the substantial amount of the payout, goes to record labels and distributors who own the copyrighted music. 

The money earned from music streams trickles down to the artists in these ways after other fees i.e. destitution fees and/or PRO have been collected. Self-releasing artists tend to earn more on streaming services, as their royalties are shared between a smaller number of parties.

Recently, Spotify increased its payout per stream, although this increase still needs to be split up between different parties (publishers, writers, etc.). This is the subject of intense debate among many artists, including those signed to major record labels

The answer for how much Spotify actually pays per stream isn’t a straightforward one. The cost depends on many factors, although it is thought to be around $0.008 – $0.90 per stream. You can always use our online Streaming Royalties Calculator, which gives you an estimate of how much you could earn on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play. Also, check out our article to read up on music publishing!

Conclusion And Advice

It isn’t an easy process to get your music listened to by millions! It can often take years (unless you can become an overnight sensation). The good news is that many of the services that work alongside Spotify do a lot to promote an artist’s music. There is a lot you can also do as well to entice listeners to your Spotify profile i.e. engage with fans on social media. Soon, you will start to see royalties hitting your bank account!

Before you approach any DSP, ensure that your music is high audio quality. The main reason why Spotify has more listeners compared to its competitors is because Premium streams at 320kbps, which is a better quality than you get on most platforms. Album art and music video previews are also important elements to consider. 

Although Spotify has the most amount of listeners at the moment, YouTube has recently launched its paid music streaming service, and this platform could overtake Spotify. You also shouldn’t forget about free platforms like SoundCloud. These are a great way to generate interest for your music initially, and you can direct listeners to your Spotify, as most people are already subscribed nowadays.

Music Gateway are always looking to help creatives, including promoting your music! Take a look at our Music Promotion page to find out what we can offer to get your music heard, including helping you to improve your streaming presence. Also, check out our Sync opportunities page to get your music in TV and Film! Try it out for free today by signing up or clicking the button below.



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