TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Metadata requirements
- Artist roles
- Explicit content
- Metadata writing
- Cover art requirements
- Audio requirements
- Licensing requirements
I. GENERAL STYLE GUIDE
In a release, there are several roles that can be assigned according to the function that every person, organization, or ensemble has executed during its development:
- Primary Artist. The name(s) of the principal artist(s) or band(s) who participate in the release. This is the only role strictly mandatory in every release.
- Using “Various Artists” as Primary Artist. When a release includes four or more Primary Artists, the Primary Artist at the album level should be marked as “Various Artists”. However, each artist must always be independently identified on their respective tracks. The translation of "Various Artists" is accepted, but only if it is consistent with the language of the content.
- When not to use “Various Artists”. It should never be used when a release has less than four primary artists; it cannot be used either at the track level or to group several featuring artists. This tag can not be used at the track level and can not be combined with other primary artists’ names. It is generally preferable to avoid the use of too many primary artists’ names at this level. Variations or abbreviations of “Various Artists” (i.e.: “V/A”, “VA”, “Various”, “Various Artist”) must be avoided. Please, do not confuse the role with “performer” or “featuring artist”.
- Performer. The singer(s) and/or the instrumentalist(s) who have participated in the recording of the release of each track. This role should be assigned to the people who interpret the music heard on each track or in the entire release. Instruments per se should never be mentioned in the metadata. Nevertheless, in jazz and classical releases, the performers can be named with their respective instruments on the cover art.
- Producer. This is the person that manages the sound recording. Frequently can be the person who leads to achieving the main concept for the production. This role can be displayed on the cover art as long as it is justified all along with the release.
- Remixer. This is the role to be assigned to the person who re-edits or adds new elements to a pre-existing recording. Its use demands that the term "Remix" is used in the version field at the track and/or album level - depending on if it is a one-track single or not. If the remixer is known, the name must be included in the version field along with the expression “Remix” (i.e.: “Flume Remix”). Please note that a remixer is not the same as the mixer of an album; in case the mixer or sound engineer must be included as a producer instead. For more information on the correct licensing of remixes, check our “Licensing requirements” block.
- When remixing other artists' work. The creation of a remix implies the reuse of previous material whose authorship belongs to other artists, publishers or other agents. Therefore, it will be necessary to provide the corresponding licenses to use this content. Please, check the “Licensing requirements” section of this document for further information.
- When remixing original work. When the release is a remix from a previous original release it will not be necessary to provide the licenses to use. In addition, the new release should be distinguished from the previous one by using the term "Remix" in the version field.
- Composer. This role should be assigned to the people who have composed the music on the track or the album. In regular releases it can only be used at the track level, when the release is a single, the role must be reflected at the track and album level. Since every time more channels are requesting this role as mandatory for distributing content to their platforms we recommend adding it as much as possible, especially when the release is a cover or version from another artist, in which case its use will be completely mandatory - for more information about it, please, check the “Licensing requirements” block in this article.
- Composer role in Classical Music releases. Its use at track and album levels will be mandatory. Also, if there are more than four composers throughout the release, the only composer appearing at the album level must be "Various Composers" - please, limit the use of this term strictly to this genre. Check the guidelines for Classical Music in this article for further information.
- Unknown composers. In versions of popular tracks whose author or composer is unknown or anonymous, the composer must always be “Popular”, “Unknown” or similar.
- Lyricist. The people who have made the lyrics of the track.
- When to use the “Lyricist” role. As we said with composers, it is highly advisable to use it whenever possible since every time more channels are requesting this role as mandatory for publishing content - especially when the song is based on a literary text. In those cases, it should be assigned to the original writer of the latter.
- When not to use the “Lyricist” role. If the song has no actual spoken words - that means instrumental tracks or with voices that sing no words. In those cases, the track must be marked as “no linguistic content” in the language field.
- Publisher. This role should be assigned to the entity that owns all distribution rights of the release.
- Featuring. The artists who accompany the primary artist in the release. Both primaries and featuring artists compose the “Display artists”, which are the main highlighted roles at a track level.
- Attributions. The use of this role does not imply that the featuring artist has participated as a composer, which means that its competence develops at a secondary level.
- Conditionals. If the featuring artists appear in the cover art, they must figure at the album level. If it is single, it should be at the album and track level. The featuring artist, if displayed on the cover art, must always be accompanying the primary artist.
- Album conditional. If there are featured artists at the album level, they must be reflected on each track. In the case of being more than one featuring artist at the album level, each featuring artist must appear in the corresponding track instead of appearing at the album level.
- With. This role has the same value as the featuring artist role. In this way, either of the roles can be chosen to go along with the primary artist.
- When not to use the “With” role. In popular music (non-classical), this role can not be used to add the music band of the primary artist who accompanies the recording of the release. E.g. “Glenn Miller with His Big Band”.
- Conductor. The person who leads, commands or conducts an Orchestra, is also known as the director. This role should be used exclusively in classical music releases. It is important to emphasize that the conductor is not the person who artistically directs the production.
- Arranger. The person who has modified an original song. If their role is developed on a third-party’s composition, the track will be considered as a substantial modification of original work, for which explicit documental permission must be obtained. Please, check the “Licensing requirements” block in this article for more information.
- Orchestra. The ensemble that participates in the recordings and/or performances (i.e.: London Symphonic Orchestra). This role should be used only in releases with Classical Music. In addition, the role of Orchestra and Primary Artist can be assigned to the same ensemble as long as the primary artist of the release is actually the orchestra.
- Actor. This role is exclusively for musical theatre music or opera music. It is used to mention the actors and actresses who have participated in the recording of a release. Their mention must be done at each track level. Please, avoid its use for references to videoclips or similar AV format.
Some other relevant information about roles
- Artist name choice. Before distributing an album, make sure that no other artists are currently using the same artist or band name (similar or identical) since this might cause conflicts in the channels and your albums may be combined under the catalogue of the other artist with a similar artist or band name, or vice-versa. If that happens, please contact our Support team.
- Incompatible roles. All the roles can be mixed with each other as long as they make sense. However, primary and featuring artists cannot be performers - and vice versa.
- Use of special characters and particular naming. Mixed alphabets, full lowercase or capitals and special characters are generally discouraged. Our team might require social media verification in order to allow it.
- Compound artist. Two or more performers or groups in the same artist field are considered compound artists. However, artists who are generally listed together as a band (their names make the artist’s name) are not considered compound artists and can be listed together (i.e.: Simon & Garfunkel, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, etc.). If this is not the case, and there is more than one performing artist, each artist must be listed individually and assigned as primary.
- Generic artists. Generic artists such as “Chorus”, “Orchestra”, “Singer” or “Band” are not accepted under any circumstance. The use of these names might lead up to the application of our Anti-Fraud Policy. For further information, please check our “Genre” block in this article.
- Original artist name in the artist field. For karaoke, tribute, orgel, parody, covers, ringtones and other similar formats, the original artist name must be avoided as a primary. The authors of the original composition (composers and lyricists) must be included with their full legal name. Please, do not use artistic names or band names. For further information, please, check our “Licensing requirements” block in this article.
- Singles. For all single format discs containing a single track, the album title and track title must be the same, as well as the information about artists roles. Only in these specific cases, it is allowed to have more than four primary artists without having to use the Various Artists tags; however, we recommend trying to keep it to the minimum possible. A release must be identified as a single when:
- 1 track lasts from 0:30 to 29:59.
- It contains from 1 to 3 tracks with the same title. It means, variations of the same song, no longer than 9:59 together.
- It contains from 1 to 2 tracks with different titles. It means, up to two different songs, no longer than 9:59 together.
- EPs. A release must be identified as an EP when:
- It has 2 tracks and at least one of them lasts longer than 10 minutes.
- It contains 4 to 6 tracks with the same title. It means, variations of the same song.
- It contains 3 to 6 tracks with different titles. It means that each song will be different.
- It has a total duration from 10 to 29:59 minutes - never longer than that.
- Albums. The maximum number of tracks permitted is 500. Even so, in these cases, we recommend releases with a lower number of tracks or releases divided in different ones, in different volumes (i.e.: “Going Higher, Vol. 1”; “Going Higher, Vol. 2”; “Going Higher, Vol. 3”, etc.). A release must be identified as an album if it overcomes one of the previous points:
- It includes 7 tracks or more.
- It includes any amount of tracks that are longer than 30:00 minutes together.
Genres must always match with the content presented on the tracks, except for the compilation and/or tracks that have already been assigned an ISRC and come from another release. The current genre list is available on the platform - both at the album and track level. Please, note that not all the existing genres are available; try to find the one which describes better the nature of the music given in the audio.
- Classical Music. For specific information about this genre, please, check the guidelines for Classical Music in this article.
- Karaoke. When an album or a track is karaoke or playback, the primary genre must be “Karaoke”. The secondary genre should be the one corresponding to the song’s style.
- Soundtrack. This genre must only be used when the music is related to movies, documentaries, series, musicals, video games or any other kind of audiovisual production. If the music is only “inspired” in a video work or is not connected to any media production, the genre tag can not be “Soundtrack” but the one that is closer to the style of the song (i.e.: “New Age”, “Inspirational”, etc.). When a release is related to audiovisual content (movies, documentaries, series, musicals, video games or any other AV production) the expression "(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)" must be placed in the title - see: “Release Title (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)”. Check some examples below:
- “Movie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)”
- “TV Show (Original TV Show Soundtrack)” / “TV Show (Original Series Soundtrack)”
- “Documentary (Original Documentary Soundtrack)”
- “Videogame (Original Videogame Soundtrack)”
- Spoken word. The tracks of this genre must meet the following points. Please, note that not all the spoken word content is accepted by the channels:
- Length: 3 minutes or more - excluding prologues, epilogues and justified exceptions for artistic reasons.
- Primary artist designation: the primary artist can be the narrator, the author or the series of the narrated concept.
- Accepted formats: poetry, tales, short stories, monologues and comedy content, spoken word music-related content, educational content and album commentaries.
- Forbidden formats: podcasts, audiobooks and similar typologies.
- Generic content. Generic content is an umbrella term to tag all the content which might generally be fake. We recommend avoiding this kind of content since it could be identified as fraud-related by our team with its corresponding consequences - please, check our Anti-Fraud Policy for further information. Generally speaking, we divide it into three categories:
- Genres. Avoid expressions in metadata, especially in artist names and albums/tracks titles, which make explicit reference to genres - see: “Rock”, “Pop”, “Trap”, “Reggaeton”, “Latin”, “Hip-hop”, “Classical”, “Lo-fi”, “Electronic” etc.
- Basic musical terms. Avoid the use of expressions that make reference to instruments (i.e.: “Guitar”, “Piano”, “Drums”, etc.), musical concepts or structures (i.e.: “track”, “beat”, “song”, “base”, “album”, etc.).
- Explicit functionalities. Avoid the use of expressions that reference to explicit uses for music (i.e.: “Music for Sleeping”, “Music for Relaxation”, “Music for Yoga”, “Music for Workout”, “Music for Your Baby”, “Music for Focusing and Studying”, “Music for Your Dog”, etc.).
- Cover arts. Releases with images related to drugs, violence, sex or containing obscene language and insults must have the “Parental Advisory” logo on them. If the cover art is extremely explicit (pornography, racism, violence trivialization or encouragement of the use of drugs) our QC team will ask to change the cover, since the content might be forbidden by the channels. If the cover image contains the logo of “Parental Advisory”, at least one track must be flagged as explicit. Variations of the “Parental Advisory” are allowed, including alternative logos like “Restricted”. The colour or shape of it can be changed as long as it maintains the same formula. For further information about cover arts, please, check the "Cover art requirements" block in this article.
- Lyrics and metadata. The “explicit lyrics” box must be checked at the track level when the title or the lyrics have explicit content - especially if they mention topics like sex, drugs, violence or contain obscene language or insults. If the explicit tracks are indicated, the album will be automatically flagged as explicit. If the album is flagged as explicit, the tracks with explicit content must be indicated. Unless the cover image is the only explicit content of the album (and the lyrics and the metadata are clean), in this case, the tracks have to be kept clean. If it is not like this, our team will mark all the tracks as “explicit”. Please, remember that instrumental songs cannot be explicit.
- Self-censorship. Self-censorship is not permitted in any of the levels, neither on the cover nor in the metadata. Artist names, track titles, and album titles must be submitted in the original form that was intended by the artist. Explicit words are automatically censored in some channels, and would appear as for example “f**k” or “s**t”. Do not insert the asterisks in the titles.
- Hateful speech. If the content is extremely violent towards a minority or vulnerable group, our QC team reserves the right to block the implied users and take down all their content.
- Nazi content. Nazi references are forbidden. This kind of content will be banned in all circumstances and channels, as it is recognized as harmful by the BPjM (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien) and prohibited by German authorities or as otherwise recognized by anti-Nazi laws in any applicable jurisdiction. A release can not contain any kind of offensive symbology to a specific group of people or ethnicities, such as Nazi symbolism. If the content includes the glorification of Nazism, our QC team reserves the right to remove and block the account (with the implications that this might have) and take down all the releases.
Here, you’ll find more information about how to deliver explicit content.
Titles of albums and tracks
- Accuracy. Albums and tracks’ titles should always match the cover image titles as accurately as possible without any class of abbreviation. We highlight that it is not mandatory to place all the metadata on top of the image; however, it will be necessary to add what is expressed there and justify it in the metadata.
- Additional information. All titles of albums and tracks should not include additional information unless it is really necessary for the identification of the content - neither the name of the artist as long as it really is the official name (i.e.: “John, the King of Salsa”). Therefore, that implies the fact that none of the role names featured in the release can be a part of a title.
- Mainstream artists. Avoid the use of names from artists who belong to the mainstream culture. In case it is detected by our QC Team, it will be considered misleading content and our Anti-Fraud Policy will be applied.
- Multiple titles for album and tracks. The albums and tracks containing multiple titles must be separated with a slash (“/”). Please insert a space before and after the slash.
- Tracks version information. To differentiate between multiple versions of the same track or indicate that a track is different from its original version, use the corresponding description in its version field. The information relevant to the release will be placed in the field version, avoiding its placement in the title.
- Unnecessary version information. The standard version, (i.e., the original version of a track) must not include additional information. For instance: “Original Version”, “Album Version”, “Original Mix”, etc.
- Live content. If a track is recorded live, it must be indicated in the version field as "Live", "Ao Vivo", "En Vivo", and so on, accordingly to the language of the album. If all tracks are recorded live, they must also be indicated in the version field of the album.
- References to physical content, digital content, or content that is not included. The album titles should not include terms referring to contents that are not included in the album, such as physical formats, digital formats or geographic location. Some examples: “Mono”, “Stereo”, “E-Release”, “Digital Version”, “Digital Only”, “Digital Download”, “Booklet Included”, “European Edition”, “American Edition”, etc. “BPM”, “Hz” and other technical sound aspects cannot be included either.
- References to video format. The titles must not include references to the video format or specifications like “Video”, “Clip”, “PAL” or “Music Video”.
- “Deluxe Edition” / “Extended” and “Bonus Tracks” use. A "Deluxe Edition” or “Extended” release can be published when a previous album version exists, providing additional material to the first one. The incorporation of the old material can't be omitted. As well, a “Bonus Track” will be accepted if it is included in this type of release. It must be indicated on the field “Version or remix”. In no case will a track be titled “Bonus Track”.
- Use of "Exclusive" or "Limited Edition". The titles of albums and/or tracks must not contain terms such as "Exclusive" or "Limited Edition" as the titles are a permanent part of the content.
- Versions. To indicate that a version track is different from the original, please use the corresponding field for this purpose (for instance: “Pop Version”, “Piano Version”, “Rock Mix”, etc). Version information will not be accepted as a part of a title, except from “Palos” (flamenco) and popular dances of the XXth century (like tango or vals), which must be indicated between parentheses after the main title. The information should follow the standard spelling, without abbreviations, and make proper use of capitalization.
- Clean Version. If there is a pre-existing version of a track that is originally explicit, use the expression “Clean Version” in the version field in order to mark the difference. In cases like these, please, contact our Support team to manage this kind of content correctly in the channels prior to the distribution of the content.
- Remixes. In case certain content is remixed, the expression “Remix” must be included in the “Version or remix” field. In case a track or album is marked as a remix, the use of the “remixer” role will be mandatory. The inclusion of the name of the remixer or the style of the remix is up to the user’s own discretion. For more information about remixes, please, check the “Licensing requirements” block in this article.
Language, capitalization and writing rules
To ensure that the accents and capitalization appear correctly on all channels, you must specify an appropriate spelling in the metadata fields. Our Quality Control team reserves the right to correct errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- Nonstandard capitalization. Titles have to contain capital letters at the beginning of each sentence and in proper names. Each language has its own requirements in the use of capital letters. Generally speaking, full capitalization or full lowercase is not accepted unless we are talking about cacophonies, acronyms or specific cases which are previously communicated to our Support team - please, note that in cases where it is permitted distribution to some channels like iTunes might be deactivated. For further information about specific languages, check the explanations given below in this block
- Accents and required characters. All Western languages should include all appropriate accents and characters, as required by the correct spelling of each language respectively. Spelling mistakes will be only allowed if it is possible to argue any premeditation in certain contexts.
- Abbreviation. The words "Part" and "Volume" should be abbreviated as "Pt." and "Vol.".The titles that require the use of any of those two words should have the following format: "Title, Vol. X" and "Title, Pt. X" (where "X" is a number). The use of abbreviations will be mandatory when there is a homonymous topics succession in different parts, or when there is a numerical succession with same titles songs. The use of Arabic or Roman numbers can be chosen by the user, but its use will have to be consistent along with the album. Preferably the expression "Pt." has to be used only for tracks and "Vol." just for albums, with the exception of the singles, where is better to omit the expression "Vol." unless it belongs to the real track title.
- Use of special characters. Special characters use (as $, ¢, ∞, ¬, _, +, =, ≠, ´‚ `, *, etc.) will not be generally accepted unless the content has been previously by the channels or there is a justified reason for their use. We recommend contacting our Support team prior to the distribution of the content to assess the formatting of the metadata in some exceptional cases. Please, note that some of that content might not be accepted by certain channels like iTunes.
- Links, emails and social media promotion. The general metadata of a release should not contain any link to web pages, email addresses, social media or similar network references. The links to promotional pages should be introduced in the profile of the user profile. References to commercial content unrelated to the artist or the release content will not be accepted in any case. When possible, avoid symbols like “#” or “@” unless there is a strong justification for their use.
- Assigning languages. The language at the album level must be the same as the one used for writing the titles. If there are various languages in the titles, the most used has to be chosen. The language at the track level should be the one used in the song. If the language does not appear in the list, the most similar one - for geographic, political or cultural proximity - must be assigned.
- Assigning no-linguistic content. If a track is instrumental or the language is invented, then it must be indicated with the option “no linguistic content”. At the album level, the language indicated must be the one of the metadata. Even if the songs are instrumental, a particular language must be selected for the album, unless the whole album uses an invented language or symbols as titles.
- Alphabet characters. Each individual metadata field can only include one specific. Some languages demand only one specific alphabet; please, check the following points for further information. For instance: if the predominant alphabet is the Western, then all the metadata must be written with it as long as there are no contradictions with specific language rules - Asian characters, for instance, would not be allowed in the same specific field (see: the title of a track).
- Side-by-side translations. Side-by-side translations are not allowed. This means, translating the title to any language and including it in its own title as a part of it. For instance: “이카루스” is correct, but “Rise 이카루스” will not be accepted.
- Layout for specific languages. Some languages might require some specific capitalization or a particular use of characters. Check the list below for further information. Please note that not all languages are included in these rules; contact our Support team for more information about any which is not in this list:
- English. The titles for albums and tracks in the English language should have a title case format (all words are capitalized except articles and conjunctions). In addition, the first letter of the words before and after a hyphen (“-”), a slash (“/”) or a colon (“:”) and at the beginning and the end of a sentence should be capitalized. The following words should always be lowercase unless they are part of a phrasal verb: a, an, and, as, but, for, from, nor, of, or, so, the, to, y yet, at, by, for, from, in, into, of, off, on, onto, out, over, to, up, with. For instance: “In the Still of the Night”.
- Spanish and Portuguese. For albums and tracks’ titles in Spanish and Portuguese, you can decide on either title or sentence casing, as long as the format is consistent throughout the entire album and the first letter of each sentence is uppercase and proper names are correctly capitalized. In addition, the first letter of the words before and after a hyphen (“-”), a slash (“/”) or a colon (“:”) and at the beginning and the end of a sentence should be capitalized. The following words in Spanish should always be in lower case: a, al, de, del, e, el, en, la, las, le, les, lo, los, o, para, por, un, una, y; and the following words in Portuguese should always be in lower case: a, à, ao, aos, as, às, da, das, de, das, do, dos, e, em, na, nas, no, nas, nos, o, os, ou, para, pela, pelas, pelo, pelos, pra, pro, por, um, uma.
- Scandinavian languages, French, Italian and Latin. All of these languages must be in sentence format, therefore only the first word of the sentence should have the first letter capitalized, all others must be lowercase, except in cases of proper names and/or abbreviations.
- German. German albums and tracks’ titles must use sentence case, following, in this case, the rules of capitalization of this language.
- Russian, Belarusian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian. The releases in these languages must use the Cyrillic alphabet. Transliterations are not allowed, and the titles should follow the sentence format.
- Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai. The metadata must be introduced accordingly to the original alphabet. However, the artists’ names in Chinese and Korean should be written in English or transliterated, whenever possible.
- Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Tamazight, Hindi and Urdu. Metadata in Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Tamazight, Hindi and Urdu can be chosen between Western and the original alphabet as long as they are consistently used all along with the release.
- Vietnamese. The releases in Vietnamese should be written with Western characters and correctly accentuated.
- Supported languages. Language support varies from DSP to DSP. We currently support every language that iTunes supports and some more. Most DPSs only use language information for internal search engine settings and do not specify other uses in their specs. Our team adds more languages from time to time, but if they are not supported they will need to be mapped and converted to others that iTunes and other DSPs support - for instance: Basque is mapped as Spanish; Luganda and no-linguistic content as English, Cantonese as Chinese and Tamazight as Arabic. iTunes supported languages are available on the platform - check the list on tab 1 of your release. You can find more information here, and in case the one you need is not available, please contact our Support team.
Lyrics policy for iTunes
For several channels, especially iTunes, lyrics are one of the most relevant fields in metadata. If you wish to deliver your content to this channel, please, make sure your content includes lyrics and that they are written correctly - unless the tracks are instrumental, in which case you must leave the lyrics box at the track level blank.
- Currently supported languages. Currently, the languages our QC Team supports are English, Spanish, French, Catalan, Portuguese and Italian. Other languages can still be used and included, but if they do not follow these requirements strictly, they will not be accepted by iTunes and they will probably be deleted from the platform. Please, remember that instrumental music cannot include lyrics and its language must always be “no linguistic content”. Do not write “Instrumental” or any similar expressions in the lyrics box at the track level.
- Structure. Lyrics must reflect the structure of the song. Each sentence must be separated by a single space, and each different section (for instance: chorus, verse, bridge…) must be separated by a double space. The first letter of every word at the beginning of a sentence or a parenthesis must be written in capital letters, as well as proper nouns. Please, do not include additional information to the lyrics, such as the chords, the title of the track, the composers, the section of the song, etc. Also, do not write the lyrics only in capital letters or lowercase.
- Punctuation. The punctuation has to follow the grammar rules of each language. However, stops and commas are not allowed at the end of a sentence, nor are repeated punctuation (like “??” or “!!”). Ellipses (“...”) are only permitted to indicate a fade out. Expressions like “x2” or “etc.” are forbidden when it comes to repetition, the lyrics should be written as many times as they are expressed or they should finish with an ellipse if they fade out.
- Secondary content. All the lyrics that are related to the main content of the song must be transcribed.
- Background vocals must be indicated in parenthesis.
- Live speeches must be written as long as they do not interfere in the flow of the song. This is only applied to live content.
- Non-word vocal sounds must be transcribed unless it is improvisation (like scatting) or sound effects.
- Spoken word content must not be transcribed.
- Explicit content must be written as it is heard in the song. Please, do not censor the words unless they are actually censored in the song itself. If a part of a full word has been censored in the audio, the part that is missing has to be replaced by asterisks (for instance, “f***”).
- If there are different languages on the same track, they have to be transcribed following each language rule (not phonetically).
See an example below of a correct way of writing lyrics:
I live for the applause, applause, applause
I live for the applause-plause
Live for the applause-plause
Live for the way that you cheer and scream for me
The applause, applause, applause
Give me that thing that I love (I'll turn the lights out)
Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch (make it real loud)
Give me that thing that I love (I'll turn the lights out)
Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch (make it real loud)
(A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E) Make it real loud
(A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E) Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch
(A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E) Make it real loud
(A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E) Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch
Please, keep in mind that, since these are optional and not mandatory aspects of a release, our team reserves the right to erase the lyrics of a track or a whole release in case these rules are not strictly followed.
Label, licensing, prices, territories and release date
- Editorial or recording label. You must specify the name of the label of your release. If your release is not linked to any record label, you can specify a custom label name or alias (such as your artist name) of your choice in this field. Make sure that the name provided is not misleading or deceptive, nor violate the laws of intellectual property. Make sure that the name is not too long, since it may cause metadata conflicts in certain DSPs.
- Price categories. You must choose a price category from one of four price categories. This does not ensure an identical price in all channels, since they have the right to determine the final price of a product, depending on the territory and currency of a sale. The categories are indicative of the range of price you desire for each album individually. The price categories given in the platform are:
- Budget: equivalent to an economic or the most affordable price.
- Mid: equivalent to a standard or common prince in each channel.
- Full: equivalent to a higher or more expensive than the standard price.
- Premium: equivalent to the more expensive price.
- Release dates. Depending on the date indicated in this section, the album will be published in the channels sooner or later. If the album is distributed previously to the release date, it will not be made public until the date indicated before the distribution. If the album is distributed after the release date, it will be directly published within the 2 to 10 workdays, from its distribution.
- License. You can choose between two main types of license: Copyright or Creative Commons. Copyright ensures full protection of all intellectual rights for each rights’ owner or holder, while Creative Commons has several types of licenses for different types of interests (for more information, please visit http://creativecommons.org/). For publication of an album, it is required to indicate (C) or © (the Copyright owner or holder, who is generally the author of the compositional work); and (P) or ℗ (the sound recording owner or publishing rights holder, who is generally the producer or record label). In the case of groups or bands where rights are shared, the group or band name can be indicated in both cases. Please, keep in mind the License holder should be coincident between the “Licenses” tab and the license holder of each track of the release.
- Territories. If you do not have publishing rights for all territories, or it is not of your interest to publish the content in all territories, you may indicate the desired territories in the “License” section in the platform.
Cover art requirements
- Quality of images. The cover art must not be any of the following: blurry, pixelated, mismatched, cut, misaligned, rotated, incorrect, stretched, mirrored or have any other quality issues. Also, the textual information given must be fairly readable, trying to avoid designs that might difficult its comprehensions, like smaller size texts or similar concepts.
- Accuracy. The information shown in the cover image should always match the information of the metadata as accurately as possible and without any class of abbreviation. Any information provided in the cover art must be justified in the metadata, but not strictly vice-versa. Please note that if the release is a single that belongs to an album, the name of the album cannot appear on the cover unless it is coherently justified on the metadata.
- Dimensions and file format. The cover art of all releases must accomplish all following requirements:
- Proportion: exactly squared.
- Minimum size: 3000 x 3000 px.
- Maximum size: 5000 x 5000 px.
- Accepted formats: JPG, TIFF or PNG.
- Mode: RGB (CMYK is not available).
- Maximum size of the file: 36 MB.
- White covers. Full-white covers are not allowed because channels tend to interpret it as an error.
- Links and web pages. The cover art can not contain website addresses, websites that sell music mentions to social media, logos of any stores or services related to entertainment, mentions to physical formats, video formats or any external reference of the digital release.
- Telephone or email addresses. The cover art can not contain either telephone numbers or email addresses.
- Credits and collaborations. The cover art can include credits or other artists’ names, who are not the primary artists of the release as long as they are justified in the metadata. But at the same time, it is not permitted to show arbitrarily in the cover art only one of these artists and not the others, whichever is their role (producers, featuring artists, composers, lyricists, etc.). If one of them appears, the rest of the artists with the same role must appear too. The name of the primary artist must appear on the cover so that the other roles can appear on it.
- Tracklisting. The cover art can not contain the tracklisting.
- Descriptions and biographies. The cover art must not include album descriptions or artists biographies.
- Pricing. The cover art can not include references to the pricing, or any information for promotional purposes.
- Digital, physical and video format. The cover art can not include references to it being a digital or physical product (such as “Online”, “CD”, “Compact Disc”, etc.). Mentions to the video or audio format like “Stereo”, “Mono” etc. are neither allowed. Because of the latter, it is necessary to avoid the inclusion of CDs, cassettes and vinyl on the cover. Also, the cover art must not contain references to contents that are missing in the album, such as “Includes DVD” or “Includes Lyrics”. Similar expressions like “All Rights Reserved”, “Registered Product”, “Under Copyright”, etc., can not be used. Not even other redundant or unnecessary information. The release reference number can appear on the cover, but not the UPC or any of the tracks’ ISRC codes.
- Translations and use of special characters. The use of non-occidental or special characters as mere ornaments (like Arabic characters, Chinese characters or Greek letters) must be avoided unless they guard an explicit relation with the content. Also, side-by-side translations or transliterations of the content are not allowed. The information must be written following the same structure and alphabet as in the metadata.
- Misleading information. The cover art must not be misleading. For example, prominently depicting or referencing an artist even though the artist does not perform on the album. Some of these cases might end up requiring certain licenses or in extreme cases leading to applying our Anti-Fraud Policy.
- Parental Advisory tag. If the cover art is explicit the Parental Advisory tag must be added to it and marked as explicit in the metadata at the album level. Note that in case the lyrics are the only actual explicit content in the release and the cover art does not depict anything particularly explicit, its use will not be mandatory. In case of using this logo, at least one of the tracks in the release must be marked as “explicit”.
- Pornography and violent content. The cover art can not include contents that may be racist, pornographic, or glorify or trivialize violence. As previously mentioned in our “Explicit content” block, this content might require changes in order to be approved. Check the section for further details.
- Offensive symbolism. The cover art must not contain any kind of symbolism that offends a specific group of people or ethnicities, such as Nazi symbolism, restricted by the Strafgesetzbuch section 86a. For more information take a look at the “Explicit content” block.
- Logos, images and registered brands. All the logos (including the involved texts) must be justified in the metadata. The logos can be related to the artists, producers, labels or other information involved with the musical product. It may be necessary to report the corresponding documentation to maintain registered brands, private images or references to companies or institutions in order to demonstrate the user is allowed to use them.
- Designers, photographers and other mentions to the cover artists are not allowed.
- Registered brands and private or personal images (from people or companies) can not be included in the cover art. The only exceptions are when they are visually irrelevant (being part of the background), they accomplish a relevant role (i.e.: in a musical) or are justified in the metadata (for example, as the producer or the publisher).
- Mastering. In order to ensure good audio quality and meet the standards of today’s music industry, all audio files must have undergone professional mastering before their distribution.
- Format and file requirements. The audio files must meet the following requirements:
- Format: FLAC or WAV.
- Requirements: Minimum of 16 bit, 44.1 kHz, stereo / Recommended 24 bits, 48Khz or 24 bits 96Khz.
Here you can find further information about Audio formats.
- Audio quality. The audio files should not have any sound imperfection. Audio files containing any background noise and other sound imperfections will not be accepted for distribution. Silence, cuts, pauses or extended silences are not allowed. The audio cannot have more than 10 seconds of silence neither in the beginning nor at the end of the track. Other kinds of silences, such as cuts, long pauses or sudden endings, should be avoided too as they can be misunderstood as audio errors.
- Hidden tracks and ghost tracks. This content must be included separately in digital releases, indicating the corresponding expression in the version field. The silence rules apply equally to this kind of audio.
- Silent tracks and white noise tracks. This kind of audio is not allowed. Its use will be interpreted as fraudulent, leading to the application of our Anti-Fraud Policy.
- Audios and titles. Audio files and track titles must always match. Audios uploaded to non-corresponding tracks are not accepted.
- Minimum length. If it is a single, a song has to last more than 30 seconds, otherwise, the channels can interpret the release as click fraud. If it is part of an EP or album it can be permitted as long as it has coherence with the whole release or if the song is an intro, interlude or an outro. Generally speaking, unless it is artistically justified, we recommend audios longer than a minute.
- Previews, commercials, snippets and trailers. None of these formats is permitted.
- The policy of use of samples. In case your track uses phonographic material from any third party, check the following article to check if you meet the requirements for the distribution of this content. Please, note that our team might ask for licenses to authorize the distribution of the affected material as a mandatory condition for its distribution.
- Covers. In case any of the tracks distributed are a version or cover, please, check this article. Besides the information given there, bear in mind the following:
- Composers and lyricists. The use of both roles will be mandatory in all the covers - unless the track is instrumental, in which case only the composer must be filled. The name must be the complete legal name of the authors; avoid artistic names or band names. Remember that, in case the track is covering a popular song whose author is unknown, you can use names such as “Popular”, “Traditional”, “Anonymous” or similar.
- Transformations. All the tracks that transform any dimension of the original composition (lyrics, translations, structures, substantial arrangements, melody, harmony, medleys, etc.) will require a mandatory license in order to be distributed.
- Titles. The name of the original composition must be respected unless the license presented says otherwise.
- Tributes. The titles included in a cover or tribute album must not make any reference to the original artist. Do not use phrases such as: “Original Performed by”, “In the Style of”, “Tribute to”, “Cover of” or similar.
- Deceptive or misleading information. Tribute or cover albums must not be deceptive or misleading. Do not use genres, popular song lyrics or the original artist names as the album title, track title or artist name. Content that is considered deceptive or misleading will not be accepted and might lead to the application of our Anti-Fraud Policy.
- Remixes, mashups and related formats. For original work, licenses will not be required. For remixes of other artists, licenses will be mandatory. In order to obtain them, follow the indications given in the “Policy of use of samples”.
- Continuous mixes and DJ sets. DJ sets (with own or other artists tracks) and continuous mixes (that is, putting all the tracks of an album together in a single track creating a continuous mix) are not allowed.
- Public domain recordings. Distribution of this kind of content is not permitted. Our team reserves the right to remove it in case it is detected.
- Sound-alikes. Sound-alikes (cover songs that sound like copies of the original) or deceptive/misleading audio will not be accepted and might lead to the application of our Anti-Fraud Policy.
II. STYLE GUIDE FOR RINGTONES
General rules of the Content Style Guide apply for ringtones except for song length. However, there are some specific exceptions:
- Ringtones on music albums. Ringtones must be submitted as ringtones, not songs. Music albums must not include ringtone tracks.
- Ringtone information. Albums, artists or track titles must not include any generic descriptive language for designating artists or titles, such as “Tone", “Alert Tone", "Text Tone", “Ringtone", “Ringtone Version", "Video Game", "Game Music", and so on. Distributing fake content of fake artists will lead to the application of our Anti-Fraud Policy.
- Karaoke ringtones. Karaoke ringtones are not accepted.
- Classical Music ringtones. Ringtones of classical music must include the composer in the title. Standard nicknames for classical pieces are accepted, like for instance “Beethoven: Symphony No. 1” or “Beethoven: Moonlight”.
III. STYLE GUIDE FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC
General rules of style are still applied in Classical Music releases. Nevertheless, there are some extra considerations that must be noted for this kind of release:
- Distribution for iTunes is not allowed in general. However, we allow the distribution of content for this channel for users and artists whose compositions are of their own. Contact our Support team for further information regarding this question. The rest of the channels are available for regular distribution.
- Accuracy in the metadata. Metadata must be expressed with extreme precision, accuracy and consistency all along with the release, especially regarding standard repertoires of Classical Music. The use of formulas, abbreviations, numbers and specific expressions must be expressed strictly and consistently following the official titles of the pieces. We recommend using IMSLP for this purpose.
- IMSLP. As a general rule, we use IMSLP as a source for metadata of Classical Music. The information provided here about the name of the composers and the titles of the compositions is the one that will be used as a standard.
- If the content is not featured in this catalogue, please, check previous versions of this work in the channels and try to adapt the titles following our rules.
- If the content cannot be found anywhere and you have doubts about the expression of the titles, please, contact our Support Team.
- Language. The use of the language at the album level must be one of the titles. Although there can be variations of the language depending on each case, English is normally used as the standard language for the official titles of the Classical compositions. We recommend as long as it is possible to prioritize the use of this language among the others. Language at the track level must be the one of the audio. We remind you that instrumental tracks must be marked as “no linguistic content” at each track level.
- Capitalization of titles that include many languages. The capitalization of each part of the title must respect the capitalization rules included in this Style Guide regarding languages. If - for instance - a title includes a part of it in English and another part in Italian - such as tempi, dynamics etc. -, each part must be written with its corresponding language rules. For further information, please, check the block “Language, capitalization and writing rules”.
- Primary artists. Ensembles, choirs, soloists and orchestras can be primary artists. A conductor can be a primary artist too as long as he is also the composer of the pieces. Please, do not include composers as primary artists unless the specified genre is “Classical/Modern Compositions”. Unless composers have a participant role in a release they cannot be mentioned as primary artists, nor the rest of the given roles but composers.
- Composers. It is mandatory to indicate at least one composer at the album level. If there are four or more composers at the album level, it is mandatory to use the expression “Various Composers”. Please, do not use this tag at the track level nor in non-Classical releases.
- Titles. Titles of the albums must follow the following formula: “Surname(s) of the composer(s): Name(s) of the piece(s) [or] Name of the release”. If there are four or more composers, composers must not be indicated in the title of the release, nor the titles of the pieces included. In those cases, it is highly recommendable to use an original title. See some examples below:
- Casals: Easy Classica
- Rossini: Ouvertures
- Mozart: The Complete Piano Concertos
- Composers. It is mandatory to indicate a composer for each piece. If the release features only a composer, the name of this composer must not be indicated in the title of the track. If there are two or more, the surname(s) of the composer(s) must be introduced at the beginning of the title. If the composer of the piece is unknown, please, indicate as a composer “Anonymous” - this name can be adapted depending on the language of the metadata. It is also mandatory to indicate the expression “Anonymous” at the start of the title if there are two or more composers in the release.
- Titles. Titles should follow the following formula; please, notice this formula is a standard and its application will depend on each specific case. If the official title does not include some of these tags do not include them. Try to adopt this formula as much as it is possible respecting the essence of the original piece: “Surname(s) of the composer(s): Official name of the piece, Genre of the piece [and/or] Key of the piece, Catalogue number [or] Opus: Number of the movement. Name of the movement [and/or] Dynamics of the movement”. See some examples below:
- Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 562
- Schoenberg: Ode to Napoleon Bounaparte
- Albéniz: España, Op. 165: III. Malagueña
- Further considerations:
- The use of this formula is meant to be used for standard Classical repertoires. The application of this is more flexible in Modern and Contemporary compositions.
- It is important that the use of the numbers, abbreviations and slang - such as “Arr.”, “Op.”, “BWV” etc. - remains consistent all along with the release. Please, keep in mind it is the same for European - Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si - and American - C, D, E, F, G, A, B - notation systems.
- Please, in case the use of “flat” and “sharp” is mandatory in the use of the piece, write down the word instead of their symbols - “♭” and “#”.
- Even if the tonality of a piece is minor, please, write down the word with the first letter in capital letters - “Minor” instead of “minor”. Language rules are applied the same way in all the releases.
- Instrumental pieces still have to include the tag “no linguistic content” at the language field of each track - if it is required.
Arrangements, variations and homages
- Arrangements. If an arrangement of a preexisting piece is done, it must be indicated as an arrangement at the track version level and define which instrument(s) execute it. In case there is a specific arranger for that piece, they must be mentioned with their corresponding role in the metadata of the track.
- Variations. Unless the original piece is by itself a variation, variations done by the own artist must be named at the track version level.
- Tributes. Hommages and the use of the corresponding expressions for that purpose are allowed only for Classical music and its subgenres.
Requirements for cover images are the same as for current releases. Check the “Cover art requirements” block for further information. As an exception for Classical Music, we accept the name of the instrument of the performer or the name of the role in the cover; this is also valid for conductors, arrangers and other related roles.