Unless you are part of a record collecting minority, you probably can’t remember the last time you’ve bought a physical music release.
CD sales have been in free fall for years. CD players became virtually non-existent. For recording artists, streaming has become the best and the most important way to reach the audience. And, of course, earn something in the process.
Nowadays, for your music to be heard it has to be everywhere and readily available.
The streaming boom has put tons of music and almost any record imaginable just a few clicks away. For fans, this has created an abundance of choices. At the same time, for musicians, it made standing out from the crowd often difficult.
But this revolution also made reaching fans and releasing music much easier for recording artists. And with the audience leaning toward singles rather than albums, streaming services give a better fighting chance to young performers with yet undeveloped catalog.
There are plenty of streaming services to choose from, but most of the listeners are on one of three major platforms. Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music take up a giant portion of the market. Each of them has its main draws when it comes to accommodating artists.
Although late to the party, Tidal has made giant leaps in a short time and quickly became a worthy challenger to the other two. It has become a cozy place for performers to share their music and reap some reward for their efforts.
We’ll sift through some of the reasons why it should be your service of choice and explain how to get your songs on Tidal.
The Advantages and Importance of Being on Tidal
Partially owned by Jay Z, Tidal is present in River for counties and boasts over 3 million users.
That number continues to grow from month to month. The backing of one of the major players in the music industry has significantly increased Tidal’s presence and popularity. Exclusive releases by Beyoncé, Jay Z himself, and other high-profile performers have drawn many subscribers.
Unlike their rivals, Tidal offers an opportunity to stream in HiFi audio quality. When you spend days in the studio, perfecting a perfect banger, you certainly want it to be heard in the best possible way. The lossless format gives fans a chance to listen to your music sound the way it’s intended to.
One of the main draws of Tidal is its unmatched interaction between fans and artists. It allows musicians to go beyond just putting music out there. Tidal fosters a relationship with followers by creating an opportunity to add much more content.
Live concerts, videos, exclusive footages are just some of the ways you can further connect with your fan base.
When you upload your music on Tidal, you are not left at the mercy of algorithms. They pride themselves on a team of so-called tastemakers. These music experts, journalists, and even some of the artists (including Jay Z) create the platform’s playlists. Instead of some computer, you can have an actual human handpick your song and introduce it to a wider audience. If you truly believe in the quality of your music, this is a fantastic route to gaining more listeners.
Tidal has a number of initiatives to help undiscovered and emerging artists. Through Tidal Rising and other programs, they provide support to up-and-coming musicians in making their songs more visible.
This is done through placing on prominent playlists, PR and touring support, and concert recording, among other perks.
The Role of Music Distributors in Uploading Your Music on Tidal
There are two ways to publish your songs on Tidal: through record labels or music distributors. Of course, the vast majority of artists don’t have a contract with the label. So going with distribution companies is the only way to get their music on Tidal and similar services.
Think of musical distributors as the service that delivers vinyl to a record store, only in a digital world without physical records themselves.
Music distributors provide a service, for a fee, of uploading your music to streaming services, it’s a fairly simple process:
- Sign up
- Pick a payment plan
- Choose platforms you want your songs uploaded to
- send them your files
- Pretty soon you’ll have the links for your music on the selected streamer(s)!
3 Recommended Distributors to Upload Your Music to Tidal
Choosing the right music distributor among the many available can contribute to the promotion of your music as well as the state of your bank account.
Be careful and research potential fees and royalty policy. In our opinion, these are the three distributors most deserving of your trust:
Since its inception, Tunecore has paid over $1.5 billion to artists. Think about that.
Easy licensing, precise sales tracking and great social integration are just some of the features that have drawn thousands of performers to use Tunecore for uploading to Tidal. They have a developed promotion support system for artists including licensing for covers, mastering and putting out reviews. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have your song used on film or TV, you can count on Tunecore’s full backing.
Their analytics are second to none. With Tunecore, you’ll have a full overview and control of how and where is your music being streamed. This enables you to give the listeners exactly what they want and grow your fanbase.
The integrated social app enables you to always be in touch with your followers. A bit pricey for some, Tunecore still offers premium service even for most demanding musicians. Probably the best solution for those expecting decent streaming numbers and sales.
If you want your music to be uploaded to Tidal as fast and cheap as possible, Distrokid is probably the best distributor for you. For a yearly fee, you can upload as much material as you like.
A great option for artists who like to churn out songs on a weekly basis. Another benefit is that you keep 100% of royalties which is not exactly a common practice among distributors. If you are in a band, you can set the percentages of earnings going to each member. Or to anyone, for that matter.
While the site itself is not the best looking of the bunch, it’s rather simple and intuitive to use with plenty of bonus features. We particularly liked the integration with TikTok is invaluable these days in terms of promotion.
Distrokid also offers an interesting “Leave a Legacy” option where, for an extra fee, you make sure your songs stay on the internet forever.
The pioneers of music distribution, CDbaby now boasts over 300.000 artists using their services.
Full publishing control and free sync licensing are among the main reasons for that number. Extremely helpful and supportive, they are the best at understanding the performer’s needs. It’s no surprise when you know that the founder is a former independent musician.
One of the rare distributors that offer physical distribution, CDBaby can give you the satisfaction of having your music sold in brick-and-mortar record stores.
The main drawback is that they take 9% of your royalties, but they make up for it by having an excellent system for collecting them. This can be very useful considering that a lot of artists come from countries with varying regulations on this matter.
Requirements: How to Prepare Your Music Before Sending It to Tidal?
Choosing the right format in which to send your music to distributors has a huge effect on the way it will sound when streamed. Most of them accept a range of audio files – FLAC, WAV, MP3, MP4, WMA, AIFF among others.
As the safest way to preserve the audio quality, we recommend sending files in 16-bit/44.1K WAV format, Avoid sending MP3’s (already compressed), even if it sounds good because it will surely get worse after transcoding by Tidal or music distributor.
Distributing services do not accept metadata, so you’ll probably have to manually add song titles, artist names, and other information during the upload process.
FAQs Regarding Distribution On Tidal
How Long Does It Take to Get My Music on Tidal?
This mostly depends on the music distributor you choose. As we already mentioned, Distrokid is the fastest and your music can be up on Tidal in just 1-2 days.
With Tunecore it’s 2-5 days, while uploading with CDBaby may take 1-4 weeks. Many services feature an option for setting the specific release date in accordance with your promotion plans.
How Much Does Tidal Pay?
The amount of money you’ll earn for streaming depends on many factors and therefore it’s not always easy to get a precise number. The listener’s location and subscription option, the artist’s royalty rate and local currency value are all considered.
The good news is that the Tidal is at the top of best-paying streaming platforms. A thousand streams can get you somewhere in a ballpark of $12.50, a significantly higher amount than Spotify and Apple Music.
Or, if you like, an estimated 0.01284 per stream. Make sure to take into account the potential royalty percentage going to the distributor.
When and How Do You Get Paid by Tidal?
In principle, Tidal pays up the earnings with a two-month delay. After that, you will receive earnings by your music distributor in 1-14 days through the chosen method of payment. Distribution services commonly accept various payment options – PayPal, wire transfer, eCheck.
What was once a complicated procedure reserved only for the privileged artists is now at the fingertips of every songwriter, rapper, DJ or producer. Tidal and similar services make it easier than ever to put out music and build a fanbase.
Carefully assess your needs, budget, and ambitions. Having done that, choose the right distribution. The music distributors are gonna do most of your work when it comes to publishing.
This will allow you to concentrate on what it’s all about – making music.