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How To Upload To Spotify As An Artist (& Get Paid)?

By Matthew Vultaggio

March 1, 2021

Luckily it is a lot easier to upload music to Spotify as an artist than it was 4 or 5 years ago. In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to get started.

To upload to Spotify as an artist, you need to sign up with one of Spotify’s preferred music distributors and submit your music, artwork, and artist information through that distributor.

Once your music has been sent to Spotify, you can then easily “claim” your artist profile so that you get the blue verified checkmark and access to the powerful Spotify For Artists dashboard.

If you are wondering what a music distributor is, how to pick the best music distributor, how exactly you can claim your artist profile, and actually make some money by uploading music to Spotify and getting Spotify royalties, simply read on, my friend. 🙂

How To Get Set Up With A Music Distributor

To get your music uploaded to Spotify, the very first step (other than creating some music, of course) is to get set up with a music distributor.

You can’t actually login to Spotify and upload your music directly.

Back in the day, there were only a few music distributors and they actually made you pay a fee per song EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

For the everyday musician or artist, this was way too expensive and made uploading music to Spotify more of a pipedream than anything.

Thankfully, a company called DistroKid came along and started offering unlimited song uploads for a small annual fee without taking a percentage of any of your earnings away.

Also – DistroKid is at the tippy top of Spotify’s preferred music distributors list.

To learn more about DistroKid, check out my big fat DistroKid review for everything you will ever need to know about them.

There is even a handy How To Choose A Distributor Guide and some info on the nice DistroKid discount.

With that said, it is always a good idea to do some of your own research and see what other distributors are out there on the market.

Some other distributors to check out

Although I personally use, love, and recommend DistroKid, it is always a good idea to see how they compare to the other guys.

Luckily for you, I’ve done just that. 🙂

Check out the comparisons of DK to some other popular music distributors:

What’s next?

Now that you’ve chosen the right music distributor for you, the next step is to use them to get your music sent off to Spotify.

Regardless of the distributor you choose, there is usually a simple digital form where you:

  • Fill out your song’s details
  • Upload your music
  • Upload your artwork
  • Select which streaming services and stores you would like your music to appear.

And, don’t worry, later in this article, I will fill you in on the best strategy of how to release your music to make the most impact. 🙂

How To Create A Spotify Artist Account

Once you’ve successfully used a music distributor to distribute your music to Spotify, are now able to create a Spotify artist account.

With a Spotify artist account, you have the ability to:

  • Update your profile picture, biography, and social links
  • Choose an “Artist Pick” (a song, album, or playlist that shows up at the top)
  • Choose a “Fundraising Pick” (a charity or straight-to-artist donation option)
  • Get access to enhanced data and analytics in the Spotify For Artist dashboard
  • The ability to pitch your music to Spotify editors to get on lucrative Spotify editorial playlists

In addition to this, you will also get a blue verified checkmark beside your artist name and access to new features like Spotify Canvas.

There are 2 ways to get your Spotify artist profile:

  1. Through your music distributor
  2. Manually claiming your profile with Spotify

How to create a Spotify artist profile with your distributor

By far the easiest way to claim your Spotify artist profile is with your music distributor.

Spotify put together a list of preferred music distributors that can give you instant access. The top names on this list are:

Once you have submitted your music to Spotify using one of them, it is quite easy to get instant access in your music distributors backend.

For a detailed look into how to do this with DistroKid, check out my article: Does DistroKid Make A Spotify Account For You?

In that article, you will also find out if a free or premium Spotify listener account gets created for you and if you need one of those accounts to get your music uploaded as well.

How to manually claim your profile on Spotify

The 2nd option to create a Spotify artist profile is to claim your profile manually on Spotify.

However, this method isn’t recommended because it takes long and requires more work on your part.

With that said, this how you do it:

To claim a Spotify artist profile on Spotify, simply begin the process by visiting artists.spotify.com/claim. Just make sure that you have music on Spotify first or have recently submitted your first release.

After visiting the Spotify Claim Page above, it is really just a simple matter of following the instructions given to you on that page. 🙂

How To Collect Spotify Royalties

Now that you’ve signed up with a music distributor, got your music uploaded to Spotify, and even claimed your official Spotify artist profile, you must be wondering…

How the heck do I get paid?

Believe it or not, artists don’t actually receive a paycheck right from Spotify themselves! Instead, Spotify pays the music distributor, who in turn, pays you.

Artists collect Spotify royalties and payments from a music distributor, who first collects the royalties directly from Spotify on your behalf.

Spotify works with music distributors because these companies make sure that any music that gets submitted is done so properly in terms of file types, artwork requirements, etc.

Here’s how it works:

Artists get paid royalties every time a user streams their music on Spotify (and when you find out how much Spotify pays per stream, you’ll know it ain’t much).

Depending on where in the world the user streamed your music and what account they used (free or premium), will affect that royalty rate.

Then, Spotify sends out royalty statements to your music distributor on a monthly basis with a 2 – 3 month delay.

Why does it take so long?

I believe it takes Spotify 2 – 3 months to pay out because they want to confirm that all of the streams you received were legitimate and did not come from any fake playlists or fake streamers.

Spotify has a serious problem with bad actors selling playlist placements filled with bots to artists and Spotify does not want to have to pay out for any fraudulent streams.

You can learn more about this process in my article on DistroKid wait times.

How To Get More Spotify Streams

What makes Spotify so awesome is that they have built a whole bunch of ways for artists to grow their streams (and revenue) naturally right within the Spotify.

They’ve done this by creating 2 types of playlist:

  1. Spotify algorithm playlists
  2. Spotify editorial playlists

Getting on any of these will significantly increase the number of streams your music gets.

So how do you get on these bad boys?

The honest secret is this…

Release music often.

This is exactly why I really think it is important to choose a music distributor that provides unlimited song uploads for a small fee, like DistroKid.

Otherwise, releasing lots of music can get real expensive, real quick.

How do I know this?

Simple!

I’ve done this myself by releasing my own music on a monthly basis.

At first, I started getting on some Algorithmic playlists and slowly that caught the attention of the Spotify editors.

I’ve now gotten my music on over 10 official Spotify editorial playlists and have racked up over 2 million streams.

If you want to know how I did this in detail, I put together a free course called the 6 Secrets To Spotify Success.

In this free course, I cover:

  • How to get the most out of your latest release, overnight
  • The exact step-by-step process of how to build a music marketing strategy required to make you sweet streams
  • How to grow your Spotify streams, monthly listeners, and fans even if you’re totally new

If that sounds neat to you, then check out the 6 Secrets To Spotify Success, for more.

Otherwise, good luck on your next release, my friend! 🙂

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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