Album Distribution Starter Guide

by | Nov 26, 2023 | Composition, Marketing and Promotion, Music Technology | 0 comments

So you’ve got your music recorded and you’re ready to distribute it? That’s great! There’s a lot to learn about distribution, but this starter guide will help you get off to a good start to getting your music out there!

Digital Distribution

Next, you’ll want to submit your works for digital distribution on such services as Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, etc. While you can create accounts and upload these all yourself, it’s usually easiest to go through an online distributer, such as DistroKid. They’ll streamline the process and upload your recording to any of a large number of standard streaming platforms for a small annual fee per album. With them, you’ll keep 100% of your earnings

    If you decide to do this on your own rather than working with an online distributor, click on the buttons below for information on distributing through each platform:

    Physical CDs & Vinyl

    It’s becoming increasingly common for artists not to print to CD or vinyl records.  If you do want to print to CD or Vinyl, most artists work with Disc Makers. There are some competitors out there too, such as National Media Services for CDs (but not vinyl).

    You’ll need to download their templates for graphic design to create your cases, CDs labels, record labels, etc.  You’ll find Disc Makers’ templates here.


    PRO & AllMusic Registration

    If you’re a member of a Performing Rights Organization, or PRO, like ASCAP or BMI, register all of your music through your PRO.  (You can learn more about PROs here.) Use these buttons to access work registration:

    It’s also recommended that, after you release your CD or digital recording, you register the recording with All Music, a database for recordings. To register your music with All Music, follow the steps listed here.


    Marketing your music is a huge topic, but here are some key things to remember:

    • Post the recording on your website with links to all the places it can be streamed.
    • Some people use link aggregators, like LinkTree, to create a single link for all the places the music can be found.
    • Post to social media on both your personal and band/ensemble pages. 
    • Consider sending a press release to local papers.
    • Be sure to bring merchandise to performances and have someone available to sell it.
    • Consider holding an in-person or virtual album release party.
    • Consider placing targeted ads on social media. Focus your efforts especially on the platforms that match your demographics.  Look for where you have the most subscribers or consider demographic statistics, like how Facebook is widely favored among millennials and older generations, while TikTok and Instagram tend to be favored by the younger generation at present.
    • Develop your fan base by creating a distribution list.  You can use tools, like Mailchimp, to create and manage your fan database. PCMag periodically rates these tools here.


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