Uploading a Release See all 18 articles

  • How Do I Upload a Release to DistroKid?

    It’s MEGA easy to upload your music to DistroKid!

    To get started, just head over to the DistroKid upload form:
    http://www.distrokid.com/new

    From there we'll walk you through everything you need to do!

    If you have any specific questions, please check out this article for a breakdown of each section of the upload form and related articles:

    https://support.distrokid.com/hc/en-us/articles/4407879306643

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  • Holiday Deliveries and Support

    During the Holiday season, DistroKid experiences reduced staffing, particularly during the Thanksgiving work week,  the work weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday, as well as New Years day.

    We try to answer your requests as fast as possible! Typically, we answer most requests within 24 hours, but during the Holidays, it may be anywhere from 2-7 business days for us to follow up.

    Many of our service partners also have reduced staffing during the holidays, which may impact release times.

    Our service partners have kindly provided a general schedule of Holiday delivery times, so that artists can plan their releases accordingly.

    If you plan on releasing music between November 24, 2023 and January 5, 2024, please make note of the following delivery deadlines below.

    To ensure that services receives all deliveries by 11:59 p.m. PST on the respective date, it's best to upload at least two weeks ahead of time. However, uploading 3-4 weeks prior to your release date will guarantee that your delivery date is met and your release goes live with no issues.

    Release Date Delivery Deadline
    November 24, 2023 November 17, 2023
    December 1, 2023 November 24, 2023
    December 8, 2023 December 1, 2023
    December 15, 2023 December 8, 2023
    December 22, 2023 December 15, 2023
    December 29, 2023 December 22, 2023
    January 5, 2024 December 29, 2023


    Music delivered after these deadlines may not be available on the desired release date.

    We appreciate your patience, and we hope you have a warm, safe and uplifting Holiday season!

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  • Can I Specify a Future Release Date?

    Yes! You can setup a custom, future release date if you have a Musician Plus or Ultimate plan.

    Here's a quick video on how to setup future release dates for your releases:

    If you already have a DistroKid account and want to upgrade, sign in and click "upgrade."

    You can use a release date from the past, in order to reflect a previously released album or single.

    Click here for more information about custom release dates.

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  • What Are Album Extras?

    Album Extras are optional perks you can opt into on any one of your uploads! They aren't required to get your music sent off to stores (with the exception of cover licenses, if you want to distribute covers) but help make your music more accessible to your fans!

    On the upload form, you can opt in at the bottom of page, just before submitting your album!

    For existing releases, you can opt in from your album page, just scroll down to the bottom of the page!

    Some Album Extras are one time payments, while others are subscription based, just like our membership subscriptions.

    Discovery Pack: $0.99 per song/year
    Make it easy for people to identify this single if they hear it playing on radio/tv, in stores, restaurants, parties, etc. Discovery Pack includes Shazam/iPhone Siri, as well as some new music discovery-based platforms including ACRCloud, Jaxsta, Gracenote, and MRC.

    Store Maximizer: $7.95 per album/year
    DistroKid will automatically deliver this single to new online stores and streaming services as we add them. Which is often. We'll give you notice before adding.

    YouTube Content ID: $4.95 per single/year, $14.95 per album/year, + 20% of YouTube ad revenue
    Get notified & paid if your music is ever used in any YouTube videos. We'll add this single to YouTube's Content ID database, and continually scan for matches. When your music is detected in any YouTube video, you'll be notified—and ad revenue will automatically go to you, instead of to the person who uploaded the video. Watch YouTube's video explaining Content ID

    Cover Song Licensing

    $12 per cover song, per year. For more information about DistroKid cover licenses, please see the FAQ article here: https://support.distrokid.com/hc/en-us/articles/360013648953  

    Leave a Legacy: $29.00 per single, $49.00 per album of 2+ tracks (nonrecurring fee)

    The “Leave a Legacy” extra can be added to a release so that it won't be removed due to a lapsed membership payment (if your credit card is rejected, etc.).

    On top of that, if you ever choose to cancel your subscription, any releases that have the Leave a Legacy extra added will remain in stores and streaming services, even if you cancel your account.

    Adding this extra to a release does not replace your annual membership fee if you have an active subscription, and it is not a one-time payment for all of your releases: each release must have this extra included if you wish to cancel your subscription and keep your releases listed in stores and streaming services.

    TIDAL Master: $8.99 per single, $17.99 per album of 2+ tracks (nonrecurring fee)
    Displays the "MASTER" badge on TIDAL, and a special distinction on other supported services & devices including FiiO, Astell & Kern, iFi, AudioQuest, and many more.

    Social Phone: $12.99 per month.

    See here for more info: What is Social Phone?

    Dolby Atmos: $26.99 per track

    Designates the release as Dolby Atmos on supported devices & streaming services including Apple Music and TIDAL.

    Loudness Normalization: $2.99 per track one time fee (nonrecurring)

    When you select this optional extra, DistroKid will automatically adjust the level and headroom of your audio to Spotify's recommended settings, -14dB integrated LUFS with -1dB true peak maximum. Your newly adjusted audio will be sent to all streaming services you've selected.  

    Note: Certain things such as audio files, track listing, genre, language, Album Extras, and ISRCs cannot be changed via metadata update. In order to change these things, you will need to delete and re-upload your release. Here's how to delete your release(s) from stores: https://support.distrokid.com/hc/en-us/articles/360013649193.

    Once you have deleted your release, please visit the upload form to re-upload a corrected version.

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  • Will It Cause Problems If There's Another Artist with the Same Name as Me?

    For obvious reasons, you should use an artist/band name that doesn't already exist in streaming services. Having several artists with the same name just causes all kinds of confusion. Imagine if there were two Led Zeppelins, or two Dave Matthews (a common name no doubt). 

    But sometimes this can't be avoided. Here are the main questions people ask when there's another artist with the same name as them.

    Will I get paid? Or will that guy with the same name as me get paid for my downloads?

    You'll get paid for your downloads. Technologically, artist names are totally independent from earnings tracking. So you're all good and have nothing to worry about.

    My albums are being listed alongside the other artists' albums. So it looks like we're the same person. Can you separate them?

    Streaming services sometimes group artists together who have the same (or similar) names, or create a new artist page instead of using your existing page. We can help!

    Please visit https://www.distrokid.com/fixer, where we'll walk you through getting things fixed up!

    Ideally, if someone already has the name, you should come up with a different name. In the world of actors, for example, no two actors are allowed to have the same name as each other and both belong to SAG (the actors union). That's why Samuel L. Jackson is Samuel L. Jackson, and not Sam Jackson or Samuel Jackson -- those names were taken. If you want to look like a pro, suck it up and come up with a different name if yours is already taken. 

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  • Can I upload a "Waterfall" release, where new tracks are added to an existing album?

    It's not currently possible to release an album "waterfall" style, where the album page populates with newly released tracks on specified dates until the full album release. But if you’re looking to release singles over time and then compile all of them later on as a full album upload, you can use a variation of this strategy using multiple releases.

    There are two ways to do this using DistroKid:

    1. Upload the full album containing all singles with the future planned release date, which will generate ISRC codes for the tracks. After this upload, you can upload the singles to your account separately and with their own release dates, while entering the existing ISRC codes on the upload form by using the “already got an ISRC code?” option. Or...
    2. You can first release your singles individually using separate uploads on DistroKid, and then use the ISRCs generated for these singles in an upload for the full album later on. 

    In either scenario, you are free to delete the singles from stores once the album is released, or keep them live alongside the album!

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See all 18 articles

Formatting Details See all 24 articles

  • Why are lossless formats (like WAV and FLAC) better than MP3?

    Lossless formats such as WAV and FLAC offer higher quality sound reproduction than MP3, as they retain more of the original details and nuances of a recording, without lossy file compression.

    MP3 is a compressed, lossy audio format--which means that some of the audio data is removed to make the file size smaller. While MP3 is a popular and widely-used audio format, it cannot match the sound quality of lossless formats. 

    DistroKid accepts many file formats, including WAV, FLAC and MP3. But it should be noted that an artist should only upload music in MP3 format, if the artist is comfortable with the sound quality of their MP3 and wishes to use it for distribution.

    Ultimately, it's up to the artist to decide which format to use for their music. But they should be aware that using a lossless format such as WAV or FLAC can provide the highest quality audio and ensure that their music meets the standards of discerning listeners. 

     
     

     

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  • What Audio File Formats Can I Upload?

    Audio files should be WAV, MP3, M4A, FLAC, AIFF, or Windows Media (WMA).

    If you're sending a WAV, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz WAV is typical but pretty much anything works.

    The maximum size that DistroKid will accept is 1 GB. If you have a track that's larger than that, consider converting it to FLAC format before uploading to DistroKid. FLAC is a beautiful, lossless format (same audio quality as WAV) but the files are relatively small.

    Tracks uploaded to DistroKid must have a duration under 5 hours (300 minutes), and the sum of tracks on an album cannot exceed 10 hours (720 minutes). Additionally, albums cannot contain songs where the average track length is less than 60 seconds.

    Please see here for specific information on uploading via iOS:
    https://support.distrokid.com/hc/en-us/articles/1500006315162

    Go to article
  • What Are Artist Roles?

    Artist roles are identifiers you can use to indicate to services what role a given artist played in the creation or performance of a given release. These roles can be indicated on the track level or the album level. 

    Services accept the following artist roles from DistroKid:

    Album Artist

    An Album Artist or "performer" is the major artist at the album level. For example, on Kendrick Lamar's album DAMN., "Kendrick Lamar" is the Album Artist for this album.

    Primary Artist

    A primary artist is a main artist at the track level. This often includes the Album Artist as well as other primary artists on the track. The primary artist role is used to indicate collaborations. For example on Moore Kismet's album Vendetta for Cupid, Moore Kismet is the Album Artist at the album level. At the track level for a track on the album RumorWYN is an additional Primary Artist and Moore Kismet is a Primary Artist.

    Featured artist

    A featured artist is any artist assisting in the performance of a track but not at the fundamental level of a primary artist. Featured artists usually feature for a verse or as a vocalist on a track. For example, for SOS (feat. Aloe Blacc) by Avicii, "Aloe Blacc", who sings on the track, is the featuring artist for this track, where as "Avicii" is the Primary and Album Artist.

    Remixer

    An artist that has remixed the original work. For example, for Love That Never (IMANU Remix) - TOKiMONSTA, "IMANU", who remixed the track, is the Remixer for this track, where as "TOKiMONSTA", who was the primary artist for the original song, is still listed as the primary artist on the remix.

    Producer

    The producer of the record. The role of a producer has become more diversified in recent years, but at this time, at least in Spotify, producer artist roles are listed under track credits. For example, for Buddy Holly - Weezer, "Ric Ocasek" is the producer. You can see producer credits by right clicking a song on the desktop app and selecting "Show Credits"

    artists_roles.png

    Notes for uploading!

    If you have a few songs on your release with multiple artists, but most are by one artist, please list only the artist that will appear on every track in the "Artist/band name" Field. This will indicate your Album Artist for the release. For individual tracks with more than one artist, you will list the additional artists (Featured, Remixer, Additional Primary Artist) at the track level.

    If you have already uploaded to DistroKid before, the Artist/band name input box on the DistroKid upload form will default to the last used artist name. If you want to use a different artist name (and you have available artist slots on your plan), simply type in the artist name(s) you wish to use.

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  • Can I Upload a Song/Album/Artist name in All Capital or Lowercase Letters?

    Yes! You can use the capitalization/stylization that you want for your artist name, titles, etc.

    Please note that if you choose to use non-standard capitalization on your release, you'll likely see this warning on the the upload form.

    checkbox_capitalization.png

    That's because some streaming services don't love this, and may default to standard capitalization, per their style guides. If services do not allow non-standard capitalization, we may not be able to request edits.

    Go to article
  • My Release Is a Collaboration Between Multiple Artists. Can DistroKid Do That?

    Yes! You can do collaborations at both the album level and the track level with DistroKid. 

    Album Level Collaboration

    If you have an album with multiple main artists, you can list them in the "Artist/band name" section of the upload form using an ampersand "&", an "X", or the word "and" to indicate a collaboration. You can also use commas for collaborations of three people. For example, for a collaboration between Moore Kismet, Pauline Herr, and Rezz you could input any of the following to indicate them all as main artists for the whole album:

    Moore Kismet, Pauline Herr & Rezz

    Moore Kismet x Pauline Herr x Rezz

    Moore Kismet, Pauline Herr, and Rezz

    It will look something like this on the upload form:

    collaboration_artists.png

     

    Note: If you are uploading a single, you must add your collaborators at the album level, and not at the track level. Additionally, note that collaborations at the album level take up an artist slot, even if one of the artists is already being used on your account. If you need more artist slots, you can upgrade your account

    Track Level Collaboration

    If you just have individual songs on your release that have multiple primary artists, you can list those collaborators in the individual song by clicking the "Add Featured Artist" button in the songs settings. 

    Under "Song Title" you will see a button that says "Add Featured Artist". Click this, and it will open a menu where you can input information about the collaborating artist. For each additional artist, you can select and input their:

    • Artist Name
    • Role (Featured Artist, Remixer, Primary Artist)

    Note (same as above!): If you are releasing a single, all primary artist collaborators must be listed at the album level. Track level primary artists are only available on multi-track releases.

    Check out this article for a breakdown on artist roles!

    Go to article
  • Can I Add A Featured Artist to My Track?

    Absolutely!

    For new uploads, on the upload form at the track level, just select "Yes, add featured artists to track title (please specify...)"

    new_upload.png
    Enter your featured artists name, and if applicable, their existing Spotify and Apple Music information in the Feat. Artist Mapping section found at the bottom of the upload form, and boom! You've added a featured artist to your track!
    artist_mapping.png
    For existing releases, if you need to add or edit a featured artist, head to your album page, and click edit release.

    existing_releases.png

    Select "Add another featured artist" and choose Featuring from the dropdown, then enter in your featured artist info.

    Adding a featured artist does not require any additional artist slots (that's good!).

    Please note that if you have the same featured artist on all tracks of a multi-track album, streaming services require that they instead be listed as a Primary artist.

     

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See all 24 articles

Making Edits See all 13 articles

  • Can I Change a Release Once It's Uploaded?


    Yes! You can make edits by visiting your album page, and clicking “Edit Release”. We’ll walk you through everything you can edit from there.

    edit_release.png
    🚨Note: For information about rebranding or changing your artist name, please visit this article.

    What types of edits can I make?

    The types of edits you can make vary from song to song depending on your release and your plan level, but in general you can edit the following:

    • Artist/Band Name
      • Add or remove collaborators at the Album Level
    • Album title
    • Record label
    • Release date
    • Pre-order status and pre-order start date
    • Album cover / Album Artwork
    • Song titles
    • Song version information
    • Whether or not the lyrics are explicit
    • Preview clip start time
    • Delete the release from services

    Are there things that I cannot edit?

    The following things cannot be changed via a metadata update:

    • Audio files (Including swapping out a Mixea Version)
    • Track order / listing
    • Release language
    • Removing Album Extras
    • ISRCs
    • Adding a Dolby Atmos Version of your release
    • The language of the release

    To change them, you will need to delete your release and re-upload a corrected version.

    How Long do edit requests take?

    Streaming services typically process these requests within a few days, but please be aware that metadata updates may take up to 1-2 weeks for changes to take place in all services.

    Streaming services also do not allow you to upload, delete, and re-upload with different metadata (artist name, titles, etc.), and they are cracking down on this issue. Even if you have deleted a previous version and tried to re-upload with corrections, services will not allow multiple uploads with conflicting metadata.

    If you need to remove your release from certain services, remove it from specific countries, edit the genre or subgenre or specify an artist as a remixer, drop us a line and we can assist.

    Go to article
  • Can I Change My Artist Name? 

    Short Answer: You can change your artist name on all services except iTunes/Apple Music by visiting your album page, and clicking “Edit Release”. You can even edit your artist name on all of your releases from a single album edit request!***

    Long Answer: Changing your artist name is a long and arduous process that can occasionally cause more issues than it solves, and not all services allow rebranding to take place. Obviously, we all understand artist expression and wanting to most accurately represent yourself and your artist project, but we also want to make sure that you have all the information you need to make the most informed decision possible before making a change to your existing projects that is difficult to reverse and can cause a lot of issues. Apple Music is not currently accepting rebranding requests. You can find more information on that here.

    Things to keep in mind: 

    • Artist name edits and/or rebrands can only be requested on releases that are currently live
      Streaming services do not allow releases that have already been submitted to be resubmitted with differing metadata (Artist Name and Track Titles). In order to resubmit any release that has already been listed in streaming services, it must be resubmitted with the original Artist Name and Track Titles.

      If you have deleted your work in an effort to edit or rebrand your Artist Name, note that the only way to do so, is to re-upload your work with the original metadata, and then request an edit on that re-uploaded work once it has been resubmitted to streaming services.

    • Preserving followers and monthly listeners
      When you make a request to change your artist name, please note that most streaming services will simply create a new artist page for you instead of updating the information on your existing artist page. For streaming services that do this, we cannot request that your existing artist page be edited to reflect your new artist name. As a result, your monthly listeners and followers will likely not be transferred to your new artist page. 

    • Preserving play counts and playlists
      DistroKid cannot make any guarantees, but in general if you are simply editing the metadata of an existing release through our edits feature (i.e. not changing the ISRC), your play counts and playlist placements should carry over. Again though, not something DistroKid has any control over. 

    • It can take quite some time for all stores to update your artist name
      While submitting your request to rebrand is an automated process, the actual data management and metadata updates of your rebrand request are not fully automated, and many of these requests require humans (not computers) to fulfill correctly. 

      What this means:
      Depending on the volume of current rebrand requests, it may take up to several months for all stores to update your existing content and display your new artist name. If you are planning on rebranding, please take note of this. 

    • Mis-mapped releases
      As you may know, DistroKid does not have any control over where your releases are mapped in streaming services. When you edit your artist name and a new artist page is created, if the name is not completely unique it is possible that your releases will be mapped to a pre-existing artist page.  If this happens, please visit https://www.distrokid.com/fixer, where we'll walk you through getting things fixed up! 

    • Unable to make additional edit requests
      If you decide to change your artist name across streaming services,
      you will not be able to request additional edit requests on any release that utilizes the new artist name until your name change request has been completed. At this time, there is no way to expedite these requests 

    • No going back (kind of)
      If you choose to change your artist name, the only way to revert the changes is to re-request another edit. Any side effects of the initial request are not guaranteed to be resolved by simply changing your artist name back. (It’s a big decision yo!!) 🧠 

    ***It is important to note that when rebranding, your full discography must be updated to reflect the new artist name, otherwise some streaming services may hide releases they deem to have conflicting metadata.

    Best practice: update your artist name across your releases by using the included "Update all of my [Artist Name] releases to use the new artist name" tool in the edit release section. Note at this time this tool is only available for releases with one primary artist (not a collaboration).

    release_edit.png

     

     

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  • Can I Remove My Release From a Specific Streaming Service?

    Yes! Reach out to us here, under "My Music" > "Edits and Pricing".

    If you change your mind later, you can always add your release back to any service(s) by selecting the "Add to more stores" on your album dashboard page.

    Please note: Once your request is submitted, expect to wait up to 1-2 weeks for your release to disappear from the selected streaming service(s), sometimes sooner.

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  • Are multiple DistroKid accounts allowed to upload the same audio recording?

    No.

    Due to how the streaming services pay, and other complexities, we do not support the same audio recording to be uploaded by more than one DistroKid user. 

    If a song has changed ownership and you're interested in routing a song's earnings from one DistroKid account to another, we can do that. Check out our Splits feature. With Splits, you reroute earnings to anyone⁠—while keeping stats, playlist adds, Spotify followers, ISRCs, and all other metadata unchanged. 

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  • How Do I Delete a Release from Streaming Services?

    To delete an album or single:

    1. Make sure you're signed into DistroKid
    2. Click the release you want to delete
    3. Click "Edit Release"
    4. Scroll to bottom, and click "Remove this release from all stores"
    5. Once you click the button, it takes services around the same amount of time to delete a release as it did for them to add it.
    6. Expect to wait up to 1-2 weeks to disappear from all services, sometimes sooner.

    Spotify takedowns take at least 2 business days. 

    Anghami takedowns take around 48 hours.

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  • Can I Add Album Extras (YouTube Content ID, Discovery Pack, Store Maximizer, Etc.) After I've Uploaded My Release?

    You know it! Just head to the album on your DistroKid dash, and scroll down to "Add Features".

    Note: you can not add cover licenses to a release after upload. You must specify if a release is a cover when you are initially uploading.

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See all 13 articles

Troubleshooting See all 11 articles

  • Help! My Album/Single Went Live Before its Release Date

    If your release went live in services before your intended release date, please make sure that you selected the correct year for the future release date. This is especially important towards the end of the year, when you are planning a release date in the following year.

    For example, if you plan to upload an album or track in October 2024, with the intention of releasing that in January 2025, but it went live as soon as you uploaded it, it's most likely due to the year not being selected properly. The release year will always default to the current year

    If the wrong year was selected, you can edit your release to select the correct date/year, and the release will be removed from services shortly and reappear on the selected date.

    If you have confirmed that the release date is correct but there is still an issue, please contact our support team for assistance.

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  • My Release Was Rejected, How Do I Fix it?

    If your album was rejected, you'll need to delete and re-upload your release in order to fix whatever was flagged during the review process, unless stores require verification - if you receive a verification request, please do not delete your upload. For more information on how to verify an artist name on DistroKid, click here
    If your release was rejected for an artwork issue, you can also replace the artwork on an existing release to make corrections. On your album page, click "Replace Artwork" on the right side of the Artwork section to update your album artwork:

    message_release_Issue.png

    For more information regarding album artwork requirements, click here.

    Keep in mind, each store has very specific guidelines for how releases are formatted, and what kind of content they'll accept. 

     

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  • DistroKid Just Asked for Verification, How do I do That?

    Sometimes, stores require an artist to verify their artist name. This helps protect your content on DistroKid and within stores, and ensures that no one is uploading your music, or using your artist name, without your permission.

    To provide permission, the artist needs to contact us directly via one of two options:

    1. If the artist uses Twitter, they can send a Direct Message ("DM") to @distrokid to validate. In the DM, please mention the UPC (or album title). Something like "Verifying the artist for UPC ". Note that a brand-new Twitter account won't work for verification purposes. Or...

    2. A photo of the artist's driver's license or passport (you may block out personal info such as address) along with the name or UPC of the release that requires verification.

    Note: If the artist is different from the legal name on the ID, please also provide a link to a website where we can associate the legal name to the artist.

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  • Why Do My Files Have Zero Bytes?

    If you see a message that says "The file you uploaded is zero bytes," it means that your audio file can't be played. Sometimes this happens if you try uploading via a mobile device or cloud storage, as file storage is handled differently than a computer with the file(s) saved locally. You'll need to abort the previous attempt and re-upload your release.

    If you are uploading your music from an iOS device, you will need to make sure you select your files from the iOS file browser, or else you may have issues uploading your album cover or audio files, such as seeing an error message saying that "The file you uploaded is zero bytes."

    Starting from the DistroKid dashboard, select "Menu", and then select "Upload" to get to the upload form.


    menu_upload_distrokid.png

    Once you are on the upload form, fill out information as necessary. When you get to the section where you upload artwork, tap on the box where it says "Choose new image". From here you will be given the option to select a photo from your photo library, take a photo, or browse your iOS devices file browser. At this time, in order to upload your artwork from an iOS device you will need to select your artwork file from your devices file browser. Tap on "Browse".

    select_artwork.png

    Once you have selected browse, you will be presented with your devices embedded Files app file browser. You can now navigate to where you have stored your files fo upload. For this example, I have stored my audio file and album artwork in the "Downloads" folder on my iPhone.

    dowloads_folder.png

    From here, we can continue down the upload form until we get to the section where we will upload the audio file. When you get to the "Audio file" section of the upload form, tap on "Choose File". You will be presented with the same three options, and again you will need to select "Browse" to take you to the iOS file browser.

    browser_iOS_file.png

    Once you have selected your audio file, you should be good to go! If you are experiencing issues, make sure you are storing your files locally on your iOS device instead of in iCloud. The DistroKid upload form does not support cloud uploading at this time, so you will need to upload files directly from your iOS device. 

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  • Why Does the Volume of My Track Seem Different in Streaming Services?

    We don’t do any loudness post-processing to your audio (unless you opt into our Loudness Normalization extra), we simply deliver it to streaming services as is, and they decide how it should be played back.

    You may need to Google around for what changes services make to audio files on their end - each service is different, and offers different audio formats to fans.

    Best practice: Submit a high-res copy of your songs to us, and let services convert them to their liking.

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  • My Release is Stuck Processing

    Does your release appear to be stuck processing with the yellow circle next to your album/track/artwork? This typically means additional processing time is required.

    It can take several days for albums to be reviewed, approved, and sent to streaming services. If it's important that your album go live on a specific date, click here to read about release dates. Otherwise, by default, your release should go live once ingested by services according to the rough schedule below.

    • iTunes/Apple Music: 1-7 days. A very small percentage of albums go through manual review at Apple, which takes an additional 1-2 weeks or so.
    • Spotify: 2-5 days
    • Amazon: 1-2 days
    • YouTube Music: 1-2 days.
    • Deezer: 1-2 days
    • TIDAL: 1-2 days
    • Facebook/Instagram: 1-2 weeks.
    • TikTok: 1-3 weeks.

    Note: Delays are rare, but they do happen, and are typically outside of DistroKid's direct control.

    Pandora has their own in-house review process to curate content, so we are not able to provide too much info in regards to how long it might take releases to be added to Pandora stations (if they are). To be included in Pandora Premium (Pandora's rad streaming service), please read THIS.

    Bonus: For many streaming services (iTunes, Amazon, YouTube Music, Spotify, more) we'll detect the moment your album goes live, and send you an email with the link! 

    Please note: Securing cover song licenses can take up to 14 business days. Releases with cover songs will be submitted as soon as the license is approved by Harry Fox Agency (who handles our cover licenses).
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See all 11 articles

ISRC // UPC See all 9 articles

  • Does DistroKid Provide ISRC Codes?

    Yes.

    An ISRC code is a unique code assigned to each song you upload.

    DistroKid has been appointed by the US ISRC Agency to assign ISRCs, and will automatically generate new DistroKid ISRC codes for every song you upload. It's free and automatic.

    If you'd prefer to specify your own ISRC code(s), you can do that if you've got a "Musician Plus" or "Ultimate" account.

    More info on how to use your own ISRC code(s) with DistroKid.


     

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  • Do I Need to Know What an ISRC or UPC Code Is To Use DistroKid?

    No.

    ISRC and UPC are codes used in the music industry. They help identify your release and tracks.

    DistroKid has been appointed by the US ISRC Agency to assign ISRCs, and will automatically generate new DistroKid ISRC codes for every song you upload. It's free and automatic, and you'll receive 100% of earnings.

    If you would prefer to purchase your own UPC and ISRCs, visit:
    https://www.gs1us.org/
    https://www.usisrc.org/ 

    If you have a Musician Plus or Ultimate subscription plan, you can use your own ISRCs when uploading.

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  • How Do I Find the UPC for My Release?

    UPC stands for "Universal Product Code." It is a unique code used to identify a product, such as an album or single.

    A DistroKid UPC is automatically generated for you, each time you upload an album. To find the DistroKid UPC:

    1. Sign into DistroKid
    2. Click the album you're interested in
    3. Find "UPC" displayed under your artwork

    DistroKid UPCs are for digital distribution within DistroKid. If you want to apply for a UPC issued by GS1, please contact your local GS1 office here.

    Go to article
  • I Already Have UPC and ISRC Codes. Can I Use Them?

    ISRC codes, yes. UPC codes, no.

    DistroKid has been appointed by the US ISRC Agency to assign ISRCs, and will automatically generate new DistroKid ISRC codes for every song you upload. It's free and automatic.

    But if you want to specify your own ISRC codes for any reason, that's easy to do:

    (1) Make sure you're subscribed to DistroKid's Musician Plus or Ultimate account.

    (2) Then click "already got an ISRC code?" on DistroKid's upload form.

    There is no way to specify a custom UPC code.

    If you want to apply for a UPC issued by GS1, please contact your local GS1 office here.

    If you prefer to purchase your own ISRCs, visit https://www.usisrc.org/

    Go to article
  • Do I Need to Provide UPC or ISRC Codes?

    No, you do not need to provide UPC or ISRC codes to DistroKid.

    DistroKid has been appointed by the US ISRC Agency to assign ISRCs, and will automatically generate new DistroKid ISRC codes for every song you upload. It's free and automatic.

    You can specify your own ISRC codes if you have a Musician Plus or Ultimate account.

    More info on providing your own ISRCs to DistroKid.

    If you want to apply for a UPC issued by GS1, please contact your local GS1 office here.

    Go to article
  • Can I Get My ISRC Codes Before I Upload My Music?

    DistroKid gives you free DistroKid ISRC codes. They're automatically generated by DistroKid and displayed to you whenever you upload any song or album. 

    If you need to have your DistroKid ISRC codes before uploading music, well... there's a way to do that, but it's sort of a hack. So we don't recommend it. But if you must, here's an option.

    It only works if you have Musician Plus or Ultimate accounts.

      • Upload your music. Set the release date for sometime in the future (such as next week). 
      • ISRCs are assigned in the final steps before sending a release to streaming services. Once ISRCs have been assigned, you can see them to the right of track titles on the album pages of your DistroKid dashboard. Write them down or save them somewhere.
      • Delete your album right away. If you don't delete it within a few minutes of uploading it, it might get sent to streaming services. And, in this scenario, it seems you don't want that.
      • Upload your album again. Choose "already got an ISRC code?" on the upload form. Enter the codes that you saved from step #2.

    There you have it.

     

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See all 9 articles

Lyrics See all 5 articles

  • Why Were my Lyrics Rejected?

    Streaming services have pretty specific requirements for submitting your lyrics:

    • Do not include the vocalist's name
    • Do not include extra text (ex: "intro", "chorus", social media links, etc.)
    • Repeated lines must be written out. Don't write "Chorus 2x" etc.
    • Begin each line with a capital letter
    • Do not use punctuation at the end of a line except for exclamation and question marks
    • Do not include blank lines except between verses or chorus
    • Avoid entering excessively long lines. One sentence per line
    • Don't censor explicit words unless the words are dropped/bleeped in the audio recording
      Example: Don't enter "F***", unless the word was dropped or bleeped
    • Do not enter numerical characters for numbers between 1-10. The number 2 must be written as two.
    • Do not add extra spaces at the beginning or end of lines
    • Do use standardized spelling (ex: Tryna should be written out as Trying to)
     

    The most common reasons that streaming services reject lyrics are:

    1. No line breaks between sections (verse/chorus/bridge/etc.)

      Do not format your lyrics like this:

      So I pointed my fingers
      And shouted few quotes I knew
      As if something that's written
      Should be taken as true
      But every path I had taken
      And conclusion I drew
      Would put truth back under the knife
      And now the only piece of advice that continues to help
      Is anyone that's making anything new only break something else
      When my time comes
      Oh oh oh oh
      When my time comes
      Oh oh oh oh

      Do format your lyrics like this:

      So I pointed my fingers
      And shouted few quotes I knew
      As if something that's written
      Should be taken as true
      But every path I had taken
      And conclusion I drew
      Would put truth back under the knife
       
      And now the only piece of advice that continues to help
      Is anyone that's making anything new only break something else
       
      When my time comes
      Oh oh oh oh
      When my time comes
      Oh oh oh oh

    2. Too many line breaks (unnecessary spaces between each line)

      Do not format your lyrics like this:

      There's traffic on the bridge

      But the skyline shines with a certain light

      I know you're sick of it

      Do format your lyrics like this:

      There's traffic on the bridge
      But the skyline shines with a certain light
      I know you're sick of it

    3. Too many grammar/spelling/capitalization errors

      Do not format your lyrics like this:

      2day is gona b the day
      That their gonna throw it back to u
      By now u shouldve some how
      Realized what u gotta do
      I dont believe that n e body
      Feels the way I do about u now

      Do format your lyrics like this:

      Today is gonna be the day
      That they're gonna throw it back to you
      By now you should've somehow
      Realized what you gotta do
      I don't believe that anybody
      Feels the way I do about you now

    4. Punctuation at the end of lines

      Do not
      format your lyrics like this:

      Everything is everything.
      What is meant to be, will be.
      After winter, must come spring.
      Change, it comes eventually.

      Do format your lyrics like this:

      Everything is everything
      What is meant to be, will be
      After winter, must come spring
      Change, it comes eventually

    For a complete list of lyric requirements, visit Apple Musics lyric guidelines.

    To get synced lyrics on Spotify, TIDAL and Instagram, opt-in to Lyric Blaster today by submitting plain lyrics for your releases.

    Go to article
  • Where will my Lyrics show up?

    DistroKid sends your lyrics to 

    • Apple Music
    • YouTube Music
    • LyricFind
    • Google Search Results
    • and more

    You can also opt into Lyric Blaster to submit synced lyrics to Spotify, TIDAL, Instagram and Facebook! To get synced lyrics, opt into Lyric Blaster today by logging in and submitting plain lyrics for your release.

    Note: It may take up to 1-2 weeks for your lyrics to show up in services.

    Delays are rare, but they do happen, and are often out of our control. We recommend checking this FAQ in regard to release dates, particularly the “Note” section.

    Go to article
  • How do I get Synced lyrics for my songs?

    Synced lyric deliveries to Apple Music and YouTube are available to all artists on Musician Plus and Ultimate subscriptions!

    If you want synced lyrics for Spotify, Tidal, Instagram and Facebook, we also offer our Lyric Blaster service, powered by Musixmatch.

    It's $14.99 per artist, per year for unlimited songs.

    To get synced lyrics on Spotify and Instagram, opt into Lyric Blaster today by logging in and submitting plain lyrics for your release.

    The first step is to upload plain text lyrics. Then, when submitting, opt into Lyric Blaster to opt-in to synced lyrics. Once your plain lyrics are approved, you can submit synced lyrics from the lyrics dashboard.

    For more information about where lyrics will be delivered, click here.

    A few notes:

    • Synced lyrics can only be submitted for tracks that have approved plain lyrics. So if you just uploaded some plain lyrics, just hang on while we review your lyrics. It should only take a day or so for lyrics to be reviewed.
    • If you are having trouble with playback while trying to sync your lyrics, you may want to re-try using Google Chrome if you aren't already. 
    Go to article
  • What is the difference between "Plain Lyrics" and "Synced Lyrics"?

    Plain Lyrics are just the plain text of your lyrics. Plain Lyrics are available in Apple, Google, and LyricFind.

    Synced lyrics are lyrics that are timed to your music. On platforms that support synced lyrics, like  Instagram and Spotify, your fans will see your lyrics scroll in time with your song for the best sing along experience. With a Musician Plus or Ultimate subscription, we'll send your synced lyrics to Apple Music and YouTube Music. To get synced lyrics on Instagram and Spotify, opt into Lyric Blaster today by logging in and submitting plain lyrics for your release.

    Note: Synced Lyrics are available for Musician Plus and Ultimate plans! Lyric Blaster is $14.99 per artist, per year and includes unlimited synced lyric submissions to Spotify, TIDAL, Instagram and Facebook via Musixmatch.



     

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  • How Do I Provide My Lyrics to DistroKid?

    DistroKid makes it easy to get your lyrics into services!

    To visit your lyrics dashboard within your account:

    1. Click the DistroKid Features Menu in the upper right features_menu_icon.jpg
    2. Select "Enhance your music"
    3. Select "Lyrics"

    Here, you'll be able to submit and manage your Plain Lyrics. 

    Please ensure your lyrics comply with the guidelines below

    Once you submit Plain Lyrics, it takes around 2-3 business days for them to go live in streaming services like:

    To get synced lyrics on Spotify, TIDAL, Instagram and Facebook, opt into Lyric Blaster while submitting your plain lyrics! Lyric Blaster is $14.99 per artist, per year, and gives you unlimited synced lyrics submissions via Musixmatch. 

    Note: Synced lyrics can only be submitted for tracks that have approved plain lyrics. So if you just uploaded some plain lyrics, just hang on while we review your lyrics. It should only take a day or so for lyrics to be reviewed.

    If you're more of a visual learner, check out this quick how-to video to see how to add Plain Lyrics to all of your releases:

     

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Credits See all 4 articles

  • Can I Add Producer, Songwriter, Credits, Liner Notes, and Metadata to My Songs?

    You sure can!

      1. Sign in to DistroKid
      2. Click the DistroKid Features Menu in the upper right features_menu_icon.jpg
      3. Click "Enhance your music"
      4. Click "Credits"

    Your credits will be delivered to all streaming services who currently accept them.

    If it's your first time adding credits, the system will first ask you to list a songwriter. Because songwriters are important, and every song should have one.

    For a quick video on how to add Credits and Liner notes, check out our how-to below:

     

    Go to article
  • How Do I Add a Producer to My Release?

    You can add Producer credits to your releases at any time by visiting your Credits page, even if your release is already live in stores!

    To do so, just head to the album page of the release you wish to edit. Click on "Credits" 

    From the credits page, click the "Add New..." dropdown menu and select "Producer." 

    After you have selected the Producer credit type, you can choose a specific type of producer in the following drop down. After you have selected these fields, you can go ahead and enter your Producer's name. You can also optionally add their email (producer emails will not be shown on streaming services).

     

     

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  • Why Aren't My Credits Showing in Streaming Services?

    DistroKid is capable of sending an extreme amount of detailed metadata to streaming services. Which is awesome!

    More info here.

    Some services can handle it all. Others only have the capability to accept a small portion for now—but likely more in the future.

    We'll monitor each service partner, and continuously update them with the maximum amount of metadata they can handle at any time. Most are starting with songwriters and producers.

    Please note that credits may take 1-2 weeks to appear in any services that accept them.

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  • Why Does DistroKid Ask For Songwriters' Real Names?

    Good news! Streaming services are starting to give credit where it's due. That means, among other things, showing who wrote every song. 

    Typically, songwriters are listed using real names--not stage names or rapper names or band names.

    Don't worry if you use a stage name--your real name won't be displayed prominently as an artist name or anything, but it will be displayed when a listener views the credits or lyrics of a song.

    For example, see the 2 Chainz the song "Bigger Than You (feat. Drake & Quavo)" on Spotify (here). As you would expect, the artist names are listed as:

      • 2 Chainz
      • Drake
      • Quavo

    However, if you look at the credits for that song on Spotify (here's how), you'll notice those artists' real names are listed as songwriters. Their real names are, respectively:

      • Tauheed Epps
      • Aubrey Graham
      • Quavious Marshall

    See screenshot from Spotify, below.

    stage_real_names.png





     

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Cover Songs See all 5 articles

  • Why Am I Required to Purchase My Cover Song License Through DistroKid?

    Each time you upload a song to DistroKid, you'll see a checkbox to specify whether you wrote the song (an "original"), or someone else wrote it (a "cover"). 

    There's a law in the United States that dictates how earnings from cover songs need to be shared with the original songwriter. If you're interested in the details, click here.

    The good news is that DistroKid makes easy to upload covers, so easy that you never have to think about it. Just click the box on our upload form specifying that it's a cover song, and for a small fee ($12 per cover song, renewed annually) DistroKid will automatically withdraw the legally required amount from your earnings (usually 9.1 cents per sale in the U.S.) and send it to the original songwriter.

    "What if I already have a license to distribute the cover song?"

    Sorry, but you still must opt into DistroKid's license anyway. The reason is because we have no way of confirming that the original songwriter is getting paid their legally-required share unless we're the ones paying them. Not opting covers into DistroKid's cover song licensing program can lead to streaming services taking down your content--or worse--songwriters taking legal action. And nobody wants that.

     

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  • Do I Have to Purchase a Cover License Through DistroKid If I Already Have a License From Another Agency?

    Yes.

    The reason is that we have no way of confirming that the original songwriter is getting paid their legally-required share--unless we're the ones paying them.

    Not opting covers into DistroKid's cover song licensing program can lead to streaming services taking down your content--or worse--songwriters taking legal action. And nobody wants that.

    Go to article
  • If I Upload a Cover as a Single, Can I Also Put That Cover On an Album?

    Yes!

    Though, keep in mind, you'll need to purchase the cover license again for the cover that is being included on the album.

    You must purchase a DistroKid cover license each and every time you upload a cover song to DistroKid.

    If you upload the same cover song twice, you need to select the “Cover Song” option for both uploads, essentially buying two licenses. That’s how our system knows to deduct the songwriter’s share of earnings from your earnings (for both uploads of that song, in this example). Furthermore, DistroKid licenses apply only to content directly distributed by DistroKid, and cannot be used for any purposes outside of DistroKid.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that your song would be covered under the compulsory mechanical license.

    For more information about purchasing cover licenses through DistroKid, please check out this article.

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  • My Music Contains Sampling from Other Songs. Is That Okay?

    DistroKid can help with covers. DistroKid cannot help with samples.

    What's the difference?

    Sampling

    Sampling is when you use the actual recording of another artist's performance. For example, if you use the 1971 recording of Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" as your drum track. That's generally not legal, unless you have permission from the original artist or owner of the copyright. 

    Cover Song

    A cover song is a song that you performed & recorded yourself, but the music was written by someone else. For example, when your band plays "Smooth Criminal" (written by Michael Jackson). This is totally okay—DistroKid makes it easy and legal to sell cover songs. Just select "Someone else wrote it" in the "Songwriter" section of the DistroKid upload form. You'll find pricing and more info, there.



     

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  • Can I Download My Cover License(s)?

    Yes! 

    Just log in to your account and click on your Profile Icon in the top right. From there, click "Cover song licenses" to view your existing licenses.

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