Why does it matter if you have your music online if you are just trying to get your songs licensed? Because if you don’t, you are leaving money and exposure on the table. When someone hears your song and Shazam’s it or looks it up online, you want them to have a way to download or stream it. Remember, you will potentially be exposed to millions of viewers and you want them to be able to find you instantly. If they can’t find you when they are inspired to, they will likely forget about you and that extra perk of getting a sync license will be gone forever till the next one. Artists can make a lot of money in a hurry from downloads and streaming if their song is suddenly on heavy rotation on radio or is on a popular TV episode.
So we researched a lot of companies out there including Amuse, DistroKid, TuneCore, etc…. After running through all the main digital aggregators, we thought we would simply narrow it down to what we thought was the best choice for indie songwriters who are mostly focused on licensing. They all had their strengths from things like customer service, commission rates, and sign up rates. We focused on the things that as a whole had the most value for a licensing songwriter.
Some things that all the companies have in common are:
- They all get your music onto Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, Pandora, etc.
- They submit your music to apps like Shazam (though some charge a fee for that)
- The companies never own any rights to your music, though some offer different deals for publishing or touring artists.
Drum roll please….the company we recommend you use to get your songs online so they can be discovered when you get a song placed is CD BABY. Here are the reasons we chose them and feel that this is the best option for most of you.
- You only have to pay once when you sign up and you are good to go - no yearly fees
- They collect your songwriter royalties for you
- They will distribute your CDs or vinyl worldwide
- You have the option to sell your music on Facebook and your website
- The number of digital retail partners is 95+
- They collect your SoundExchange royalties if you get airplay on SiriusXM or other digital radio stations
- They even provide sync licensing for some of their artists
- They charge a 9% commission on your royalties
- You have to pay $5 per UPC or $20 for an album UPC
There are still big positives about some of the other companies. Some don’t even charge fees and let you keep 100% of the revenue like Amuse. Others let you upload as many songs as you want for a yearly fee like DistroKid, but when taken all together, we felt your best all-around option is CD Baby. If you’d like to do your own research and see what’s out there, we recommend checking out this article from a Performance Rights Organization about the top things to look out for when choosing a digital aggregator. Whichever option you go with, just make sure your music is out there and easily available before you start pitching your songs. If you missed the first video blog about the importance of this, click here.
Full disclaimer: We don’t have any ties whatsoever with CD Baby. This result was purely based on our research.
***BONUS: As mentioned in the 1st video, don’t forget to get on social media. This is one of the ways viewers are going to track you down. You don’t want to do this with your personal page, you should set up an artist page. It so happens that CD Baby has an awesome blog resource for songwriters called DIY Musician. Here is a link to a blog showing you step by step how to set up your Facebook page. You literally could do it right now in as little as a few minutes.