You just created a great track, but you don’t have a record label backing you for distribution. This is not anywhere near as big of a deal as it was 10 years ago as there are many free music distribution websites available. Keep reading for five music distribution websites that are completely free, yet still effective.
Free Music Distribution: SoundCloud
You want to do some audio streaming, SoundCloud is the best way to distribute your music. With millions of active users, including major record labels and music industry influencers, SoundCloud has created a benchmark in the audio streaming business.
You can use many features like:
Many major artists have built their music career using SoundCloud:
- Chance The Rapper:He is the first SoundCloud artist to have won a Grammy without any external help from a record label. His marketing tactics have proven to be extremely effective. He recently released a rewrapped version of his album Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama. The first song, All The Way, has over 6 million plays.
If you’ve recently composed a track, publish it on SoundCloud and buy plays for it to make it look popular. Giving a quick initial push to your song using a social proof strategy will make your song go viral online.
- Lil Uzi Vert: The most followed artist on SoundCloud in 2016 built his career from nothing but SoundCloud, and was nominated for Grammy awards. His famous collaboration single, Bad and Boujee with Migos, has 167 million plays on the platform.
- Kaytranada: His exciting career started when he uploaded some remixed songs from famous artists. Since then he has gone on to release his album on SoundCloud.
These are just a few artists who built their career from SoundCloud. Many musicians have chosen SoundCloud as their music distribution platform and then went on to even bigger things.
Free Music Distribution: YouTube
YouTube has grown to be about much more than stupid cat videos, it is also a vibrant music distribution community. Upload your music videos for free and gain attention from millions of active users on the platform.
You don’t have to have a huge budget to make a music video. You can learn how to make a music video with no budget, and edit it using professional editing software. If you don’t have the time or money to shoot a music video, use a still image. The Weeknd used this strategy for many of his early videos.
Many musicians who are now household names actually started their career with YouTube as their sole music distribution source. The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Boyce Avenue, and Alessia Cara are some of the artists who started their music career on YouTube. Here’s the first ever video of Justin Bieber uploaded on YouTube:
The quality of the video is not that great, but the quality of his talent is plain to see. From these very humble beginnings, baby, baby, baby, oh, the career he built.
Free Music Distribution: Spotify
While Spotify is free, you are still going to need a record label or distributor. These are Spotify’s terms to avoid any discrepancies regarding copyrights. Ensure that you have copyrighted your music before you submit to Spotify.
If you have not signed with a record label, you can still stream your music on the platform through aggregators:
- CD Baby
- Emu Bands
- Record Union
Some of the interesting features that Spotify offers to artists are:
- Statistics features which allow you greater insight into the popularity of your music.
- Statistical comparison with other musicians.
- Streaming accounts are updated every 1.5 seconds.
- A live listener count.
- The number of daily and monthly listeners for your tracks.
Factoring in all the benefits of Spotify, you can see why it is a great music distribution platform.
Free Music Distribution: Pandora Music
Pandora Music was one of the first music streaming service providers. Any independent artist can submit music and host it on Pandora. Free music is only available through the ad-supported free radio service, and isn’t available for Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium services. You will have to submit it through their license dealers to get on there:
- CD Baby
- FUGA’s IIP
- One RPM
- State 51
Pandora Music also accepts submissions from international artists. However, the streaming service is still not available in all countries. Make sure that your target audience can stream your song if you choose to host it on Pandora Music.
Free Music Distribution: Google Play Music
Although Google Play Music isn’t completely free, it is available at a small one-time fee of $25. You get lifetime access to Google Play Music services and do not need to pay for anything else, and you can upload your music and distribute it to millions of users.
Google Play Music has interesting features, like:
- Offline music streaming and music discovery.
- Access restrictions if you don’t want it to be streamed in certain countries.
- You can either sell your music by setting a retail price, or earn through Google Play Music’s subscription service.
- Google Play Music is not only a great source for music distribution, but you can start a podcast channel on it and promote your music through it.
If you have not signed up for Google Play Music, it’s not too late. With just $25 you get free lifetime access and storage to stream your music.
Be heard by millions online on the free music distribution websites
Rising artists who are looking to distribute their music can use the free music distribution websites I talked about to stream their music globally.
- SoundCloud: The premier audio streaming website. There are many features available for artists like real-time stats and recommendations.
- YouTube: The world’s largest video hosting platform can also host your music videos.
- Spotify: You will need to submit your music through a record label or aggregator.
- Pandora Music: One of the oldest music streaming services has many opportunities for you to distribute your music online.
- Google Play Music: Admittedly, this is not free as there is a one time fee of $25. However, it has many opportunities to distribute your music once you pay that small fee.
Once you have published your music on distribution sites, you’ll need to promote it. Use our free music promotion guide and get your music heard by millions of people.