Improve your career as an artist with epic Spotify in Focus website

Image Credit: Spotify

Ready to learn? Spotify In Focus is a huge new website offering Spotify artists support and advice to help you further your career as a musician.

Have you explored Spotify In Focus yet? In Focus is a new website filled with advice for building a career in music, aimed at guiding artists through the music industry.  

Spotify for Artists call it an “artist manager in your pocket.” What do managers do for artists exactly? They guide and advise on their careers. And Spotify hope there’s enough good stuff on the In Focus website to set you on the right path for success in your career as an artist even if you don’t have a manager yourself.

Spotify in Focus

What is Spotify in Focus?

The platform is an interactive guide covering subjects from songwriting to touring and merchandise, to artist wellness and fan engagement. There’s articles, interviews, videos and podcasts.


What help do artists get from In Focus by Spotify?

When you first access In Focus by Spotify, the site is split into categories so you can go as in depth or broad as you like; starting from whether you want to create music, promote yourself, connect with fans, earn revenue, or learn and find inspiration.

Image Credit: Spotify

Primarily the advice will nudge you towards using Spotify features, such as creating a Canvas or using Marquee, but artists can take inspiration for their career in a broader sense as well.

So until you get a manager yourself, or if you want to be your own DIY artist manager, you can explore Spotify in Focus here.


Want to become a Spotify artist? RouteNote distributes music for free to all the major streaming platforms, including Spotify.

Start making money from your music. Sign up here today.

New TuneCore pricing – how does it compare?

With new changes to its price packages, is TuneCore free now? It’s certainly not the only music distributor offering unlimited releases.

TuneCore is switching up its music distribution packages. They claim their new TuneCore Unlimited payment tiers are better for artists and independent record labels than their old packages, and a better deal than other distributors like RouteNote.

Thinking of becoming a TuneCore artist? To unlock unlimited releases on TuneCore, you have to pay for the privilege. But that’s not the case with RouteNote.

So how does the new TuneCore price match up to RouteNote distribution? Let’s take a closer look.


TuneCore New Artist Plan

The New Artist Plan is TuneCore’s new and only free distribution option, and it’s limited in terms of where your music could reach.

But compared to RouteNote, it offers a fraction of the amount of stores where you can upload your music.

Rather than giving you the option to send your music to streaming services like Spotify, only social platform distribution is available, uploading your music to Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

TuneCore say this tier is to “facilitate discovery and virality on key social media platforms.”

The New Artist Plan has no fee, and you get 80% of royalties. However, with RouteNote’s free distribution, you keep 85% of royalties when you choose to upload to the social media music libraries of Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

RouteNote also offers free Content ID protection on YouTube, as well as putting your music on YouTube Music and on YouTube Shorts.

But why settle for just social media distribution? You can release your music across 95% of the entire digital market with RouteNote free distribution.

That’s platforms around the world from Apple Music to our newest partner, JOOX. Speaking of new partners – every time we join forces with a new store, your music is automatically added – a feature that costs $10 each release with TuneCore.


TuneCore Professional Plan

TuneCore’s Professional Plan is for record labels, and a range of features are included. It costs $49.99 each year for one artist. But if you want to add any more artists, TuneCore charge an extra $14.99 a year for each additional artist.

RouteNote is the clear winner for label distribution. With RouteNote, record labels can upload unlimited artists for no extra cost.

Whether selecting free or Premium tier for a release, you can release an unlimited number of songs and artists. Labels can distribute hundreds of artists from one RouteNote profile without paying a penny extra.

Unlike TuneCore RouteNote already offers artist revenue splits for free, making splitting revenue between collaborators a breeze. You also get downloadable reports and customised label name fields for no extra fee.


RouteNote pricing

RouteNote header

At RouteNote we have three distribution options – Free, Premium, and All Access.

Free and Premium work on a release-by-release basis. For each release you select a package, and both offer the same features. The difference is that Free is exactly that – free – and you keep 85% of revenue.

Established artists love Premium, which has completely transparent fixed upfront and annual costs that will never surprise you with additional fees. You keep 100% of revenue for a one-off cost and small additional fees.

Our third distribution package is All Access. For a set fee, professional labels get 12 months of unlimited distribution, and keep 100% of royalties, plus priority support and pitching assistance.

Check out our pricing here.


Deciding on a music distributor is a hard choice, and companies will try and bamboozle you with different price plans and fees for extra features that are designed to confuse you.

Your distributor should make it clear and obvious what you’re getting for your money – because it’s your music that you’ve worked so hard on, and you need a partner you can trust.


Sign up to RouteNote here today.

You can make money on Spotify with rebranded Fan Support feature

Image Credit: Spotify

Where have Artist Fundraising Picks gone on Spotify? Never fear, they’ve just been replaced with Fan Support.

“Tip jar” for artists Artist Fundraising Pick on Spotify has been officially renamed Fan Support. The streaming platform says the name change reflects the shift in how artists are using the feature to earn money on Spotify.

Spotify’s Artist Fundraising Pick was launched in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow listeners to donate to a charitable cause displayed on a Spotify artist’s profile. As artist incomes were squeezed by restrictions on live events, many artists also used their Pick to ask for monetary support from their fans.

To date fans have clicked through on the links over 50 million times. Spotify says of the 200,000 artists previously using a Fundraising Pick the vast majority use it to ask for contributions from fans towards their career, with the remaining 10% raising money for charity.

Artists are clearly in need of the feature that offers both a way for them to earn some extra cash and also gives fans a chance to show their appreciation beyond streaming new releases and listening again to old favourites.

In a statement, Spotify said: “With Fan Support, fans have an opportunity to directly support the artists they love and also get behind causes that artists care about most. At the same time, artists have the flexibility and freedom to respond to the world around them, welcoming fan tips one week and rallying them around a global cause the next.”


Want your music on Spotify for free? Sign up with RouteNote. For 15 years we’ve worked with independent artists and record labels to send their songs around the world.

Head here to find out more and start making money from your music today.

Submit music to Pandora free

Image Credit: Pandora

Wondering how to release music on all platforms, including Pandora? RouteNote has you covered for getting your music worldwide onto streaming services and music stores.

Pandora is one of the US’ favourite music streaming services with over 50 million listeners in the country. That’s a giant audience that could be listening to your songs. If you’re wondering how to get music on Pandora, putting your songs there is free and simple.


How do I get my music on Pandora?

RouteNote and Pandora logos

Releasing music on Pandora is as easy as creating a free account at www.routenote.com. Once you have an account you can upload as many releases as you like from as many artists as you like. It doesn’t matter if the releases are a single, EP, or a full album.

A Pandora music submission is simple and in return, we give your music global reach. You can select any stores and streaming services from our partners to distribute your music to, including; Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music, TIDAL, YouTube Music, and many many more platforms around the world like Flo in South Korea and Anghami in the Middle East.

RouteNote is the leading independent music distributor in Europe. We’ve been helping unsigned artists and indie record labels to get music online since 2007 and cover 95% of the digital market.

Free distribution to the world's best music services. Free Forever. Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music, Deezer, Tidal

When you submit to Pandora through RouteNote and choose Free distribution there are zero fees and you keep 85% of your earnings once your music starts earning royalties. Alternatively, pick Premium distribution and keep 100% of revenue for a yearly payment of $9.99 and different prices for different releases:

  • Single: (1 track) – $10
  • EP: (2-6 tracks) – $20
  • Album: (7-18 tracks) – $30
  • Extended Album: (19+ tracks) – $45

Check out our tiers here.

Whether you’re an unsigned artist or independent label, everything is transparent with RouteNote, and you always keep ownership of your tracks. You’ll never have to sign a complicated contract or be tricked into paying extra for Content ID on YouTube or social media monetisation on Facebook or TikTok, unlike with other distributors.


Why wait? Share your music with the world today – it’s easy!

Music live streams – 10 tips for musicians playing online in 2022

Learn about setting up a live stream, get more viewers tuning into your live stream music concert, and take the stress out of performing with these live streaming tips and tricks.

Wondering how to set up a music live stream? From the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and throughout restrictions in live music in 2021, home concerts were one of the only options for musicians to play shows. For many artists, they’re here to stay. So how does a musician live stream setup work?

Playing to an audience of your own face on a phone will never not be weird. Just like playing a live gig, there’s some daunting uncertainties involved in a live stream gig – will anyone show up? What if the mic’s not turned up?

Livestreaming was a thing before the pandemic but it saw a huge rise in popularity in spring 2020. Everyone was adjusting to being at home and out-of-work musicians, including superstars, panicked about being forgotten and rushed to go live. That hype died down as the weeks of quarantine and lockdown went by.

However, playing music live online remains a very useful tool for musicians even as in-person gigs have returned. You can connect to audiences too far away to come to your shows, keep your profile up between appearances and stop your performance skills getting rusty. After all, the audience may be little bubbles on a screen, but they’re still an audience.

Here are some ideas to help you get more viewers for your livestream gig and make it a smoother, more exciting event.


What is the point of live streaming?

Think about the purpose of your livestream beforehand. Deciding why you’d like to go live will help you to get in the right headspace, give you some direction to promote the stream properly and plan your set. The recorded clips also give you content for your social media.

Is it an album launch? A Q&A to connect with your fans? It might be a jam session, to share the new jazz licks you just perfected or simply to show your followers you’re still making music; perhaps you’d like to do a play-along tutorial to teach everyone how to cover your latest single.


Where to set up a live stream

To set up a music livestream, at the very basic level all you need is a device to stream from like a smartphone or a computer. Find a place to set up free from outside distractions, where you’ll get the clearest sound and video quality possible.

Even though you might feel like you’re just playing to your own reflection, it’s still a public gig. Think about how your surroundings will appear to viewers onscreen – things like lighting and backdrop are more important than you’d think.

A little effort into the backdrop of your livestream will go a long way. Whether that’s a cool area with fairy-lights and throws or a minimalist home studio, organise your space however you think fits you best as an artist. At the bare minimum have a quick tidy up so viewers aren’t distracted by the detritus of your household.

Whether you’re playing a live producer set to a ticketed audience or just going live on Instagram at home for some on-the-fly publicity, aim for as professional a performance as possible.


How to set up a music live stream

Once you’ve decided whether to go live on Instagram or another social account, or on a platform like Zoom, all you need is a phone, a decently lit space, and some peace and quiet. Just make sure you prop your phone up somewhere so you’re not holding it yourself and giving everyone motion sickness.

Be aware though that streaming with a phone has potential sound problems, as phones often process softer sounds as background noise and cut them. Singer-songwriters for example may find that quiet singing or fingerstyle guitar will be lost in the mix.

Playing to a livestream audience as a substitute for a live gig? If you plan on playing a lot more live streams professionally in the future, it’s worth investing in some decent kit – a microphone and audio interface, and a good webcam.

Look into using some free broadcast software, like OBS Studio, which will help you get organised and set up easily and let you stream on social media in high quality using your audio interface. That’ll help you beat the inevitable lag in streaming, because even if you have the speediest connection going, there’s inevitably going to be some technical hiccups – try and embrace them as part of the intimate experience for your watching audience.


When to go live

Even if you’ve got loads of followers, randomly deciding to hit the Live button is a scattergun approach that probably won’t pay off as well as careful planning.

Formulate a promotional strategy beforehand, across all social media, to keep reminding your followers that you’ll be going live. You’ll get the attention of more people and get more views if it’s marketed as an organised event.

Don’t forget to promote your music live stream before the event, just as you would an in-person gig, so you have a guaranteed audience. Post across your social media platforms in the run up to the stream, but try not to stress too much about how many people will tune in.

It does depend on your fans, however. On the flip side, if you thrive off spontaneity, going live lots to jam or just to chat might suit you perfectly as an artist. If your followers see you popping up again and again, they’ll be curious.


Don’t worry about the numbers

It’s not easy, but try and forget about the number of people watching. Find that same resilience needed when you’re playing a show to one half-drunk barfly in an empty club.

Sometimes you might only get a couple of viewers. There will be a million reasons for why people aren’t tuning in, and it’s highly unlikely that it’s because they hate you. People have other commitments; the algorithm might be against you.

Get your mates and family to tune in for moral support, just like if you were playing in your local bar, and treat it as a trial run. Don’t forget that thousands of musicians are doing the very same thing, and no one starts out with hundreds of views.


Use the fear

There’s always an adrenaline rush performing and live streaming is no different. It’s just another show.

If you’re worried about technical and internet problems, try and remember that’s nearly always beyond your control. Viewers are quite used by now to the technical glitches and initial awkwardness of going live. The more streams you do, the smoother your reactions to things going wrong will be and the more relaxed you’ll feel.


Silence isn’t golden

When you’re live, don’t leave any dead air whilst you decide on the next song to play, find some lyrics, or hunt for where the comments lurk on the app.

Playing a livestreamed gig isn’t just about your established fans. You need to also instantly capture the attention of those bored social media users who are just flicking from live to live, and if they happen upon you silently squinting into your phone they’re unlikely to be enthralled.

However awkward you might find talking into the silence of your own phone screen, try and keep some communication going.


Collab with someone else

On many platforms, such as Instagram, you can go live with another streamer to encourage each other and boost both your profiles. This works best for a chat rather than a performance – even with the fastest internet in the cosmos there’s always going to be a lag.


Don’t jump right in

Start streaming before the advertised start time to get used to the tech and warm yourself up. You’ve got to give your audience the chance to show up. No one wants to be the first at a party.

If no one turns up, its okay – you’re just jamming at home like normal!


Communicate with viewers

It’s not like a normal gig where you can sometimes get away with focussing solely on the music; social media users expect more interaction. Ask for questions and put some time aside at the end or in-between songs to scroll the comments and answer them.

Have a backup script in your head. If there’s no questions thrown at you, tell them a little bit about yourself and your music, even what you did that day, then roll into the next song.


Livestreaming is a useful tool but isn’t expected of all musicians, so don’t worry if you think it’s not for you. Even if you give it a go and nobody’s watching, it’s all good experience, reminding you of the rush of performing.

Try not to see it as a numbers game, especially while you’re first getting used to livestreaming your music. It’s just you doing what you love, with the added bonus of allowing hundreds of potential fans join in the fun.


Want your music on Spotify and all the big streaming platforms? Release your music with RouteNote for free and keep all the rights to your tracks. Find out more here!

How do artist roles appear in stores?

Primary, Featuring, Producer, Performer, Remixer, Composer, Lyricist… how do these artist roles change the way my release looks in stores?

Why are there so many different artist roles in RouteNote and how will they affect my release? Every streaming service differs in the way it displays your music. RouteNote gathers all of the information you input and shares it in an appropriate way to each of your chosen streaming services. For this reason, it’s important to input as much detail as you can into your release’s metadata.

Sometimes a Producer will be shown under credits. Sometimes a Performer won’t be shown at all. We hope to show you exactly how each of the major streaming services displays artist roles, so you know exactly how to optimize your release.

Click below to jump to one of the following:


Primary

The Primary artist of any release is the most important role. Every track on a release must include a Primary artist.

Spotify

Primary artists on Spotify are shown below the album title and each track title. Clicking either will take you to the artist’s page.


Apple Music

Primary artists on Apple Music are shown below the album title. Clicking it will take you to the artist’s page.


Amazon Music

Primary artists on Amazon Music are shown below the album title. Clicking it will take you to the artist’s page.


Deezer

Primary artists on Deezer are shown below the album title. Clicking it will take you to the artist’s page.


TIDAL

Primary artists on TIDAL are shown below the album title and beside each track title. Clicking either will take you to the artist’s page.


Bugs!

Primary artists on Bugs! are shown below the album title and beside each track title. Clicking either will take you to the artist’s page.


Featuring

Featuring artists are commonly attributed to the secondary artist or the singer on a track performed by someone else.

Spotify

Featuring artists on Spotify are shown below the track title. Clicking it will take you to the artist’s page.


Apple Music

Featuring artists on Apple Music are shown in the track/release title.


Amazon Music

Featuring artists on Amazon Music are shown in the track/release title and artist name.


Deezer

Featuring artists on Deezer are shown in the track/release title and beside the primary artist name. Clicking the latter will take you to the artist’s page.


TIDAL

Featuring artists on TIDAL are shown in the track/release title and beside the primary artist name. Clicking the latter will take you to the artist’s page.


Bugs!

Featuring artists on Bugs! are shown in the track/release title.


Producer

Producers are typically those who make the beat. Producers aren’t usually as visable on a release page and are often hidden in the credits of a track, if there at all.

Spotify

Producers on Spotify are shown in the track credits.


TIDAL

Producers on TIDAL are shown in the track credits. Clicking it will take you to the artist’s page.


Remixer

Remixers take the stems (vocals and individual instruments) of a track to come up with something new.

Spotify

Remixers on Spotify are shown in the track/release title, below the album title and each track title. Clicking either in the artist fields will take you to the artist’s page.


Apple Music

Remixers on Apple Music are shown in the track/release title.


Amazon Music

Remixers on Amazon Music are shown in the track/release title.


Deezer

Remixers on Deezer are shown in the track/release title and below the album title. Clicking the latter will take you to the artist’s page.


TIDAL

Remixers on TIDAL are shown in the track/release title.


Bugs!

Remixers on Bugs! are shown in the track/release title.


Composer

Composers are typically those who write the music. Similarly to Producers, Composers aren’t usually as visable on a release page and are often hidden in the credits of a track, if there at all.

Spotify

Composers on Spotify are shown in the track credits.


Deezer

Composers on Deezer are shown below the album title. Clicking it will take you to the artist’s page.


TIDAL

Composers on TIDAL are shown in the track credits. Clicking it will take you to the artist’s page.


Lyricist

Lyricists are those who write the words to the music. Similarly to Producers and Composers, Lyricists aren’t usually as visable on a release page and are often hidden in the credits of a track, if there at all.

Spotify

Lyricists on Spotify are shown in the track credits.


Deezer

Lyricists on Deezer are shown in the track credits.


TIDAL

Lyricists on TIDAL are shown in the track credits. Clicking it will take you to the artist’s page.


How to enable Super Thanks on YouTube

Image Credit: YouTube

Creators around the world can make money on YouTube as Super Thanks tipping feature rolls out to all eligible creators. Here’s how to set it up.

YouTube’s Super Thanks feature is now available to all partner program channels across 68 countries around the globe, helping creators make money doing YouTube videos. Previously only available as beta, the feature gives users a way to “tip” and show they’re grateful for the content their favourite artists and other creators have made.

If watching a music production tutorial helped you finally understand sidechaining, for example, Super Thanks let you show your appreciation beyond a like or a subscribe. For artists, it’s another form of revenue on YouTube. Users can give creators up to $50.

YouTube also lets users make their Super Thanks comment more personal, adding colour so their contribution stand out on a channel.

Discover the other ways you can make money from YouTube videos here:


How to enable Super Thanks on YouTube

To get Super Thanks so viewers can tip you on YouTube, you need a monetized YouTube channel in one of the 68 eligible locations.

  • Go to YouTube Studio
  • Find Monetization in the menu
  • Hit the Supers tab and follow the instructions
  • Select the Super Thanks button

Have you put your songs on YouTube? RouteNote protects your rights on YouTube with free Content ID so you always know where your music is used in videos, and you get the credit and revenue you’re entitled to.

Find out more about our free music distribution here!

What is bouncing in music production?

With your mix completed, it’s time to prepare your song for mastering. It’s time to bounce your tracks!

Bouncing tracks is the process of bouncing a completed song into audio files. More specifically, bouncing audio is about exporting your finished track into smaller audio groups. For example, your bass is one group; as are your vocals, instruments, and drums. Other groups may include sound effects too!

These audio groups are called stem files. Stems are stereo recordings/audio files derived from a bigger mix of multiple tracks. As we mentioned, A drum stem file includes all of your drums, an instrument stem includes all of your instruments, etc. By playing a stem file on its own, you’ll hear all of your instruments with no drums, bass or vocals. On the other hand, if you play all of your stem files together then you’d hear your whole track playing in unison.

But bouncing tracks also refers to bouncing all of your stem files down to just one audio file too. And that one audio file is your whole track! So, bouncing audio is about “bouncing” your whole project down into audio groups, and then again into the final audio file.

Before we go any further, let’s clear up the obvious hurdle of confusion. The difference between bouncing audio and exporting audio. Bouncing audio is the process of exporting a complete song to a single stereo audio file or a handful of stereo audio files that we call stem files. In contrast, exporting audio refers only to exporting individual audio like a one-shot or a singular melody line to an audio file.


Why do you bounce tracks?

There are a handful of reasons why we bounce our tracks. Firstly, it saves our computer processor a lot of work! To illustrate, let’s compare the sheer data that a virtual instrument consumes compared to an audio file.

Let’s say you’ve got an 8 bar MIDI loop, and its audio source is a VST like Serum. Well, virtual instruments like Serum require more and more processing power with every bit of modulation you add to your sound. And when you build complicated sounds and add multiple sounds to your DAW project, your computer will begin to struggle to dish out enough processing power.

But if you bounce those multiple instruments down into an audio file, or if you export each one individually, all your computer needs to do is supply enough processing power to play those audio files inside your DAW!

In addition to saving your computer processing power, sending audio files to collaborators or friends over the internet is much easier than sending a heavy DAW file. The upload and download speeds are far quicker as a result.

Finally, a sweet little perk is the ease of listening to your own music. Let’s say your pals come over and you want to show them your new track. Would you rather click play on an audio file or wait for your DAW to load up?


Will bouncing audio reduce its quality?

The answer isn’t quite as simple as yes or no. What matters is the audio file type you choose to export to and a handful of other settings.

File Type

A lossy audio file like an MP3 file uses lossy compression. Lossy compression will make your audio files transferable sizes by slicing “unnoticeable” pieces of the original audio away. Therefore, they aren’t the most high-resolution audio around.

In contrast, a lossless audio file type like WAV files doesn’t chop away at the original file. Lossless compression chops the original audio up and essentially reshuffles them so they fit in a smaller space. But they’re reconstructed back to their original size and retrain all sound quality when you play the file.

In summary, lossless audio files like WAVs don’t reduce audio quality but lossy files like MP3s do.

Sample rate

To retain the fidelity of your track, don’t fiddle with the sample rate. DAWs use a default sample rate of 44.1kHz. So, make sure you export at the same sample rate that your song was made in.

To reproduce any signal near-accurately, thousands of samples must be taken from your original signal per second. Metrics measured include signal amplitude and any frequencies too, and samples are measured at particular times (more on this soon). To summarize this brief introduction to sample rates: by measuring enough amplitude values extremely quickly, we can reconstruct the resolution of your signal.

Bit depth

Bit depth is what sets out the number of potential amplitude values that a digital system reads. In turn, this determines the dynamic range of your audio. As a result, a higher bit depth gives you a higher audio resolution. This is because more amplitude values are available! Keep your bit depth at 32 bit for streaming services. Though if you’re making music for a CD, the bit depth should be 16 bit.

For more information about how digital audio works, we wrote this article for you.

What is digital audio? A guide for music producers


How to bounce audio

The process of bouncing audio is almost identical across every DAW. Below are a few videos that demonstrate how to bounce audio in the most popular DAWs.

How to bounce Audio in Garageband

How to bounce audio in Logic Pro X

How to bounce audio in Ableton

How to bounce audio in FL Studio

How to bounce audio in Cubase

How to bounce audio in Pro Tools


Check out some more music production tips here:


Once your track is mastered and sounding incredible, why not let the world hear it?

RouteNote music distribution gets your song onto Spotify and all the major streaming services around the globe – for free. We’re passionate about supporting unsigned artists – you can do whatever you want with your music, keeping all the rights and 85% of revenue when people listen to your songs.

Find out more here and sign up to RouteNote today for free.

What is Amazon Music and how to upload your music free

Image Credit: Amazon

Get your head around Amazon Music’s various subscription tiers and learn how to upload your own music there for free!

E-commerce giant Amazon has a few different music streaming models targeted at different audiences. We hope to help you get your head around everything Amazon Music and even teach you how to upload your own music to Amazon Music for free.

Click below to jump to one of the following:


How to upload to Amazon Music

routenote stores distribution

Uploading your own music to streaming services, stores and social media platforms is easy with RouteNote. This is no different on Amazon Music. Selecting Amazon Music when distributing through RouteNote will send your music to Amazon Music, as well as Amazon’s Digital Music store. Where some music distributors like UnitedMasters charge additional fees to send to Amazon Music, RouteNote can send your music to all major streaming services for free.

To get started, sign up for a free RouteNote account here, head to the Distribution tab and select Create New Release. Here you’ll enter the metadata, and upload the tracks and artwork of your release. Be sure to select Amazon Music in the Manage Stores section.

Once you’ve finished your release, you can choose whether to distribute using our Free or Premium models. RouteNote Free has absolutely zero fees, while the artist keeps 85% of the revenue. RouteNote Premium costs a small fee and annual cost, while the artist keeps 100% of the revenue. Changing tiers at any time is as easy as clicking a switch. Features and stores are the same on both tiers, plus RouteNote artists always keep 100% of the rights to their music.

Your music will then be sent to our moderation team. They should check, fix and approve your release within the week. Statistics, earnings reports and payments are made to your RouteNote account every month. Statistics and earnings reports breakdown exactly how much each track has made in every store/country. Payments can be securely deposited to a PayPal or bank account.

RouteNote is great for artists and independent labels alike, with powerful tools like the split tool, making label management or royalty payments to collaborators super easy.


What is Amazon Music?

Amazon MP3, Amazon Music, Amazon Music Free, Amazon Music Prime, Amazon Music Unlimited… it’s easy to get lost in all of the different tiers of Amazon Music, but we hope to help you get your head around it.

How did Amazon Music start?

Amazon launched their digital music store Amazon MP3 in the US in 2008 with contracts from all major labels such as EMI, Universal, Warner and Sony BMG, plus many independents. Over the next few years, the store expanded across much of Europe, the Americas, and parts of Asia.

In 2014, Amazon started offering a limited catalog for streaming to Amazon Prime subscribers at no extra cost. In 2016, Amazon launched Amazon Music Unlimited. Music Unlimited offers their full-catalog of music as a stand-alone tier, though is discounted for Prime members. Both tiers are available today and music can still be purchased on Amazon.com or the Amazon Music app on some devices.

Today, Amazon Music is available in 47 countries around the world, but offerings (Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon Music Prime or both) vary between markets. As of January 2020, Amazon Music had more than 55 million customers, which puts them behind leaders Spotify and Apple Music, and ahead of other Western streaming services like YouTube Music and Deezer.

Going forward Amazon may focus on live audio, as platforms like Clubhouse and Spotify Live gain attention.


The basic features of Amazon Music

The layout of the Amazon Music mobile app is similar to most other major music streaming services. Each page can be filtered by MUSIC or PODCASTS.

The HOME screen compiles both personalized and top stations (with DJ Mode), albums, songs, playlists, video playlists (with music videos and documentaries) and podcasts. Find out how to create a playlist on Amazon Music. Find the most-followed playlists here.

The FIND tab includes a search bar at the top, followed by music genres and other buttons to filter music and podcasts.

Any music and podcasts saved, as well as MP3, CD and vinyl (using AutoRip) purchases from Amazon.com will appear in the LIBRARY tab. Unfortunately, you can’t upload your own music purchased outside of Amazon.com, as you can on services like Apple Music and YouTube Music. Music and podcasts here can be filtered and sorted to find exactly what you’re after.

The final option in the navigation bar is ALEXA. Amazon’s voice assistant is tightly woven into the Amazon Music experience, understanding context, and back and forth conversations. Tap ALEXA to summon the voice assistant or enable Hands free with Alexa to summon her from anywhere in the app, by simply saying “Alexa…”.

In 2019, Amazon Music launched Amazon Music HD. This gives listeners access to the full catalog available in HD lossless CD quality (16-bit/44.1 kHz), and many songs in Ultra HD (up to 24-bit/192 kHz), as well as exclusive Ultra HD remastered albums, plus curated HD and Ultra HD playlists.

Much like competitors TIDAL, the lossless quality option was initially priced above regular subscriptions. In May 2021, on the same day Apple Music launched lossless audio at no extra cost, Amazon dropped the price and offered HD/Ultra HD to regular Amazon Music subscribers.

Alongside HD music, Amazon also introduced spatial audio. Using just left and right channels in any headphones or select smart speakers, spatial audio can provide an immersive, three-dimensional experience to thousands of songs mixed in Dolby Atmos or Sony’s 360 Reality Audio.

Lyrics are available on Amazon Music provided by LyricFind and MusixMatch. Here’s how to upload your own lyrics to your music on all major streaming services. Dive deeper into your favorite songs with the X-Ray feature. This shows fun facts around tens of millions of songs.


Amazon Music subscription types

As mentioned earlier, subscription types and prices vary between markets, so it’s best to see what tiers are available to you from Amazon. We’ll cover the most common subscription types available and prices in US dollars for Prime and non-Prime members.

Amazon Music Free

Amazon Music Free is an ad-supported free streaming tier. The free tier grants users access to Amazon’s full music catalog, plus thousands of stations, playlists and millions of podcast episodes including Amazon Originals, across devices. Additional features like ad-free playback, on-demand music, HD music, spatial audio and offline playback are not available without a subscription.

Users don’t need to be Prime subscribers or even have a credit card linked to their account for Amazon Music Free.


Amazon Music Prime

Included at no additional cost to Amazon Prime memberships, Amazon Music Prime sits somewhere between Music Free and Music Unlimited. The biggest addition over Amazon Music Free is ad-free playback, while the biggest omission over Amazon Music Unlimited is the catalog. Music Prime offers listeners 2 million songs on-demand, whereas Music Unlimited offers 90 million songs. Offline playback is available, streaming quality is limited to 320 kbps, and there’s no spatial audio. Downloading music for playback offline is great for saving mobile data. Those with T-Mobile’s Music Freedom plan can stream without counting towards their monthly limits.

Amazon Prime is free for the first month, then $14.99 per month or $139 per year. Discounts are available for students and those on government benefits, with prices at $7.49 per month and $6.99 per month respectively. Prime also offers subscribers faster delivery, Prime Video, Prime Gaming, Prime Reading, Amazon Photos, Prime Try Before You Buy and exclusive deals.


Amazon Music Unlimited

For the full music streaming experience, and something similar to Spotify Premium and Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited offers 90 million songs, ad-free and on-demand. Like Amazon Music Prime, playback is available offline and unlike Music Prime, all 90 million songs are available in HD quality, with over 7 million available in Ultra HD.

Amazon Music Unlimited recently received a price hike in the US, bringing the cost up to $8.99 per month for Prime members, after the one month free trial. Non-Prime subscribers can subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited for $9.99 per month. Amazon Music Unlimited for Students is also available to those already subscribed to Prime at an additional $0.99 per month. Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan provides the full Music Unlimited experience, with six profiles, each with personalized recommendations and individual libraries, for $14.99 per month. Prime members can subscribe to the annual plan at $149 per year. There’s also an Amazon Music Unlimited Single Device Plan. Much like Apple Music Voice Plan, it’ll give you the full Amazon Music Unlimited experience, but only on one Echo device or Fire TV. This subscription also received a one dollar price hike, making it $4.99 per month.


All Amazon Music tiers compared

That’s a lot of tiers! Here’s a handy list to help get your head around the different options.

  • Amazon Music Free – ad-supported: free (no subscription)
  • Amazon Music Prime – limited catalog and features: free with Prime
  • Amazon Music Unlimited – full catalog and features: $8.99/month with Prime, $9.99/month without Prime
  • Amazon Music Unlimited for Students – full catalog and features: $0.99/month with Prime
  • Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan – six individual profiles: $14.99/month, $149/year with Prime
  • Amazon Music Unlimited Single Device Plan – full catalog on one Echo/Fire device: $4.99 per month

How to stream Amazon Music

Amazon Music is available on web, Mac/PC apps, iOS, Android, Fire tablets, smart TVs, game consoles, smart watches, The Mighty some cars, and Alexa-enabled devices like Echo, Sonos and Bose smart speakers. Find out how to authorize a device here. The mobile apps also feature Car Mode, which simplifies the interface for driving. Android devices support SD card downloads.

While device support is fairly comprehensive, notable exceptions are some devices that are direct competitors to Amazon such as Google Nest devices and Apple HomePods.


How does Amazon Music compare with the competition?

The majority of basic features on paid music streaming services, like Spotify Premium and Amazon Music Unlimited, are the same, however there are subtle differences that are worth considering before parting with your cash.

Pros:

  • Sizeable music catalog
  • Integrates with music purchases from Amazon.com
  • HD and spatial audio
  • Podcasts
  • Plenty of pricing options including free
  • Discounts for Prime members

Cons:

  • No uploading personal music purchased outside of Amazon
  • Poor support for rival smart speakers

If you want to give Amazon Music a go, use these instructions to import your library from rival services.

Import your playlists to Amazon Music

Artists

How can Amazon Music help me as an artist?

What is Amazon Music for Artists?

Much like Spotify for Artists and Apple Music for Artists, Amazon Music for Artists is where you go for insights and customization over your artist profile on the streaming service. Once you’ve claimed your profile, you can assign different users various levels of access between Owner, Admin and Viewer.

You can view detailed reports of your statistics with the latest number of streams, location insights and Alexa data.

Amazon Music for Artists also lets you update your artist profile image, to ensure your branding is identifiable across social media and streaming platforms.

If you sell merch on Amazon, you can list it on your artist page to shoppers in the US. “Contact us with your Seller ID and sellable ASINs at artist-merch-shop@amazon.com.”

Once your new music is available on Amazon Music, you can pitch your release for playlist consideration. Find out how to pitch here.

One of Amazon Music’s latest features is Spotlight. With Spotlight, artists can connect with fans by recording a personal voice message to be played on their artist profile. This feature is available to artists with at least 3,000 fans.

With Twitch being owned by Amazon too, you can even link your Twitch channel, so that live streams appear on your artist page.

The glaring flaw in Amazon Music for Artists is artist bios. Amazon Music lacks bios and they know this is a feature loved by artists.

You can access Amazon Music for Artists on the web, or via the iOS and Android apps.


How much does Amazon Music pay-per-stream?

As streaming services pay artists on a pro-rata basis, it’s inaccurate to give the pay rate of a stream for any platform. This model collects all of the revenue earned on services from advertisements and subscription fees, then splits it based on the number of streams earned in a month.

Several sites have calculated a rough average of how much streaming services payout each month. Most sites estimate a stream on Amazon Music to be worth around $0.004.

This figure is around the same as Spotify. As Amazon Music has a free model and advertisements generally pay out far less than subscription fees, it scores significantly lower than rivals like Apple Music and Napster.

RouteNote streaming rates banner

How to market your music with PUSH.fm

Our friends over at PUSH.fm help artists and online creators market their music for free.

One of the campaign tools available is Smart Links. Fully customizable, Smart Links are a single landing page that links to all of the stores and social pages that your music lives on.


As your fans open your Smart Links and click through to the various stores/social platforms, PUSH.fm will record this data and present it to you. Being able to see where fans are heading is essential in targeting specific audiences for future releases.


What are you waiting for? Click here to get your own music on Amazon Music for free!

A guide to getting your music noticed on Spotify in 2022

Image Credit: Spotify

How to get the most out of being an artist on streaming services, build a buzz and get your music on Spotify playlists.

If you want your music to be successful on streaming platforms, it’s unfortunately not enough to put your music on Spotify and then sit back and wait for success. Wondering how to get your music onto Spotify playlists?

You’ll have a better chance of getting music on Spotify playlists if you remember our top tips for artists. The music streaming revolution has made releasing songs available to all, which is an amazing thing. But you need to create a bit of hype to get it in the right places, which ultimately means catching the eye of Spotify playlist makers.

Getting a getting playlisted on Spotify on a popular playlist is the holy grail. Playlists have fast become the number one priority for musicians and producers, a way for a release to go from a handful to thousands of streams overnight.

But first you need to create some excitement around your music to attract the attention of curators on Spotify and other streaming services. Remember these top tips to help build a buzz on Spotify.


Generate some hype before release

Start your marketing campaign well before release day. Don’t sleep on Pre-saves, digital versions of pre-orders.

They guarantee engagement before the release hits streaming services. And when release day comes about, Spotify will see the strong performance, making it a more attractive prospect for inclusion on their playlists.

Our friends over at PUSH.fm offer unlimited Pre-save campaigns for free, along with music marketing tools to give your releases longevity.


Make sure to keep your Spotify artist page looking professional

The more active and up-to-date your profile is, the better. Don’t forget that those coveted play counts and follows are from real listeners, and you want turn a casual listener into one of your fans, not simply a fan of whatever playlist your track ends up on.

That means giving your Spotify profile a more personal feel – make sure your profile picture and featured images are good, your bio reads well, keeping everything up to date, and utilising the Artist Picks section.


Work your music analytics

Be savvy when you choose which song to pitch to curators. Check on your Spotify for Artists analytics and choose a track that’s been really popular with listeners to pitch it to Spotify’s independent playlisters.

A constant uptick in subscribers and listeners each month makes it more likely for your music to be noticed and onto those all-important Spotify playlists. Make smart promo decisions and put that boring marketing legwork in to make sure those numbers keep steady.

When you’re pitching new releases to Spotify’s official inhouse playlists, make sure to give enough time before the release date to pitch on Spotify for Artists. You can only choose one track per release, so pick the one you think has the biggest potential.


Spread the word across all your music social media pages

Make sure you’ve got links to your Spotify on all your social media accounts. Wherever you find yourself promoting yourself online, whack the Spotify follow button there too.

Ultimately Spotify wants you to promote their playlists to your fans, and being active on social media – building a following and interacting with your audience, means more streams of the playlists you want to get added to. And whilst getting playlisted is important, it’s arguably just as useful to build a loyal base of fans who’ll stream your other music beyond that one playlist.

Instagram only lets you add one link to your page bio, so you can create a handy landing page with all your links in one. No more copying and pasting individual links. Learn about Smart Links here.


Let RouteNote do the work for you

Release your music for free with RouteNote and, as long as you upload your music in advance of the release date, we can upload your track to Spotify allowing at least a week for Spotify playlist curators to consider your music before it goes live.

We’ve been siding with unsigned artists and indie labels since 2007. With RouteNote, you can send your music round the globe to all the biggest streaming services, put your songs on TikTok and Instagram, and keep all the rights to your music without signing any dodgy contracts or getting scammed into paying extra fees.


Artists can be playlisters too

Putting together a playlist yourself can give listeners an insight into your musical influences and put your music into context with other bands. If you’re a verified Spotify artist you can create playlists on your page.

Verify your account on Spotify by claiming your profile on Spotify for Artists. As well as looking professional and making you feel like a “real” artist, that blue tick shows Spotify you’re worth investing time in!

Try making playlists of musicians of a similar genre to yours, not only for a flowing listening experience but also to attract the attention of other bands who might return the favour by popping you on their playlist too. (Sneak in a couple of your own songs onto the playlists too, of course.)


Unofficial playlists are an easy win

There’s huge promotional power to be found from independent playlisters, and it’s easier to get their attention than the big inhouse Spotify playlists.

Whether they’re run by music journalism bloggers or simply music lovers with a knack for matching incredible music together, getting a spot on multiple independent playlists is valuable for plays and inching your way up the algorithm.

Make sure you’re personalising your pitch. Find out the right email; the name of the curator; research what music they promote; and follow their playlists on Spotify.


Make the Spotify playlist makers come to you

A less needy option than spamming the inboxes of overworked Spotify playlist curators is to make it easy for them to find you. Make sure you’re in all the spaces that you need to be in order to be seen, always active on social media and engaging with other musicians – check out our top tips for social media for musicians here.

Get out there and gig, and seek out opportunities for networking in the real world. If you’re generating a hype outside of Spotify, tastemakers will be curious enough about you to seek out your music on Spotify, and hopefully want to share your music.


Every contemporary musician who’s serious about building a music career has one eye on New Music Friday as the pinnacle of a new song’s success. It’s not all talent and luck. Give your music the best possible chance of success on Spotify and other streaming services by getting noticed by Spotify playlisters.


…But before any of that, head to routenote.com to get your music on Spotify for free!

Find out more about our mission here.