How Music Distribution Works: Everything Artists Need to Know

Music distribution determines how music moves from the artist to the listener. These days, however, the flow is more challenging than it sounds. Modern artists must learn how their music will travel to get to their listeners’ ears. Among the many popular ways of distributing music are YouTube, sound clouds, and the most popular one, Spotify. It is not uncommon for an artist to use Spotify growth service to increase their followers and monthly listeners. If you are an upcoming musician who has just recorded a new song and wants to distribute it, this article is perfect for you.

What is Music Distribution?

Music distribution involves getting your song on streamable platforms or where listeners can download them. Examples of these sites include Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify. These days, TikTok and Instagram also serve a similar purpose. Although we are in the digital age where most distribution happens over the internet, physical distribution is also possible, where you could sell your vinyl in record stores. The downside to physical distribution is that you have limited reach, as the only people who will reach your music are those within the geographical location.

Do Artists Need Music Distribution Services?

Some benefits come with putting more effort into the distribution. First, you must keep track of the royalty payouts and streaming data. There are music distribution services that also make the work so much easier. They mirror your sound file and the metadata that comes with it, including cover art, rights holders, songwriters, and song titles to multiple streaming services. This means allows you to upload your music once and still have it distributed to many stores simultaneously.

Major Roles of Music Distribution Services

Most artists these days opt for music distribution services for several reasons. The following are some major benefits of using music distribution services. As of 2023, it is safe to say the industry has gone digital. If you want your music to blow up or get it heard by as many people as possible, it needs to be online. Some of the top music distributors include big companies like Amazon Music, Apple, and Spotify. Music distribution is important because many platforms require a lot of effort for the artists. If they were to upload their music individually to all music platforms, they would have to deal with the numerous emails and metadata needs. Music distributors act as the middlemen and remove the complexity of the distribution process for both the artist and the digital service providers.

Promotion of Releases

Though not industry standard, decent music distributors should support and promote new releases. High-value distributors offer additional support, services, and even products. Companies like Tempo combine their marketing efforts and expertise to grow their artists. Building a fanbase for your music on your own is not easy, and music distributors can help. Some of the ways they go about this include using their connections in the industry to:
  • Radio connections include getting new music releases on the radio or even setting up interviews with the artist to increase popularity.
  • Recognized publication – promotion through writings where the public can learn more about your content.
Depending on your distribution service, some offer them as a courtesy. In contrast, for others, it’s a contractual agreement, and the costs incurred are from the artist’s royalties, which brings us to one of the most important roles of music distributors, royalties.

Offering Music Royalties

When someone downloads or streams an artist’s music, the artist generates earnings through royalties. The music distributor, being the middleman, handles this entirely. They transfer all the earnings from the music to the artist, which makes it easier for artists to earn from their music. However, it’s important to research various music distributors to find one that best serves you as an artist. We recommend choosing distribution companies that allow you to keep your royalties from all your streams and platforms. If you have your music on multiple platforms, having a music distribution company would be much easier and more efficient to make the paying-out process much easier. This allows you to consolidate all your earning streams and get one big payout from all the stores and platforms you have your music on. If you are an upcoming artist and need help figuring out where to start, we have compiled a small list of recommended music distributor services that would get your career up and running.
  • Amuse – If you pick Amuse, your music will be on top sites like Shazam, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, and so much more. You could also get app insights from the advanced analytics feature. Withdrawals of royalties are also possible through the app.
  • Ditto – It distributes your music to over 200 stores and has different distribution packages depending on the stage of career where an artist is at. These include; labels, professionals, and artists. In addition to that, you also keep all your royalties and rights. Daily analytics report and 24/7 support is also great, and Ditto offers it.
  • AWAL – They are free to join and deliver your music to critical stores and platforms in over 200 locations worldwide. One downside with this service is that they don’t just take any artist; your music has to be of great quality. They desire to have a curated rooster that supports artists with high-quality service.


While most people still wonder why there is a need for “distribution companies,” in this digital era, they are important. They play a significant role in the economy, as they have collected a majority of revenues for the music industry. They have also simplified work for the artists and music platforms that stream music and have them up for download. A distribution company ensures the artist’s work is available everywhere and that royalties are transferred from the platforms to the artist without much fuss.

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