The Cover Art is one of the main reasons artists have their music release rejected by the stores. Please follow these requirements correctly to avoid delays and/or rejections:
● It needs a minimum of 72 DPI (We recommend 300 DPI), JPG or PNG image file, and a minimum of 3000×3000 pixels (no more than 5000×5000 pixels), and perfect square. Why? That helps your release to be accepted by all stores. e.g., we have seen releases that were approved by other stores and rejected on Apple Music/iTunes because of that (less than 300 DPI). We want your release to be availabe in as many stores as possible;
● You don’t need to include a text in your Cover Art. If you do include a text, you’re only allowed to include the same info as it is available in the metadata. For example, if your artist name is “Coldplay” and the title of your release is “Yellow,” you can only use these two texts (literally as it is) on your Cover Art. You can’t put any symbols or logos either. Here’s an example that will be rejected: “Yellow by Coldplay:.”
● No websites or social media handles, no references to physical packaging like a CD logo, nor to a digital product, No brands nor advertising, no images from other copyright holders are allowed without written permission, no year or dates, no store names nor special offers, no barcodes, no tilted or cropped images, you can’t put TAD Watermark or “Made with Album Art,” don’t use the Parental Advisory/Explicit Content logo on the cover unless one of the tracks is marked as explicit, The “Restricted logo” is solely used for R rated movies, not music;
● If you don’t comply with these requirements, your distribution will be delayed because we’ll have to ask you to fix the errors. We’re only able to distribute your music on time if you provide it correctly, otherwise it may be rejected by the stores.
See an example of what is allowed and not allowed.
A well-designed room can be the difference between pleasure and headaches down the road. Whether you have a big or small room available for your home recording studio, make sure to do whatever you can to make it organized and efficient.
Don’t forget how much noise is actually around you, and once you hear it through a microphone, all that noise is magnified 100 times. Following you’ll find some examples of noises that could easily ruin your recordings: Airplanes, Cars, Neighbors, Birds, Winds, Rain, Plumbing. So pay close attention to which rooms are the worst noise offenders, and choose the quietest one in your home. Important! In addition to avoiding outside noises, you must also realize that you will undoubtedly be a source of noise. The ideal place is somewhere where you could make as much noise as you want, at any time of the day. Unfortunately, since very few rooms are like that, some soundproofing may be required.
The ideal place is somewhere where you could make as much noise as you want.
For your recording room, hard flooring such as concrete, tile, or hardwood would be the best option. Note. A carpeted room absorbs high frequencies, but it does not absorb low ones, which hurts the acoustics. Once you’ve chosen a room, it’s time to prepare it for the project ahead. So before we start adding new things into the room, let’s take everything that we don’t need out. Make sure to clear off all floor space, take everything off the walls, and remove anything that vibrates. If the room also doubles as your bedroom, living room, and so on, you may not be able to clear it out completely, but anything that can be removed, should be removed.
By treating your room acoustically, both by absorption and diffusion you will create better recordings and mixes. By reducing reflections and flattening the frequency response of your room to the best of your abilities, you will hear the instruments better; you won’t have echoes and reflections bothering your sound, and you will have a more controlled home studio.
Things You Should Do Before Considering A Major Radio Plugging Campaign
Although we may have a huge network and knowledge to get your music release in the hands of professionals and major radio stations, no one can guarantee that your music will be played, not even a major record label. So in case you are an independent artist in the beginning of your career, here are some tips for you to take before you hire us or any other company to promote your music within major radio stations and/or TV networks (or any commercial network).
If you don’t have a manager behind you, make sure you can keep your image as strong as possible. There are several ways to do that, but one of the basic things you should do would be:
A) Have a beautiful and professional website – this is something you should invest some time. If you don’t have knowledge of CSS, HTML, etc., try to hire someone and/ or ask a friend who may know it well enough to build your website instead of using one of those drag and drop builders. Although you may be able to build beautiful websites with those drag and drop tools, you will get limited at some point (including and not limited to SEO), and at the end it may cost you a lot more. Maybe you can put this friend as a member of your project (think of this as a department from your record label), even if he or she doesn’t know anything about music. It could be a start to make your music career sound and look more professional. You will need it! Pay attention to details, such as the quality of images (only use high-resolution pics). If you need your photo on the website, avoid using your phone to take the photos. Think like a professional.
B) Have a huge number of followers on social media.
C) Whether you have one or multiple digital music releases on Spotify and other music digital platforms, make sure you have a huge number of plays to show and as many followers as possible.
D) A professional press release for each music release you may have (written by a professional if possible). Make sure to distribute it to as many media outlets as possible. Don’t have much money? No problem. Use your creativity by searching on the internet and even using services like Fiverr – if you search you may find a great service for a small price and with the same results (or at least close) as if you have hired a top PR firm.
E) Get as many reviews as you can (blogs, magazines.). Use SEO techniques to ignite it as well. SEO can be quite tricky and expensive, and assuming you don’t have any knowledge of it nor a real budget, and at the same time you need a start point ASAP, you should definitely try some freelancers on seoclerk.com. Just be careful with who you hire to do that, as it might hurt you more than get you the help you need. However, it’s possible to find a legitimate one there if you look.
Think like a professional.
The bottom line is: even if you’re not that big name yet, make it appear that you are. Those small things that you may not take seriously will count. E.g, the cover art you design for your releases, the quality of your recordings, and so on. Be careful with things that you may say to someone or even a simple comment online. Be cautious. For example, be careful with things you may write in your music release notes that you distribute to all DSPs. That doesn’t mean you can’t be natural, but don’t be too much natural (if you will). Go straight to the point and don’t talk about things that have nothing to do with your music release or may lose the focus. Remember that you will have other opportunities to talk about other stuff (e.g., in an interview). Anyway, if you don’t have a professional PR to write these things for you, at least try to think how a major label or management company would put this information out there. Review everything twice before you publish them. You have got to be as professional as possible, or it may sound like just one more DIY release that doesn’t make any impact. The idea is to make a great impression on the other side, meaning fans and music industry professionals such as record labels, radio stations, DSPs, journalists, and the list goes on and on.
Well, doing these things may not be enough sometimes, but at least you will generate some attention. Even if there are doubts at some point, it may help with the buzz you may need to ignite your music career. For example, when we send your music to a major radio station, even if you’re an independent artist, they still may consider to play your music if you are doing really good in other territories. (e.g., huge fan base, people asking for your song and streaming it like crazy, number one on search engines…). Bear in mind that even artists already signed to a record label may find themselves having a hard time in getting their songs played by these major stations. We have seen radio stations refusing to play some artists signed to a major label. It happens. So you must do a great job on your side to have these major networks at least considering to put your music on air.
That’s why it is very important to pitch your music to In-Store stations and other small commercial radio stations as well as internet and college stations. Our goal is to send your music to as many networks as possible, but we need you to follow those tips here so we have a better chance to succeed.
Even if we fail to have your song on some major radio stations in your first attempt (e.g., first single), you will get more visibility and fans that are coming from these other small channels, so that might give you a much better result later on. Even though it is hard to say or make any promises. Again, there are so many things involved. However, if you do your job well by providing great music and marketing strategy, you may be surprised with the results. Just be aware that you must be professional otherwise you will never be able to reach the so called ‘next level.’
As you can see, we don’t want just your money and that’s why we:
A) Don’t accept your music if we don’t feel it’s so good and suitable for airplay.
B) Want you to see the reality, so you will only request our radio plugging if you are really good, absolutely professional, determined, really believe in your potential, and definitely want to get yourself to work in order to take your career further and further.
If your music is really good (not what you think or your mom has told you) and agree with everything that has been discussed here, then you should go on and apply for our radio plugging. Note: If you agree, but are not quite there yet. you should wait until you reach that point, otherwise you may waste your time and money.
Lastly and not the least, make sure you have a powerful recording quality in all aspects (music, arrangement, production, and quality).
Pay super close attention to that, otherwise your video won’t be accepted by the networks. If you do not know how to prepare your video with these settings, you will have to find a professional to do the task for you. It’s IMPERATIVE for you to follow these requirements, or your music video may end up not even being considered for airplay at all.
Include a 5 second slate
Include 2 seconds of black before the video starts
Include at least 2 frames of black at the end of the video and no more than 1 second
Closed Captioning is required for all LONG FORM and MUSIC deliveries
NO mono audio files or tracks (watch your output settings)
NO bars & tone
NO anamorphic videos for (SD)
NO variable bit rates (VBR)
NO variable frame rates
NO lower/bottom field dominance
Submission/Proxy Upload Specifications
For an initial submission to stations like MTV, VH1, BET, REVOLT, etc. You may optionally submit a lower quality bit rate file. Note that you will be required to follow the specifications for the delivery of the FINAL MASTER.
Video Bit Rate:
10 to 15 Mbits/s
3 to 8 Mbits/s
Final Broadcast NTSC Master Upload Specifications (Closed Captions Required)
File MUST be CONTENT ONLY. DO NOT include Colour Bars, Slate or any Black at the top or tail.
Audio Channel Assignments
Channel 1: Stereo Left
Channel 2: Stereo Right
Closed Caption Information
Closed Captions (CC) are the text that appear on a video, which contain dialogue and audio cues such as music or sound effects. The purpose of closed captions is to make video accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, for viewers whose native language is not English, and for when the audio cannot be heard due to noise (restaurants, public spaces, etc.) or a need for quiet (libraries, hospitals, etc.).
All final broadcast deliveries MUST be closed captioned.
The FCC requires the majority of English and Spanish programming seen on broadcast TV in the United States to be captioned. The CRTC requires the same for Canadian broadcasts.
HD: CEA-608 or DTV-608 required. CEA-708 and DTV-708 are optional.
Captions need to be the last step in creating/submitting a final master, as you cannot edit a video once captions have been applied or they will be lost.
How To Caption Your Video
Work with An Expert
Your existing production house might offer this service. Ask them for more information, but make sure they are captioning correctly and digitally! You don’t want to lose time having the file rejected due to incorrect captioning or because of a loss of quality due to ‘old style’ bounce to tape captioning.
In each of the cases above, you need to provide a transcript for your video.
Do It Yourself
You may try to use a software called CPC (https://www.cpcweb.com). By using their software you have the ability to insert your own captions.