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How to Release Music on Spotify Without Record Label

by Gaurav Bidasaria
Release Music on Spotify

Spotify is in a unique position. It is one of the biggest music streaming services in the world with 83 million paid subscribers at the time of writing this article. Spotify changed the game long before Apple Music and YouTube Music came along. It already has a large and loyal userbase and now, you can tap that userbase to get exposure for your music. I think it makes a lot of sense for Spotify. They already have a partnership with record labels and iconic stars around the world in place. The perfect platform for budding musicians to showcase their talent.

Enter Spotify for Artists that will allow folks to release music on Spotify with the help of a distributor or record label. We will show you how it all works and what you need to know.

Let’s understand how the whole thing works in real life.

Also Read: How to Use Shazam to Play Spotify Music Rather Than Apple Music

Spotify for Artists Beta Closed

Yup, that’s right. Spotify for Artists launched a beta program that allowed creators to upload music directly to the platform. Without any intermediaries like record labels or distributors. The beta was closed in 2019 though, but Spotify for Artists is still going strong. This means you will need a distributor (we will share some options below) or sign a contract with a record label that gives indie musicians a chance. Either way, your music is getting out there.

How Spotify for Artists Works

Here is the process meanwhile for those who don’t have access to Spotify for Artists and can’t wait. You will produce music and use a service like Tunecore to upload music to Spotify. Major record labels have direct access to Spotify for Artists platform and can upload music easily. You aren’t signed with a record label yet and so don’t have that luxury.

Your best option is Tunecore or one of the other distributors we share below if you want to release music on Spotify. Tunecore also works with Apple Music, JioSaavn, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music among others. The platform is not free though and you will have to subscribe to a plan that begins at $9.99 per year. That’s pretty low in my opinion and well worth every penny.

tunecore apps

Note that Tunecore is not the only distributor out there. In fact, Spotify has signed contracts with some before they closed the door on direct uploads. Some of these are DistroKid, CD Baby, and EmuBands. You can find the full list here. You will also find label distributors there. Tunecore is not part of the list but is a favorite among budding artists community.

Also Read: DistroKid vs Tunecore – the Best Digital Music Distribution Service?

How Music Is Uploaded and Released

Spotify is making it easier for artists to communicate with the team. You will now be able to not only release music on Spotify, but also connect with the team behind that will help you every step of the way. A service like Tunecore works with other streaming platforms too, giving your music a wider reach.

Spotify has released separate and dedicated Android and iOS apps for Spotify for Artists.

Unlike SoundCloud where you upload the music and it is instantly available for the world to listen to, Spotify for Artists gives you more time and control. You will upload your song, artwork, and lyrics if you want and preview how it looks to the end-user/listener before you OK it. You will then choose a release date and time for your music. That gives you time to make changes in the music or artwork and do some much-needed marketing. Let the world know that your music is releasing on this day and time including your social circle. Note that direct upload will be completely free. That’s pretty awesome on part of Spotify.

spotify for artist dashboard

Spotify recommends that artists should pick a launch date that’s at least five days ahead of the upload date. That will give Spotify team time to listen to your music and make sure it meets the terms and norms. For example, content that’s prohibited or infringe upon other artist’s work is a strict no-no. You can create your artist profile with interesting details and tidbits easily and it is recommended that you do. Check out what other artists are doing for inspiration.

What About Revenue Split

The revenue will be split 50-50 which means whatever Spotify makes on your music, it will share half of it with you. You will have full access to the analytics dashboard where you can view the number of listens, followers milestones, downloads, playlists, likes, locations, duration, and so on. All the data metrics you need to make informed decisions.

Note that in the case of royalties, you will get to keep 100% of it. The checks are issued on a monthly basis.

Also Read: How to Transfer Playlist from Spotify to Apple Music? (or any other Music Service)

Marketing and Spotify’s Role

What I like even more is Spotify’s role in the whole process. They will be sharing some interesting and insider tips and tricks with artists on how to make the most of their time on the platform. What to do and what to avoid. You will receive feedback and your questions will be answered.

Not sure about your music or need feedback? Pitch it to their team of playlist editors and they will guide you.

spotify ad studio

Most artists created ad spots to market their new releases. You can do that too using Spotify’s Ad Studio. They have different products for artists with different budgets. You will have to write the script because you know your music best. You will then select a background track and Spotify has plenty to choose from. And Spotify will then add voiceovers to produce the complete ad.

Wrapping Up: Release Music on Spotify

I believe using a service like Tunecore is better because that way, your music will be available across streaming services rather than just Spotify. You want your music to be available to a wider audience and not be restricted to a particular section of the society, no matter how large that society is. If you are using another service than Tunecore, make sure you read the terms and understand where your music will land up. Go for cross-platform, always.

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