As an independent artist, you’ve probably heard of all the music streaming services—Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited—the list goes on. Streaming is the primary way to consume music and is essential for any independent artist to make money from their craft. So, which are the best music streaming services for artists?
It depends on a variety of factors. Different streaming services have unique features catering to other music preferences. Then there’s also the question of getting paid. How much do they pay compared to physical sales or downloads?
To help you confidently choose your preferred music streaming service, we’ll examine each of these elements in detail in this article.
What are the best music streaming services for artists?
Choosing which provider would meet your demands can be challenging if you want to earn money from streaming music. Here are some of the top music streaming services for artists:
- Spotify: Spotify has one of the largest music catalogs in the world and is popular among fans for its curated playlists. It also gives artists detailed analytics about their listeners and where they’re from.
- Apple Music: Apple Music makes it easy to connect with fans worldwide and can help artists garner exposure quickly through recommendations and features. It also has an extensive collection of exclusive tracks, giving it an edge over other services.
- SoundCloud: SoundCloud is possibly the most popular destination for independent acts. It allows indie artists to upload their original material without any restrictions. It’s also great for sharing new tracks with followers who can provide valuable feedback and help expand connections within the industry.
- Bandcamp: Bandcamp is a great platform for those who want more control over monetizing their music. Artists can choose how much to charge customers per stream or download and keep 90% of what their fans pay. It is much higher than any of the other streaming services.
Benefits of Streaming Services for Artists
Streaming services have revolutionized how artists share music and connect with their audience. There are several benefits of using streaming services for artists, including:
- Increased exposure: Streaming platforms provide artists with a broad reach, allowing their music to be discovered by new listeners around the world. These platforms also utilize algorithms that recommend music based on user preferences, increasing the chances of being found.
- Convenient distribution: Streaming services make it easy for artists to distribute their work, bypassing the need for physical production and distribution of CDs or vinyl records. This saves time, money, and resources for the artist.
- Real-time analytics: Artists can access detailed analytics on their music through streaming platforms. This information includes listener demographics, location, and engagement data, allowing artists to understand their audience better. And consequently plan targeted promotions.
- Royalty payments: While royalty rates vary across platforms, streaming services provide a source of income for artists. The more plays a track receives, the more revenue the artist generates.
- Creative freedom: Streaming platforms enable artists to experiment with their sound and release music on their terms. This freedom allows for greater creative expression and artistic growth.
- Playlists and editorial features: Many streaming services feature curated playlists and editorial content that can highlight up-and-coming artists. Being featured in these playlists can significantly boost an artist’s exposure and credibility.
- Direct fan engagement: Streaming services often include social features that allow artists to connect with their fans. This fosters a sense of community and encourages deeper relationships with their audience.
Top Streaming Companies for Independent and Major Label Artists
Streaming services are perfect for hearing your music, but which are the best for musicians? According to the type of musician you are—whether signed to a major label or independent—there is a streaming service for you.
For major label artists
Below are platforms for significant label artists:
Apple Music offers one of the highest payouts per stream. Especially for those with larger fan bases, thanks to its tiered system. Also, this platform’s integration into other Apple products makes it easier for fans to access your music without switching devices.
On the other hand, Spotify has become a popular platform for promoting new releases due to its ‘New Music Friday’ and ‘Release Radar’ features. These features are great for creating some buzz around your latest songs and albums. It can also connect artists directly with fans through tools like Spotify Fan Insights, which provides customized analytics from streams, followers, geographical stats, and more.
Independent artists have several potential options for what streaming services they choose.
Bandcamp and SoundCloud are two platforms geared towards independent musicians who want more freedom with how they share their music.
Negotiating the Best Deals with Streaming Platforms
Consider negotiating the finest terms with the streaming platforms to increase your revenue from music streaming services. With the correct arrangement, you can reach numerous markets and receive royalties from various sources.
Three essential criteria should be taken into account when deciding what’s ideal for you and your music:
Rights and royalties
Always be aware of who has the rights to your music, who gets the royalties, and how much money you’ll make from each stream. Avoid entering agreements that won’t benefit you over the long term.
It’s also important to consider the global reach of different streaming services. How many countries do they operate in, and what proportion of their customer base is outside your home country? This can help you identify which streaming platform will give you access to more potential fans.
Variety of tools and services
Finally, some streaming platforms offer a variety of tools and services that can benefit artists, including promotion, distribution, and marketing support. You may choose the service that best matches your needs by being aware of the possibilities that are accessible.
Features to Look for When Choosing a Streaming Service
Not every streaming service is made equally. When selecting the best streaming service for you and your music as an artist, there are specific features to consider.
Firstly, how do they distribute payments? Does the service pay a certain minimum amount before distributing funds, or do they pay every time something streams? This is a crucial detail to be aware of. It will directly affect how much money you’re making from streaming.
Second, what visibility can you get with the service? Is there a “featured artist” section, or is a particular placement given to specific artists? This can make a big difference in getting more plays and more audiences.
Thirdly, what kind of analytics can you access to track your success? Do they provide granular statuses, such as detailed playlists and demographics? Or just a simple view of your total streams? By accessing more analytics, you can understand which songs perform best and where your audience is coming from.
As an artist looking for the best streaming service for your unique needs, these are key features to watch out for.
If you want to become a music producer, here’s How to Become Music Producer.
We hope you find our article, the best music streaming services for Artists, helpful.
Before subscribing to a streaming service, carefully compare each to find the best one. Always remember, no one streaming service is right for every artist. Selecting the right music streaming service for you and your songs is critical to maximizing your potential income and fan engagement.
If you choose the correct places to distribute your music, your effort in creating it will pay off. Using the best streaming service, you may broaden your fan base and spread the word about your music.