Your Digital Music Distribution Checklist

Digital music distribution is a powerful way indie artists can earn from their work while building up their fan base and gaining recognition. Online platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Tidal and more can grow your audience and be fairly easy to get on.

There are some hurdles to overcome, of course; such as hangups in the application process and technical aspects of the task. You can avoid many of the challenges by simply entering this endeavor on your best foot; you want a checklist for online music distribution. The following five items should give you a good headstart:

1. Download the distribution agreement

You do know never to skip over the fine print, right? Taking time to download, save, and review the digital music download distribution agreement doesn't just protect your interests; it helps you know what to expect.

Those intricate terms and rules are tools you can use to make the most gains from any digital platform you choose to sell your music through. Being familiar with them also may help save you from a lot of legal hassles.

2. Run a Series of Pre-Release Campaigns

Have a mini campaign pre-planned and ready to roll out for each time your single gets listed in one of the platforms’ digital music catalogs. You want to see some sales coming in from the very first day your song becomes available.

As an upcoming artist, enjoying first-day sales on iTunes, or any of the major digital music distribution outlets means building up some anticipation in your target audience and getting your evangelists to help spread the word. For each campaign you want to target those who are not just lovers of your genre but also avid users of the site where your music is available.

3. Have a Promotion Strategy

Some artists feel that online distribution is a promotion strategy in itself. While they’re not far wrong, letting your music get buried deep in some online database isn’t going to get you the best results. In addition to your pre-release campaigns, you want promotion strategies for each platform.

Regular social media posts and media features that mention where your music available for download are good ways to keep download sales flowing in. You want your artist website to feature the full list of platforms where your music can be found.

4. Prepare for the Next Level

After getting download sales rolling, what’s the next step? This is one question you want to have an answer to before you release your music on that first online platform, not after. Make sure it’s logic and insight that dictates what your next step will be, not an emotion.

The transition to that higher level of success has to be smooth on your end - you don’t want to miss a beat. Make all those new fans you gain from your digital music distribution efforts count for something more than just a few extra dollars in your pocket; build your community and let it serve as the springboard to your next greatest achievement.

5. Have Some Expert Backup

Creating the promotions, meeting the application requirements, and handling the technical aspects of uploading your music to iTunes or other digital music distribution platform is serious work that can be very involving and time consuming. A smart way to make sure process goes smoother or that you don’t get stuck along the way is to have some expert help from someone with experience getting artists featured, such as FKMG.