How to Upload Your Music to Spotify


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You don’t have to be a music industry buff to know that Spotify is one of the world’s most popular streaming platforms. With over 172 million paying subscribers, it’s the perfect venue for young and upcoming artists to promote and publish their work. Whether you’re an independent artist or signed to a label, Spotify ensures your music reaches as many ears as possible, while helping you earn a few royalties along the way.

So, how should you begin uploading your music and making a name for yourself? To clear up any confusion, we’ve put together a handy guide to using Spotify as an independent artist.

How to get music on Spotify: A step-by-step guide

You don’t have to be a tech whizz to upload your music to Spotify. In fact, it’s scandalously simple once you know how. Here’s where to start:

1. Find a digital music distributor

For a brief period between 2018 and 2019, Spotify allowed artists to upload their music directly to the platform via a beta testing feature. After assessing the results, however, Spotify’s executives decided to stop offering direct uploads and help participating artists move their music to new distributors.

Digital music distributors do most of the legwork for artists hoping to upload their music to Spotify. The job of a distributor is to circulate your files among a range of online streaming platforms and stores, including Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and more.

You’ll be pleased to hear there are tons of online distributors out there — and signing up is super easy. Most distributors are very open to accepting all types of new artists, as long as they’re willing to agree to a few terms and conditions. It is worth noting, however, that some companies only work with artists in specific niches or are very selective when accepting clients.

Pricing models for distributors can vary widely. Some permit free uploads while taking a cut of your royalties, while others charge a monthly fee and allow users to keep their royalties (and some offer both models!).

With so many digital distribution businesses out there, researching and selecting the perfect subscription service will probably feel a little overwhelming. With this in mind, we’ll cut to the chase — Novecore has everything you need to disseminate and monetize your music.

We offer two fabulous subscription packages, including a free music distribution service and a highly affordable premium offer. At only $5 per month, you could enjoy a whole host of excellent features designed to supercharge your career in the music industry. If you want to discover more about how Novecore could support your artistic endeavors, we’ve added more information at the end of this article.

2. Upload your music

Once you’re signed up to a music distributor, you can get on with the exciting stuff. You can start uploading your music as soon as your tracks are polished and ready to take on the world. Of course, you should try to upload high-resolution files as this will ensure your music sounds as professional as possible. We recommend aiming for files that hover around 320 kbps, although you can probably get away with around 120 kbps (but no lower!). Virtually every music distributor will accept mp3 files, although many also accept lossless wave files.

3. Upload your metadata

Metadata refers to the bits of information related to a given track, including (but not limited to):

  • Artist name
  • Song title
  • Album title
  • Track number
  • Copyright information
  • Music genre

Most distribution services provide intuitive upload forms that make adding metadata as straightforward as possible. Try to fill in all possible data points, as this will help new fans find your music and could help distributors promote your work.

4. Upload your artwork

If you’re hoping to promote an album or demo, you’ll need to provide your distributor with memorable artwork. If you’ve not got the resources to produce something highly polished and professional, you may wish to upload a logo or photograph related to your brand. Don’t underestimate the power of stylish artwork, however. Spending a little time and money on perfecting your album artwork could help draw in new listeners, particularly if your fanbase is relatively small.

So, now that your distributor has everything they need from you, what happens next? In short, your distributor will get to work uploading your materials to Spotify and a range of other music streaming services and online stores. It could take up to five business days for your music to go live on Spotify, so try to be patient. If you want to schedule a release date, you’ll need to provide your distributor with relevant files well in advance.

5. Curate your “Spotify for Artists” profile

As soon as your music is on Spotify, you can create a “Spotify for Artists” profile. This is different to a standard listener profile, allowing you to verify yourself as a creator and promote your work. When creating your profile, you’ll need to state whether you’re an artist, manager, or member of a label. Once you’re signed up, you can start editing your profile, with a view to boost user engagement.

Say, for example, your artist photos are looking a little dated. With an artist’s profile, you can upload new shots to your official bio. You can also write as many as 1500 characters about yourself and your career. Don’t be afraid to lay your cards on the table at this point — listeners love to hear heartwarming backstories and quirky details about their new favorite artists. If you’re hoping to build super-strong connections with listeners, it’s also a good idea to include links to your website, merch store, social media profiles, or magazine features.

Finally (if you have the time), why not boost your credibility with a carefully curated Spotify playlist? Artist playlists allow you to place your own tracks alongside other songs potential fans may enjoy. As well as giving your current followers something to listen to, creating a playlist increases the chances that new listeners will stumble upon your profile, particularly if it’s featured as an official playlist! In the long term, curating artist playlists could also lead to exciting collaborations with other bands and musicians you admire.

What are the benefits of uploading music to Spotify?

So, now you know how to upload to Spotify, what’s in it for you? There are plenty of perks to distributing your work via streaming services, including:

1. Combat piracy

Piracy has been a major problem for the music industry for decades. As well as leaving record stores out of pocket, the increased ability to steal music using illegal websites has impacted artists’ ability to make money. While artists make much smaller returns for a single stream compared to a physical record or legal download, services such as Spotify are helping to reduce piracy rates. According to recent stats, 27% of consumers listened to pirated tracks in 2019, down significantly from 37% in 2018. By adding your music to streaming platforms, you can support legal consumption models and reduce the number of people prepared to steal your music.

2. Increase the visibility of your music

With over half of young adults now streaming music every day, platforms such as Spotify represent the future of the music industry across the world. As such, it’s never been more vital to upload your music to popular streaming services and boost the visibility of your work, particularly if you’re targeting younger listeners.

3. Streaming counts toward music charts

All official video and audio streams within the US count toward the singles charts, with 150 streams equivalent to the sale of one track. Artists hoping to secure hit singles are therefore at a significant advantage if their music is available across different streaming platforms.

4. Followers can keep on top of new releases

Whenever you release a new track or album, your followers will receive a notification, including email and push notifications. This feature means it’s never been easier to promote new music to fans.

5. Spotify tunes are ultra-shareable

Sharing Spotify tracks is easy — in fact, it’s actively encouraged. The platform gives users the option to share links to their favorite tracks or post them directly via social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The ‘Friend activity’ column also allows users to view what their friends are listening to and try them out for themselves. Who knows — you could end up going viral!

6. Promote your gigs and merch

Spotify’s “On tour” and “Offers” features allow artists to promote their upcoming gigs and merchandise to followers and profile visitors. Ticket sales and branded merchandise are becoming increasingly vital sources of income for artists, so it’s well worth optimizing your presence on Spotify.

What mistakes should I avoid when uploading music to Spotify?

If you’re planning to upload music to Spotify, there are a few common mistakes to avoid, including:

Mistake #1. Sloppy album artwork

Pixelated, boring, or unprofessional album artwork will cause listeners to believe that you’re not a serious artist. Rather than rush the job, it’s worth asking for help from a professional graphic designer or even experimenting with custom designs on a program such as Canva.

Mistake #2. Making extra-long artist playlists

Try not to make artist playlists that last longer than three hours. Few people have the concentration span or the will to wade through hundreds of tracks, and adding too many could mean your playlist goes ignored by Spotify’s algorithm.

Mistake #3. Investing in the wrong distribution service

Many artists believe that investing in a more expensive distribution service will boost their chances of making it big. This simply isn’t the case! Selecting low-cost or even free distribution services reduces financial risk while maximizing potential gains. Similarly, you should assess whether the distributor charges high commission costs and other hidden fees that could impact your return on investment.

Why Novecore?

Congratulations! If you’ve digested the information above, you’re ready to embark on your Spotify journey. But which distribution service should you invest in? If you’re keen to make the most of low (or free) joining fees, same-day distribution, playlist monitoring, email and chat support, SoundCloud monetization, and much more, you won’t do better than Novecore.

We offer a free standard package and a $5 premium package, each of which promises to distribute your music across as many reputable streaming platforms as possible. If you want to offload the confusing administrative work associated with uploading and monetizing tracks, don’t hesitate to sign up today!

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