Music distribution: What every artist needs to know | Go Distro

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Keeping 100% rights and royalties in music distribution refers to the situation where an artist or music creator retains full ownership of their music and is entitled to receive all the earnings generated from the distribution of their work. This approach is in contrast to traditional music deals with record labels or distribution companies, where the artist often gives up a portion of their rights and royalties in exchange for support, promotion, and distribution services.

In recent years, the rise of digital distribution platforms and the growth of independent music has empowered artists to take more control over their music careers. Here are some ways artists can achieve the goal of keeping 100% rights and royalties in music distribution:

1. Independent Distribution: Artists can opt to distribute their music independently using digital distribution platforms like DistroKid, TuneCore, or CD Baby. These platforms allow artists to upload their music and distribute it to various online music stores and streaming services, while retaining full ownership of their rights and receiving all the royalties generated.

2. Self-Release: Rather than signing with a record label, artists can choose to self-release their music. This involves taking care of all aspects of the music release process, from recording and production to marketing and distribution.

3. Licensing: Artists can explore licensing agreements where they grant limited rights to third parties to use their music in specific ways (e.g., in films, commercials, or TV shows) while retaining ownership and control over the music for other purposes.

4. Direct Sales: Artists can also sell their music directly to fans through their websites or other platforms, avoiding intermediaries and retaining a larger share of the revenue.

5. Crowdfunding: Some artists use crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Patreon to raise funds for their music projects. By relying on direct support from fans, artists can maintain full control over their rights and royalties.

While keeping 100% rights and royalties provides artists with greater control and potentially higher earnings, it also means they must handle more aspects of their music career themselves. This includes marketing, promotion, and navigating the complexities of the music industry.

It’s essential for artists to weigh the benefits and challenges of this approach carefully. Many artists find success in maintaining independence, but it requires dedication, resourcefulness, and a willingness to take on various roles beyond just creating music.

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