When you’re ready to distribute your music, there are a few things you need to check to help speed up the release process.
Metadata (Information such as the artist, release title, genre, copyright information etc.)
- Product titles and track titles should be formatted in title case. (e.g. This Is Title Case, This is sentence case).
- The following should all be lower case, unless they are used at the beginning or end of a title: a, an, and, as, at, but, by, for, from, in, into, nor, of, off, on, onto, or, out, over, so, the, to, up, with and yet.
- The following words should be abbreviated in the format outlined below: Featuring = ‘feat.’, Number = ‘No.’, Part = ‘Pt.’, Volume = ‘Vol.’, Versus = ‘vs.’.
- Do not use generic titles such as Track 1, Track 2, or Instrumental, unless they are actual titles of the tracks. If a track contains more than one song, in the ‘title’ field these names must be separated by a slash (/). Note that you must place a space before and after the slash.
- Version descriptions differentiate multiple versions of an album and should indicate how the version is different from the original (e.g. Bonus Edition, Instrumental Version, Acoustic Version etc.).
- Version descriptions must not include ‘Exclusive’ or ‘Limited Edition’.
- Mix descriptions allow multiple versions of tracks (such as remixes) to be differentiated from each other. Silent, hidden and ghost tracks must be clearly labeled here. Information such as ‘Live’ or ‘Instrumental’ should also be labelled.
- Mix descriptions must not include ‘Clean Version’, ‘Single/EP/Album Version’, ‘Original Version’ etc.
- Artist names, however, can be stylised, meaning they don’t have to be in title case.
- The artist or artists must be credited in the artist field at both product level and track level. Input each individuals name on a new line. Bands or duos etc. count as an artist, it is not necessary to input each band members name.
- Each individual credited in the artist field should also be credited in the display artist field at both product and track level. If there are multiple artists this should be formatted as ‘Artist One feat. Artist Two’ or ‘Artist One with Artist Two’ etc.
- The barcode can be left blank and one will be assigned to your release or you can input a barcode you have been given.
- The catalogue number can also be left blank and one will be assigned to the release or you can simply create your own. Please note that this number needs to be unique and therefore should be relatively long and/or alphanumeric (you can use your barcode).
- ISRC codes must be formatted as ‘AA-BBB-CC-DDDDD’.
- The release format type must be correct. A single release is one of between 1-3 tracks, an EP is a release of between 4-6 tracks (or less than 30 minutes in total) and an album is a release of 7+ tracks (or more than 30 minutes in total).
- Some releases may need licenses for certain areas (for example, cover versions will need licensing for the U.S), the ‘licensed territories to include’ and ‘licensed territories to exclude’ fields let us know where we are able to distribute your release(s).
- The (p) holder field is for the name of the phonographic rights holder for the release.
- The (c) holder is the name of the graphics rights holder.
- The genres inputted must match the content of the release (we can be lenient to a point but we can’t submit a heavy metal track as an electro pop song!)
- Explicit content must be marked as such. This includes titles, artist names and lyrical content. There are certain stores that do not accept explicit content therefore this field must be correct.
- The services field lets us know which stores to send your release to. Dance and electronic stores only accept dance and electronic music, karaoke and ‘sound a like’ stores will accept karaoke tracks, sound effects, public domain and excessive content whereas stores such as iTunes won’t.
- The dimensions of the artwork should be square, 3000 x 3000 pixels minimum.
- The image DPI should be 300 pixels/inch.
- The image should be in RGB colour format.
- If there is text displayed on the album artwork it should match the metadata – the artist name and product title should be clear (however, you do not need to add text if you do not want to).
- The image must be of high quality (must not be blurred, pixelated etc.).
- Artwork must not contain pornography. Some nudity on artwork is accepted but the release may be marked as explicit.
- Artwork must not contain pricing, references to physical packaging, references to it being a digital product, references to content that is missing (such as a DVD or lyrics) and must not advertise or up-sell another product.
- The artwork must not be misleading (e.g. referencing an artist that does not appear on the release).
- Audio files must be 16 or 24 bit.
- The audio file sample rate must be 44.1kHz minimum and 96kHz maximum.
- The audio must be in stereo.
- The audio must sound professional (must be mixed). There should be no distortion, clipping or any other quality issues.
- Any audio samples or unoriginal material used may need licenses.
- Multiple copies of the same content will not be accepted (this could include repeated submissions of the same audio files with different titles or artist names).
- Content may be hidden by some stores if if there are too many versions of a song that are available.
- Compilations may be hidden by some stores if they contain tracks that duplicate tracks elsewhere in the store. Compilation may also be hidden if we or the stores realise that the tracks are not properly licensed or if the content has no editorial value.
- Content must be legal and appropriate for the countries you own the license to distribute your content into.
- Tracks on any album are not to exceed 99.
If you have any questions regarding the release checklist please don’t hesitate to contact us.