How to get your music on streaming platforms?
When looking at the way the music industry works, it feels like the industry is made in a way that prevents artists from making money without percentage cuts. Back in the days, streaming platforms such as Spotify enabled artists to upload their music requiring no third-party companies. Unfortunately, it is a bit different in 2020.
First of all, you have to understand that without the artists themselves, there would be NO MUSIC INDUSTRY. Whether you are making Rap, Pop, Soul or elevator music, there would no industry without YOU. We, as artists, are big money making machines and all other actors are trying to profit from it. Managers, labels, distributors, you name it are all making money thanks to us. That is the reason why, whenever you have potential, labels come to you faster than your classmates in middle school when you opened a pack of candy. In addition to this, important people are implementing unnecessary rules so that you stay depedent on them as much as possible. They want you to be maried to them. Needless to say that they will take your money when you divorce and force you to pay child support on top of that. With that being said, you can't just upload your song on a streaming platform yourself, you have to go through a distributor.
What Do We Mean by Distributor?
These are companies (UnitedMasters, TuneCore, etc.) that are responsible for providing Spotify, Apple Music, etc. with your music. They register your information and collect what we call your mechanical royalties. These royalties are all the money generated from streaming your songs. As you guys are indie artists and do not have leverage on these companies, you cannot negotiate your pay per stream which is usually close to nothing. For example, Spotify pays artists 0.00318$ per stream in average, meaning that it would require you 315 streams to make a dollar. Yup, we know, it's time to invest in that non-stop streaming machine J. Cole was referring to. Needless to say that all songs you upload will always have a 15-day delay and that the distributor you are working with will take a 10% share of your earnings. If you don't want that, then you can put your music on SoundCloud. The platform is nice but does not pay you unless you are eligible for the SoundCloud Premier program. However, the only way to flex on your homies by playing your songs in Instagram stories is by putting them on Spotify, Apple Music, etc. through distributors.