October 19, 2020

How to take advantage of free music distribution services

Free Music Distrubution in South Africa
Image Credit: Jammob

Did you know that you can actually get a free music distribution service? Yes that’s right, if you are artist and planning to start all exclusive digital record label this blog post is for you!

There are countless digital music distributors in the global market currently. But in most cases if you want your music to be distributed to say iTunes, then you would have to pay an upfront fee.

This post will show you how you can distribute your music without paying a cent. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

It’s not really “free”

If you want to distribute your music to online stores you would have to sign-up with a trusted digital aggregator.

Your market leaders are companies such as CD Baby, Tunecore and Landr just to name a few.

However they have one thing in common – you have to pay an upfront fee each time you release a single, EP or a full album.

And sometimes that can put off an independent musician just starting out with limited to no funds at all.

However, companies such as Label Worx allow you to sign an exclusive or non-exclusive distribution agreement with them if you have a label.

And you don’t pay any fee upfront.

But the service is not entirely “free” though. Label Worx will provide a free music distribution service but in exchange for 18 % (eighteen per cent) cut of your sales if and when your music sells.

Unlimited Releases

As mentioned earlier most distributors charge a distribution fee before your music can be available through their global digital network partner websites.

But with a free music distribution service you can schedule say ten releases within a ten month period.

And the digital service provider will deliver your music to digital stores without charging you a cent!

The best part is that they only get paid when you get paid!

Your music would be available for purchase on every download and streaming site that you can think of.

However the responsibility of marketing and promoting your music online is yours and yours alone.

Licensing opportunities

Most reputable distribution companies have in-house record labels. But they don’t really compete with their clients as such.

These labels are created to release compilations in order to generate additional revenue for the distributor, artist and labels.

I will use Label Worx (By the way I highly recommend them) again as an example.

Every month (or quarter) they pick the best selling songs from their client roster in order to create and release compilation albums.

They license the tracks from you and will send a sales statement on a quarterly basis. Again you don’t pay for this.

You just need to have a back catalogue (a minimum of two releases) and they will let you know if and when your track is picked for a new compilation release.

When you license your music with them, you still keep 100% of your music rights

Conclusion

Free music distribution just means a digital service which doesn’t require you to pay any money upfront.  

If you pay a distributor there’s no guarantee that your music will even sell a single download. So if you are looking for a digital partner, it’s better to take this route, test waters and see whether it works for you or not.

Below is a list a few digital distributors you can approach for free music distribution: