Spotify has become synonymous with music streaming and is often seen as the primary platform for musicians to release their music. However, there are compelling reasons for independent artists to consider alternative methods.

Let’s explore how releasing music outside of Spotify can actually benefit artists by giving them more control, higher revenue, and a closer connection with their audience.

Why Choose Alternative Non-Spotify Platforms?

You Have More Creative Control and Presentation

One of the most appealing reasons to release music outside of Spotify is the creative control you gain. Platforms like Bandcamp and SoundCloud, or even your own artist website, give you the freedom to present your music the way you envision it. This includes customizing your artist page, creating unique album art, and telling your story directly to your fans.

With an artist profile inside Spotify, it’s very easy to get lost in a sea of profiles that look the same, creating an almost utopian experience for a music fan or consumer.

You aren’t just trying to get people to listen to your music, you’re trying to express yourself through the art form you know best. Make sure you are selecting options and platforms that allow you to truly be yourself, show yourself artistically, and attract an audience of “your people” that resonate with you, your sound, and your message.

You Can Build a Direct Relationship with Fans

By using platforms that allow for direct interactions with your audience, you have the opportunity to build a more personal and lasting relationship. Collecting emails through your artist website can create a dedicated mailing list for updates and promotions, leading to a stronger fanbase that is invested in your success.

When we look at a modern musician’s marketing funnel (click the image to enlarge), it makes sense to place streaming at the top of the diagram alongside social media. This is where you are creating that initial awareness around you, your brand, your music, and your story. Streaming and social media are tools that are meant for discovery early in a fan’s journey with you and your brand.

When you are in full control of your fan experience from top to bottom, you increase your ownership of your music, your fans, your revenue, and your destiny.

The True Fan Musician Marketing Funnel

You Can Achieve Higher Revenue from Sales

When you sell your music through your own channels or fan-centric platforms like Bandcamp, you typically keep a larger portion of the profits than you would from streaming revenue. This is a significant advantage if you are trying to make a living from your music.

Any profitable business, whether in music or another industry, has the goals, metrics, and efforts to keep costs down and revenue up. When you use an industry-sanctioned platform that takes more of the pie, they are essentially do this to you. Fortunately for you, this model is free to use the same way for your own business, meaning you can play the same game the labels and music industry corporations play with you.

Remove those who are taking cuts from your revenue and profits and, keep those costs down, and take more for yourself. After all you earned it by writing, producing, recording, mixing, mastering, and promoting it. What exactly did the platforms taking their cuts do again?

You Can Create Tailored Experience and Exclusive Offers

The flexibility to set your own prices or offer special deals, like limited edition releases or bundles, can make purchasing your music more attractive to fans. Exclusive offers encourage fans to buy directly from you, which not only benefits your revenue but also reinforces fan loyalty.

Fan loyalty helps you make the jump from regular fan to true fan in the funnel above. True fans are those who will follow you on tour, buy your merch at every chance they get, listen to your music on repeat, and tell (or drag) their friends along in order to share your music and brand with them.

You Get Access to Valuable Analytics

Having access to detailed analytics about who’s buying your music and from where can inform your promotional strategies and tour planning. Understanding your audience is key to long-term success, and going beyond Spotify can provide more actionable insights.

Today’s world is data-driven, and if you have blind spots in your career dashboard, it can impact your relationship with fans, create the wrong experiences, or leave money on the table.

The Power of Community in Platforms Like Bandcamp and SoundCloud

Platforms such as Bandcamp and SoundCloud have a community-oriented approach that encourages discovery and support among artists and fans. This environment can foster meaningful connections and help you as an artist to build a supportive network.

You can also use Bandcamp, SoundCloud, or your own artist website in conjunction with community platforms like Patreon.  This allows you to release new tracks early to Patreon backers before it reaches the rest of your fans. Today’s musician is 100% community and fan-centric, so ensure you are focused not only on your music and art, but also the community you are cultivating around it.

How to Release Music on Alternative Platforms


Bandcamp stands out for its artist-friendly model, allowing musicians to set their own prices for music and merchandise. It’s a fan-favorite for discovering new music and directly supporting artists. An artist can release digital albums, singles, and even physical goods like vinyl and CDs.


SoundCloud is a hub for creatives and a birthplace for rising talent. It’s a platform where collaboration is common, and fans can engage with artists through comments and messages. It’s ideal for sharing new work, demos, and connecting with other musicians.

Your Own Artist Website

Creating a dedicated website can be a game-changer. It’s a central place for fans to learn about you, listen to your music, and purchase merch. Most importantly, you own the relationship with your audience – there’s no middleman.


While it’s not a typical music-releasing platform, some artists who have fan bases already tend to release their music only to their True Fans via a community subscription.  Think of a Patreon as your own personal streaming platform where all the paying subscription revenue is going directly to you.  This also lets you host video chats with your fans, ask them for feedback, take them along for the ride of producing music or touring, and so much more.

Releasing music independently without Spotify isn’t just a choice; for many artists, it’s a strategic move. It allows for greater control over artistic expression, a direct line to an audience, and potentially a more sustainable income.

Independent artists have a plethora of tools and platforms at their disposal. Using them smartly can lead to more than just financial benefits—it can build a dedicated community around your music, which is priceless.

For musicians pondering where to release their next project, consider the alternatives to Spotify. Your music deserves a platform that aligns with your artistic vision and values. Releasing music on your own terms isn’t just a statement; it’s a step towards artistic freedom.

Remember, while Spotify and other streaming giants have their place in the industry, mainly to put your music in front of an audience who doesn’t know about you yet, there’s significant value in exploring non-Spotify platforms, especially for your established fanbase.

Whether it’s Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Patreon, or your own artist website, each offers unique benefits that can empower you in the rewarding yet challenging adventure of sharing your music with the world.

The Ultimate Guide & Checklist for Marketing & Releasing New Music

Plan Your Next Release With Our Marketing Checklist

Our free 6-week marketing checklist will help keep things organized and provide you with a step-by-step process to successfully promote your new track or album.

Plan Your Next Release With Our Marketing Checklist

Our free 6-week marketing checklist will help keep things organized and provide you with a step-by-step process to successfully promote your new track or album.

The Ultimate Guide & Checklist for Marketing & Releasing New Music