Uploading a Release See all 15 articles

  • Can I Specify a Future Release Date?

    Yes, if you have a "musician plus" or "label" plan.

    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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  • Holiday Deliveries

    If you plan on releasing music on Apple Music and the iTunes Store between November 26, 2021, and January 7, 2022, remember to check the following delivery deadlines.

    To ensure that Apple receives all deliveries by 11:59 p.m. PST on the respective date, it's best to upload at least a week ahead of time.

    Release Date Delivery Deadline
    November 26, 2021 November 12, 2021
    December 3, 2021 November 19, 2021
    December 10, 2021 December 3, 2021
    December 17, 2021 December 10, 2021
    December 24, 2021 December 10, 2021
    December 31, 2021 December 17, 2021
    January 7, 2022 December 24, 2021

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

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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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  • 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. 

    Shazam & iPhone Siri:
    $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.

    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://distrokid.zendesk.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://distrokid.zendesk.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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  • Can I Upload a Single Before My Album, and then Include that Single on My Album?

    Yep!

    Just upload the single first, and then upload the entire album (including the single) as a separate release. Once the full release is in streaming services, you can choose to leave the single, or remove it and only have the album version available.

    Note: If you use your existing ISRCs (you need to have the Musician Plus or Label plan to do so), the exact same audio file as in your original upload, same metadata (track titles, artist name, etc.) this might help retain play counts/playlists for the single in some streaming services. Nothing that we (or services) can guarantee, however.
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  • If I Specify a Custom Release Date, When Will My Album Appear in Streaming Services?

    You can specify a release date with the Musician Plus or Label plan.

    If you've set a future release date, your music will appear in services on the date you specified.

    If you've set a past release date, your music will appear in services as soon as possible.

    Note: If it's important that your music go live on a specific date (in all chosen services at the same time), choose a release date at least four weeks in the future. If you choose a release date less than four weeks in advance, there's a chance your album could still be stuck in a services' review queue (or some other unforeseen delay) when your release date comes around.
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See all 15 articles

Formatting Details See all 23 articles

  • What Audio File Formats Can I Upload?

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

    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 gig. 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.

    DistroKid has no limitation to the length in minutes that a track can be. However, albums cannot contain songs where the average track length is less than 60 seconds.

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


     

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  • 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. 

    Stores accept the following artist roles from DistroKid:

    Main Artist

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

    Primary Artist

    A primary artist is a main artist at the track level that is not a main artist at the album level. The primary artist role is used to indicate collaborations. For example on Moore Kismet's album Vendetta for Cupid, Moore Kismet is the main artist at the album level. At the track level for a track on the album RumorWYN is a Primary Artist and Moore Kismet is a Main 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 . 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 artist.

    For the single version of SOS (feat. Aloe Blacc) - Avicii, "Aloe Blacc" is also the Featured Artist on the Album level because singles have the same roles at the track and album level.

     

    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"

    Screen_Shot_2021-04-13_at_3.58.53_PM.png

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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.

    image__3_.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.

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  • 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 inidicate 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:

    Screen_Shot_2021-05-19_at_2.01.47_PM.png

     

    Note that 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 collaborator" button in the songs settings. 

    Under "Song Title" you will see a button that says "Add collaborator". 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:

    • Name
    • Role
    • Spotify Artist URI (optional)
    • Apple Artist ID (optional) 

    Check out this article for a breakdown on artist roles!

    If you need to add more than one collaborator, just click the "Add collaborator" button again!

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  • 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...)"

    Screen_Shot_2021-09-09_at_9.48.23_AM.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!
    Screen_Shot_2021-09-09_at_9.50.20_AM.png
    For existing releases, if you need to add or edit a featured artist, head to your album page, and click edit release.

    Screen_Shot_2021-09-09_at_10.00.01_AM.png

    Select Add Collaborator 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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  • What is Loudness Normalization?
    DistroKid's upload form includes a checkbox for "Loudness Normalization." 
     
    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.  
     
    For more information about Spotify's recommendations, see the "Mastering Tips" section of this page from Spotify for Artists: https://artists.spotify.com/help/article/loudness-normalization
     
    Streaming services recommend these or similar settings to reduce the likelihood of distortion, clipping & other problems that can arise during each streaming services' transcoding & playback processes. For information about Spotify's transcoding processes, for example, visit https://artists.spotify.com/help/article/audio-file-formats
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See all 23 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.

    Delete_a_release_from_stores.png
    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.

    Overall, the entire editing process from start to finish can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks, and we're not able to expedite the process on our end once a request has been submitted to services. At this time, it is not possible to cancel a request or submit additional edits prior to the previous request being approved.

    Certain other things such as audio files, track listing, genre, language, Album Extras, and ISRCs cannot be changed via metadata update. To change them, you will need to delete and re-upload a corrected version. Here's how to delete your release(s) from services: https://distrokid.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360013649193

    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, or specify an artist as a remixer, drop us a line and we can assist.

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  • Can I Change My Artist Name? 

    Short Answer: Yes. You can change your artist name on a release 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. 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. 

    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).

    update_all_releases.png

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

    Yes!

    Shoot us a message by clicking the "Have more questions? Reach out to us!" link at the bottom of this article. From there, select "Managing Music / Lyrics / Credits in Stores" and then select "I need to remove my release from specific stores".

    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 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"

    Delete_a_release_from_stores.png

    4. Scroll to bottom, and click "Remove this release from all stores"

    remove_this_release_from_all_stores.png

    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. Expect to wait up to 1-2 weeks to disappear from all services, sometimes sooner. 

    Spotify takedowns take at least 2 business days. 

     

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  • Can I Add Album Extras (YouTube Content ID, Shazam/Siri, 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 8 articles

  • 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.


    how_to_get_to_upload_form.jpg

    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".

    how_to_get_to_browse_file_browser.jpg

    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.

    how_to_get_to_browse_file_browser_for_photo.jpg

    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.

    audio_file_upload.jpg

    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.

    I would do some research on what services normalize to what level, and then make a decision for yourself as to what you should aim for in your masters.

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

    Go to article
  • 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).
     
    Double Note: Earlier this year, Google announced plans to sunset the Google Play Music service. You can find the latest updates from Google here.
    Go to article
  • Why Isn't My Music Live?

    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 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).

    Double Note: Earlier this year, Google announced plans to sunset the Google Play Music service. You can find the latest updates from Google here.
    Go to article
  • What Should I Do If My Upload Seems Stuck?

    It may be due to an issue with your internet connection. A wired connection is recommended, as any lapse in WiFi can cause issues when uploading.

    Generally, we'll alert you on the upload page if there is some downtime or errors the service is experiencing. However, most of the time when there are issues during an upload, it is a local issue. When this happens you should try the following:

    - Clear your browser cache/cookies/browsing history
    - Re-logging into DistroKid and upload your release again

    If the above doesn't work, you may be using an outdated web browser. If this is the case, please try using an alternate browser.

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  • My Uploads Keep Failing Partway Through. Wussup with That?

    Are you seeing red?

    If a progress bar turns red when uploading your album, it means something went wrong with your connection and you'll have to restart the upload. 

    We're pretty sure the error isn't on DistroKid's end. To prove it, here's a little about how our upload form works, technologically:

    When you visit DistroKid's upload form, a technology called Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) directly connects your browser to Amazon's file hosting facility (Amazon S3). Unlike typical uploads that require an intermediary server, CORS to S3 ensures that files never actually touch DistroKid's servers on the way in. This means that uploads are super-fast, with fewer potential points of failure. Even if we wanted to break it, we couldn't. 

    If your upload is failing, check your internet connection. Perhaps try uploading from another location. Or try again later. 

    Uploading big files is tricky business. DistroKid has pretty cool technology that makes large uploads fast & (usually) error-free. But it's the internet, and things aren't always perfect (though we're trying!)

    Note: A wired internet connection is recommended, as any lapse in WiFi can cause issues when uploading.

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See all 8 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 "Label" 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.

    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/ 

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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.

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  • 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 "Label" 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/

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  • 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 "Label" 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.

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  • 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 Label 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
    • Do not include blank lines except between verses or chorus
    • Avoid entering excessively long lines. One sentence per line
    • Don't censor explict words unless the words are dropped/bleeped in the audio recording
      Example: Don't enter "F***", unless the word was dropped or bleeped

    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 streaming service requirements, visit Musixmatch guidelines and Apple guidelines.

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  • Where will my lyrics show up?

    DistroKid sends your lyrics to 

    • Apple Music
    • MusixMatch
    • Instagram/Facebook
    • TIDAL
    • LyricFind
    • Google Search Results
    • and more

    Synced lyrics are only submitted to Instagram/Facebook, TIDAL, and Apple Music at this time.

    For examples of how lyrics will be displayed in Apple Music, please see https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204459.

    Note: It may take up to 1-2 weeks for your lyrics to show up on Instagram and other platforms. 

    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.

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  • How do I get Synced lyrics for my songs?

    Synced lyrics are only available to:

    • Artists with Musician Plus or Label accounts. 
    • Songs with 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.

    The first step is to upload plain text lyrics at www.distrokid.com/lyrics. Once approved, you can then sync your lyrics to you songs.

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

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  • What is the difference between "Plain Lyrics" and "Synced Lyrics"?

    Plain lyrics are just the plain text of your lyrics.

    Synced lyrics are lyrics that are timed to your music. On platforms that support synced lyrics, like Apple Music, Instagram and TIDAL, your fans will see your lyrics scroll in time with your song for the best sing along / Instagram story experience.

     

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  • How Do I Provide My Lyrics to DistroKid?

    DistroKid makes it easy to get your lyrics into iTunes and Apple Music. 

    To visit your lyrics dashboard within your account:

    1. Select the "Goodies" menu in the top right
    2. Select "Enhance your music"
    3. Select "Lyrics"

    Here, you'll be able to submit and manage both plain lyrics and synced lyrics.


    Please ensure your lyrics comply with the guidelines below

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

     

     

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Credits See all 4 articles

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

    Ya sure can!

      1. Sign into DistroKid
      2. Click the "Goodies" menu in the upper right
      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.

     

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  • 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" 

    Screen_Shot_2021-09-09_at_9.53.56_AM.png

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

    Screen_Shot_2021-09-09_at_9.48.26_AM.png

    After you have selected the Producer credit type, you can choose a specific type of producer in the following drop down. For simplicities sake, I chose just "Producer". 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).

    Screen_Shot_2021-09-09_at_9.48.59_AM.png

     

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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 streaming 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 streaming 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. But it will be displayed when a listener views the "credits" 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.

    Screen_Shot_2018-12-14_at_2.29.19_PM.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 be shared with the original songwriter. If you're interested in the details, click here for some light reading (sarcasm).

    The good news is that DistroKid makes easy to upload covers, such 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, as of this writing). DistroKid will then 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.

    And if you 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.

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  • 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 both times, 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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