Updated: Nov 28
Uploading your music to Spotify has become very popular in the last few years. In this blog post, we will show you exactly how to upload music to Spotify. At the end of the post, we will also briefly touch on how you can upload your podcast to Spotify.
Whether you are a musician, singer songwriter, producer, rapper, or just an avid music listener we will show you the different approaches on how to upload your music to Spotify so you can sell it. For instance, if we get your music on a Spotify playlist, you'll have the opportunity to make some money. Or how you can upload music to Spotify just for the pleasure of listening to it.
Technically speaking, there are two different approaches we can discuss when we're talking about how to upload music to Spotify. There is:
1. The artists perspective
2. The listeners perspective
The process on getting your music uploaded to Spotify will depend if you are an artist or if you are a listener. For example, if you are an artist you're probably looking to upload music to Spotify in order for you to sell it by making money off streams.
On the other hand, if you are a listener, then you're probably looking to upload songs directly to Spotify so you can listen to them on your own devices.
So what are you? An artist? Or listen or a listener? Skip to the section that is most appropriate for you in order to find out how you can upload your music to Spotify.
There is also a great video by Charles Cleyn where he explains step-by-step on how you can upload your music on Spotify by walking you through these two perspectives.
Now, let's break these down each of these perspectives and show you exactly how to upload your music to Spotify.
The Artists Perspective
It does not matter what type of music you're making the process is the same for everyone to get their music up on Spotify. And to our knowledge, there is no discrimination on Spotify to what type of music they allow on their platform. So, you should be good to go already.
Step 1 - Have your Music Spotify Ready
Before even thinking about uploading to Spotify you are going to wanna make sure that your song is properly and professionally mixed and mastered.
What does this mean exactly?
It means it will sound professional. Mixing in mastering is the process a song will go through in order to get all the instrumentation in place so you have a song that actually sounds good. But not only does it sound better through this process, it meets the requirements that people expect when they listen to music.
Since I assume you want your music on Spotify so you can sell it, right?
Well in order for you to sell your music on Spotify you must compete with all the hundreds of thousands of other artists on the platform.
Needless to say, as an artist, your music must be good!
Step 2 - Find a music distributor
I wish it was just as easy to go to Spotify and find an upload button and then boom your music is ready to go live on Spotify. However, they don't make it that easy.
Maybe in another few years…
For now, we are stuck to find a music distributor to help us upload our music to Spotify. A music distributor is essentially a middleman between you and Spotify. Traditionally, music distributors are music labels like Universal or Warner. They help distribute your music. A few decades ago that man getting your music in all the physical stores that sold CDs.
With the rise of the Internet, and people no longer buying to CDs, we have streaming as the primary source of music distribution. This created a new market of music distributors that help independent artists get their music uploaded and distributed to music streaming services. Like Spotify. Some of these music distributors are CD Baby, Tunecore, and DistroKid.
At this step, you will need to decide what music distributor you will sign up with. There are a lot of different types of music distributors and they all will charge you different rates in order for them to distribute and upload your music.
The music distributor that is best for you will depend on your music goals as an artist.
For example, CD Baby will charge you a fee to upload a song but then they will also take a percentage of your streaming royalties. Tune core on the other hand will only charge you an annual fee to upload your music. DistrKid will also only charge you an annual fee letting you keep 100% of your music streaming royalties.
If you are struggling on which type of music distributor you should go with then we suggest watching these two comparison videos between CD Baby, TuneCore and DistroKid.
Step 3 - Upload your music to your distributor
No matter what music distributor you choose they will ask for the same requirements in order to get your music uploaded to Spotify. The only difference between the music distributors will be how much they charge you and the look and feel of their websites.
The things we need to upload our song to Spotify are:
1. Artist and or Band Name
2. The desired release date for your music
3. If the artist has a record label or not
4. The album or single artwork
5. The specific music genre of the song
6. The actual song itself that you want to upload
7. The songwriting credits
Potential difference between the music distributors will be the extra added features they offer you. For example, on distro kid there is an added feature if yours if you would like your song to show up on Instagram and Facebook stories. There is also an added feature if you would like to be covered if you would like your song to be covered for YouTube monetization. Most of these simple features will be offered across all the music distributors.
Since this would be a massive post to show you different screenshots of all the music distributors and how do you upload your music to Spotify we will briefly show you the process and how it looks like on distro kid. We we chose distro kid because most of our artists find it cost effective and simple to use.
By the way, if you decide that DistroKid is the best music distributor for you then we can offer you a 7% discount by signing up through this link or we can offer you a 20% discount to TuneCore. The choice is yours!
After signing up to DistroKid you'll see a simple navigation at the top. Begin by clicking upload.
Here is the only screen you'll see so far which has all the topics that we listed above. Some of this information will look different and it will depend on what type of plan that you decided to choose with DistroKid. For instance, if you chose the musician plan at $20 a year you will not be able to choose a desired release date for your song. If you want to choose a desired release date for your song then you must upgrade your account.
Having a release date in the future is not a necessary thing. However, if it can help significantly with your marketing promotion by telling your audience when the exact date your song will be out on Spotify.
If building audiences is building your audience and music marketing is a daunting task for you then we suggest scrolling through this playlist of videos to see if any of them can spark some help for you.
Two you very important things to mention when you're uploading your song to your music distributor would be the album artwork and the song file and song name.
The Album Artwork
Music distributors can get quite picky when it comes to the album artwork. Apple Music and Spotify are good examples of streaming platforms that have strict requirements. They're strict because they want to ensure the quality of artwork across the platforms remains high.
Therefore, you must upload a perfect square with a minimum size of 3000×3000 pixels. If you don't know how to design artwork or if any of this jargon sounds unfamiliar to you then we would suggest asking a friend or hiring a designer. If you're up to doing it yourself, then we suggest looking at this free software called Canva to design your artwork.
The Music File and Song Title
Streaming platforms, especially Spotify, are also very strict on the music file and the song title. Example, look at some of the requirements below that are laid out on DistroKid.
It's worth spending time to make sure that your song name will be approved. If the distributor is not happy with your song name or you did not follow one of the required rules then your song won't be excepted and it could easily delay your release.
The final requirement would be to read and agree to all the terms the music distributor has listed out for you. This will include how you are paid and how much of the music streaming royalties you are owed. It's a good idea that you read this in order for you to feel comfortable with everything in the agreement.
There will also be a section in this agreement which states that you own the copyright to the music you're about to upload. If you do not know how to copyright your music then you can watch this video which gives a good step-by-step guide on how you can go about doing that.
The typical waiting time between uploading your music to your music distributor and having and seeing it live on Spotify will be between three and five days. Unless, you chose a desired release date much farther out in the future.
Now you just need to sit tight and wait for your release to go live.
Wondering what you can do in the meantime? We recommend using the free service on Spotify to pitch your song to official Spotify curators.
The Listeners Perspective
So let's say you're not an artist and you're just looking to upload music to Spotify so you can listen to that music on your own devices.
This is definitely possible to do. However, it is not possible to upload this music and have it be available for other people to listen to. This upload feature that Spotify offers is only available for listeners to have these songs locally on their computer.
So what does local mean?
Having songs that are only local on your computer mean that they are only available to people who are using your physical computer. The songs you upload locally will not be available to anyone else on the Internet or anyone else on Spotify.
So how would you go about doing that?
Go to your Spotify app and then navigate to the settings section.
Scroll down and then look for the local files section.
Sure that the show local files option is turned on.
Once this option is turned on you will have the opportunity to show songs from different folders on your computer.
What you would do is click on the add a source button and then choose the desired folder of songs you have on your computer that you would like to listen to you.
Simply put, if the music you would like to listen to is in your downloads folder then click the Downloads option to be on.
Once you have turned your desired options on in the settings section your new local files will be now visible under the your library section in the left-hand navigation in the Spotify app.
Are you looking for more great music to listen to? Consider following some of our hand curated playlists. We update our Spotify playlists regularly with new music.
Here are a few of our favourite playlists: