Liquid error (snippets/signup-popup line 5): new_comment form must be given an article

3 Things Every Artist Need To Know About International Music Distribution

3 things every artists need to know about international music distribution

As you gradually fine-tune your professional self to become a bigger artist, your music presence should also expand its territory and popularity. Read on to find out how to best prepare yourself before jumping into the global market. 

If you’re also on the hunt for an effective music distribution to leverage your music career internationally, check out our extensive review of the top 4 best music distributions of 2023

music market distribution by country

Why does your music need to go global?

Increase distribution coverage

To some extent, based on your targeted genre, style, and location, your current musical efforts can be limited to only being featured in local areas. To combat this and maximize coverage, you want to get your music out there and explore global opportunities. 

In today’s age, digital distribution has made the fragmented music market easier for independent artists to make their music available at every possible place in the world with passionate listeners.


For instance, the fact that Spotify is available in 184 markets can suggest global distribution is the way to go for experienced artists who want to expand their fanbase. There are no longer difficulties in distributing globally thanks to the advancement of digital distribution so why miss the chance to hit bigger?

Expand the market and potential for your music

Listeners have become more receptive to and engaged with international music, all thanks to the mass success of recent KPop and Latino artists like BTS, Black Pink, Luis Fonsi, and Becky G,... 2022 has become the biggest year ever for Kpop artists, as seen by numerous charting records that topped Billboard 100 and Billboard 200. These icebreakers for foreign listeners show a good sign that your featured activities can satisfy a huge demand for the popularity of cross-border streams and different varieties of international music.

What are the legal concerns in each region?

Every country has its own music industry and its own copyright system. If you’re on the lookout for joining the international music business, finding out how music licenses and copyright work on a global basis and some key differences with the US is crucial. Failing to adhere to legal guidelines puts you at risk of copyright violation, and may lead to the worst-case scenario - people stealing your music. 

Music License vs Copyrights: The Differences 

A music license is a “lending license” for others to use your song for a particular period in exchange for a fee. On the other hand, copyrights are for the recording and lyrics themselves. So, you can use licensing to “lend” the song, but the intellectual property of the song itself stays with the copyright owner - that is, you.


Digitalization has put creative endeavors at critical risk, which means your releases can be copied, shared, and used illegally. This explains why permission is essentially needed from relevant copyright holders to play or perform music. Besides protecting legal rights, it ensures that the people who create music are fairly rewarded for their talent and work.

The music industry has set up separate collecting societies in each country. Traditionally, music-makers joined their local societies. And those societies only issued licenses in their home countries. 

As a musician and copyright owner, you have 2 choices. You can either join a society in your targeted market and only allow it to represent your rights in the according home country; or join your local society and give it global rights, allowing affiliated societies to license your music via reciprocal agreements. Most music-makers initially go with the latter approach. 

Visit our previous article when we answered the most F.A.Q.s about Music Licensing For Independent Artists.


There are different types of royalties depending on the type of license obtained. However, if you’re an independent artist, you own and keep the intellectual property of your original music. 

To get full protection under US copyright law, you need to register your songs and recordings with the US Copyright Office in Washington. In the US, there are several collecting societies that can simplify the process of representing your rights in songs. If you are targeting the American market, you will have to decide which society to join.


Similarly, if you are targeting other countries, make sure to do your research thoroughly to understand what copyrights policies and registrations to expect before going on board. For example, under the UK setting, there would be a collective society affiliated with a US-based society that will represent their members’ music rights globally. All you have to do is to decide which partnered society you will allow to license your music in the US.

How to boost your music delivery on a global scale?

Understanding how artists are paid according to their copyrights is important. Being aware of the process assists you in making the right decisions for your music releases and promotions. 

When working with music distribution platforms, a core role of them as your music distributor is allocating the royalties due back to you - the rights owners. However, this doesn’t come naturally. Below are 2 tips to maximize the gains of your global distribution efforts.

Picking the right distribution platform

Firstly, to get your desired distribution push, you need to pick the most suitable distribution platform for independent artists. 

There are many factors to consider for choosing the best music distributor for your needs. To help you decide which criteria you should take note of when doing your research, check out our comprehensive guide to choose the right one

Planning your releases ahead

Secondly, artists cannot simply distribute and expect overnight success, instead, plan wisely.  We highly recommend strategizing your music distribution and fee structure with distribution platforms to boost its presence on a global scale. This includes: added targeting physical distribution; setting up pre-sales and pre-saves; getting songs into sync licensing catalog for pre-licensed options; and editorial pitches to music supervisors. These aim to help you raise awareness of your releases to potential listeners and widen your existing engagement. 

To expand and compete in the global music market, you should pay attention to the ever-changing nature of the industry. It is advisable to work with professional services that can provide you with expertise and support in crafting a music promotion plan before every release. 

With this in mind, Base for Music is your trusted companion in offering a simple yet effective solution to help promote your music effortlessly. With our constantly updated details about the most updated independent music promotion practices, boosting your release visibility to the right audience at the right time can’t be easier.

Sign up for a free account and start generating your ad campaigns on popular advertising platforms (Spotify Ads, Facebook Ads, TikTok Ads, Youtube Ads, etc) through a few simple steps to make your tracks available across universal popular advertising platforms like Spotify, Facebook, TikTok, and Youtube. 

Learn How to Grow your Fanbase

Sign-up to our newsletter to receive all the tips & tricks on the Music Industry.

Related posts