This is my first time distributing a release to stores. Do you have any tips / best practices?
Absolutely! Unlike platforms like SoundCloud and YouTube, stores like Apple and Spotify have very specific metadata, audio, and artwork guidelines. Not following these guidelines can lead to your release being temporarily rejected and delaying the time it will take to get to stores.
To reduce the time it will take for your release to be approved for delivery, check out some of the most common errors we see from artists on our platform:
Use Original Artwork - only submit artwork that you control the rights to (e.g. heavily editing copyrighted images does not grant you the permission to use the original image). If you have rights to use a copyrighted image in your release, please send documentation to email@example.com.
Make Sure Your Artwork is Appropriate - Please do not submit artwork that is inappropriate for stores. This includes artwork that contains overly blurry content, nudity, excessive violence, etc.
Don't Use Artwork That Is Too Generic - Please do not submit artwork that is overly generic as it will be rejected by some stores (e.g. single color / plain images). Please consider personalizing this by adding an artist or track title, or replacing it with something new.
The Text on Your Artwork Should Match your Metadata - Any text in the artwork needs to match the information on your release (artist, title, label etc). Please fix either the artwork or the release information so that they are consistent.
Make Sure Your Artwork Is Not Misleading - Please do not submit content that is overly derivative of popular culture and can confuse listeners (e.g. artwork that mimicking famous album covers, TV shows, movies or other popular reference points).
Only Distribute Content that You Have The Rights To - Please do not attempt to distribute content where you do not control all aspects of the release (e.g. unofficial remixes, content containing uncleared samples, etc.). If you have rights to distribute, please send documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't Misspell or Mis-case Your Artist Name - Please be sure to spell your name exactly as it is written on stores such as Spotify and Apple. Not doing so may send your release to the incorrect artist page.
Don't Add Main Artist Names to Your Release and Track Titles - Please be sure to not include Main Artist names in your titles and only add contributors in the Contributor field.
Be sure to Add Contributors Individually and Not Add Multiple Artists in one Contributor Field - Not doing so may send your release to the incorrect artist page.
Remember to Flag Explicit Tracks as Explicit when Appropriate - Some stores will hide content that is incorrectly labelled, so remember to flag tracks that contain profanity, drug references, etc.
Don't Add Misleading Metadata to your Release - Please do not submit metadata that is intended to mislead or confuse listeners. This includes content that include popular artist or song names (e.g. Lil Tecca Type Beat), generic SEO terms (e,g. Meditation Chill), etc.
Use Legal Composer Names - Please only submit full legal names in the Composer field (first name and last).
Do Not Include Social Handles - Please do not include social handles in artist name or album metadata.