Hello, I'm Bryan Baker. I flirted with music and recording when I was a kid. Experimenting with portable reel-to-reel recorders, then doing 8-track collages and silly kid stuff. Got my first 4-track in college and soon after found Option Magazine around 1983. A few years later I started publishing a zine called GAJOOB featuring home recording artists. I never talked much about my own recordings in the zine, but I like making everything from rock songs to crazy sound experiments. I do a lot of the latter at tapegerm.com. I'm just getting into Logic Pro now and still exploring and having fun. Hit me up for a collaboration or something. You'll find me on Apple Music and elsewhere as Blind Mime Ensemble.
Getting Your Homemade Recordings on Apple Music and Elsewhere in 2021
I've essentially been away from music promotion for several years after having been involved by way of publishing a magazine and music website from 1987 to now. I haven't been actively reviewing new music for many years, although I've been working on developing music websites and publishing (mostly) archival content as time allows between the day job. From time to time a new album crosses my path, but I've not been exposed to music PR for a long while now.
Over the last year or so, I've put a little more attention on my own music and have just recently started efforts toward getting some of it into distribution on the streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify and others and I've discovered it's gotten very easy to manage your own music and make it available online. Here's my experience in 2021.
First I tried landr.com. They have been an online mastering service and have just recently become a distributor. I was tempted by their mastering service which is $299 for unlimited mastering and albums because I don't really know what I'm doing. But I decided to bypass their mastering which drops the unlimited price to $48/yr. I set up a couple albums. The interface was OK. I like how you can drag songs into the page and rearrange and delete them as you create an album. Entering actual information was sort of flaky on my mac in safari. It took much longer than it would have if I didn't have to keep re-entering information that kept clearing out. Once I completed an album I got an email confirmation and then the next day I got an email saying the album was on hold for sample clearance. I sent them an email indicating that there weren't any samples needing clearance that I was aware of and asked them for details on which tracks were being flagged. I didn't hear back for several days.
In the meantime I read a good overview of distribution services here: https://aristake.com/post/cd-baby-tunecore-ditto-mondotunes-zimbalam-or and decided to give DistroKid a shot. They are cheaper. I chose the $40 Musician Plus option which gives you unlimited albums for up to 2 artists. Their interface is not as pretty as landr, at first glance, but it turned out to be much, much quicker. They also let you add lyrics and more kinds of contributors if you want; even after the fact. Their email confirmations are more verbose. My album has 14 tracks and they sent 14 emails confirming that each song was successful, another that the artwork was successful, another that the album passed muster and was sent off to the distributors. It's now the next day and I got an email that my album is on Deezer. By default, DistroKid distributes to Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play/YouTube, Amazon, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, iHeartRadio, ClaroMusica, Saavn, Anghami, KKBox, MediaNet, Instagram/Facebook.
So far, DistroKid seems worthwhile to get my crappy homemade music into Apple Music and elsewhere.