Digital Music Distribution Guide
The process of digital distribution of music and help you prepare everything you need to sell your songs through a digital distributor or also called “aggregator”.
The distributor’s role is really to act as an intermediary between you and music stores like iTunes or Spotify. A good distributor will have a simple platform that allows you to manage your music as well as review and request your royalties.
There are four major stages in the digital distribution of music:
- Managing your assets
- Coding and distribution of your assets
- Report of royalties and payments
The first step is to create an account with the distributor of your choice. With EmuBands, you can do this on our registration page.
Through this registration page, you provide us with your information and accept our special terms and conditions for musicians that allow EmuBands to distribute, through a non-exclusive contract, your music to the digital stores you have chosen when completing your registration.
In this way we can authorize in your name all those stores, in which we are approved, to sell your music.
Once you have created your account, your account manager will contact you to introduce himself or herself and resolve any doubts you may have, although you will always be able to contact us by mail, telephone or live chat.
Managing your assets
By assets we mean the three fundamental pieces that are necessary to distribute your music: your metadata, your music files and your cover design. We’ll explain below the features these assets should have.
In EmuBands we store your assets securely in our database and files, ready to be encoded and sent to the digital stores where you want to be present.
Encryption and distribution of your assets
Once you have completed the details of your EmuBands account, we will encode your assets according to the technical regulations of each digital store you have chosen, using our specific software. Each digital store has its own technical specifications of how it wants to receive your metadata, music files and cover design. It’s our job to make sure your music meets these standards before it’s sent.
Royalty and Payment Report
Once your music has been distributed and is on sale in the digital stores you have chosen, we collect financial reports and royalty payments from each store. These reports will be available in your EmuBands account so that you can review them, analyse this information and request payment for your sales.
It is important to note here that EmuBands pays you 100% of your sales: everything we receive for your music from the digital stores we send to you, with no hidden percentage.
All you have to do is click on the payment request link, fill in the details where you want your sales to be credited and we will send you your money immediately, whatever the amount.
These four steps are, in essence, the work of a distributor or digital aggregator and, a good distributor, will make sure of the efficiency and accuracy of each step. At EmuBands we make sure that each file meets the specific technical specifications imposed by all digital stores. If it is necessary to make any changes to your files, we first notify you, inform you and ask for your permission before modifying anything.
The assets of your disk
As mentioned previously, there are three “assets” that, together, make a record:
Let’s discuss each of these assets so that you can be clear on how to prepare them for distribution.
Metadata often sound more complicated than they really are. These are simply the information that describes your disk and its availability and consists of information you already know about your disk.
It is divided into two parts: disk data and song data.
The disc data includes information such as: disc title (or the name of the “face to” if it’s a single), release date, genre, artist (it can be a “Miscellaneous Artist” disc with different artists per song) and barcode.
This last data, the barcode, is necessary for each disc, so that it can be identified without any doubts (very important for the royalty report). If you want more information about barcodes, we hung an article a while ago about them that you can see here.
We will ask you to send us your music files in a specific format (you can find them on our FAQ page). As each digital store has its own requirements for how they want the audio files, we store them in a high quality.
WAV master and then encode them according to each store, for example: 128kbps MP3, 320kbps MP3, FLAC, etc.
Similar to audio files, we’ll ask for your cover design in a specific format, which you can see on our FAQ page.
There are several restrictions on what you can and can’t include in your design, for example, no URLs or price references are allowed. We have a detailed guide on this subject, as there are quite a few technical issues. Click here to view the guide.