(Note: even if this article is focused on Spotify, it also works for iTunes and other online streaming music stores.)
If you haven't already, you should put your music on Spotify and iTunes.
You need a digital music distributor to do so.
There are many digital music distributors, but in this blog post I will focus on Routenote.
The reason for this is simple. Routenote is a fully free service, available for musicians of all sizes.
What better way to start selling your music online as an independent musician?
On Routenote, you can upload your music and share it with various streaming music stores online, without the need for a distributor.
As a bonus, Routenote allows you to use YouTube as a streaming platform and make money from it.
Step 1: After you have properly mixed and mastered your songs/album, you sign up on Routenote and create your account.
Step 2: Upload your music and fill out the information needed. This includes uploading an excellent quality album art and detailed song information. Prepare this in advance to make this process only a simple copy and paste process. Put this information in a separate folder along with your songs, and it will be the start of your discography and practical to use in the future.
Step 3: Select all the online stores you want your music to be on. If you are not sure, at least go with Spotify and iTunes. The process is as simple as clicking on the stores, and Routenote will do the rest. This is where the money will come from! BTW, Shazam is also a great platform to have your songs.
Step 4: promote, promote, promote!
Share your songs and music online. Use a great strategy and set up an excellent plan to maximize results. Use this plan to share your music on your desired platforms and determine what creates the best results. As a start, you could consider on Facebook and Twitter. Find some Facebook groups that share similar songs, and try out some hashtags on Twitter to determine what gets the best attention to new music. If you find the right spot, you will notice an increase in interaction with your music. Shares, likes and comments should start happening. Congratulations! You have found the power of free music promotion! Continue what you are doing and adjust along the way.
That is it! Some stores might take up to a couple of weeks before your album will appear in their search results, so keep this in mind if you have a certain date you want your album to be released.
Before that date, you could start to get your audience in the mood for your upcoming album. Tease them with some snippets of your songs. Behind the scenes, videos could give great results too!
On the topic of videos, with Routenote you can also share your music on Youtube!
You don't have to worry about not having any video clip that goes along with your songs, as Routenote creates a free slide that matches your songs. This will be good enough for most songs, but you are always free to create your own artwork or video too.
While Routenote is free, it offers an extra option to go with the paid version. By going this route (get it :) you will receive full profit from your songs. The free version takes a small cut of your earnings, but hey, it's free, right?
A good strategy might be to test out certain songs or albums to see how they "work" in your music promotion. Do they get significant interaction and do they have a high "sharebillity"? Then you might want to switch to the paid part of routenote.
Although Routenote is not as expensive if you choose to be a paid member, it can still be a bit of a bummer if you paid for your music. Nobody listens to it and you end up only investing in album after album.
There are certain reasons why your music is not getting played, attracts no fans and is not generating any money.
The main reasons could be:
This blogpost goes a little bit more into all these details and how you can prevent these things from happening, but the main thing that you should focus on is finding the right audience and making sure they know who you are and know how to find you online.
So, take the first steps into online music promotion, like building a simple but informative and high-quality website so people can find you online, and write down a detailed step by step music promotion strategy.
If you run into any problems along the way, check out this blog post about creating your website as a musician and this blog post about the first steps in online music promotion.
They will guide you through the first steps in no time.
If needed, you could also check out here to prepare your music for online sharing, creating artwork and mixing your song in the best way possible.
As you can see, the whole process involves many steps. Do you have to do them all? No, absolutely not. It all depends on the results you want to get.
Only uploading one of your demos and waiting for someone to find them is probably not going to give you wonderful results. It might even be demotivating after you put some work into that song.
So, for your own benefit and for your (future) audience, put some time and effort into it and make everything as high quality as possible. Many things can be done for free, and YouTube will be your best friend along the way. It will not be an overnight success, but if you invest time and energy into it, you can end up with fantastic results!
Keep creating awesome music and share it with the world!