So if you are on a major label: a) you almost certainly won't be reading this blog and b) you probably have all of your music distribution taken care of by the label that you are signed with. Most indie labels also take care of your distribution, be it physical CD's, vinyl and tapes, or much more commonly, online distributors such as iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and the like. If you are a completely independent artist, then you will likely be taking you music's distribution into your own hands. While it is fairly easy to sell your music through websites such as bandcamp directly, that only enables your existing die-hard fans to purchase your music... basically the people who already follow you and would buy a CD at a show. There are enormous benefits to getting your music on the "mainstream consumption channels" for both the convenience of your existing fans and for the exposure of people who have never heard of you before. Here's the problem: while labels (both major and indie) have the negotiating power to get your music listed and the popular music services, an individual almost certainly doesn't (unless maybe you are already a renowned household name, with a legal and management team). So how do you get you music carried by services such as iTunes and Spotify? Enter the Music Aggregator.
Music Aggregators provide as a middleman between indipendant artists and popular distribution channels. There provide varying levels or service, from simply getting your music listed and tagged correctly, to helping you collect all of your royalties, and aiding with licensing and promotion. Several of them, such as CD baby, even have options for printing physical media and merchandise ("merch"). Aside from offering very different levels of service, they also have a myriad of payment plans, that may, or may not work for you - the artist. Some have yearly fees, while others take a percentage of your earnings... Navigating which service is right for you can be tricky. Luckily Ari's Take has done the leg work for us. If this is of any interest to you, I highly recommend reading his article before deciding on which distro service may be right for you.