First things first. This is an article written by a musician to musicians. So, yeah, I know how it feels the skin you wear. The music artist category has been increasing more and more each day. New and accessible ways of making music have made possible many of our dreams. But the big point is that the more our community grows by means of homemade production the more we become independent. Independence has it’s bright sides; and it has a not-so-gloomy side. You’ll face yourself struggling to find a trustworthy company to make your deals with. And this is where Magroove comes in, and below follows the reason why I recommend them.
You know how great it feels to make the music you wanna make. You know how easy it is to complain about getting paid for it.
So start by learning how to upload songs to Spotify. You need a digital distributor to do so. And I’ll give you the best company that does that, we’ll go step by step through what you need to do: how to prepare your files; what do you get and how do you get it; what do you give; understanding terms and conditions; and finally why I wanna share with the world how this is the best aggregator in the market.
5 steps & in 5’ you got it
First check out Magroove.com. That’s the digital distributor I’m currently using. They’ll upload for free as many albums as you have. I’ll later give you more reasons why I chose them and how the deal works. First take a look on their website, see how the UI is so easy to navigate and maybe you won’t even come back to this article.
Ok, if you came back, let’s get to know what Spotify wants from you. That’s the info you’ll give when uploading a release through Magroove and it’s valid for other platforms and stores.
It’s a pretty quick sign up process and Magroove takes like 2 to 3 days to approve all releases you upload. Magroove is the quickes and safest way I found on how to upload songs to Spotify .
Upload Checklist for how to upload songs to Spotify
- Release info: your EP/Album name and year of creation – that’s all.
- Cover art: you should use high quality images on jpeg formats. If it’s 3000x3000px it’s the best. That’ll be the cover art for your release. It must not contain any links, social media info or brand logos on it. If you don’t have one, Magroove will upload a generic cover and you’ll be able to change it later.
- Audio files: should be MP3 320kbps 44.100Hz 16bit. If your files ain’t that exact format, Magroove will convert them, as it is Spotify’s requirement. Remember that downgrading audio quality is generally OK, but upgrading will generate glitches on your tracks.
- Your influences: cite at least 3 artists that influenced your music the most. This is also very important to Magroove, as it’s music recommendation service will make use of that information.
Ok, that’s basically all the info you must have on hands. But I don’t think I have to tell you that from now on you’ll get paid for your music. And that’s what copyrights and metadata are all about. So let’s go through a little copyright checklist that does not substitute advice from a suitably qualified lawyer for matters of copyrights.
Copyrights checklist for how to upload songs to Spotify
Answer yes to all questions below
- Did you write music and lyrics all by yourself?
- Did you record it all or have permission from the record label and/or producer?
- Do you have permission from all copyright holders of samples used in the tracks?
Now you must answer no to all questions below:
- Were you signed to a record label or have a publishing deal for any track on your release?
- Are you a member of a PRO or collecting society?
- Does anyone else have the rights to any track on your release?
- Does any track contain explicit recognizable excerpts from other copyrighted work?
(I found all of this on Magroove’s checklist page but I reinforce that, if you have bigger doubts, contact a lawyer qualified on copyrights matters)
Additional info: ISRC Code and Metadata
ISRC codes are an identification number of individual tracks. You can get them by yourself for free at your government’s copyright laws department and if you already got them you must use the same codes for each song when signing up to Magroove. If you don’t have them, Magroove will generate ISRC codes for each track you upload – no cost for that. They are necessary for Spotify (or any other music store and streaming service) to identify your tracks on their database and, therefore, accordingly take streams and downloads (in case of stores) measures.
Metadata (data about data) is specified info about your track. Specifically publishing metadata refers to other people who you intend to share royalties with that co-created the music piece you’re uploading to streaming services. It’s important in case there are other copyright holders to your tracks, like a partner songwriter, producer, record label or band members. Each name must be informed, as metadata will guarantee payment and credits for each copyright holder. In Magroove’s signing up process there’ll be a step for that.
Royalties and how Magroove pays you
Now that you know how to upload songs to Spotify and other DSPs with Magroove, let’s go to how you’ll get paid.
Firstly, to clear out, Magroove will pay you in American Dollars (USD) and, for now, I believe they only support payment through Paypal accounts.
And here comes another good reason to sign with Magroove. They pay us 100% net revenue from all stores and streaming services we choose to upload our music to. If you’ve recently been searching for a digital distributor, I should forward you that most will take a percentage of your streaming royalties. If you knew that already, I should believe that you’ll be signing with Magroove, right?
It took me a few years to find a company that pays what I deserve and in rightful time. You can retrieve your payment as soon as you gather US$ 50, no need for waiting 3 months, or a year, like you’d have to with other aggregators out there.
But here’s also where you’ll finally pay them. They’ll take the first 5 dollars each of your releases (album/EP) make per year. Considering the quality of their services, the fact that they don’t make any precharges and you have an unlimited amount of uploads to platforms like Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Tidal and many others, I think that’s one of the best deals you’ll find, if not the best.
Magroove’s Terms And Conditions
It’s not just about knowing how to upload songs to Spotify. As an independent artist you should try to learn the most you can about copyright laws and the conditions in which you’re distributing your music.
That’s an important topic ‘cause it may be different from distributor to distributor. If you really care for your work I highly suggest reading the whole terms and conditions on their website. It’s quite clear and easy to understand and I assure you there’s nothing that will go against what I’m telling you here.
But I’d like to highlight a few aspects especially regarding those who are switching aggregators like I did.
Magroove won’t tie you up. In other words, if you upload a release with them, you’re free to sign with another aggregator, while still having that release online gathering royalties through Magroove. You’re just not allowed to upload the same tracks. So you’ll have to take down your tracks from Magroove to do that, and it’s really simple, no charges for that. And that works the same way if you’re quitting a distributor, you take out your tracks and then sign with Magroove to upload those tracks. I must say I rapidly took all of my tracks from my last distributor and got them all online through Magroove. They took like 2 to 3 days to get all my releases on all stores and streaming platforms.
The best deal I ever made on my career
Okay, maybe that south American tour I did in 2015 was pretty fun… And that other European tour was a door-opener to many opportunities…
But those won’t secure any income, really. It’s good money at that specific moment. I believe independent artists should already be looking for ways to generate passive income. That’s why we must know by ourselves how to upload songs to Spotify and other digital services. They guarantee us passive income.
And even though we are eager for that, it’s sort of difficult to find trustworthy deals for such. I’m here recommending Magroove, especially for that reason. I couldn’t be more comfortable with the deal I made. And I know how much an independent artist struggles to find this peace of mind I found with them.