Music Distribution for beginners | Tips for choosing the perfect music aggregator for Spotify to Itunes ... [reading time: 3 minutes]

IS THIS BLOG WORTH TO READ?

  • you are in the beginning of choosing the right music aggregator
  • you want to have answers about the real main aspects which you should bear in mind, when you decide for a music aggregator
  • you don't want to blunder naively into a trap

 If you can answer one of these question with YES, then go ahead...

 

WHAT IS A MUSIC AGGREGATOR?

 

A music aggregator acts as a distributor and provide your music mainly to online music stores such as Spotify, I Tunes, Google Play, Deezer, AmazonMP3 ...

 

ADVANTAGES IF YOU USE A MUSIC AGGREGATOR

  • You don’t need to share your income with a label
  • Very fast and uncomplicated implementation
  • Not expensive
  • You can decide offering your music only to certain online streaming services

 DISADVANTAGES IF YOU USE A MUSIC AGGREGATOR

  • Time consuming. You have to make the whole administrative work and especially the marketing by yourself.
  • With no legal background it is not easy to identify if there are any traps in the term of conditions of the music aggregators
  • Competition of independent musicians is already tremendous on online music platforms, which means the fight of the attention is huge. In other words getting clicks for your music is another story, called "marketing"...

 

Well, I don't recommend you a specific music aggregator.

Before you make the decision, you should make following checks:

 

·  COMPARE PRICES AND FEES

Some aggregators are asking for a one-time payment others retain a part of the income that your music is generating or they ask for an annual fee. You have to decide for your own if you want to share the cake in the end or not. I was also thinking what is actually better for my music career. In the world of business, companies will only get active if they can create a benefit for themselve. As a result I decided to opt for  sharing  the income with the music aggregator. In future the music aggregator might have probably an incentive to promote my music.

 

   READ THE TERMS OF CONDITIONS CAREFULLY!

I know reading terms and conditions can be boring but trust me it is worth to do it and if you have a lawyer as friend, use his or her knowledge! That is actually the most important point as hidden fees might occur for example that could be charged by the music aggregator later on.

For example www.tunecore.com can charge at least 300 $ if the company requires to engage an attorney to review or respond to a claim of infringement of copyright according to its terms of conditions.  I decided for example not to choose tunecore for precisely that reason. So in this worst case scenario, they can charge you with these fees even the accusation is not sustainable.

What is more be aware of which rights you are granting to the music aggregator at all. For example some music aggregators ask for exclusivity, which means that you are not allowed to sell your music through another music aggregator.

 

THE HEADQUARTER OF THE MUSIC AGGREGATOR?

If you are a musician active in the European Union, I recommend taking an aggregator that is situated there. There are several reasons for, such as the laws in the USA and EU are different and additionally if it comes to a claim against you, it could be that the trial will be before a court in the USA.

 

    EXPERIENCES IN BLOGS AND FORUMS

There are quiet a lot of  blogs and forums in which people already exchange their expertise. So comparing all these services brings you a step forward. And the best thing... it is free ;)!

 

TEST THE CUSTOMER SERVICE

Before I decided for an aggregator I sent every aggregator some simple questions in order to test the quality of their reply. Mostly all aggregators wrote me back within 24 hours. Only from www.kobaltmusic.com I didn't receive even after a reminder an e-mail. www.awal.com actually sent me a formal answer back without answering my question. The music distributor www.recjordjet.de (Music Aggregator situated in Germany) has for example an own chat tool. I like the pretty much, because you can communicate with them very fast and they are handling all issues very user friendly.