Independent music distribution and the self-distribution model offers you a way to make your own music available to potential fans without handing over the rights to your music to a record label.
Yes, you can still chase a traditional record and music distribution deal. It's not easy however to get a good deal when you just start out in the music business because you have very little leverage to negotiate good terms.
So, at first make a deal with yourself, and DIY to get your music out there!
Independent Music Distribution: It's do-able...
the Web has shaken the music industry in a radical way, down to the
foundation, and this includes the role of music distribution
companies. The control over music distribution once monopolized by the
major record labels slips away more and more as the Internet grows.
obviously know by now that you can get music to a worldwide audience
via the Internet, which means selling CDs in retail stores is no longer
the only way to make your music available to your fans.
Independent music distribution opens up a range of new music distribution channels
which means you can avoid the old route of finding distribution for your
music. You can get your music on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and other
retailers and it's not difficult to do.
You will find various online music distribution companies which can get your music into major online music retailers and some which will even handle your CD sales for you.
You might also benefit from this guide to help you sell music on iTunes
I've created for your reference. I recommend Tunecore or similar
companies should you want to get your music on many different online
retailers including iTunes, Amazon and streaming services such as
I also highly recommend Bandcamp
as a way to distribute your music online. It's simple to use, has a
great interface and does what it says on the tin. You can also use it to
sell your physical merchandise. This is a great service for
Another great digital music distribution option in terms of value for money which I've recently discovered is Distrokid. The service is such a good deal that the founders of two of the main competitors, Tunecore and CD Baby, recommend it. Definitely worth a mention!
Distrokid doesn't seem to support physical distribution as far as I can see at the time of writing so you may have to look at Tunecore or CD Baby should you need a solution for hard copies of your albums, EPs or singles.
You can also sell your own music if you're up for the challenge. You'll find my list of distribution/publishing related services for producers and musicians here.
In conclusion: Do your research and make sure to read the fine print before you sign up with any service. You now more options than ever before to get your music into the international retail stores.