Independent artists, also known as indies, are today making more music than ever. But are they making money that is worth their time and effort? Well, even with the pandemic and social distancing, distribution platforms are still busy at work. With platforms like Spotify currently enjoying over 356 million active users monthly, it is evident that the future of music is on the World Wide Web. What’s more is that some platforms allow you to bypass third parties, such as record labels. The trick is in finding the best music platforms for artists and indies in specific.
On-demand streaming platforms have huge libraries that are slowly making digital music downloads irrelevant. With just a few clicks of the button, music lovers can find the latest hits or good oldies ideal for their mood or specific occasions. That said, there has never been a better time for independent artists to share their music with the world.
- Top 11 Music Platforms for Artists Platforms Every Indie Should Know
- Extra Tip
Top 11 Music Platforms for Artists Platforms Every Indie Should Know
Making it as an independent artist is hard work. Without the financial backing of well-endowed record labels, you must be ready to put your best foot forward to find your niche and your fan base. To get it right, you must choose the right platforms to share your music and hopefully enjoy both exposure and a steady source of revenue.
We took the time to scout for the best music platforms for artists on your behalf. Dive in to discover them and the kind of audience they can offer. Also, we will discuss what ticks about them to guide you in your selection.
Spotify is the go-to platform for music explorers and podcast junkies. As such, it is also perfect for emerging musicians who want to generate a buzz around their music, make a name for themselves, and grow their fan base. When counting the best music platforms for artists, Spotify is on top of the list. It’s by far the most popular on-demand streaming service with millions of users monthly. Most importantly, it boasts a massive library with a range of musical styles, podcasts, and video content that keeps listeners interested and coming back for more.
What’s more, Spotify is compatible with a wide selection of devices. It pairs well with web players, desktop apps, iOS, and Android apps, just to mention a few. As an independent artist, one feature that will win your attention is the discover playlist. This gives you a chance to be featured on New Music Fridays or Monday’s Discover Weekly. One downside to using Spotify is that you must work with a label or digital music distributor. The streaming platform doesn’t accept music directly from artists, so you’ll need a company that can deliver your work and collects your royalties.
Soundcloud is yet another streaming service that ranks high on the best music platforms for artists just getting started with their craft. It gathers some serious bragging rights with over 200 million active users monthly who are eager to discover your new singles and album releases. Additionally, Soundcloud has one of the most extensive indie music libraries with over 100 million user-generated tracks.
Like Spotify, Soundcloud also allows you to update your profile, create a descriptive bio and link it with your socials. The platform offers various plans, which include Basic, Pro, and Unlimited plans. You simply need to choose the package that is in line with your objectives. One thing that makes Spotify tick is its share-ability and sociability features. You could even choose a package that allows fans to make social media comments on your tracks.
Music Platforms For Artists; Pandora
To have your music played on Pandora, the platform’s musicologists must first approve it. Even though the set standards are demanding, popularity is just around the corner once your music is approved. The best part is that you can either submit your music through a digital distribution company or using the Independent Artist Submission Tool.
Pandora is designed to be a platform for listeners with a thing for intuitive playlists. The audience rates the tracks, meaning that listeners often receive music specific to their preferences. Again, this is not necessarily bad because it makes it easier for indies to identify their audience.
If you don’t mind sparing some bucks to have your music played on a top-rated streaming platform, Tidal is perfect for you. This platform is perfect for audiophiles that love top-quality, high-resolution music. For the independent artist, it offers the perk of having a Tidal rising feature. It selects one upcoming artist weekly and gives them the much-needed hype and exposure.
It’s easy-peasy to upload your music on Tidal if you work with a record label. If you don’t, you may have to go through digital distribution companies like Record Union or Tunecore. One of the main downsides of using Tidal is that it only offers a relatively expensive HiFi plan, and there’s no free version.
Nowadays, just about everyone owns at least one Apple device. As such, posting your music on Apple music is bound to help you attract the attention of iTunes lovers across the globe. For indie artists, one of the incredible perks of uploading their music on this platform is allowing musicians to engage with their followers. You can share content or even engage in real-time conversations with your fans.
Moreover, you can showcase yourself to the world by uploading your picture and providing a detailed bio. Like most high-profile music platforms for artists, you must go through a distributor to submit your music on Apple Music. Overall, the service fees for using Apple Music are just a small price to pay to access features that can take your music career to the next level.
Top Music Platforms For Artists; Amazon Music
Amazon Music, just like Spotify, is one of the most highly compatible music platforms for artists. It pairs well with web players, desktop app, iOS, and Android apps, just to mention a few. Moreover, Amazon Music enjoys over 80 million users monthly, making it an incredibly superb platform for blossoming indies.
With a library of over 50 million songs and features that allow users to curate playlists, save and download music, Amazon Music can take your work to the next level. With a platform integrated with Alexa that even makes your newly released music available to Amazon Prime users for three months, what more could an indie artist want. To top it all off, your fans can opt to buy your merch and music directly from Amazon.
If you are looking for music platforms for artists that are available worldwide, you may want to consider Mixcloud. This platform can share your music across continents except for North Korea, China, and Japan because of licensing restrictions. What’s more, indies can create inner fan circles that support them directly. Mixcloud also ticks for its features that allow artists to control their channels and reward their fans with exclusive content.
This is certainly a platform to consider if you want to increase your revenue streams as an independent artist. Apart from allowing musicians to publish extra content such as interviews and mixes, Mixcloud also offers blanket radio licensing deals. As long as you are listed with a collecting society, you can ensure that your royalties find you, your label, or your publisher. The Mixcloud pro account has more goodies to offer, including engagement graphs that help you evaluate the value of your content.
Trust me; in a world full of hassles and bustles, the numbers of lazy music searches are by the millions. 8tracks allows such audiophiles to find new music of a specific mood or theme within seconds. Because 8tracks experts curate the playlists, lazy music searchers can easily find the music niches that match the occasion. If a platform with over 6 million young listeners and over 13 million tracks in their library sounds enticing, 8tracks is undoubtedly ideal for you.
Something about this platform that cannot go without mentioning is that it supports upcoming artists in the free version and the 8tracks plus package. The paid plan gives you access to analytic tools for tracking your performance. Better still, you can link your account with other social media and music platforms for enhanced exposure.
Best Music Platforms for Artists; Hyppedit
If your music is already on a range of music platforms for artists, you should also post it on Hyppedit. This platform helps you convert downloads on YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud, and other venues for enhanced fan engagement. Ideally, this is a fan-gaiting service that promotes buzz around your work by allowing fans to react to new releases. Moreover, they can stream, download, like, and comment on your music.
Hyppedit can help you put yourself out there to more audiences, grow your fan base, and upsurge your music streams online. Better still, this platform makes uploading dead easy for independent and emerging artists.
Another streaming service that tops the list of the best music platforms for artists is Deezer. It is perfect for indies and boasts a library of over 56 million tracks. Moreover, distributing your music on this platform doesn’t necessitate using a record label. However, you must use a third-party digital distribution company to handle your work’s administration, licensing, and distribution.
Other perks of the platform include features that allow customization of your artist page. This will help you control the image you send out to your fans. Additionally, Deezer has superior analytic features, streamlining the process of tracking the effect of your fan engagement and other activities.
Last but not least is Bandcamp. This is a platform uniquely designed to benefit upcoming artists because it supports free streaming. It is a robust marketplace that brings together a community of music lovers who support independent artists. You can allow fans to stream and download your music and buy your merch for whichever price you set. However, Bandcamp will retain 10% of your revenue from merch sales and 15% from downloads.
Another fantastic feature of this platform is that it allows fans to filter your music by genre. They can also interact with you by adding your work to their wish list, following you, and commenting on your music. Furthermore, your followers are notified whenever you release new merch or tracks. Independent artists can also message their fans directly based on their level of support and locations.
Music Platforms For Artists; Extra Tip
When it comes to choosing music platforms for artists, it is perfectly okay to spread your wings as wide as you can. Ironically, this is one area of your life where committing to one doesn’t work. Audiophiles keep changing their listening habits, and it’s hard to find true music lovers who only stick to one or a few platforms. Even opting to share your music through a superior streaming platform like Spotify alone could leave you selling yourself short.
It is the streaming era and a time when audiophiles enjoy freedom and abundance of choice when choosing their music. That said, make sure you post your music on at least three of the above platforms. You could also consider other avenues, including:
- Youtube music
- Google play music
- Iheart radio
- Jango, etc.
Keep Track of Your Tracks!
Lastly, don’t forget that the best music marketing tactics for independent artists are constantly changing. Don’t rest after uploading your music on the best music platforms for artists. You must continue to hunt for more tools, streaming platforms, and avenues that can enhance your exposure and boost fan engagement. Keep track of your tracks and be sure to adapt to new practices anytime your performance graphs show daunting results.