10 things you should do as soon as you sign up for music distribution

Preparing your music for a successful release.

Whenever you release new music, you don’t want it to just be AVAILABLE on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. You want people to care. Every new release should be a building block in your career, something that helps you reach more listeners and generate more royalties.

So there’s a big difference between releasing new music and having that music actually make an impact. Pressing “finalize” in your CD Baby dashboard is just the start.

Once you’ve designed your cover artwork, gotten your music mastered, and signed it up for music distribution services, it’s time to promote and monetize that new music.


10 ways to make the most of your next release

Here are some of the most important things to take care of once you’ve begun the process of releasing new music:

1. Claim or update your artist profiles on streaming platforms

Storefronts are important. You often decide to walk into a store (or not) based on your impression of a store’s signage, window display, and lighting.

Same with music platforms. Given that most people will be listening to your music on one of the big streaming services, you need to claim and customize your profiles to make the best impression.

CD Baby helps you instantly claim your profiles with:

We also recommend you get verified with:

Each of these artist dashboards have slightly different features, but your goal is the same: Brand your music, upload visuals to match your music’s vibe, use any available promo tools, and look at the data to make smarter music marketing decisions.


2. Pitch your music to Spotify and Amazon Music

As long as you’ve distributed your music well enough in advance, you can use Spotify’s playlist pitching tool to get your music onto all your followers’ Release Radar. 

Amazon Music has a similar pitching tool you can use up to fourteen days AFTER your release date.

This process flags your music for editorial consideration and gives you the opportunity to provide additional music metadata such as genre, instrumentation, mood, and “sounds-like” artists, improving your music’s chances of being recommended to the right listeners on both Spotify and Amazon Music.

For Spotify, the real dependable benefit is getting your song onto Release Radar!

Spotify says your music needs to be delivered to them at least seven business days before your release date. But given that it takes a little while to process on both Spotify and your distributor’s side, we recommend that you sign up for distribution long before that. Plus, many experts in music management, PR, and A&R recommend you pitch your music 30 days in advance.

In other words, give yourself plenty of time.

If you need help planning, get a FREE customized music release plan to make sure you’ll qualify for opportunities like Release Radar.


3. Upload a Spotify Canvas ahead of release

Canvases are vertical videos that loop while tracks play in the Spotify app. Because we’re drawn to visuals, the format has proven to boost all kinds of streaming engagement metrics.

Since a Spotify Canvas is a maximum of 8-seconds long, it doesn’t have to be a big commitment in terms of video production. What’s really great is you can now upload them through Spotify for Artists well in advance of your release date.

Here’s how to create and upload a Spotify Canvas for your next song. 


4. Market your music with Show.co

Show.co is an impressive suite of music marketing tools used by major labels and giant acts such as Maroon 5 and Tove Lo.

With Show.co you can:

  • Grow your Spotify following
  • Drive streams and saves on Spotify
  • Grow your email list
  • Boost YouTube video views
  • Run fan contests
  • And much more

As a CD Baby artist, you get to use those same tools for FREE!

Show.co also gives you access to powerful advertising tools to get your songs and videos in front of music fans on prestige sites like Pitchfork, Billboard, Rolling Stone, and more.

To start an account, log into your CD Baby dashboard and follow the “free marketing tools” link. Then check out these tips for creating a successful online music marketing campaign.



5. Enter your lyrics with MusixMatch

Want your lyrics delivered to platforms like Instagram Reels, Spotify, Amazon Music, and many more? Want your fans to create little lyric videos in Instagram Stories where the words are automatically appearing on screen in time to the music?

This is how you add your lyrics to social and streaming services:


6. Professionalize your music publishing rights.

If you write original music or lyrics, you own the music publishing rights to those songs.


7. Monetize your music across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and more

It’s easy to skip a lot of the “extras” when you’re rushing through the music release process, but go back now and make sure you’re set up to make the biggest impact and earn the most money — including social video monetization (which is included with all CD Baby distribution).

When you monetize your music on social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, you’ll earn revenue from the usage of your track in videos on those platforms, even if they were created or uploaded by OTHER people.

YouTube monetization paved the way for creators to earn money from “user-generated content,” and now it’s a growing trend across many of the biggest social platforms.


8. Register with SoundExchange

If you’re the owner of your own sound recording, the primary artist on the recording, or a member of the band, there are additional digital performance royalties you’re owed whenever your music is played on internet and satellite radio (Pandora, SiriusXM, etc.).

But since these royalties are associated with the recording and not the song, they are not considered publishing royalties — so your performing rights organization (such as ASCAP or BMI) can’t collect them.

That’s where SoundExchange comes in. SoundExchange will collect that money and distribute it to performing artists and players.

To collect your digital performance royalties, register with SoundExchange today.

9. Create or update your web presence

Not really present online besides social? You should be, and you should maintain a hub for your music where you control the experience and own the fan relationship.

If you’ve already got a website (and a billion social profiles), it’s time to refresh them with:

  • New music announcements
  • New artist photos and videos
  • Updated bios
  • And more


10. Plan to promote!

Want people to care about your songs? You have a wide range of options. Now is the time to set a course and produce content.

Gonna send emails announcing your release? Write those emails in advance. Planning a bunch of social content for your launch-week? Great, create that content ahead of time.

Shooting videos? Think about ALL your video needs, such as:

… and then get to work creating those videos long before your music is out.

Why? Because you will have your hands full when your music is newly launched. Trust me. There’s no shortage of things to do the week of your release, especially if you want to keep up responding to every comment, email, DMs, etc.

So prepare as much as you can, as early as you can.

Want help planning your release? Get your free, customized timeline for successful music distribution and promotion. 

That’s a long list of things to do in order to make the most of your next release. Honestly, the list could be a lot longer, but hopefully these items give you a better idea of what to focus on if your music hours are limited.

As always, if you have questions, holler in the comments!