This post was most recently updated on May 17th, 2023
Getting your music out in the world where people can finally listen to it is a big deal! It’s all right to be nervous, but you can streamline the process by using a music distribution checklist. A good checklist will help you get your plans in order and make sure you don’t forget anything before launch day. Read on for an ultimate music distribution checklist you can use with your next single or album release.
Identify Your Target Audience
The first big item on the checklist is identifying your target audience. You need to know who you are trying to distribute your music to – essentially, who is most likely to listen to it – based on factors like age, gender, and so on.
Once you identify your target audience, you’ll know how best to market to them and how best to reach them. For example, if most of your target audience is on TikTok, it’s a no-brainer to make a short, 30-second ad on TikTok highlighting or announcing your upcoming music release.
Pick Your Distribution Platforms
Your next step is to pick the right music distribution platforms. You have a lot of different choices when it comes to music distribution; for example, you can pick big platforms like Spotify, or you can opt for other platforms like DistroKid. The latter is a very easy way to get your music onto many other platforms like the above-mentioned Spotify, as well as Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, and even TikTok!
Regardless, picking out your music distribution platform ahead of time will make the entire process go more smoothly. You’ll know:
- What the rules and regulations are for each platform
- How do you need to prepare your music files
- What you need to make a profile
- And more
Determine your platforms, prep your music, and get everything related to this in order before moving on to the next step.
Develop Stellar Album/Song Art
Any new song or album release has to have top-tier art to go along with it. With that in mind, whip up some great album art to go with your music release, or hire someone to do it for you. You can attach that music album or song art as a thumbnail. The right art can set a tone for your music before someone hears it, helping to draw more people to your band than ever before.
Set the Date
Next, you should set a distinct date for your music distribution. This is the launch day for your upcoming song or album release, and it’s the day around which you can plan all the rest of your marketing efforts. For the best results, try to launch your music on a Friday or on the weekend, when most people have enough free time to look for new artists like you.
Ramp Up Your Marketing
Once you’ve set the date, you need to ramp up your marketing efforts by releasing YouTube content, social media content, and even online ads depending on how much money you want to spend. Wrapping up your marketing around this time will do wonders for distributing your music quickly and thoroughly by:
- Spreading awareness about your music is about to be released
- Giving potential listeners information about where they can find your music (such as iTunes, Amazon, etc.)
The more marketing materials you put out, the more likely it is that your target listeners will know about your music release date early.
Launch Your Music
Once that’s all done, check the big moment off your list: launch your music! Distribute it on the platform(s) of your choice, and don’t forget to make a social media announcement so that everyone knows the big day has arrived.
After watching your music, take a moment to congratulate yourself and enjoy the feeling.
Keep an Eye on Analytics
However, your work isn’t done. The key to a good music distribution checklist is a reminder that you need to watch your music release analytics as they come in. For instance, you should keep an eye on your music distribution platforms and see how many listens you get in the first hour, day, and week after release.
By keeping an eye on music analytics, you can determine:
- How you should release your music the next time
- What distribution strategies were most effective
- Whether your primary audience of listeners knew that your music was released on the day it launched
- And so on
Good data analysis will help you maximize your music distribution each time you launch a new song or album in the future.
There you have it: a handful of checklist steps to keep in mind in the run-up to your next music release. Don’t forget any of these steps, and your music launch will go smoothly and swimmingly for your band and your brand!