Musicians: Before Distributing Your Music, Do These 8 Things

by Daisy Smart

The following post is written by Daisy Smart of Ditto Music. I’ve been asked numerous times about music distribution and what artists should do before getting their music out for sale. Now we’ve got a quick checklist that artists can follow. Make sure you take these tips on board and don’t make any of the (surprisingly common) mistakes that other artists make!


Digital Music Distribution ChecklistYou’ve written some amazing songs, spent ages recording them, getting them perfect and now you need to sell it. There are quite a few things to consider when submitting your music for distribution. Follow these simple checks and your music should reach the stores without a hitch.

Make sure it’s mastered

Your music should sound professional. Mastering should add something to the sound and vibe of your song. With speakers getting better and better it gives your song more of a chance against label releases and fans and radio pluggers will notice the quality. Also make sure you have the finished product before you start promoting a release date just in case it takes a little bit longer than you expected.

WAV, MP3, OGG, erm…

Your release needs to be uploaded in WAV or MP3 format to work in the stores. We recommend using WAV format as it is a higher bitrate which means a better quality sound.

Create as much hype

There’s no point in distributing your music if no one knows about it! You want to start contacting influencers and journalists about 2 months before your release and start promoting on social about 3 weeks before d-day. Have a launch party and really shout about what you’ve been working on.

If you need help, Ditto Music offer social media management for bands and have a highly experienced music PR team.

Upload your release with plenty of time to spare

We suggest uploading your music at least 2 weeks before the release or pre-release date to make sure there’s time to fix anything that might go wrong. iTunes can go live in 3-5 working days but Amazon can take up to 2 weeks.

Which genre are you?

Genre can be really important for how potential fans find your music. We have a list of over 50 genres to choose from and you can type in your secondary genre to make it specific to you.

Make your music stand out

If you’ve got your artwork sorted there are some rules you need to follow. It must be in a JPEG format and at least 1450px by 1450px and no bigger than 5mb. It cannot contain any reference to record labels or web links, twitter handles etc. This can be a common issue for stores rejecting your release so watch out!

Music DistributionDon’t mess up the track names!

This one’s obvious but really important. Make sure all the track titles are right and labeled correctly. There are some things to keep in mind: ITunes only accepts the Latin alphabet, remixes need to be in the title version field not the track title field, take out file extensions (.mp3, etc) and ordering numbers as you can order your tracks after you’ve uploaded them.

Is your music on the right stores?

There are hundreds of online stores so it can be a bit of a minefield making sure you are on the right ones! Bear in mind that fans may download your music from genre specific stores or may have country specific stores based on their location. You can distribute a single for just £10 to over 200 stores with Ditto Music, so that might be the best option!

Some of the points on this checklist might seem obvious but there are lots of reasons why releases are delayed going to the stores. Plan ahead and follow this guide and you shouldn’t have any problems!


This blog was written by Daisy Smart who is a marketing executive at Ditto Music. Ditto Music are one of worlds largest independent music distributors, distributing to over 200 stores.

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