Avoiding Common Pitfalls In Music Distribution: Lessons Learned From Industry Experts

Tanooj S Mehrå


Music distribution is an essential aspect of any artist's career, as it helps get their music out to a wider audience. However, there are certain pitfalls that artists can fall into when distributing their music, which can hinder their success. In this blog, we will explore some of the common mistakes made in music distribution and share valuable insights from industry experts on how to avoid them.

1.     Failing to Plan

One of the biggest mistakes that independent artists make is failing to plan their music distribution strategy. It is important to have a clear idea of your goals, target audience, and distribution channels before releasing your music. This includes setting a release date, creating a marketing plan, and identifying potential collaborators and influencers. Without a plan, your music may not get the attention it deserves.


According to the founder of DistroKid, Philip Kaplan, "Take the time to build a release plan that works for you, and think about how you can leverage your existing fan base to drive streams and sales."

2.     Neglecting Metadata

Metadata is the information that describes your music, such as the title, artist name, album name, and track number. Neglecting to add this information to your music files can result in your music being mislabeled or not being found by listeners. It is important to ensure that your metadata is complete and accurate before distributing your music.


Use a metadata editor like Melo, TuneCore or CD Baby to add and update your metadata.

3.     Overlooking Royalties

Royalties are the payments made to artists and songwriters for the use of their music. It is important to understand how royalties work and to ensure that you are collecting all the royalties that you are entitled to. This includes royalties from streaming, downloads, and performance rights organizations (PROs).


Educate yourself on the different types of royalties and how they are collected. Consider using a service like Melo or Songtrust to collect and manage your royalties.

4.     Choosing the Wrong Distribution Service

There are many music distribution services available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to research and compare different services to find the one that best fits your needs. Some services may offer a wider reach, while others may offer better customer support or more features.


Read reviews and compare pricing and features of different distribution services. Consider factors such as the types of platforms they distribute to, how they handle royalties, and customer support.

5.     Not Promoting Your Music

Once your music is distributed, it is important to promote it to get it in front of as many people as possible. This includes creating a press kit, reaching out to music bloggers and influencers, and using social media to engage with fans.


Create a comprehensive marketing plan that includes a press release, social media posts, and outreach to influencers and bloggers in your genre.


Music distribution is crucial for independent artists to get their music heard by a wider audience. By avoiding common pitfalls such as failing to plan, neglecting metadata, overlooking royalties, choosing the wrong distribution service, and not promoting your music, artists can maximize their chances of success. Take the time to research and plan your music distribution strategy to ensure that you are giving your music the best chance to succeed.