Have you ever tried the Shazam app? What does it do? When you come across songs that you like but don’t know the name of the song, Shazam helps you identify the song and this way you can download it. Though Shazam has a library of so many songs, it wouldn’t recognize songs that aren’t available on major music websites like iTunes. With Apple’s acquisition of Shazam, the app is getting even better and popular. Shazam also helps to display lyrics of songs that you are hearing elsewhere on the go! Now, you may be wondering, but how do I make my own songs available on these apps.
You’ve recorded as a great song, you’ve got hundreds or thousands of fans who play your songs and you probably have realized that sometimes, they would be playing these songs and their shy neighbour will not have the courage to walk up to them and ask the name of the song. What role do you have to play here? Make your song discoverable. Putting your songs on iTunes and other popular music sites aren’t just because you want to sell more music, it’s also because you want to access more features and advantages of having your song recognized by search engines and music match apps like Shazam.
Apple sells 50% of all online music in the world today and alongside Spotify, Deezer, Google Music and other popular websites, they make it even more difficult for young and upcoming artists to sell their platforms directly using their platforms. So, the option you have is to use aggregator services. To put your songs directly on iTunes for example, you must
- Have 20 Albums to your credit
- You must own a universal product code (UPS) and international standard recording code for each of your songs.
- You must have Apple’s Mac Computer running the most recent OS (10.5.8 or later)
If you don’t have the above qualifications, then you need aggregator services whose job is to handle your songs for you including the documentation and all of that. The beautiful thing about using these services is that you don’t just get your song on iTunes, you also get them in more than 150 other music stores. While you may not necessarily sell in those stores, the metadata helps in building your reputation all over the search engines. Let’s review a few aggregator services.
All the services listed above will deliver your songs to all the major music stores worldwide with a certain amount of upfront payment and parts of your sells. It would cost as much as $15 for each song and $60 for each album. You may also be charged certain annual fees too. After all these procedures, what you would be earning for each song is usually $0.70.
Having considered the above and you’re still an upcoming musician who isn’t earning so much yet, what do you have to do? Do you have about $50 to spend every year just to keep your songs on Reverbnation’s distribution list? Do you have $15 to pay for each of your songs? Your major aim may not even be to sell but to become visible and then convert to sales indirectly, can you afford the bucks involved? There is another way to do this for free! There are new aggregators who have chosen to compete with the big names with a different strategy. You can distribute free to iTunes and other major networks at no cost but with a cut of 5 -15 per cent of each sale which isn’t a bad thing! Some of these companies like Amuse would even strike a deal and sign you up on their record label if your song does well on streaming sites!
Here are a few lists that you may want to check on.
Before you chose any aggregator service whether free or paid, you should ensure you check out more about them and compare with other options to know what’s best for you. The beauty of having your songs on major music stores worldwide is that it adds to your visibility, the metadata is helpful for search engine bots in identifying who you are and of course, you also get discovered with Music Match apps like Shazam!
Onyedikachukwu George Nnadozie is the creative director of Funtrick Technology, an author and a public speaker. Aside from his creative job at Funtrick Technology, he takes time to write on his personal blog, George’s Diary. He also founded FunIQ Skills Academy, an online learning platform where he teach Digital Skills.