Blog post

5 Big Mistakes Artists Make When Distributing Music Online

Releasing songs online seems simple. But several key mistakes trip up indie artists distributing music themselves. From picking faulty partners to metadata missteps, misconceptions about streaming abound.

Sidestep these common artist errors as you share your music globally. Savvier moves now set you up to capitalize on more streams, expanding your fanbase and income potential.

Choosing the Wrong Distribution Company

One early critical choice? Picking the right distribution partner to publish your songs widely online.

Yet many emerging musicians rush this decision without weighing distributor differences that impact streaming success. Royalty payment rates, reporting capabilities, pitching opportunities, preferred streaming partner integrations, distribution fees, and subscription models vary widely across the industry's top providers. 

For example, leading company TuneCore charges $10 per single and $50 per album released, plus additional fees for publishing administration services. They also operate on a subscription-based model, charging those same annual fees for every release in your catalog. So costs add up quickly. 

Meanwhile, Freecords provides free, unlimited distribution to stores like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more with no hidden subscription fees whatsoever. Review every company's offer closely across factors like transparency, fair rates, pitching power, and streaming partner reach before distributing your catalog.

Paying unnecessary overhead charges across multiple releases just eats into the streaming income potential independent artists retain.

Not Entering Metadata Thoroughly

Before uploading any release, first ensure complete, properly formatted metadata is ready to attach to every audio file.

That means including all relevant details like:

●  Composer/songwriter names

●  Publisher ownership percentages

●  Explicit lyrics tags

●  Liner notes

●  Bio info

●  High-resolution cover art

Accurate metadata ensures your identity as a creator gets correctly attached at the source level. Completeness then allows you to get fully credited across all streams and royalty statements by providing stores with enough rights information.

Without meticulous metadata supplied at distribution, streaming services often reject amateur releases. Or worse still, tracks publish but creator royalties go unpaid due to missing ownership details.

Likewise, avoid technical rejections by manually checking audio quality beforehand and clearly labeling both file and folder names. Rushing your upload risks denial based on other preventable factors.

Not Claiming Your Artist Profiles

Once you successfully release music through a distributor, streaming services like Spotify automatically generate a basic artist profile page.

However, you must then officially claim control of these auto-generated profiles before deeper platform features get enabled. Access to supportive artist tools often depends on a two-step identity verification process.

Only confirmed profile owners can update bio info, manually add new releases, communicate with listeners via the artist feed, analyze fan streaming data or collaborate with other artists. Unverified pages at best display basic public-facing content only.

Don't leave visibility on the table by overlooking the profile claim step. Check that every platform verifies you as artist account admin across channels like:

●  Spotify for Artists

●  Apple Music for Artists

●  Amazon Music for Artists

●  YouTube Studio

●  Pandora for Artists

●  SoundCloud Pro 

Actively managing your presence via proprietary artist analytics tools allows you to better track fan response and double down on what resonates.

Forgetting to Cross-Publish

Remember - today's music ecosystem encompasses multiple streaming platforms. So releasing an album or single via your distributor alone does not guarantee it publishes across every key store automatically.

For example, Spotify and Apple Music operate as distinct, walled-off audiences. Just distributing to Spotify does not simultaneously upload your songs to Apple's servers too.

As an independent artist, manually cross-publishing music across all leading streaming services after initial distribution is a smart practice. This extra effort essentially widens the visibility net, driving more potential streams.

Set calendar reminders to re-publish singles and albums yourself 1-2 weeks post-distribution for foolproof multi-platform impact. Repeating this process with every subsequent release also helps cement habits that maximize streams.

Assuming Distribution Does Your Marketing

Finally, one of the biggest artist misconceptions today comes from wrongly thinking uploads inherently drive streaming traffic themselves. In reality, simply digitally releasing songs does not growth hack your music career.

Without subsequent audience-building efforts, even the most talented musicians struggle to stand out in 2023's saturated streaming landscape. Playlists also won't automatically start featuring your tracks either without active pitching.

You must dedicate real-time post-distribution to audience growth marketing across channels like:

●  Social media community engagement

●  Direct fan email outreach

●  Music blogger/tastemaker pitching

●  Playlisting campaigns

●  Paid ads

In today's Web3 era, artists themselves fuel streaming success through dedicated follow-up promotion, not distributors passively housing files.

Stay Proactive - And Keep Streaming Income Growing

To quickly recap, sidestep common music distribution mistakes like: 

  1. Picking faulty partners
  2. Metadata mismanagement
  3. Forgetting to claim artist profiles
  4. Limited cross-publishing
  5. Assuming passive visibility

And set yourself up for more Spotify streams and sales across platforms. Proactive publishing, ownership protections, and multi-channel marketing drive incomes upward.

Ready to distribute music the right way starting today? Sign up for Freecords to access the industry's most transparent, streamlined upload experience - 100% free.

With unlimited releases supported by creator-first business practices, start maximizing royalty earnings now. Global streaming success awaits artists who distribute smarter from the start.