Explicit Music Distribution: What You Need To Be Aware Of
One advantage that independent artists can use is the growing open-mindedness of audiences towards music. Many listeners don’t mind explicit language in songs as long as the music is catchy and resonates with them. This makes it easier for independent artists to attract and retain fans.
However, it’s important to note that it doesn’t mean artists can distribute anything on streaming platforms without facing challenges. In this article, we will explore the risks associated with explicit music and how you can take control of the situation
Explicit content in the music industry
Explicit music has become increasingly prevalent in today's world, as it allows artists to express themselves freely and reflect the reality of the world we live in. This has been demonstrated by the success of popular hip hop artists such as Billie Eilish, Drake, and Kanye West, who are known for their explicit content.
As an independent artist, you can definitely target this type of music for your music career too!
Challenges that artists may have with explicit music
Despite the growing acceptance of explicit music, independent artists need to be aware of the potential challenges that come with it. For example, performing an explicit song at a concert with a young audience may not be suitable or encouraged due to negative perceptions.
Additionally, there is a risk of censorship and restricted access to feature playlists on streaming platforms. Songs with explicit content may not be exposed to users under 18, limiting the artist's reach and potential audience.
How to overcome those challenges
With that being said, independent artists do not necessarily have to give up on the idea of distributing explicit music completely. You just need to be aware of the challenges that you may have during and after the release and prepare yourself beforehand with the plans to solve those challenges.
Understand platform guidelines
Independent artists need to thoroughly review the platform guidelines to avoid having your music from being censored or taken down
For example, with Spotify, these are the steps that are needed to have your explicit song online:
1. Have a distribution service
When preparing to release music on Spotify or other platforms, independent artists need to choose a music distributor to help them with the process. It's important to note that all music uploaded to Spotify must go through a distribution service, making it crucial for artists to choose the right partner for their needs.
Let us help you to choose a suitable distributor with our article Top 4 Music Distribution Services 2023!
2. Tag your track as explicit
Be sure to tag your explicit content track when uploading it. This helps Spotify identify your song and apply an “E” label to the title, which warns listeners about the explicit content. By doing this, you can ensure transparency with your audiences and avoid any possible issues with platform guidelines.
3. Submit your music to Spotify
After publishing, since it is an explicit song so you must submit Spotify a review request. This is because Spotify reviews all content before it's released to ensure that it meets their guidelines. Artists should note that this process can take days or weeks, so you should plan accordingly this time.
4. Monitor your content
Finally, it is crucial to monitor your music constantly. After the distribution process, make sure to regularly check your track to ensure it remains compliant with Spotify’s policies. If artists receive any notifications or warnings about your explicit content, you need to take the necessary steps immediately to address the issues and prevent your song from being taken down.
Provide clear disclaimers
When sharing your music on any social media platform, you need to provide clear disclaimers about the explicit content of the song. This helps audiences to make informed decisions on whether they want to engage with the content or not. By providing a warning upfront, artists can avoid negative backlash or criticism from audiences who may be offended or surprised by the explicit content.
Offer clean versions
This is a popular solution chosen by many artists, as it allows them to reach a wider audience. By providing clean versions, you can ensure that your music is accessible to a broader demographic, including those who prefer not to listen to explicit content. Additionally, clean versions can also help you gain exposure on feature playlists and avoid censorship or takedown issues.
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