You will register with a digital distribution company such as Distrokid, Tunecore, or CDBaby to get your music on streaming platforms. We highly recommend Distrokid; they charge a flat fee per year for membership, they do not take a percentage of your royalties, they generate pre-save links, and they allow you to automatically divide your royalties between all collaborators. We will use Distrokid in our examples below, but most distribution websites function similarly.
The base membership for Distrokid starts at $19.99 USD per year but you can upgrade if you'd like added features and benefits. After signing up with your digital distributor, simply upload your music and select a release date. You can also set up a “pre-save” option which will give you an automatically-generated link for you to share with your fans so they can save your song to their library before it even comes out. Your fans will be notified of its release if they’ve pre-saved it.
Once your song is released, Distrokid will show you how many streams it is receiving on each streaming platform and the “bank” section will show you how much money you are receiving for those streams. Typically, you will receive about $1,000 per 300,000 streams, although it depends on where those streams come from - for example, a premium user listening to your song will generate more dollars per stream versus a free user, and Apple and Amazon have higher streaming royalties than Spotify.
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