Frequently Asked QuestionsAnd all answers about online music distribution

Service

  • We enable musicians, bands, producers and independent labels to sell their music on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google, Deezer & Co.

    Just upload your music on our website and we'll distribute it worldwide, account all your downloads and streams, and pay out your sales revenue.

  • 1. Sign up on our website
    2. Choose a flatrate
    3. Upload your release and promote it

    We take care of everything else.

  • A release is a digital single, ep or album (or "product"). Every release consists of 1-25 songs (or "tracks"), a cover picture and the release info (such as title, artist, songwriter, composer).

  • We offer you a unique music distribution flatrate. With our flatrate you'll get new releases each year, while costs remain the same. The fees depend on how many releases you want to publish and what features and shops you require. Here you can find our pricing & features.

  • The contract is defined by our terms. You can look them up on our website at any time. There are no hidden fees or conditions and you can start selling your music right away.

    As opposed to many other music distribution services, you can delete releases free of charge and cancel your flatrate at any time without a cancelation period.

    If you cancel your flatrate all your releases will be deleted from the shops and open releases are forfeited. There are no further fees and you still have free access to your account and sales statistics. However, it's only possible to publish new releases with an active flatrate.

  • Many music distribution services claim to deliver your music to 100-500 shops. Those numbers are misleading and delusive, because the providers count every sales country as a single shop, so iTunes with more than 150 countries is counted as 150 shops. Of course we supply all the countries' shops too, but we only count iTunes as one shop.

    The biggest five shops (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google, Deezer) account for a total market share of more than 90%. All shops supplied by us cover more than 97% of the digital music market. Only the quality and market coverage of the shops matter, not the quantity.

  • Our flatrates give you full cost control and transparency. You receive new releases every year, without additional costs. And since you only pay once a year, you'll save money, time and paper work.

    Other music distribution services charge annual fees for all existing releases and additionally for all new releases. So the more releases you have, the more you have to pay each year. The only way to cut costs is by deleting your old releases. And that can't be in your best interest.

    Beware of music distribution services who only charge one-time fees per release! Their business model is not based on actual expenses (storage costs, settlements, accounting, support, updates, development) but solely on gaining new customers. If a music distribution service only charges once – for theoretically "1000 years of service" – it's obviously very untrustworthy.

  • You can pay flatrate fees with SEPA direct debit (EU only) or Master Card, Visa or Maestro (worldwide). The payment can not be offset against your sales revenue.

    The payout of your revenue is carried out to a bank account (Germany only) or via PayPal (worldwide). A PayPal account is required and the usual PayPal fees apply for the payout.

  • If your payment can't be withdrawn automatically (e.g. because of shortage of cover, return or objection) the contract remains unaffected. You're obligated to pay the open amount, plus a chargeback fee of 8.60 EUR. Please transfer the total amount within 30 days after receipt of the invoice to our bank account (see imprint). Access to your account can be restricted until we receive the payment.

Upload

    • 1-25 songs as WAV or AIFF file with 16 Bit and 44,1 kHz
      (alternatively: MP3 with 320 kbps)
    • 1 cover picture as JPG or PNG file with 3000x3000 pixels
      (ideally: with 300dpi resolution and RGB colors)
    • Release info
      (such as title, artist, songwriter, composer)
  • The max. playtime is 10 minutes per song/track (min. 10 seconds). The average song length is about 2-5 minutes. An album must not be longer than 120 minutes.

    Songs with overlength (7-10 minutes) have certain disadvantages:

    • usually cost the same as short songs
    • usually don't get played on the radio
    • usually only available with the album (not as song download)
    • in some countries copyright fees are accounted by minute (e.g. USA). Longer songs result in more fees per download. So you'll earn less with overlength songs.
  • We recommend to avoid unusual spellings and special characters in release titles and song titles to make sure publishing goes without problems and the songs can easily be found on the shops. To make sure your release is accepted by the shops, you have to follow these guidelines:

    • CAPITALS are not allowed.
    • In English titles the first letter of each word has to be a capital letter (exceptions: a, an, and, as, but, for, from, nor, of, or, so, the, to, yet). Also, the first and last word of every title has to start with a capital letter. All titles in other languages have to be spelled according to the respective orthography.
    • The title can not include artist names, featuring artists or versions (there are separate fields for this info).
    • The title can not include any additional info (e.g. about the release or song, track number, year, genre, explicit lyrics, BPM, producer).
    • The title must not include any format info (e.g. single, ep, maxi, album version).
    • The title must not include any availability info (e.g. limited edition, exclusive, digital only, available on, now on iTunes).
    • The title must not be generic (e.g. Track 1, Beat 2, Instrumental, New Song or Demo).
    • The release title has to match the title on the cover picture.
    • With releases including 1-3 songs, one of the song titles has to match the release title.
    • Titles with various parts or volumes have to be spelled like "Title X, Vol. 1" or "Title Y, Pt. 1".
    • If two or more songs are combined on one track, single titles have to be separated with dash (e.g. Title X / Title Y).
    • Versions such as Live, Remix, Radio Edit, Extended Mix, Instrumental Version, Acapella Version, Cover Version etc. have to be entered in the field "Version". Versions such as Original, Original Mix or Original Edit are not allowed, because an original doesn't require a version. Live recordings have to be marked with "Live".
    • The "Language" field has to represent the language of the title (not the language of the songs lyrics).
    • Titles must not violate trademark, copyright and personal rights, or any other third parties' rights.
    • Titles must not be misleading in any way.


    If possible, wrong spellings will be corrected by us before the distribution. You can always correct or change titles later by ordering a data revision.

  • We recommend to avoid unusual spellings and special characters in artist names to make sure publishing goes without problems and the songs can easily be found on the shops. To make sure your release is accepted by the shops, you have to follow these guidelines:

    • CAPITALS are not allowed.
    • Every artist name has to be entered in a separate field. Featuring Artists have to be entered in the according fields.
    • The artist name must not include any additional info (e.g. aka, instrument, membership of a band, or other info about the artist).
    • The artist name has to be distinctive and unique and must not be used by another artist or band already (also see What if my artist name is already used by someone else?).
    • The artist name must not be generic (e.g. John, J.D., Workout, Top Hits, Ultimate Charts, Super Karaoke, Instrumental Band oder Vocal Artist).
    • If there are more than 3 artists on one release (not counting featuring artists), "Various Artists" has to be entered as artist on release level and the single artist names on track level.
    • Compound artists names (e.g. Ernie & Bert, Ernie and Friends, Ernie, Bert and the Muppets) are only allowed, if all artists always appear as a group and never separately.
    • Artist names must not violate trademark, copyright and personal rights, or any other third parties' rights.
    • Artist names must not be misleading in any way.


    If possible, wrong spellings will be corrected by us before the distribution. You can always correct or change titles later by ordering a data revision.

  • The cover picture has to be uploaded as JPG or PNG file with 3000x3000 pixels (ideally with 300dpi resolution and RGB colors). The quality of the cover picture is very important for your sales success. To make sure your release is accepted by the shops, you have to follow these guidelines:

    • Private pictures or inferior, blurry pictures, graphics, photos, collages and texts are not allowed. Cover pictures with bad quality will be rejected by the shops.
    • The cover pic must not include any contact info (e.g. internet address, email, phone number, social media links).
    • The cover pic must not include any format info (e.g. single, ep, maxi, album version).
    • The cover pic must not include any availability info (e.g. limited edition, exclusive, digital only, available on, now on iTunes).
    • The cover pic must not include any info about other releases (e.g. the single to the album, CD logo).
    • The cover pic must not include any rights info (e.g. copyright, composer or songwriter names).
    • The cover pic must not include any shop logos or other trademarked logos.
    • The cover pic must not include pornography.
    • The cover pic must not include any names or pictures of artists or persons other than the involved artists.
    • Every release needs an individual cover pic.
    • The release title and artist name on the cover pic have to match the release info.
    • The cover pic must not violate trademark, copyright and personal rights, or any other third parties' rights.
    • The cover pic must not be misleading in any way.


    If you don't know how to create and design a cover picture we recommend to assign a graphic designer or photographer. They can create a professional cover picture with the required size and format.

    If you use pictures or graphics from the Internet or stock libraries, you have to make sure you're authorized to edit and use them commercially, and own the respective usage rights.

    You can always correct or change the cover pic later by ordering a data revision.

  • Yes, you can enter your own label name during the upload. It will usually be displayed in the shops (exception: Beatport). If you don't have a label, it's automatically set to "YouTunez".

    You can also enter your label as publisher. If you don't enter a publisher, it's automatically set to "Manuscript" (for self-publisher/copyright control).

  • Releases containing content that's potentially harmful or inappropriate for youths have to be marked with "explicit lyrics" (adult content) during the upload. Even common swear words in titles or song lyrics have to be marked as such, otherwise the release will be rejected by the shops.

    If a song is available as "explicit version" and "clean version" (e.g. radio edit) the explicit title has to be marked as "explicit" and the clean version as "clean", so customers don't accidentally buy the clean version. "Clean" can only be selected if there's an explicit version.

    During the upload you can select a prelisten start time, which is the time when a song starts playing on the shops (0-99 seconds from the beginning of the song). The prelisten start will be accepted by some shops (e.g. iTunes), other shops have fixed prelisten start times (e.g. Amazon). There is no guarantee for the prelisten start time.

  • When you use online shops like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google, Deezer etc. to sell your music, you also have to follow their guidelines, and so do we. That's why we'll automatically handle necessary changes for you, to assure your release is published and remains being published. If this is not possible, we'll contact you.

    To avoid changes in advance, please follow the guidelines for title, artist name and cover picture. Additionally, the genre, language, explicit lyrics, songwriter, composer info etc. has to be correct. To avoid typically mistakes, please read the info for each field during the upload.

Publishing

  • iTunes and Amazon take about 1-3 days to publish a release. Smaller shops take about 1-3 weeks.

    In exceptional cases, publishing can be delayed, especially if you don't follow the guidelines for the title, artist name and cover picture.

    We have no influence on the processing time of the shops. We can not tell when a release will be published on a certain shop. Therefore, certain release dates can not be guaranteed by us. To meet a certain release date, the upload should be at least 4 weeks before the chosen date (ideally 4-6 weeks).

    If your release is not published within 4 weeks, please contact our support.

  • Go to "releases" in your account and click on "more info". You can see if the links to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google and Deezer are already available for your release. If you click on a shop you'll get the direct link to your release. You can find other shop links with the respective shops' search function.

    Not every shop link can be found immediately or automized. Therefore, your release could be published before the link is shown in your account.

  • A data revision is the correction of the meta data of a distributed release. This way, you can still correct titles, artist names, misspellings or change the cover picture. A data revision costs 10.00 EUR per release (incl. tax).

    The shops usually take 2-14 days for processing. We will immediately forward the data revision to the shops, but we have no influence on its effective realization.

    If a data revision is not processed by the shops within 4 weeks, please contact our support.

  • Your release will be available on the shops until you delete it. Release deletions are possible at any time, free of charge, and don't affect your existing flatrate.

    The shops usually take 2-30 days for processing. Until the release deletion is completed all incoming sales will be accounted as usually.

    If a release is still available 6 weeks after the deletion request, please contact our support.

  • Changing the audio files of a release is not possible. It's also not possible to add or delete songs/tracks. Instead, the release has to be deleted and replaced by a new release. To avoid this, please make sure you choose the correct audio files during the upload.

  • No. Music streaming is already more popular than downloads and very important for spreading your releases. The streaming revenue exceeds downloads. An exclusion of streaming services or the delay of streaming is not possible because it would lead to less sales success.

  • You can upgrade your flatrate if you need more releases or want to distribute your music to more shops. An upgrade is possible at any time to a flatrate of higher value.

    With the upgrade you order a new flatrate, that replaces the existing flatrate. Already existing releases will be transferred into the new flatrate at no cost. Unused releases from the old flatrate will expire in case of an upgrade.

    To upgrade, click on "My Flatrate" in your account.

  • If you need more than 6 releases each year, you can order the Label flatrate multiple times. With 2x Label flatrate you'll have 12 releases each year, with 3x Label flatrate 18 releases etc. If you need more than 30 releases each year, please contact our support.

  • The artist profiles on the shops are automatically created by the shops. We currently have no influence on the info in your artist profile. However, some shops allow you to validate your artist profile so you can make changes. To do so, please contact the respective shops.

Sales

  • Your revenue per download and stream varies by shop and sales country. You always get 85% of the sales revenue we receive from the shops. And that's way more than with any record deal. Here's an example for a download on iTunes.

  • The shops set the exact sales price depending on the sales country. However, with the Star and Label flatrate you can set the price level for downloads:

    • Bargain (approx. 50%)
    • Cheap (approx. 80%)
    • Normal (100%, recommended)
    • Expensive (approx. 130%)
    • Premium (approx. 150%)

    The percentages refer to the average download price of the shop. "Expensive" and "premium" should only be used in exceptional cases. It's not possible to distribute releases for free.

  • You can view the current sales statistics in your account at any time. We always give you exactly the sales data that is currently provided by the shops and can't predict when sales will be reported or accounted.

    The Preview shows the sales of the last days and weeks on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google and Deezer. This way, you can monitor your current sales and measure the success of your promotion. The preview sales are updated daily and mainly serve as guideline. Not all shops report preview sales and the reports are not always up-to-date. If already shown sales disappear they are being prepared for the settlement.

    The Settlement shows all accounted sales incl. your revenue share. The settlement is updated monthly. However, it takes about 2-3 months after a sale until it's actually settled. Smaller shops can take up to 6 months. The revenue of the settlement is added to your credit.

    The preview sales are always subject to correction by the shops. Since the shops have to account millions of downloads and streams every day, in some cases, sales are not being reported instantly but appear later in the settlement.

  • Settlements are made on a monthly basis. When we receive a settlement the revenue is added to your credit. You can request the payout of your credit at any time after reaching at least 25.00 EUR. The payment will be made within 7-14 days (max. 60 days) to a bank account (Germany only) or via PayPal (worldwide). A PayPal account is required and the usual PayPal fees apply for the payout. If the payment is not received 60 days after the payout request, please contact our support.

  • If already shown sales disappear, it's because the sales data is currently being updated or the next settlement is about to be accounted. The preview sales are always subject to correction by the shops. We always give you exactly the sales data that is currently provided by the shops.

  • Just place a test order of your release on iTunes. The download should appear in your preview within 1-3 days. Please be aware that sometimes sales are reported with delay. We have no influence on this.

  • With the Star or Label flatrate you can set a certain release date for your release during the upload. If this date is at least 1-2 weeks in the future, your release will most likely be available on iTunes, Amazon and Google as preorder.

    Preorders will be available as download on the release date and are reported as sales afterwards. If you want to get on the iTunes charts, you'll need as many preorders as possible.

    We have no influence on the availability as preorder, which depends on the shops. We recommended to upload your release 4-6 weeks before the release date.

Legal

  • You keep all rights on your music. We only need the worldwide digital distribution right for the uploaded songs, during the time we distribute them. You're not allowed to distribute the same songs with another digital distributor at the same time to the same shops. But of course, you can still exploit your songs in every other way possible, like on CD, LP, as YouTube video, on Soundcloud or as download on your homepage.

  • You need the rights for the audio recordings ("master rights"), the permissions of all copyright owners (songwriter, composer, publisher), and the rights for the cover picture. If you use content (such as audio recordings, samples, cover picture) or creations (such as song lyrics, melodies, compositions) of others, you need to get a permission from the rights' owners.

    You are responsible and liable for the content you upload. We recommend to get a written permission from all rights owners to avoid legal problems. By uploading your release, you confirm to own all necessary rights and permissions and that no third parties' rights are violated.

  • No. You can use our service with or without joining a royalty collection society. Joining usually makes sense when your music is already selling a lot, regularly playing on radio, or being licensed for bigger projects. For newcomers we don't recommend joining a collecting society.

    The royalty payments are processed by the shops to the collection societies. If you have any questions about royalty collection, please refer to your countries' royalty collection society.

  • To use parts of other songs ("samples") you need a written permission from the label owning the master rights of the original recording. If you use samples from music libraries, make sure you're allowed to use them for commercial purposes.

  • To release a remix you need the written permission from the label (to use the original recordings) and the copyright owners (for editing the lyrics and composition).

    The same applies to DJ mixes, but for every single song. That's why we don't distribute DJ mixes.

  • If you want to publish a cover version of an original recording, you have to follow these guidelines:

    • You have to enter all copyright owners of the original with full names (composer, songwriter and publisher).
    • You can't use the original artist name. The title must not include "originally performed by", "in the style of", "tribute to" or "cover of". The original artist can't be mentioned or displayed on the cover picture.
    • You can't change the song title of the original.
    • During the upload you have to enter "Cover Version" in the version field.
    • You can't use the original recordings or parts of it. To do so, you need a written permission from the label.
    • You can't change the original lyrics or composition. To do so, you need a written permission from the copyright owners.
    • Cover versions can't sound exactly like the original, because such "soundalike" versions will be rejected by the shops.
    • If you can't obtain the rights from a collecting society, you have to get a written permission from the copyright owners or publisher.


    Cover versions are often legally problematic. We recommend to always get written permissions from the copyright owners or to consult a lawyer.

    We can't guarantee that cover version will be accepted by the shops. Some shops reject cover versions, if there are already too many versions of the same song.

  • Each artist name has to be distinctive and unique and can not be in use by another artist or band already. Before using our service you should research if your artist name is already in use by another artist or band (e.g. by search on Google, iTunes, Spotify).

    If the artist name is already in use, your releases will be added to the already existing artist profile in the shops and can be deleted at any time. Furthermore, you could be violating name or trademark rights and therefore be legally liable. If you think you own the artist name rights, please contact a lawyer.

    You can correct or change the artist name with a data revision if needed.

  • Please refer to your local tax authority. For newcomers we recommend to take care of selling your music first and taking care of taxes afterwards.

Other

  • Please contact our support. Describe your problem precisely, so we can help you asap (e.g. add helpful info such as your release title, internet browser, shop links etc).

  • Our promotion tools can help you sell your releases. They are self-explaining and can be created and embedded with just a few clicks and without any technical skills. Find more info on promotion tools.

  • To account your sales every song needs an ISRC and every release needs an EAN (or UPC) for identification. All required codes are already included in your flatrate, so you don't have to worry about the codes.

    You'll find the codes in your account under "releases" after the release was distributed by us. You can also use these codes for your CD or vinyl production as long as the release is identical.

    If you have your own ISRC codes you can enter them during the upload (only with Label flatrate). For digital releases it's important that every song/track has a new ISRC, even for re-releases. Unlike with physical releases, the ISRC can't be used multiple times for the same song.

  • The LC is not required for digital music distribution. Since we don't have any rights on your recordings, we can't provide an LC. If you need an LC, please refer to the performing rights society for your country.

  • Yes. Audio books can be uploaded just like regular music releases and should be divided into several tracks (or chapters) with max. 10 minutes playtime. The total playtime should not exceed 120 minutes. The track titles have to begin with "Chapter 1: Title X" or "Part 1: Title Y". During the upload you have to select "Audiobook" as genre and enter the authors' name as songwriter and composer. The total number of tracks also reflects on the sales price. Audio books are usually not distributed to streaming portals.

  • No. We're a digital music distribution service and don't offer physical distribution. The distribution of music videos is still expensive but the revenue remains very low. We recommend uploading your music videos for promotional purposes on YouTube and other social media platforms. You can include the links to the most important shops in the video description.

  • Beatport only publishes certain music genres ("Dance" and "Electronic") and reserves the right to reject releases without giving any reason. Beatport will publish all releases with "YouTunez" as label.

  • Your sales success depends on the quality of your music and cover picture and especially on your promotion. Here you'll find some helpful music distribution tips.