Q. How can I distribute my music online?

Published in SOS June 2010
Bookmark and Share

Having just completed a few tracks I'm really pleased with, I'd like to take the plunge and start putting my music on the Internet. I've heard that there are services that can put you on download sites, such as Spotify, but I don't know where to start! What are my options?

There are several ways to distribute your music on the Internet. For example, AWAL will distribute your music to other web sites in exchange for a 15 percent cut, while Bandcamp allow you to sell your work directly, using Paypal.There are several ways to distribute your music on the Internet. For example, AWAL will distribute your music to other web sites in exchange for a 15 percent cut, while Bandcamp allow you to sell your work directly, using Paypal.Q. How can I distribute my music online?

Katy Bradley via email

SOS Video Media Editor Julian Harding replies: There are plenty of web sites out there for distributing your material digitally, but a couple of services stand out as particularly good value to me. The first is Bandcamp (www.bandcamp.com), which allows you to sell your music and merchandise via PayPal, without taking a cut of your profits. The layout is clean and clear, and the service is extremely simple to use, creating a whole variety of download formats from a single WAV or AIFF upload.

The fan can pick from MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Apple Lossless, FLAC and AAC download formats, which is quite enough choice for even the most obsessive audiophile and, by choosing to demand an email in return for downloads, you can easily gather a mailing list. You can also create albums and EPs on the site, give out download codes for promotional purposes and sell your t‑shirts and ironic mugs, or whatever merchandise you're currently peddling. One of my favourite features is the creation of MP3 tags from data you enter on the site. I've lost count of how many times I've sent someone a master, only to find that the title tag is 'Song 3 FINAL MIX mstrd (less limit)', or something equally non‑descriptive. This makes it a real plus to have conversion and tagging done at the Bandcamp end of things!

If you'd prefer to distribute your music through more traditional digital stores, such as iTunes, Amazon and Spotify, then AWAL (Artists Without A Label, found at www.awal.com) provide a relatively cheap service. They take a flat 15 percent cut from your sales and offer a non‑exclusive contract, which means that you can also sell the music elsewhere, for example on Bandcamp. The list of web sites on which your music can appear is very long, though some outlets cherry‑pick content for suitability, so your presence on all of them can't be guaranteed. Once sales start happening, you can receive your payment via cheque, bank transfer or PayPal; whichever is more convenient. Several well‑known artists use AWAL, including Moby and Thom Yorke, and many up-and-coming artists can be found in their catalogue as well.  

June 2016
On sale now at main newsagents and bookstores (or buy direct from the SOS Web Shop)
SOS current Print Magazine: click here for FULL Contents list
Click image for June 2016
WIN Great Prizes in SOS Competitions!


Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Blog | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help


Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26


We accept the following payment methods in our web Shop:

Pay by PayPal - fast and secure  VISA  MasterCard  Solo  Electron  Maestro (used to be Switch)  

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2016. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents.
The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media