Are you a new artist wondering how to get your music on Spotify? Distributing your music in the digital age is very different than it used to be.

This article will explain how to get your music on one of the most popular online streaming services. Learn how to submit your music to Spotify.

Music Distribution Companies

Content on Spotify is either delivered by a distributor or a record label. Unless you are signed to a label, to submit your music to Spotify, you will need to work with a third-party distributor or aggregator service.

Spotify works with companies that distribute and license your music. They pay the earned royalties when your music is streamed.

There are numerous music distribution services. However, the three most popular ones are:

  • TuneCore
  • DistroKid
  • CDBaby

What are the Differences in Each Platform?

All the above sites basically work the same way and distribute your music to the same platforms. The process starts with paying the fee, uploading your song or album, and entering all the applicable information.

Distrokid

DistokKid is a relatively new company. It is also the first service to offer a one-time annual fee of $19.99 for unlimited distributions.

There are no additional fees when releasing new songs or albums. The turnaround time is quick, and they don’t charge a commission. Artists keep 100% of the royalties. 

DistroKid recently rolled out a new, exclusive feature called Synced Lyrics

Any artist can automatically create and upload synced lyrics. Listeners can sing along as the words scroll in perfect time with the music, just like karaoke.

CDBaby

CDBaby has been in business since 1998. There are no annual fees. Instead, you pay for each piece of music once.

If you are looking for a service that will offer physical distribution of CDs so you can sell them in their online store, CDBaby is the service for you.

They also charge 30% commission for YouTube distribution and 9% for streaming your music.

TuneCore

TuneCore doesn’t take commissions. Artists keep 100% of the royalties they earn.

TuneCore also offers reports to show where fans are streaming and downloading your music. They charge a fee for each song or album you want to distribute.

Steps to Submit Your Music to Spotify

The process to sign up for any of the above three services is straightforward and relatively similar.

To submit your music to Spotify:

  • Sign up for the distribution service you choose
  • Select the type of release (single or album)
  • Enter the artist, release information, and song (or album) details
  • Upload your music file or files (File Format: 16-bit/44.1k WAV files) and artwork
  • Choose the platform(s) where you want to distribute your music
  • Select a release date
  • Confirm your information and submit

Spotify Playlists

Spotify playlists are the easiest way for people to hear your music. They are one of the best ways to introduce your music to new fans.

Playlists are owned by the people who create them. The best way for new artists to get started with playlists is to start building their own.

Searchable, well-constructed playlists are a path from Spotify’s search box to an artist’s profile. Including favorite songs from well-known musicians and mixing them with your own similar-sounding music might seem tacky, but it is not dishonest and it is effective.

The better a artist curates and promotes their playlists, the higher their chances of attracting and engaging listeners.

Of course, getting on the playlists of famous artists is an ideal way to get your music heard. One method is to reach out to music influencers or regular Spotify artists who have a large following.  

You can send them a message on social media and request swapping exposure. Ask them to include your song on their playlist in exchange for sharing their music, playlists, and posts on your social media.

How to Create a Playlist on Spotify

From your desktop, open the Spotify web player. Click the New Playlist option on the bottom left of the player.

Add a name and description to your new playlist. Use keywords to increase the chances of coming up in search.

Choose or create an image for your playlist. It is highly recommended that you choose an engaging and relevant cover to attract listeners to your music.

To add tracks to your playlist, look through new releases, recommended songs, browse, or search. Look for the three dots next to the PLAY button and select Add to Playlist from the dropdown menu.

You can also drag tracks into the name of your playlist on the left side navigation.

How to Create a Spotify Playlist Cover

As discussed above, Spotify playlists have a significant impact on getting your music heard. When a listener comes across a track in a playlist, it is the cover art that they see first.

The artwork for your music will contextualize your song, grab attention, or tell the story of your single or album.

There is no need to be a graphic designer or a Photoshop expert to create an engaging playlist cover. Below are a few tools you can use to create impressive and cool artwork.

Replace Cover

A quick and easy tool to create your own playlist artwork is Replace Cover.

You can also use the random button and cycle through random image and theme combinations to find one you like.

Bannersnack

Bannersnack is a drag-and-drop and easy-to-use graphics editor used to create all kinds of images, including Spotify playlist covers.

Use a pre-made template and customize it or create your own. Bannersnack has more features than Replace Cover.

Canva

Canva offers a library of pre-made Cover templates to get you started.

Customize the colors, fonts, images, and filters to create cover art that reflects your identity.

Cover Art Guidelines for Spotify

Follow the rules below when creating your playlist cover image:

  • Images must be a square
  • Use high-resolution images for quality display
  • 4 MB maximum image file size
  • Jpeg images only

Streaming is the most common way people listen to music today. And Spotify is one of the most popular platforms for artists to get their music heard.

When you submit your music to Spotify and get your tracks added to others’ playlists, you’ll have the opportunity for greater exposure to listeners.

Spotify also offers an Artists App for Android and iOS where musicians can track their music as it goes live, learn more about their listeners, and control their presence on Spotify.