How to upload songs to Spotify – A Useful Guide [2021]

We often get questions from bands and creators about how they can upload their music and songs to Spotify. It is true that uploading songs on the now popular streaming platform Spotify is something that all creators have to do. The reason is obvious: streaming is the most up-to-date way of listening to the music product by the listeners. Spotify, YouTube, Deezer, Tidal, Apple Music are just some of the streaming services that have completely changed the way the public now listens to music.

How artists are paid when someone is listening to a song (streaming) on Spotify.

Spotify is a subscription service that gives to all subscribers who pay a monthly fee, unlimited access to millions of songs from around the world. By paying the subscription, a user actually buys the right to listen to all the tracks available on Spotify through all his devices. It is of course important to note here that unlike YouTube, all the compositions and songs available on Spotify have been uploaded following all the legal procedures.

This means, for example, that you cannot upload a song of Radiohead to Spotify (which you may be able to do on YouTube, subject to certain conditions). All songs uploaded to Spotify are uploaded directly by the record companies which own all the legal rights to commercialize the music work (compositions and recordings).

Large record companies have direct access to Spotify and can determine which tracks or albums to upload to the platform. Smaller record companies or freelance artists cannot upload songs directly to Spotify. Instead they have to use services from third parties, which are called digital distributors.

Is there revenue for the artist when someone listens to his song on Spotify?

Spotify has revenue from 2 main sources:

  • Subscriptions
  • Advertisements (ads are for free Spotify users only)

At the same time Spotify has to pay its suppliers for the “product” it markets. This product is the music (albums, singles) and the suppliers are the creators (bands, record companies, independent artists)

How much money does Spotify pays per listening?

The money Spotify pays the artists is a standard amount for each stream – each time a song or band is played, the artist earns a small amount. This amount is estimated at approximately 0.004€ per hearing.

This means that if a song is played 1,000 times, the revenue income for the band is 4€. It is worth noting here that the audition should be over 30 seconds to generate revenue for the band.

How to upload songs to Spotify as freelance artists through a digital distributor.

There are several companies that provide music upload service on Spotify on behalf of independent record makers or artists. Each digital distributor has a different price and different features.

The service we recommend for easy management and uploading of your directory is the Distrokid.

This particular distributor has a very attractive price allowing artists to upload unlimited albums with an annual subscription priced at $19.99 per year.

See the service in detail here

It is worth noting that the artist keeps 100% of the revenues from the auditions. Apart from Spotify, distrokid uploads the tracks to all major digital music sales platforms such as iTunes, Deezer, TIDAL, Apple Music etc. What you need to upload your tracks via DistroKid to Spotify and all platforms is:

  • All tracks (in WAV or MP3 320 format)
  • The commercial rights of the songs
  • The names of the composers and lyricists for each piece
  • High Resolution Disc Cover (3,000 x 3,000 px)

How do I upload remix to Spotify? What if you have done a cover song?

If the composition or lyrics do not belong to the band or the artist, you need permission to upload the cover to Spotify and the other streaming and download platforms. It is not possible (and legal) for a band to record a remix, put it up for sale and receive money from the commercial exploitation of the intellectual work of other creators (original composer and lyricist if it is a song) without the written permission of the creators. And this is because the creators have to be paid accordingly from the sales.

The process of obtaining a trademark and commercially exploit through Spotify can be a very complex procedure. It should be noted that this type of license is called a Mechanical License. Most of the time, however it is sufficient , if any, a written statement by the composer / lyricist or the respective publisher.

But when it comes to famous composers (eg a band has done a rendition of a piece by Lou Reed) then it is almost impossible for a small band to get in touch with the composer’s publishing company or the composer himself. In this case you can buy the Mechanical license (mechanical license for legal upload of a song on Spotify) through third parties such as:

  1. Harry Fox Agency
  2. Easy Song Licensing

If you are using Distrokid as a distributor, the process is much simpler. You must declare when uploading the tracks to DistroKid that this track is a cover. The platform will ask you to pay an extra amount per piece ($12 / piece / year).

With this amount, DistroKid undertakes to clear the rights to pay the original songwriters and lyricists of the songs and to obtain all the necessary licenses on your behalf. Even if you have managed to get a written license from the lyricist or publisher, Distrokid will ask you to pay $ 12 / year / song to allow you to upload the cover to the platforms.

Are there any extra charges for uploading via Distrokid?

DistroKid’s service allows artists to upload new material (singles, ep’s, albums) at no extra charge as long as it is the same artist. If you wish to upload songs with a 2nd artist name then you are required to either create a new Distrokid account or purchase a larger plan that allows you to use more than 1 artist names. There are also some limitations on the basic of 19.99.

For example, you can not register a record company in the profile (Distrokid appears as a record company). Although this does not change anything about payments and rights, there are cases where artists want to display a different name as their record label. The option to choose a record name is provided in the larger shots of distrokid.

Distrokid coupon – 7% discount

You can get an extra 7% discount on all distrokid shots if you click here and open an account from this link.