Digital Distribution is a big part of the industry so it is important to understand the terminology and best practices.
First, digital distribution falls into two main categories – Streaming and Permanent Digital Download (PDD).
Streaming services examples are Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, iHeartRadio, ClaroMusica, Saavn, Anghami, KKBox, and MediaNet. They pay royalties to the artist/label based on the number of streams each song gets. These rates vary widely but average is about $1,300 per 1 million streams. The streaming royalties are subject to fees and expenses so may actually be lower.
Playlist Curators on streaming platforms are important to the success because they present music to their listeners. It is crucial to submit your unreleased music to the curators 6-12 weeks ahead of the music release to give them time to listen and decide if they want to add your songs to their playlists.
Permanent Digital Download stores like iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Music sell the music at a fixed price per song (typically $0.99 or $1.29) and share the net revenue (after fee reduction) with the artist/label. It is crucial to advertise the release of new music on PDD sites and draw attention to new artists, albums and single releases.
Digital distribution is also used in promotion of new music to radio station DJs and Program Directors (PDs), Bloggers and Podcasters. Promotional distribution should occur 8-16 weeks ahead of any release. This distribution is done through email and messaging directly using links to files hosted on dedicated servers.
Winding Way Records offers all of these services with appropriate and timely promotion.