Distribution: A plethora of options

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ReasonTalk
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28 Nov 2016

A lot has happened in the last 10 years in terms of music distribution. With CD's becoming more and more a media of the ancients and new aggregation services being born every week, the boundaries that once existed between signed and unsigned artists has been redefined. If you rising to stardom in an instant is a requirement, huge budgets might also be a requirement and getting signed with a major label is most likely what you should aim for. However, if you have a bit of time, patience, the will to get to know the inner workings of digital distribution, and not necessarily have a need to earn a living from your music from day 1 (or ever for that matter), then there's a myriad of options out there for you that will aid you in your quest to get heard.

https://www.reasontalk.com/2016/11/dist ... f-options/

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Sorped
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12 Jan 2017

Interesting article! :thumbs_up:

If you sign up with f.e. Digidi, do they get exclusive ditribution rights or can you combine aggregators to get an even better coverage?
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Kenni
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12 Jan 2017

Sorped wrote:Interesting article! :thumbs_up:

If you sign up with f.e. Digidi, do they get exclusive ditribution rights or can you combine aggregators to get an even better coverage?
You can combine as you want to, however you're responsible for not adding your content twice. So you would have to deselect a platform ie. iTunes if it already exists there.

It will mostly likely be rejected since the songs will have the same ISRC codes.
Kenni Andruszkow
SoundCloud

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fotizimo
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06 Mar 2017

Somehow I missed this article, but thank you so much for taking the time to explain it in such layman terms. I do wonder if there aren't forums that are dedicated to the licensing, and distribution of music media. It would be so insightful to see discussions covering the various topics such as highlighted by this article.
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traxxspace
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08 Mar 2017

fotizimo wrote:Somehow I missed this article, but thank you so much for taking the time to explain it in such layman terms. I do wonder if there aren't forums that are dedicated to the licensing, and distribution of music media. It would be so insightful to see discussions covering the various topics such as highlighted by this article.
long time lurker, first time poster.

i run a distribution service/aggregator. feel free to throw any questions you may have my way.
Distribute your music for free today!
http://www.traxx.space

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tiker01
Posts: 970
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

08 Mar 2017

traxxspace wrote:
fotizimo wrote:Somehow I missed this article, but thank you so much for taking the time to explain it in such layman terms. I do wonder if there aren't forums that are dedicated to the licensing, and distribution of music media. It would be so insightful to see discussions covering the various topics such as highlighted by this article.
long time lurker, first time poster.

i run a distribution service/aggregator. feel free to throw any questions you may have my way.
Welcome!

Feel free to join the chat as well right bubble up there
    
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traxxspace
Posts: 11
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08 Mar 2017

I've been running traxx.space for over a year now and here are some things I've seen...

*On average, artists are making 3-4x the amount from streaming services than they are in iTunes sales.
*Spotify is by far the most popular with Google a distant second. Deezer is even further back. Tidal is barely a blip.
*YouTube is nearly up there with Spotify in terms of play counts but WAY lower on their payout rate. About 1/10th of what Spotify pays per play.
*Nobody does pre-orders any more. Unless you are a well established artist. Just release your music whenever and promote it.
*Our most successful artists don't follow the traditional Single->Hype->Album Drop->Hype->Next Single...cycle. Releasing a song as soon as you finish it and getting it out there seems to be working for these folks.
*Social media promotion is by far the #1 driving force in digital music sales. Artists with even modest social media followers and activity are doing much better than folks who never post any thing.
Distribute your music for free today!
http://www.traxx.space

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Kenni
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08 Mar 2017

traxxspace wrote:I've been running traxx.space for over a year now and here are some things I've seen...

*On average, artists are making 3-4x the amount from streaming services than they are in iTunes sales.
*Spotify is by far the most popular with Google a distant second. Deezer is even further back. Tidal is barely a blip.
*YouTube is nearly up there with Spotify in terms of play counts but WAY lower on their payout rate. About 1/10th of what Spotify pays per play.
*Nobody does pre-orders any more. Unless you are a well established artist. Just release your music whenever and promote it.
*Our most successful artists don't follow the traditional Single->Hype->Album Drop->Hype->Next Single...cycle. Releasing a song as soon as you finish it and getting it out there seems to be working for these folks.
*Social media promotion is by far the #1 driving force in digital music sales. Artists with even modest social media followers and activity are doing much better than folks who never post any thing.
Yeah, this is up to par with all my experiences as well, as noted in the article.

Just out of curiosity, how many signed up, paying artists do you guys have now?
Kenni Andruszkow
SoundCloud

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traxxspace
Posts: 11
Joined: 08 Mar 2017

08 Mar 2017

Kenni wrote: Yeah, this is up to par with all my experiences as well, as noted in the article.

Just out of curiosity, how many signed up, paying artists do you guys have now?
Just over 1,100 as of this morning.
Distribute your music for free today!
http://www.traxx.space

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ravisoni
Posts: 262
Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Las Vegas

08 Mar 2017

Hey traxx, great to have you here. Thanks for putting up that comparison chart on your site.
Just out of curiosity more than anything else, is this pricing strategy (and a user base of 1100) enough to pay the bills?
Another question along the same lines: if this can be done for so cheap, why would one want to use any of the other services? Are there any benefits that I'm missing out on by the $5 + $1/yr pricing strategy? I wasn't able to find more info as to where my content gets distributed apart from the 4 mentioned on the home page without signing up (unless it is the same as on your fiverr profile).

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traxxspace
Posts: 11
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08 Mar 2017

ravisoni wrote:Hey traxx, great to have you here. Thanks for putting up that comparison chart on your site.
Just out of curiosity more than anything else, is this pricing strategy (and a user base of 1100) enough to pay the bills?
Another question along the same lines: if this can be done for so cheap, why would one want to use any of the other services? Are there any benefits that I'm missing out on by the $5 + $1/yr pricing strategy? I wasn't able to find more info as to where my content gets distributed apart from the 4 mentioned on the home page without signing up (unless it is the same as on your fiverr profile).
Well, to be honest, I don't run it as a full time job. I'm not big enough for that at this point. Maybe one day.

Our costs are relatively low. So we pass along the savings to the users. I personally believe that it shouldn't cost more to distribute your music than it does to buy it. Ok, ok...$1 vs. $.99. But you get what I mean. :D We also have a free plan that lets users keep 90% of their royalties while getting to distribute an unlimited number of songs. No upfront fees, no annual fees. Most other free offerings will only pay out 85% of the royalties. And you can upgrade to 100% of the royalties at any time for the same $1/song/year.

We try to offer fast and friendly customer service. Often directly from me. We are also transparent with our reporting. What you see is what we see. ALL the dirty details from sales and streams. We also show you what streams and downloads have been reported to us but haven't been paid yet by the stores. So you can better budget for things knowing you should see a decent iTunes or Spotify check in a month or so. Nobody else does that as far as I know.

Between that and our low prices, Traxx has grown pretty fast over the first year. We don't (yet) offer some things like daily stats. It's something we will eventually roll out. But no ETA on that. So while you can get that kind of info from a place like Tunecore, you end up paying a lot for it.

We distribute to...

Amazon
Claro Musica
Deezer
7 Digital
Digital Tunes
Google Play
Gracenote
Apple Music
iTunes
KDigital Media
Pandora
Pulselocker
Rhapsody/Napster
Shazam
Spinlet
Spotify
Tidal
Microsoft Groove
YouTube Music
YouTube ContentID
Zvooq


Sorry, not trying to sound like a commercial. :D
Distribute your music for free today!
http://www.traxx.space

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traxxspace
Posts: 11
Joined: 08 Mar 2017

10 Mar 2017

To continue this conversation I'll throw out this little nugget...

Spotify and other stores have a MASSIVE click fraud problem. Users are uploading fake (or sometimes real) songs and getting bots to stream them 24x7x365 to generate 'free money'. They are doing little to stop it. Relying on distributors to help police it. So when someone with a handful of songs of questionable quality (I mean OBVIOUSLY bad songs) suddenly starts to get 200k streams per month on spotify..and have zero iTunes downloads and maybe a half dozen other streams from random services, it becomes clear what is going on.

So Spotify asked us to help them fight this by reaching out to artists we suspect are engaged in this. We ask for social media links, websites, reviews, etc. Their thought is, if they have the followers and activity, it must be real. And then they will pay out the royalties. If not, they won't pay them out and the content gets removed. But what they don't really understand is that all those things can be bought or faked very easily. So there are some folks with quality music who are using these tactics to drive themselves up the charts or pad their royalties a little.

The music industry has always been very shady. But now, it's almost like the artists are now the ones who can now be the shady ones. The tables are turning. It's truly a strange time in the industry.
Distribute your music for free today!
http://www.traxx.space

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ravisoni
Posts: 262
Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Las Vegas

10 Mar 2017

Wow, that is very revealing. You mentioned that they get suspicious about people with numbers across services that don't add up. What about artists that aren't actively trying to get their music out there? Some whose numbers are low across the aisle? Do they get paid, or do they, too, get the boot?

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traxxspace
Posts: 11
Joined: 08 Mar 2017

10 Mar 2017

ravisoni wrote:Wow, that is very revealing. You mentioned that they get suspicious about people with numbers across services that don't add up. What about artists that aren't actively trying to get their music out there? Some whose numbers are low across the aisle? Do they get paid, or do they, too, get the boot?
'low across the aisle' would get paid. It's only when someone has a HUGE amount os Spotify or Tidal streams and nothing else. AND they also have little to no online presence. It's only then when they don't get paid because it's obviously fake. The hard part is when they have a few thousand followers and are active on social media but pull in 300k Spotify streams in a month and maybe $500-1,000 in iTunes downloads. Since it can't be proven otherwise, they get paid out but are watched closely by Spotify or other stores.
Distribute your music for free today!
http://www.traxx.space

Smalltownwickedclown
Posts: 1
Joined: 26 May 2017

26 May 2017

traxxspace wrote:
ravisoni wrote:Hey traxx, great to have you here. Thanks for putting up that comparison chart on your site.
Just out of curiosity more than anything else, is this pricing strategy (and a user base of 1100) enough to pay the bills?
Another question along the same lines: if this can be done for so cheap, why would one want to use any of the other services? Are there any benefits that I'm missing out on by the $5 + $1/yr pricing strategy? I wasn't able to find more info as to where my content gets distributed apart from the 4 mentioned on the home page without signing up (unless it is the same as on your fiverr profile).
Well, to be honest, I don't run it as a full time job. I'm not big enough for that at this point. Maybe one day.

Our costs are relatively low. So we pass along the savings to the users. I personally believe that it shouldn't cost more to distribute your music than it does to buy it. Ok, ok...$1 vs. $.99. But you get what I mean. :D We also have a free plan that lets users keep 90% of their royalties while getting to distribute an unlimited number of songs. No upfront fees, no annual fees. Most other free offerings will only pay out 85% of the royalties. And you can upgrade to 100% of the royalties at any time for the same $1/song/year.

We try to offer fast and friendly customer service. Often directly from me. We are also transparent with our reporting. What you see is what we see. ALL the dirty details from sales and streams. We also show you what streams and downloads have been reported to us but haven't been paid yet by the stores. So you can better budget for things knowing you should see a decent iTunes or Spotify check in a month or so. Nobody else does that as far as I know.

Between that and our low prices, Traxx has grown pretty fast over the first year. We don't (yet) offer some things like daily stats. It's something we will eventually roll out. But no ETA on that. So while you can get that kind of info from a place like Tunecore, you end up paying a lot for it.

We distribute to...

Amazon
Claro Musica
Deezer
7 Digital
Digital Tunes
Google Play
Gracenote
Apple Music
iTunes
KDigital Media
Pandora
Pulselocker
Rhapsody/Napster
Shazam
Spinlet
Spotify
Tidal
Microsoft Groove
YouTube Music
YouTube ContentID
Zvooq


Sorry, not trying to sound like a commercial. :D
So just wanted to say I wasn't to sure at first about using your site for distribution. I currently have a single I released using tunecore and in retrospect I wish I had released it with your site. Now I plan to redistribute it using your site as well as distribute all my other coming releases. Also I want to say thank you for making it affordable. With the price tunecore has I've been waiting to release atleast two singles, but now that I know I can release them for free and then upgrade if they start to make alot of money I'm quite inspired to finish recording my first album and release it with your site as well as the singles.
Your site is literally a godsend for me and I thought it was to good to be true until I read this. I thank you again for what your doing and I'm thinking about keeping the singles un-upgraded (assuming they become well listened to) so you can earn well deserved money for making it so much less of a hassle for me to distribute my music. I am forever grateful to you for this miracle of a site you've provided.
Sincerely,
A struggling artist named Jake Spicer

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Data_Shrine
Posts: 305
Joined: 23 Jan 2015

28 May 2017

This new con on streaming media that you mentioned is disheartening. I doubt it is because musicians make much less money than they used to, or that it's because the revenue from streaming are often peanuts.

I wonder if any of you guys still bother releasing your music on physical format(s) ? I thought that maybe a thread were we could all put links to our physical releases would be cool.

With my band Classic UFO Hunter, we released our first album on cassette, it sold out in a year (only 30 cassettes made, 20 for sale, the rest for promo and friends). So I'm pretty happy about that. I'm also planning to release my next solo album on cassette. We have a local indie music store that is pretty cool, and anyone can put their music for sale there.

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PSoames
Posts: 170
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

29 May 2017

Data_Shrine wrote:
With my band Classic UFO Hunter, we released our first album on cassette, it sold out in a year (only 30 cassettes made, 20 for sale, the rest for promo and friends). So I'm pretty happy about that. I'm also planning to release my next solo album on cassette. We have a local indie music store that is pretty cool, and anyone can put their music for sale there.
It's interesting you say that. 3 years ago, my son was putting together a piece of music for a school project. Creating a Soundcloud profile was matter of fact. He uploaded his piece and promoted it using social media like the true millennial he is. Monitoring the stats and changing his target audience accordingly was child's play.

What absolutely blew his mind though, was when I hooked up and old cassette recorder and recorded his piece onto a C30. He was incredulous that his music had achieved a physicality. He took it school to show his friends, they too were amazed. They couldn't play it, but they were amazed.


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