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What’s the best music digital music distributor? How to upload music to Spotify?

In this article we will guide you in the music distribution jungle by covering these topics:

  • What’s a music distribution company?
  • How to upload music to Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal and other music services?
  • What’s the best music distributor? Pros and Cons: Comparison of music distribution services
    • How much does music distribution cost?
    • Best Music Distribution for Cover songs
    • Best Free music distributor
    • Top 5 Music Distributors – The winner is…
  • How to change music distributor if you want to transfer your music catalog
  • How do you release a cover?
  • How to not lose royalties on music distributors

What's a music distributor?

A digital music distributor is a company that helps you get your music distributed to several music services like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon at once. Instead of you uploading your music on every single music service you go to a music distributor that does this for you.

Upload music to Spotify

Here we will tell you how.

There is currently no tool directly in Spotify to upload your own music even though they tried a “SoundCloud like concept” in 2019. However there are som easy ways to get it there, even though you don’t have a record deal with one of the major labels.

Spotify is keen on having independent artists to create a great music library. They are also very keen on ensuring that all their music is licensed in a correct way. Hence, no direct upload to Spotify. Another factor is that they can not handle all the requests from every artist in the world and to have different contracts with each one, that would simply be overwhelming. Spotify’s solution is to collaborate with “Artist Aggregators” and labels that deliver the content to them in a nice way. Instead of several hundred thousands of contracts they can reduce them to just a few.

The quickest way to get your music to Spotify is therefore to either contact a Record Label that already has a delivery process in place or to go to an Aggregator/Music Distributor. You can see the current distributors to Spotify below. The best part is that your music won’t only show up in Spotify, but a lot of other services as well such as Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal,

Best Music Distributors for Artists

  • DistroKid (preferred)
  • EMU Bands (preferred)
  • Record Union (preferred)
  • Amuse

Best Music Distributors for Labels

  • The Orchard (owned by Sony)
  • DistroKid
  • AWAL
  • FUGA
  • Believe
  • onerpm

Best way to Upload music to Spotify (Comparison Table)

There is always a fee and/or a percentage cut involved with any of these services in order to administer the royalty payments and to upload music to Spotify. Often an upload service will either offer you a higher upfront payment coming with a low royalty cut or vice versa. Here you will see a comparison of the rates below:

Jämförelse musikdistributörer för att ladda upp musik på Spotify

How to know which is the best place to upload music to Spotify for me?

The best way to decide which music distributor is best for you is to make an estimation of how much sales you will make of your music online and what essential features you’ll need.

Generally speaking for new artists the best choice is to go for the cheaper upfront alternatives and if you are a more experienced artist it can be worth paying a higher upfront payment since you will earn it back with the royalties.

There are also some differences between going to an aggregator and using a record label. With an aggregator, you need to do everything yourself but with a label you let them do everything for you.

Of course, to be signed by a record label is not just something you can choose to do, the record label has to see potential in your music. We have created a guide on how to get signed by a record label in 2021 to give you some simple actions to get you going.

How to not lose royalties on transaction fees and foreign exhange rates

If you choose a music distributor outside your country you need to make sure your royalties are not eaten up by transaction fees and foreign exhanges.

Paypal is a very common payment solution for distributors. But beware:

Paypal can be super expensive when it comes to transaction fees and hidden foreign exhange rates.

So we created an article on a simple hack on how you can transfer money from DistroKid the cheapest way possible.

It will also work for any distributor using ACH payments.