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How To Get Your Music On Spotify

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Last Updated: 3/19/2024

Gone are the days when rising artists stalked record producers at venues to give them raw, unpolished demo tapes or sought help from that “guy who knows a guy” at a record company. Thanks to Spotify, the number one music streaming platform in the world with more than 600 million users, you upload music for a broader outreach.

But how to get music on Spotify is the real question, and here’s the short answer:

  1. Familiarize yourself with Spotify
  2. Understand the new nature of listening to music
  3. Sign on with a distributor
  4. Download Spotify for Artists

Whether you’re just starting out, have a Billboard-topping single, or are a DJ pedaling the latest playlists for a new gig, getting your music onto Spotify can fast-track your career. Below, we explain how to upload your music to Spotify for a broader audience. Let’s get started!

How to Get Your Music on Spotify in 4 Steps

Breaking into the music industry can be challenging, especially if you don’t have connections. But getting your music on Spotify can help you get your foot in the door. And the process is pretty straightforward with minimal costs: just follow the steps below!

1. Familiarize Yourself With the Platform

Take some time to explore the Spotify platform. Sign up, find artists you like, and emulate how their music is presented.

Then download the app on your computer, and make sure to have it on your phone or tablet as well. Explore the layout of each and take note of what grabs your attention. What Spotify pushes into your line of vision is what you should be looking at as you produce your own music.

Musician at a keyboard playing.

2. Understand the New Nature of Music Listening

While the traditional album still has an important place in music, playlists reign supreme. Due to the advent of streaming services, it’s no longer necessary to purchase a full-length album, as a large portion of your listeners will cherry-pick songs and add to larger playlists they’ve curated. 

Additionally, the existence of Spotify’s uber-popular playlists such as “Rap Caviar” or “Your Favorite Coffeehouse,” gives you the opportunity to potentially be heard on a larger, professionally-curated playlist.

As such, at least at first, your best bet at being heard on Spotify is to create a strong collection of singles. Rather than focusing on a full-length album, put together an EP or mixtape.

3. Choose a Distributor

The magic of a service like Spotify is that it doesn’t require that you be connected to a giant record label to publish your music.

Spotify partners with a handful of companies. Essentially, you pass them your music and they pay you royalties. Some distributors may require that you have music on another channel like YouTube or SoundCloud as part of the registration process.

Additionally, some sites charge fees for their services. Some ask for an upfront fee in exchange for the ability to publish a certain amount of music. The cheaper end of fees like this will generally start around $20 but can become more expensive.

Other sites, rather than charging an upfront fee, have a revenue-sharing model. AWAL, for example, will get 15% of your royalties. Understand terms and fees. Look up or discuss royalty plans with a representative of your desired distributor.

Here are some examples of Spotify distributors for artists, labels, and delivery platforms:

Two musicians in a recording studio looking at their computer.

4. Download Spotify For Artists

Use Spotify for Artists to upload your music portfolio and get more notice for your dynamic singles, EPs, remixes, and more.

Spotify For Artists allows you to set up and manage your artist profile, share your playlists, petition for a verified account, and promote your music. This tool offers in-depth analytics and dashboards to zero in on listener data and live updates on your releases.

Essentially, Spotify for Artists helps your profile look professional like one of your favorite artists without paying otherworldly premiums for an agency to cultivate your image. Spotify for Artists is part of the platform’s simple aesthetic, an advantage for promoting your music.

Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to guarantee success. You can follow all of the right steps and still have zero listeners. There’s no secret formula for making a hit song, despite what YouTube or other websites tell you.

The good news is that it’s easier now than ever to give yourself a shot at being heard and promoting your material. If you do strike gold with one of your songs and follow the above steps, you’ll be well-positioned to have your music heard by the right ears.

Who Can Get Music on Spotify?

If you think streaming platforms are a passing fad, think again! Goldman Sachs estimates that superfan monetization could add $4 billion to music streaming platforms by 2027. As such, obviously many musicians want to get their music on Spotify, but other types of music professionals can also benefit from getting onto this platform, such as disc jockeys (DJs).

How Can Musicians Benefit from Spotify?

Sam Tarantino, fractional CMO of startup music and technology marketing firm Harmonic Reach, described Spotify’s formulaic approach to music.

“Uploading music to Spotify offers artists a unique opportunity to access a vast and diverse global audience. Spotify’s algorithmic playlists and discovery tools can significantly amplify an artist’s reach, something I’ve seen time and time again.

“This is a stark contrast to platforms like SoundCloud or Bandcamp, where discovery is more community-driven and organic.”

There are numerous ways to promote your music—but think of Spotify as a digital Carnegie Hall. It’s free, universally available, and the go-to platform that almost everyone has, and where most artists showcase their latest singles and LPs.

Montana Jackman, an audiology expert and holder of Spotify pages for Homestyle Dinner Rolls, All Hope Contained, Shane Jackman, and more, described the benefits of using Spotify.

“The royalty payout is a lot smaller than traditional album sales or radio play, but Spotify has become the center for listening, sharing, and discovering music. For independent artists, it opens the ability to package your music into similar genres, be added to music playlists, and [ensures] that your music is accessible so you can reach your audience.

“[Spotify] can also help independent artists book shows. By showing that you have active monthly listeners, you can prove to venues or even labels that there’s an appetite for your music and that people will turn out to your shows. That ability to book better show times and larger venues can make up the difference in smaller royalty payouts.”

How Can DJs Benefit from Spotify?

DJs can also gain popularity with Spotify. Since this platform has an extensive catalog, DJs can create and publish public playlists for public consumption. This process, called cloud DJing, allows DJs to pick tracks without spending a dime. DJs can even earn money on Spotify.

Tarantino said, “Getting a playlist featured or gaining a substantial following can attract offers from event organizers, labels, or even sponsorship deals. Moreover, Spotify’s analytical tools provide invaluable data on listener preferences, enabling DJs to fine-tune their music and playlists to audience tastes.”

Jackman said that whether you’re a DJ or an artist, think of Spotify and other music streaming programs as a promotional tool instead of an instant moneymaker.

“Spotify and online streaming services are crucial to opening those channels of revenue by serving your music to their audiences. As your music grows in popularity, the streaming revenue from each platform will follow suit. But until that point, think of [Spotify] as a vital tool to advertise and promote your music more than a primary revenue source.”

Musician turning knobs on an electric keyboard.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I put my music on Spotify?

Spotify uses algorithms to match listeners to the right artists, songs, playlists, and more. There’s an artist for everyone, and you could be someone’s next favorite singer or band.

Can I get my music on Spotify for free?

In terms of how to get your music onto Spotify for free, it’s not technically possible. Every distributor will have some sort of fee or commission. However, you can find fees as low as $20 to upload music through some distributors.

Can independent artists upload their music to Spotify?

There are many indie artists on Spotify. However, independent artists can’t upload their music to Spotify without choosing a distributor.

How can I get Spotify to put my music on one of their playlists?

To get Spotify to consider adding your music to a playlist, use Spotify for Artists to pitch music to Spotify’s editors. Some rules include:

  • You must deliver music to editors at least seven days before the release date
  • You can’t pitch compilations or songs you’re a featured artist on
  • You can’t pitch a song after it goes live on Spotify
  • Anyone with admin or editor access can review and edit pitches

Get Musicians Insurance & Protect Your Career

Getting your music on Spotify starts with a great session recording. And even session recordings carry risks! For example, you or your bandmates might accidentally damage equipment in the studio and be held responsible for repairs or replacing it. Or someone else in the studio might trip over your gear, again, leaving you responsible for medical bills and more.

Musician’s insurance can protect your career and your finances in the event that something like that goes sideways. If you’re also performing, your risks increase exponentially – so musician’s liability insurance is a must for you, too!

Get “A+ Rated” entertainers insurance and customize your policy with extras like gear and equipment (aka “inland marine”) and the ability to easily add additional insureds to your policy. With 1-3 day policies from $59 and annual plans starting at $199 a year or $18.50 a month—it’s one of the best deals on the market.

Learn more about other coverage offerings at Insurance Canopy:

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