It’s very easy to host your music online these days, with lots of free services as well as easy and cheap distribution to the big streaming services and online stores.
This list includes both free and paid options and different ways you can target your audience.
Note: Any websites marked with an asterisk symbol should be uploaded using an online music distributor (these are far easier to sign up with than you might think!). These services (like CDBaby or RouteNote) have two different basic ways in which they work. You can either pay them a standard/yearly fee or upload your music for free and pay them through a percentage of your income for your music being listened to on streaming services. This is a really nice and easy way of getting your music online, especially if you don’t have a label or are just beginning.
Go to website: SoundCloud
SoundCloud is one of the best-known free streaming services in the world (the term “SoundCloud rapper” didn’t come to be out of thin air). It’s free to use both as a listener and an artist and is such a great way to upload your music to the world for free.
There are some limitations to SoundCloud as an artist. However, they have a paid account version where you can upload an unlimited amount of music, get paid for your music streams, and more.
Go to website: Bandcamp
Bandcamp is the best-known platform for independent and small-time artists who want to have a free environment to promote and sell their music. You can create your own customizable page, sell both digital and analog music as well as merchandise.
This platform is also great because you get your money instantly and you don’t have to wait for quarterly royalty payments. You will get 85-90% of the revenue you make, and that just shows you that this is a service that is truly artist-oriented.
Bandcamp has also waived its revenue share for short periods a few times over the past year, which is certainly a step in the right direction to support artists even more.
Go to website: Spotify
Spotify is the largest streaming service in the world. Through this service, you can reach a large listener base and promote your music. Spotify’s music discovery feature is also a great way to get your music heard by listeners, but it’s not easy to get picked up by their algorithms.
Though, the drawback is that the royalties they pay artists are low. Artists need to get a whopping amount of streams in order to make any decent sums of money off Spotify.
Go to website: YouTube
YouTube is not a music platform per se, but as you well know, many musicians use it to upload and share their music. It’s free, although in recent years YouTube Premium and YouTube Music have emerged as paid services, through which you get better listening quality as a user.
You can upload anything you like, as long as it is not infringing any rights, and you can get paid through monetization of your channel. However, in order to monetize, you need to have at least 1000 subscribers and meet a bunch of other criteria.
Go to website: iTunes
iTunes is the service that started it all. Through iTunes, you can both listen to and buy music from your favorite artists. As with other major services, you have to go through a distributor to get on there.
Go to website: Tidal
Tidal is an interesting service promoted by musicians (Jay-Z, Chris Martin, Beyonce, etc.) for musicians. They operate on the basis of paying the highest royalty fees out there, but, as always, you have to get to them through a distributor.
Even though they do pay the most of the major services and there are plans to expand their business to be more like Bandcamp with merch selling and artist shops included, they still have a somewhat smaller number of users.
However, that’s why most distributors go out and get you uploaded to dozens of services, and not just one, giving you a better shot at getting your music recognized and monetized.
7. Apple Music*
Get it on: Apple Music
Apple Music is the offspring of iTunes and Apple’s entry into the music streaming business. As with other major players, you’re going to need a distributor to get you in, and you’ll earn money from the subscribers listening to your music, per click.
As with other major services, this one offers you a lower amount of money per click but also gives you a chance for hundreds of millions of people to hear your music and discover you.
Go to website: Audiomack
Audiomack is an app that allows you to listen to music its users share for free. Even though it’s relatively new on the scene, it has gained much traction and has an ever-growing fan base around the world.
If you’re an artist, you can apply for monetization through their premium program without needing distributors. You should also note that because they are ad-free, you’re going to get lower numbers per stream on Audiomack than on the larger platforms.
Go to website: Bandzoogle
Bandzoogle works in a similar way Bandcamp does. It is an online tool for artists to create their own personal website, through which they can sell their music and merchandise for a flat fee.
10. Your Personal Music Website
Even though there are thousands of music services out there, you still have the option to create your own website. Check out our guide on how to create a music website to help you get started. In this way, you can keep all of the money you earn and you can directly communicate with your fans and sell anything you wish, such as music, merchandise, tickets for live shows, etc.
We hope that through this article you were able to learn a thing or two about different options for up-and-coming musicians out there. The internet market has already taken over the world of the music industry and it’s only going to keep growing, so it’s always good to branch out to different places and check out what is the best for you and your music business.
There are several different types of services; each has their pros and cons and it’s really up to you to choose the best one you think will get you the most money and spread the word about your music to the most people out there.
Most musicians are opting for the approach of putting their music out to as many platforms as possible in order to expand the potential to gain fans.