Producing and distributing immersive audio can often feel like a difficult task for emerging artists, but many continue to experiment with the new technology and seek to distribute in the highest possible quality. The days of poor-sounding MP3s are hopefully behind us as platforms like Apple Music and Amazon continue to embrace immersive audio.
There are a wide variety of methods for listening to 3D audio formats, through soundbars or more complex home theater setups offer listeners a better and more accurate experience than headphones.
That said - how does one distribute their music for consumption on these platforms, allowing listeners to properly experience the music using a 5.1 or Dolby Atmos system?
Music Distribution Services
Many record labels either have their own distribution facilities, or work closely with a distributor.
One of the popular distributors out there is FUGA, but if you are a smaller independent musician without a label - or working with a smaller label - it isn’t the most accessible service. Unlike some of the other immersive distributors, FUGA doesn’t appear to have a membership plan for independent or bedroom musicians.
Avid offers an amazing new system for independent musicians and labels to get music out there, including lossless files and immersive audio formats. By paying one simple monthly fee, you can get your audio released via Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal, as well as a variety of other streaming platforms and even Instagram or TikTok.
AvidPlay lets you keep 100% of your royalties, too. They don’t take any commission, so you know what you are going to pay each month for your membership.
AvidPlay lets you distribute Dolby Atmos (ADM BWF) files and get your songs on Apple Music, Amazon HD, and more.
Distrokid is another option for independent musicians, with a similar model to AvidPlay. The analytics may not be quite as impressive as Avid’s, but that doesn’t mean this should be discounted. You can submit immersive music to all the top platforms including Amazon Music HD and Apple Music, all for a very affordable $19.99 per year.
Distrokid claims to be the quickest way to get your music on these platforms. It’s debatable whether that’s true or not, but it is true that you can use the service to gain a YouTube Official Artist Channe and get licensing for cover songs. The service also offers quick payouts twice weekly, so you don’t have to wait for your royalties.
Though not a distribution service per se, Immersive Audio Album is an exciting new outlet for independent artists and labels looking to release 5.1 or Dolby Atmos music. Unlike any of the streaming services, IAA has the ability to provide immersive music in a high-quality lossless format.
There are some other options for independent musicians. If you are running your own small label, Vydia is an excellent service that works with record labels to distribute 3D audio.
Landr is another service that is ideal for bedroom musicians, and it offers an automated mastering service (the subject of some debate) and Atmos uploads as .wav or .mxf files.
It’s only a matter of time before every distribution service embraces immersive audio, but at this moment there are a number of intriguing options available to independent musicians who seek to go immersive.