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LANDR Music Streaming and Distribution Services

Digital Distribution for Indie Bands and Singer-Songwriters

Discovering the best music distribution is the independent musician’s gateway to getting listens to, finding fans, and having your song shared with the masses. The growing trend is to discover these distribution outlets to release your songs across all of the various digital channels including subscription services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music; Digital radio such as Pandora, and SiriusXM; or ad-supported on-demand streams like Youtube and Vevo.

Don’t mistake the connection between successful digital distribution and getting paid for your tunes. Long gone are the glory days of selling CDs for profit. Discs are now almost entirely a lost leader, and cd players are ghosts in people’s homes. This isn’t the case in every situation, as you can still find success if you’re audience is over the age of 50, and who are more likely to still own a cd player. However, for most of the readers of this blog, this isn’t going to work. Streaming now makes up 85% of the industry’s revenues as reported by RIAA’s 2020 Mid-Year Music Industry Revenue Report, and that is up 5% from the following year. As we continue with more retail and performance-related sales being quashed by the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, expect that this number is going to skyrocket in 2021.

So where does this leave the Indie Musician?

Let’s look at how you can get your tunes streaming on the major channels while keeping full rights to your music. Historically, labels and distributors would make agreements to sell music direct to the stores, the current age of digital distribution has broken this model and opens the door to anyone wanting to release a song or album to the masses.

Let’s be real for a moment, without promotion, your song is still likely not going to be listened to. But you have this very real opportunity to check off the first step, making your song available. With digital distribution, your music is now discoverable online, for anyone, on whatever digital channel they want to use. The person who only listens on Spotify or the family who only uses Apple products with an Apple Music subscription can both find your song listed along with the most popular tracks out there today.

What is the cost of Digital Distribution?

Loaded question. 😆 Honestly, it’s all a range, and there are a lot of companies doing it. The big ones we see these days are DistroKid, LANDR, and TuneCore, but there are so many more. I think Distrokid may be the cheapest option out there, at somewhere around a $20 subscription. I love how inexpensive this platform is. I do wish the website was a bit more polished, perhaps that keeps me from endorsing it more, but I have heard a lot of solid reviews. I started to build a relationship with LANDR a few years ago after seeing them set up at an Adobe MAX conference in L.A. Perhaps it was the environment, the creativity, and excitement of the conference, but after seeing a demo of their platform, I did find myself inspired by the whole LANDR package.


There were some tools that seemed really helpful to the independent, like handling licensing and royalties for cover songs or setting custom release dates to sync promotions, or custom support channels and their in-line mastering solution. The Mastering component is a must to ensure your tune sounds great on every service, and through any type of speaker or headphones. I often hear songs submitted by artists that forget how important this is. Sometimes the opportunity I have to hear an artists submission is while I’m commuting to the office or waiting for an appointment, in those moments, the last thing I want to hear is a track that sounds repressed, or just dull. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t really replace a professional engineer with AI mastering, but LANDR has done a solid job that will get you what you need until you have the budget for more.

I think ultimately if you are only looking for the best free music distribution, DistroKid may be the way to go, it’s so cheap. But if you want more of an all-in-one solution that syncs with your workstation, is really easy to use, and still puts money in your pocket, LANDR is the way to go. You can get a free trial of their software, so it may be worth your time to check it out.

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