As I've mentioned in my previous post, I have absolutely nothing against SoundCloud. Several artists have gotten their big break from SoundCloud; just look up Post Malone for instance. However, if you want to get paid for those streams, then Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and Tidal may be a more suitable option for you. A lot of artists assume you have to be signed to a label in order to do so, but that's incorrect. You can easily get your music on paid platforms through what's called an aggregator which is a digital distributor that releases your music on digital music stores for a small fee/percentage .
The one I use is Catapult and I've also used ReverbNation in the past, but Catapult is much more transparent and releases the funds more frequently. Catapult also provides advanced reporting so you can see where the streams/downloads are coming from and which platform is performing the most for you in terms of stream and monthly listeners. Other popular aggregators include TuneCore, CD Baby, and JTV Digital to name a few. But there's much more out there such as independent aggregators such as The Orchard and Label-Worx. Each will vary in terms of fees and/or percentages they collect, the music upload process and the additional features offered. I suggest that you first determine which platforms are most important to you to be present on and then research each aggregator and see which music stores they partner with. All around I've had a great experience with Catapult, and they are very responsive and communicative anytime I contact them. Also, Catapult automatically generates an ISRC and UPC code for you. You can then upload to SoundExchange which captures independent plays on digital radio and ensures all parties entitled to royalties are collected and distributed appropriately (this includes featured artists, copyright artists, non-featured artists). You can complete a Letter of Direct and it will automatically split up the funds based on the royalty percentages you have in place.
In short, we are in an era where artists now have greater control of their music and the money they are entitled to. You don't need a label, just do your homework and research all the tools readily available to you and you'll be amazed what you'll find. But here's a good starting point to not only build your following, but solidify yourself as a professional artist, and generate some income along the way.
What music platform do you spend the most time on? Used a different aggregator and want to share your experience? Comment and share below.
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