First: Make two accounts. BandCamp and DistroKid.
Band Camp is here:
and it’s free, at least it is for bands. They take a small cut on sales. Not sure if free for labels, but won’t be much if it costs at all for labels.
You put albums there, they are available instantly, people buy them digitally directly from there, you get an email every time you sell one (if you want), and you get them money for each one within 24 hours via PayPal.
Check out one of my albums on DistroKid to see how it works:
Also, that built in player allows anyone to play the whole album free before buying. They get nagged every few songs though. And if you click on the album cover there, you see it big.
Scroll down the page, play a song, and check it out. They’re great and a lot of people buy music there. It’s a top 1000 site on the Internet.
As far as I know, BandCamp keeps stuff online forever, or until you are kink shamed and cancelled. DistroKid allegedly takes stuff off of iTunes, Amazon, etc if you cancel your sub. But it’s so cheap, I’m going to pay for it forever, and I have continued paying of it in my will. There is a service they have called “Leave a legacy”, but it’s 50 bucks an album. That keeps you on all those sites forever. or until you’re kink shamed.
You can also grab code from their site to put one of those players on any website. Here is an example: https://biptunia.com/?p=5943
The second is DistroKid. And yes this is my affiliate link, but it doesn’t cost you more. It actually gives you 7 percent off on your first year:
The Label account (what you want), gives you from 5 to 100 artists, is 80 bucks a year.
When you put an album on there, it gets everywhere, but takes a few days to a couple weeks. It gets on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, Tidal, Deezer, iHeartRadio.
I think the name DistroKid is a take off on “CD Baby.” Remember them? they cost 100 bucks an album (!) to release things. I did a couple albums there, the first 3 BipTunia. Sheesh.
If you are putting up old music you have on CD, you need a program that gets WAV or AIFF files off of CDs. Google “CD Ripper” plus if you’re on Windows or MAc (if you’re on Linux, you already know how to do all this.) Make sure the setting is on uncompressed WAV or AIFF, not MP3.
Basically the way I do it is put a CD into my computer, I open up SoundForge, and tell it to remove audio. It takes a few min, and makes as many files as there are songs on the album, file 1, file 2, etc. I immediately rename them with band and song and leave the song number. Then I put them in a folder. I also back up to an external hard drive.
I have two external hard drives, and once a week I move one to an offsite location. That way even if my shit is stolen, or my house burns down, I still have it. Or you can get a commercial Google Drive site and upload all to there.
First time you do that, upload one song to me and I’ll check it out and make sure it’s ok before you send it into the interwebs. They’ll be too big to email, but you can upload to
if you have a gMail account, then share it with my gmail account. Email me too, even though it usually emails me. I can also help you on the phone walk you through the first time you use DistroKid and BandCamp if you want.
You’ll need artwork for the band that’s at least JPG and at least 2000 x 2000 px. I got that for “Hits of Acid” by putting the album on the wall, taking good pix with my DSLR camera on a tripod, and picking the best one. Then had an artist update it for the new album.
Image can be bigger, but must be square. I use Photoshop to do all that, I’m sure you have it, if not, let me know.
If you need something mastered good enough, quick and cheap, I can do it. Listen to a little of my BipTunia stuff, I’ve gotten great at recording, and mastering.
BandCamp is very straightforward. You make an account, sign in, go to your page, which will be your band name (or label name) plus bandcamp.com, like this is mine;
and go here:
I’m not sure if they have separate accounts for labels. But on the band one, it’s all the default band, but you can edit the band name as you’re adding the info. That’s how I put that one Bomb album up even though it’s on the BipTunia account.
That Add link you will pick pick “album”, which will bring you to this:
It’s very straightforward, you just fill it all out, then hit “Release” on the bottom left (below where you can see in this image.)
Then you can immediately share it and sell.
Your stats for the player they give you will be here:
DISTROKID is a little more complex, and takes a few days to get things places, but it gets you REAL places. Like iTunes and Spotify. One cool thing about them is you can set the payouts to different people. Like all 4 members of a band, and change the percentages as you like. I would do that if I ran a label.
You click on “Upload” here:
That gives you this album release interface:
I leave all the default stores checked. You HAVE to pick the number of songs on the album before you start uploading. If you don’t, it will release EACH song as an album. lol. Did that a few times until I figured it out.
I leave the release date today’s date (default), but you can set it in the future if you want. But since it’s releasing from a bunch of places, I think they try, but won’t all do it exactly the same day, unless your Drake or something.
I think for your stuff I would check “previously released” since they were on CD. But maybe not, maybe that down-prioritizes them? I don’t’ know.
Scroll down, come to this:
You can set to pre-order, I don’t. Add your label (it may be automatic if you get a label account).
Upload the cover. Set the album title and the album price. Language, keep English, unless you have a band with songs in a different language.
PRIMARY GENRE (plus optional Secondary genre)
This is the one thing I DON’T like about DistroKid. Unlike some other places, you can’t set your own genre. BipTunia does not fit into ANY of the electronic sub genres, so I just call it Rock. I wish they at least had Electronic / Experimental. I asked Philip about this, he said I’d have to get some dance music site he feeds from to add that. meh.
They do have
Rock / secondary Punk,
which will work for a lot of yours. For Bomb, just put Rock please. No secondary.
Don’t get cute with the listings, don’t list a punk band as “Folk Music / Waltz” or anything like that, will work against you.
Next is the tricky part. You have to add info for each song (this is one place BandCamp is MUCH easier, they don’t require anything for each song other than the name and the file.)
On DistroKid you have to enter for EACH song, Song Title, upload the audio file, add if it’s a cover or not (don’t lie, you’ll get screwed), whether it has explicit lyrics (ditto), and if it’s a “radio edit” (default is “no”). If it’s an instrumental, check that, otherwise leave as is:
Then you have to enter songwriters for each song. Words, plus music separate. It’s good if it’s all one person for both on an album, or same people for all, then you can check ” Copy these songwriters to all tracks on this album”
Otherwise, you have to do each song. Meh.
Note,. DistroKid doesn’t really upload the songs and album art until you finish filling all this info out and press DONE, but you have to show the location on your computer of each as you go.
When you get through all that, they offer some paid extras, I personally do not add any of them:
The Siri thing sounds fun, but I do know that being on iTunes already gets me on Shazam, and that’s good enough for me. Shazam will recognize any BipTunia song playing, in seconds.
At the bottom, I check all of these. One time I didn’t check the YouTube one and the music still ended up on YouTube. Check it anyway.
Then hit DONE. It will take a few min to upload everything, then will tell you when it’s approved (technical info, like image is right size and type, files are high CD quality or better.).
If you ever have one that’s too long (unlikely, I think the limit is 250 megs on DistroKid, BandCamp seems to have no limit), you can make the file into a Lossless FLAC in your audio program. If a single song is bigger than that (25 minutes at CD quality), you have to cut it into two songs for DistroKid. I did that with a one-hour song, made the title Song Title (part 1 of 3)
Song Title (part 1 of 3)
Song Title (part 2 of 3)
Song Title (part 3 of 3)
(That’s how we say “word” in Wyoming.)
love, Michael W. Dean. Written, not proofed.