Welcome to the "Musician's Guide" Series!
This series is pulled directly from the courses I've created for my university position in Music Business. All of these courses are designed for the everyday musician - amateur or professional - who has little or no knowledge on the topic, but wants to master it.
This class is all about Distribution and Digital Distribution. In other words: How to get your music on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon, and all the hundreds of other streaming services.

It is ideal for anyone who makes music. Especially:

  • Creators: If you are making music, you need to understand how to get your music to the streaming services, and how to get paid from them.
  • Musicians: If you are going to be recorded, you should understand how things will work when the recording is released, and what rights you have to your performance.
  • Producers: If you are releasing music, and you are not capturing "webcasting" royalties, you are missing out on money.
  • Curious Minds: Anyone interested in how distribution works, and where it might be going is invited to be a part of this class.

In this class, we start with the basics of distribution, and how it worked back in the days of physical products. I'll point you to some resources if you want to release physical products (like vinyl records), but then we will move on to the digital distribution platforms. I'll take you inside my accounts, look at my royalty statements, and walk you through the process of getting your music distributed.
But most importantly: There is a hidden royalty that most people don't know about. Once you are on streaming services, you can make even more money if you take just 5 minutes to set one thing up. If you don't, you are missing out on more royalties!
The goal of this class is for you to be making money from your music on streaming services in a few days.

This course is NOT specific to any DAW program.

The course has no genre - so all are welcome here.
Topics Covered:

  • How the Major Distributors Work
  • Independent Label Distribution
  • Distribution Partnerships
  • Revenue
  • Roles of the Distributor
  • Digital Distributors
  • Kobalt
  • Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Tidal
  • Inside my Accounts!
  • TuneCore
  • Symphonic Distribution
  • Distrokid
  • CDBaby
  • Hidden Royalties!
  • Licensing and Performing Rights
  • And much, much more!

Course Outline

  • Introduction & Overview
    • Introduction
    • What We are Covering Here
    • Tools You Will Need for This Class
    • Disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer
  • What is Distribution?
    • The Last Stronghold of “The Majors”
    • Independent Label Distribution Partnerships
    • Distribution Alone Deals
    • The Effect of File Sharing
    • The Revenue Picture
  • Distribution of Physical Products
    • Roles of a (Physical) Distributor
    • Timelines
    • End Caps
  • DIY Distribution
    • Going It Alone
  • Digital Distribution
    • Distribution and Publishing
    • Music Industry and the Digital Revolution
    • GateKeepers
    • What to Look For In a Distributor
    • Popular Companies
    • Inside My Account
    • What You Need to Get Started
    • Artist Portals
  • Getting Paid
    • Royalties from the Distributor
    • Hidden Royalties! Money You Are Missing if You Don’t Do This!
    • Licensing and Performing Royalties
  • Wrap Up
    • What Comes Next?
    • Thanks for Watching!

Course Information

Estimated Time: 1.5 Hours

Course Instructor

Jay Allen Author

J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater. He currently is an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, and is the CEO and co-founder of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.



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