How New Tech Helps You Create and Distribute Music

Forget the labels, man

Key Takeaways

  • Boomy is a new online app that lets users create and distribute music with the help of AI. 
  • There are a growing number of online services that help musicians distribute their work without going through major labels. 
  • Software like DistroKid lets users pay an annual fee to distribute and promote their music across a range of online retailers.
A home audio studio setup.

Will Francis / Unsplash

It’s never been easier to make and distribute music, even if you are an amateur recording artist. 

A new online app called Boomy bills itself as the first record label for everyone. Boomy uses artificial intelligence to help create music. It’s one of a growing number of online services that promise to smooth the process of putting music online, promoting it, and making money, even for less popular genres. 

"The problem with distributing classical music from independent composers and artists needs to be addressed," Mitchell Hutchings, a professor of music at Florida Atlantic University, told Lifewire in an email interview. "While commercial artists continue to thrive in this arena, classical musicians will continue to struggle to find ways to grow and develop their personal brands on streaming platforms."

Beats With a Little Help From AI

Boomy uses AI technologies to help novice music creators. But rather than AI creating the music, Boomy users collaborate with the technology to create, compose, and edit songs. While other artificial intelligence projects only mimic certain music or specific artists, Boomy allows users to create original songs with their compositions and vocals.

The web platform lets users create a song in seconds; release their music across streaming and social channels, including Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram; and earn an 80% share of the royalties.

"For us, it is all about empowering creators," Alex Mitchell, the CEO of Boomy, told Lifewire in an email interview. "Traditional record labels are trying to release the next hit and get a billion streams on one song—we’re happy with one stream on a billion songs. That’s how we have to think about this upcoming generation of creators."

Boomy says it expands on collaborative AI tools that have long been used by artists like David Bowie to generate lyrics, as well as popular editing and mixing tools used by DJs and professional producers. It uses proprietary algorithms to define the characteristics of different musical genres, such as Lo-fi, Hip Hop, or Reggae. Also, it leverages machine learning to improve song quality and personalization as users create music. 

Throughout the song-making process, the user directs Boomy by selecting things like musical styles, adding vocals, or editing the composition, similar to the process in a recording studio. After users create a song, they can choose to release their music to more than 40 streaming platforms and begin earning royalties. 

Mitchell said that more than 200,000 users had created original songs using the site. About 85% of users are first-time music creators, he said. 

"People can go from never making a song before to seeing their music on Spotify, in a matter of minutes, not months or years," Mitchell added. "Some of our users have told us they’ve released albums using nothing more than a [cheap] smartphone."

Screenshot examples of Boomy on three iPhone screens.

Boomy Corporation

New Ways to Be Heard

Boomy is joining an increasingly crowded field of software competitors aimed at helping musicians get noticed. There’s DistroKid, an independent digital music distribution service that offers musicians the opportunity to distribute and sell or stream their music through online retailers such as iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, Deezer, and iHeartRadio. Users pay $19.99 to upload unlimited albums and songs for a year. 

"Many of the features offered by DistroKid also can increase social media presence and overall search engine optimization," Hutchings said. 

Ditto Music is similar to DistroKid and promises that musicians keep 100 percent of royalties and music rights. Like DistroKid, you can release an unlimited number of your songs as an independent artist for the price of $19.00. 

"We believe artists should stay independent," the company says on its website. "Keep control of their careers and not be tied down by unfair deals and shady industry contracts."

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