Releasing your music to the world is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience for any musician. With so many different platforms to choose from, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin.
In this guide, we’ll go over some key steps to prepare your music for release, how to submit your songs to popular music distribution platforms, as well as how to post your music to YouTube, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp.
I’ve been personally releasing music on all platforms as Best Friends Club for the last 3 years and will give you all the tips I’ve learned along the way in this guide. 🙂
The 5 steps to release music on all platforms:
- Prepare your music for release
- Submit your song(s) to a music distribution service
- Post your music to YouTube
- Upload your song(s) to SoundCloud
- Upload your song(s) to Bandcamp
Although you can follow more or fewer steps depending on your personal situation and goals…
I’ve found these 5 steps will give you the most bang for your buck and get you on the music platforms that will make the biggest difference in your music career.
1. Prepare your music for release
Preparing your music for release is the first and most important step in the process. Before submitting your songs to distribution platforms or posting them online, you’ll need to ensure that they’re:
- Mixed and mastered
- Are exported in .WAV and .MP3 file formats
- Have artwork to go along with them
Making sure you have all these files prepared will make things a lot easier when you are submitting your music to different platforms since you won’t be running around trying to find the right files or wasting time exporting different files.
In addition to this, having a 6 – 12 month release plan that includes release dates and milestones will help make sure that you stay on track and develop momentum in your music career over time.
2. Submit your song(s) to a music distribution service
Once you’ve prepared your music, it’s time to submit your songs to a music distribution platform which is essential for getting your music on popular streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.
There are many different distribution platforms to choose from, each with its own set of features and fees, but you’ll be fine as long as you pick from this list of top music distribution services.
(if you’d like to skip reviewing a list of distributors and go for my top pick and what I personally use, click here to check out DistroKid)
The beautiful thing about getting set up with a music distribution platform is that following this step will actually make sure that your music gets released to 80% of platforms all in one shot.
3. Post your music to YouTube
Posting your music to YouTube is a great way to reach a wide audience, as it’s one of the most popular video platforms in the world.
To post your music to YouTube, you’ll need to create a channel and upload your tracks as simple videos that have your still artwork with the song playing behind.
Some music distributors can actually do this for you, which I cover in this article where I should you how to upload to YouTube with DistroKid.
You can also create music videos to accompany your songs, which can help increase engagement and shares but is also a pretty dated form of music promotion that can really take a lot of your time and money to create.
4. Upload your song(s) to SoundCloud
SoundCloud is another popular platform for posting and sharing music, and can be a great way to connect with other musicians and fans, and can help you get feedback on your work.
To post your music to SoundCloud, you’ll simply need to create an account and upload your tracks and artwork to the platform.
I’ve found that SoundCloud may not be as popular as it was several years ago but it can still be a great way to get your music discovered since users can repost and share your music on the platform which can get you a lot of exposure.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that most music distributors can’t submit your music to SoundCloud automatically for you, which I cover in this article: Does DistroKid Distribute To SoundCloud?
5. Upload your song(s) to Bandcamp
Bandcamp is a platform that allows musicians to sell their music directly to fans and is a great way to make money from your music, as well as build a direct relationship with your fans.
To post your music to Bandcamp, you’ll need to simply create an account and upload your tracks and artwork to the platform.
Since you can also sell merchandise like t-shirts and posters, and offer exclusive content to your fans, you may want to consider creating an offer to go along with the release of your music on Bandcamp as well.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that most music distributors can’t submit your music to SoundCloud automatically for you, which I cover in this article: Does DistroKid Distribute To Bandcamp?
Now It’s Your Turn
Releasing your music to the world requires careful planning and preparation.
By following these steps to prepare your music for release, submitting your songs to music distribution platforms, and posting your music to popular streaming sites like YouTube, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful music career.
Remember to keep creating and sharing your music, and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. With hard work and dedication, anything is possible in the world of music. 🙂