Lukas handles support in English. He’s prepared some answers and detailed step by step guides to common issues below.
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No, the agreement is on a release basis and not for your entire catalogue. However, you can’t distribute your release with another digital distributor at the same time.
We are happy that you are considering redistributing your music with us.
Before you do that, please contact your current distributor and ask them to take down your content from all stores, since moving your content while it’s live is not possible. After this has happened, you can create your releases once more with us.
- One page contract: We want musicians to focus on what they do best – making music!
- No minimum payout amount needed: You can request a payout via PayPal, credit card or bank transfer as soon as you received your income.
- We have a team that speaks five languages (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish) and get back to you within 24 hours from Monday to Friday.
- We provide you with free ISRC codes for your tracks and a free digital barcode for your release.
- Take down your release from the shops anytime free of charge.
- You pay only once for your release and decide, if you pay commission to us. There is no annual fee for your release….
- …apart from Pro Unlimited. With an annual fee you can release as much as you want.
You can terminate the agreement whenever you. You must:
- Send us an email.
- Make sure all outstanding invoices are paid.
The trend charts in your dashboard show the recent downloads and streams for your music.
Please note that those numbers are preliminary:
- Some shops allow customers to return their purchase within a specific timeframe
- Some shops offer the cancellation of a subscription after a customer listened to your music
- Months might not be evenly divided into weeks and some shops account months not according to calendar months, which might lead to discrepancies
We pay within one week of a payout request.
Sales are uploaded monthly but you can see up-to-date sales data with our Daily Trend Charts.
Sales revenues for a release are only made available by the shops three months after they occur. Any data shown will therefore be at least 3 months old. If a digital release date occurs after the 20th of a month it could result in the data being delayed by a further month. For more up to date data please consult your Daily Trend Charts.
Here is a quick example for iTunes. These calculations are only examples and will change with exchange rate, inflation etc, and are not legally binding.
|Deductions (iTunes commission, publishing (GEMA, MCPS, ASCAP etc), partner distribution fees, iMusician commission)|
The explicit logo is applied when the lyrics or content of a song contain one or more of the following criteria which could be considered offensive or unsuitable for children:
- Strong language (one word is already enough)
- References to violence, physical, or mental abuse
- References of sexualised behaviour
- Discriminatory language
Please make sure to mark the tracks/your release as explicit, if one of the above statement applies. iTunes may hide your sale in the store if the content is not marked accordingly.
As soon as you mark one track as explicit on your album, the entire release will be marked ‘explicit’ in most of the shops later on.
Explicit content is not sold in Belarus, Burkina Faso, India, Nepal and Uzbekistan iTunes territories.
Good news: We distribute all kind of genres including Audiobooks!
Check out our blog article How to distribute a cover? to make sure that your release will be accepted.
Yes, if you choose Rockstar, iTunesPro or Pro Unlimited for your release.
For the tracks, you can choose between the following options:
- low (0.69 $/€ per track)
- medium (0.99 $/€ per track)
- high (1.29 $/€ per track)
Please note that not all shops are offering the track price option.
Depending on the type prices for your release start at EUR 1.99 and can go up to EUR 12.99.
Please contact us via email immediately after your release has been created in order to set it up.
There are three different release types you can choose:
- Up to 3 tracks
- Up to 7 tracks
- Up to 99 tracks
The prices per release can be found here.
iTunes has its own rules when it comes to displaying releases, so even if we send your release as an EP, it might be marked as a Single on iTunes – therefore please double-check the rules below:
- Up to 3 tracks, total release length less than 30 minutes, all individual tracks less than 10 minutes
- 1 – 3 tracks, total release length less than 30 minutes, one or more tracks with more than 10 minutes OR
- 4 – 6 tracks, total release length less than 30 minutes
- 7 or more tracks OR
- 1 – 6 tracks and total release length more than 30 minutes
If your image is already less than 2000 x 2000 pixels, resizing it will not help as the image will become unsharp and lose quality. In this case we recommend to start with a larger image.
- You can use ‘Paint’ to resize your image
- Open your image in Paint, select the whole image by clicking ‘CTRL + A’
- Click on ‘Resize’ in the top menu
- Select pixels and choose the desired size (at least 2000 x 2000 pixels) for your artwork
- Open your image in ‘Preview’
- Click on ‘Tools’ in the top menu and select ‘Adjust Size…’
- Select pixels and choose the desired size (at least 2000 x 2000 pixels) for your artwork
Important for Mac: When sending images, Mail makes them smaller. Make sure to select ‘Original size’ in the dropdown in your email before sending.
Just contact us by email and your release will be taken down within 2 to 3 weeks.
Yes, in most cases this can be done.
Please note that it is not possible to change:
- The number of tracks in your release
- The track order
- The ISRCs and the barcode once your release has been approved and delivered
All other modifications are possible and cost 10 EUR.
In case you want to change your release title or artist name, please keep in mind that we also need to update the artwork for your release. Therefore, please send us the new artwork with your change request.
- Normal Delivery (2 weeks)
- Express Delivery (1 week)
- 48 hours Delivery
The artwork must meet the following requirements: minimum 2000 x 2000 pixels (we recommend 3000 x 3000), JPG and sharp when viewing it on 100%. The exact “Artist name” and “Album name” must:
- Be displayed on the cover.
- Must match with the data you’ve entered.
We do not accept:
- Blurry and pixelated images.
- Website URLs.
- Social network symbols.
- Email addresses.
- Pornographic images.
- Copyrighted images.
Yes, both barcode and ISRCs are needed in any case and we provide them for free.
It is an internationally unique code for music which we need to track your song through the worldwide shop system. If you do not have one, we will provide you one. ISRCs described in Wikipedia »
No. Because digital distributors deliver to many of the same shops, this will cause a licensing conflict and your album can be taken off line.
However, if you can do “one-off” deals with individual shops to which we do not deliver, this will not be a problem.
Some shops do show the composers/lyricists for a release and it is mandatory to provide the real names here, artist names are not allowed and unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about this.
Please note that iTunes and other shops do also display the copyright owners.
Yes, pre-orders are possible on iTunes for Rockstar releases and Pro Unlimited users free of charge.
Additionally, we offer this and many other features in our iTunesPro package.
In order to plan the pre-order, we need a notice period of at least 4 weeks.
Once your release is completed, please contact us immediately with the following information via :
iTunes, Deezer and Spotify work with so called artist IDs. In case you don’t have a unique artist name it can happen that this is getting mixed up with already existing artist profiles.
We can ask them to create a new artist ID for you.
For this, please send us the following information via :
‘Mastered for iTunes’ is a label created for music that has been mastered and quality-tested for publication in iTunes. The requirements iTunes sets are applying to regular digital audio mastering as well, so you as an artist are making sure that your music is mastered well.
To receive this label, check if your mastering engineer is an approved MFiT mastering engineer.
We are able to distribute your music and get the label later on. To make sure that your tracks have been mastered by an approved mastering engineer, we need the name, address of the Studio and the name, email and phone number of the person who mastered your track, as the studio needs to be certified by Apple.
Our partner LANDR offers MfiT for HD WAV mastered tracks, where the mastering gets approved by a qualified mastering engineer.
With a Spotify Verified Artist Page you can claim your discography by merging it with your own user profile, which you have to create for your artist. This also means that you can customise your profile picture and banner on your artist page.
Spotify requests artists to fulfill certain requirements before getting verified:
- More than 250 followers
- Have music on the service, and
- Have a working username that is unique to the artist
In case the criterias fit, you can apply here.
Absolutely. You can set this in the registration.
Yes, you will receive a notification when your release goes live.
However, none of the shops provide links to your release yet, but we are working on making this available soon.
The numbers change weekly as we deal with more and more shops but in all, we have access to over 200 shops which you will find here. This does not mean that your music will appear in all shops because:
- some are boutique shops that only take a certain genre,
- other shops screen the music and take only a selection.
However, shops like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, 7Digital and Napster generally do not refuse any music.
- Songs with questionable content (eg racist or unethical lyrics).
- Uncleared samples.
- Edits that have not been cleared by the original publishers.
- Original recordings that become public domain.
The maximum size for a track is 1 GB.
We only accept WAV files in stereo with 16 bit and 44.1 kHz.
If you uploaded your video before the release of your album with us, it can take up to four weeks until YouTube recognises the content. If you upload your video after your music has been released, it is usually monetised one or two days after the upload.
The copyright claim is made by us on your behalf, which means that we collect the royalties on your behalf. iMusician does not claim the copyright of any artist tracks.
You might not see ads for videos that have been uploaded on your own channel. Also YouTube does recognise if ads were displayed on other videos you watched previously, so it does not show ads again. In some countries YouTube also does not display ads due to lawsuits between them and collecting societies, even if you are not member of a collecting society.
They are part of the monthly sales upload, labelled as YouTube content ID and appear in streams. However, they do not appear in the trend charts.
- Bank transfer
Yes, you can also release for as many artists or labels as you want.
As many releases as you want. All you pay is the yearly fee.
If you have an “exclusive artist deal”, then you can not work with us until that deal is over. If you have signed off some of your songs in a “single song assignment”, you can use us for all your other songs.
It is what you would call an “exclusive single song assignment” so we look after one song at a time.
Yes. But we would suggest letting your artists administer their own iMusician accounts while still maintaining your own ability to override your artists’ income.
Not at all. We can still do the administration on your behalf as well as help you get signed up to a collection society.
Our aim is to make life easier for you. As a musician, you have to fill out the same information for:
Neighbourig rights collection.
Not only is it a drag doing it over and over again, but quite often, you make mistakes or register things sub-optimally.
But finally: isn’t your time better used making music?
No. We direct as much of your royalties to your collection society and direct to your bank. In some cases, we may need to receive payments on your behalf but these would be exceptions to the rule.
We take 1% royalty because collection societies have been made for the “rights holders in the music” so iMusician may have a legal problem accessing your registration if we have no stake in your music.
This is not the case at all collection societies but having this 1% makes our business safer. If it wasn’t for this, we would take 0%.
No. We don’t call ourselves a publisher because we only do the “Administration” part. We call ourselves a “Publishing Administrator”.
>A normal music professional would not pay a publisher more than 15 – 20% but many musicians end up paying closer to 50%. Why? Because they have not been better informed.
There are no rules but we would suggest anything over 20% is not fair. Having said that, if you have a very pro-active publisher who gives you a large advance, 50% might be worth it.
If you are offered a deal where your publisher is only doing administration (not paying advances or looking for additional licensing opportunities), then we would suggest proceeding with caution.
Publishers have 4 main functions:
- Administrate your songs.
- Pay an advance.
- Chase outstanding payments.
- Find additional income.
The deal is “open end” which means all you do is notify us in writing that you want cancel your iMusician account and it’s done.
- Publishing is collected automatically so even if you haven’t registered yourself or your music, if someone plays your song, then collection societies collect or reserve money for you.
- If royalties are left uncollected for (usually) more than 5 – 10 years, you are likely to lose it.
- By registering your music through iMusician, we register your music in the collection system and try to plug up any holes where you might be losing income.
When music is used commercially, the users must pay and this includes:
- Venues where you play live pay about 10% of their ticket turnover.
- Restaurants, hotels, shops who play music pay based on the number of seats or floor space.
- iTunes and download shops pay about 10% of every download.
- Streaming services pay about a fixed amount per stream.
- Labels pay about 10% of the Published Price to Dealers (PPD) when they press CDs.
- Radios & TVpay a variable rate for every minute of your song played on radio, TV or film.
- YouTube and online media pay a lower rate per minute.
- Advertisers on TV and radio pay a percentage of their media budget.
- In some countries, there is even a charge for blank media like CD-Rs, harddrives and even iPods and iPhones.
This is a royalty for the writers of the lyrics, melody and arrangement of a song.When a person or company uses music commercially (ie: involving money), then they must pay a “royalty” to the writers via “collection societies” like GEMA (DE), SACEM (FR), SUISA (CH), MCPS/PRS (GB) or ASCAP (US) etc.click for full list »
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