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How to Put Music on Spotify Without a Distributor

Getting your music on Spotify and other streaming platforms is easier than ever before thanks to DIY distribution companies. But what if you want to skip the distributor and put your music on Spotify yourself? Is it even possible?

The short answer is yes, you can put your music on Spotify without a distributor. But it does require a bit more work on your end. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps for getting your music on Spotify without the help of a distribution company.

## Why Put Music on Spotify?

Before we dig into the how-to, let’s look at why you may want to put your music on Spotify in the first place:

– **Reach new listeners** – Spotify has 165 million monthly active users. Getting your music in front of that huge audience can help you find new fans.

– **Monetize your music** – Spotify allows artists to earn royalties from streams. Although the per-stream rate is low, those royalties can add up over time.

– **Gain credibility** – Being on major platforms like Spotify lends legitimacy to you as an artist. Fans will take you more seriously.

– **Analytics** – Spotify For Artists provides data and insights to help you understand your audience and plan marketing campaigns.

## Can You Put Music on Spotify Without a Distributor?

Typically, musicians use distribution companies like CD Baby, TuneCore, or DistroKid to get their music onto Spotify. These services simplify the process by publishing your music to multiple platforms all at once.

However, it is possible to put your music on Spotify without a distribution service by going through Spotify directly. There are a couple ways to do this:

### 1. Spotify for Artists

The easiest way for DIY musicians to get music onto Spotify without a distributor is through Spotify for Artists. This is Spotify’s free analytics and publishing app for artists. 

To qualify for Spotify for Artists, you need:

– A Spotify account

– Some music hosted somewhere online that you have rights to

– A website or profile page showcasing you as an artist

Once approved for Spotify for Artists, you can easily upload your music and soundtrack directly to Spotify. 

The advantage of using Spotify for Artists is that you keep 100% of your royalties. With distributors, they take a cut of your earnings, usually 10-15%.

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The downside is that your music will only be published to Spotify. If you want to reach other platforms too, you’ll need a distributor.

### 2. Podcasts

Here’s a little known loophole – you can put music on Spotify via podcasts! 

Spotify allows anyone to submit podcasts through Spotify for Podcasters. And podcasts allow you to include full music tracks.

So you could release each song as an “episode” of a podcast and include your songs that way. It’s more work than uploading through Spotify for Artists, but is an option if you want to avoid distributors.

The catch is that podcast streams earn lower royalties than regular music streams. So you may make less per play going this route.

### 3. Spotify Playlists

One final option – you can get your music on Spotify by getting added to curated editorial playlists. 

Every week, Spotify refreshes its popular playlists like New Music Friday, Release Radar, and Discover Weekly. The tracks are hand-picked by Spotify’s team of curators.

So if your song gets chosen for one of these big playlists, your music will automatically appear on Spotify without a distributor. 

The problem is that getting on these playlists is extremely competitive. Unless you already have a big following, it’s unlikely your track will get picked.

But it has happened for unsigned artists before, so if your music is truly special, it’s not impossible! Just highly unlikely.

## Step-by-Step Guide to Putting Music on Spotify with Spotify for Artists

If you want to put your music on Spotify without a distributor, your best option is applying for Spotify for Artists. Here’s how the process works:

### Step 1. Create a Spotify Account

If you don’t already have one, visit Spotify.com to create your free Spotify account. 

This is required to apply for Spotify for Artists. Make sure your username is the same name you want to use as your artist name.

### Step 2. Prepare Your Artist Profile 

Spotify for Artists requires that you have an existing online presence as an artist. This can be in the form of:

– An artist website

– Social media profiles like Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

– A Soundcloud or YouTube channel

The artist profile page(s) should have:

– Your artist name and logo

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– Links to stream or buy your music 

– About section showcasing you as an artist

This proves to Spotify you are a legitimate musician so they will approve you.

### Step 3. Have Your Music Hosted Online

To put your music on Spotify, the tracks need to be hosted online somewhere that Spotify can access them. 

You essentially need an audio file hosted on a cloud storage platform like:

– Dropbox 

– Google Drive

– Amazon S3

– A website host with media storage

When you apply for Spotify for Artists, you will provide links to each track’s location online. 

So have the music files hosted and ready with public links before applying.

### Step 4. Submit Your Artist Profile to Spotify 

Go to the Spotify for Artists signup page and submit your artist information:

– Artist name

– Links to artist profile pages 

– Links to music hosted online

– Contact email address

Make sure everything you submit matches your existing online artist persona and music. 

Otherwise Spotify may reject your application if things don’t line up.

### Step 5. Get Approved 

Once you submit your artist profile, Spotify will review your application. This usually takes 1-2 weeks.

If approved, you’ll gain access to Spotify for Artists where you can upload tracks directly into Spotify’s system.

You’ll also unlock other features like detailed streaming analytics, playlist pitching, promo tools, and more.

### Step 6. Upload Your Music

Inside Spotify for Artists, go to the “Upload your music” module. Here you can upload your tracks. 

For each song, you will need to provide:

– The song title

– The ISRC code (optional but recommended)  

– Release date

– Genre

– Cover art

– The hosted audio file link

Once uploaded, your tracks will go through Spotify’s review process. Again this takes 1-2 weeks typically.

### Step 7. Publish Your Music

After Spotify approves your uploaded songs, return to Spotify for Artists and officially publish them.

You can choose to release them immediately or schedule the release for a future date that works for your promotional plans.

Once published, your music will appear in Spotify’s catalog within hours. Congrats, you’re on Spotify!

## Maximizing Your Spotify Presence 

Just getting your music on Spotify is one thing. Getting it heard is another. Here are some tips for maximizing your Spotify presence:

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– **Optimize your profile** – Fill out your Spotify artist bio, link your social profiles, and add artist images. Give fans a reason to follow you.

– **Promote your Spotify link** – Add your Spotify artist link and follow buttons to your website and social media. Get fans following you.

– **Get added to playlists** – Reach out to Spotify curators, blogs, and fans to get your songs added to public playlists. This is critical for new discovery. 

– **Engage your listeners** – Analyze your Spotify data to see where your audience is coming from. Connect with fans and re-engage inactive listeners.

– **Pitch for featured placements** – Use Spotify for Artists to pitch your new releases to be featured in Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and other spotlight placements.

– **Advertise** – Consider buying ads on Spotify to increase your plays and follows. Spotify’s self-serve ad platform makes this easy.

The more you engage with your Spotify audience, the more opportunities you’ll have to expand your listenership. It takes consistent effort, but it pays off!

## Putting It All Together

Getting your music on Spotify without a distributor is totally doable through Spotify for Artists. But it does require you to already have an established artist identity and meet Spotify’s eligibility standards. 

If you’re just starting out and don’t have an audience yet, using a distribution company may be easier to get your music out across all the top streaming platforms. They’ll get your songs on Spotify along with Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, TikTok and more.

However, as you build your fanbase and want to take more control, transitioning to Spotify for Artists can be the right move long term. You’ll keep more royalties and gain access to promotional tools to take your Spotify presence to the next level.

Either way, getting your music in front of Spotify’s hundreds of millions of listeners is an amazing opportunity to share your artistic creations with the world. With the right strategy tailored to your needs and goals, you can get your music out far and wide.

Now get out there, engage your fans, and start bringing more earballs to your sounds!

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