Ever spent a bunch of time getting a release set up and uploaded to Soundrop, only to receive an email from us the next day telling you to change something before we’ll distribute it? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.
Here’s the thing: our release-approval process isn’t a TSA security check, but we do review every release prior to its delivery to platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. We look at the artwork, we inspect the formatting of metadata, we check to make sure your publishing and songwriter information is correct - for EVERY release, by hand (by eye).
This personalized process provides a level of protection to DSPs, minimizing the risk of copyright infringement, but moreover it allows us to ensure that your release is “retail-ready” across all platforms, which results in better searchability, visibility and ultimately more streams & downloads for you. It also allows us to distribute releases that many other distributors can’t.
So what are we looking at? A lot of stuff, really, but here are the main ones:
- Does the information on the cover match the album-level metadata? Your artist name, featured artists, album title, title versions, “volume” numbers, all that. It’s gotta be exactly the same on the cover as it is in the info you type in when you’re setting up the release. Differences between the info on your cover and the actual info about release are super confusing for users of music platforms, and it can get your music hidden and kicked off of stores.
- Cover Art Quality! It can’t be blurry, crappy, porn-y, racist, nazi-ish, or otherwise evil-ish. It can’t contain copyrighted images of cartoon/videogame/anime characters or real-life celebrities or trademarked images in general. It can’t have phone numbers, email addresses, URLs or any kind of contact info. And again: the info on the cover has to match the actual info you entered about the album.
- Is the artist name legit? It’s gotta be original (yes, if your name is Bob Smith you can use your name, though you’d be well-served to think of a more original alias). It can't use special characters or emojis. It can’t be a random run-on thing like “Funkdog AKA Big F & the Third Avenue Crew feat. Fat Wilma in the style of Mozart”. And no, it can’t be Justin Beiber or Little Uzi Vert, where you’re trying to game searches for famous artist misspellings.
- Generic stuff! You can’t call your album “My Album” and you can’t call yourself “Artist Name”. You can’t call a track “Song 1” or “Track 10”. You can’t have “Springtime Meditations” as an artist name and you can’t call your album “Greatest Hits”. Lastly, having your genre in your name can be considered generic. Your fans will know how metal you are based on your studded black jackets (and the fact that your actual genre lists your project as metal).
Again, we check for A LOT of different things – these are just the main ones - and if you’re being legit and use common sense, you’ll be fine. But the rules for commercially distributing music are significantly different than the rules for YouTube videos.