This in depth guide will guide you along the process of submitting a release to Symphonic for store approval as well as include some basic style guidelines to adhere to per store regulations for content submissions.
Where to Start - Login to the Symphonic MS at http://www.symphonicms.com. Click the "create RELEASE" button or Click “Create New Release” under the “Distribute” drop down to begin.
Step 1 (Release Details)
Fill out all Release information. This is information that pertains to the overall release and does not include any track information.
1. Release Name - This is the title of the release (Album/EP/ Single)
- If it is an EP stylize it as EP. Not ep or Ep.
- All titles must be stylized in Title capitalization. Such as "To Be, or Not to Be" For more information on Title Capitalization click here.
- If there are more than one as it is a Volume or a Part It will need to be stylized as "Release Title, Vol. 1" or "Release Title, Pt. 1"
- Artist names can not by in the release name unless it is a self titled release
- Producer credits can not be in the titles. Add them as a Primary or Featured Artist or remove completely.
2. English Translation - This will show on an stores that are English speaking. Your release should still show the original language on non English stores.
3. Catalog # - This is any classification number for this release in your catalog. The most common format is the abbreviated label name followed by the number of release it is. Or you can use the one automatically generated.
4. UPC Code - A UPC is a “universal product code” and is similar to a barcode or serial number. It gives your release a unique identity.
You can use your own code if you'd like, if you don't have one you can use the "Generate New UPC" button to get one added free of charge.
5. # of Tracks - Select the total number of tracks that will be on the release
6. Various Artists - Yes is a release has 4 or more Artists. No if it has 1, 2, or 3.
- If your release has 4 OR MORE Primary Artists the release is to be listed as Various Artists. Featured Artists DO NOT count towards this number.
- If your release has 1, 2 or 3 Primary artists they are to be listed individually on the release level.
- For more information on Various Artists please click here
7. Artist Name - Select the Primary Artist for the release.
If there is more than one but less than 4 Primary Artists you can press the plus sign ( + ) next to the Artist Name field to add additional Primary Artists.
If you do not see your artist in the drop-down list you can add their name by typing it and clicking the add button that shows up when no results appear.
If you misspell the Artist name please use the Edit button the correct instead of adding another artist and now having two artists where one is spelled incorrectly. This will help maintain accuracy on future releases which could eliminate future delays.
8. Label Name - Select the Label in which this is to be distributed on Should default to your label. Only matters for accounts that have multiple sub labels.
9. Primary Genre - Select the Genre of music your release falls under
10. Secondary Genre - For instance If your first selection is Dance this could be more specific such as Deep House or Electronica.
11. Language - Select the Language in which the lyrics are sang. If you music has no lyrics then choose the language you chose to type the title in. Choosing English will cause no problems with store localizations.
12. Release Pricing Tier - Stores automatically choose their own pricing for release submitted to them. This option will give them a category to list it in. The most common is Mid or Mid/Front. Unless you have special price requests we recommend choosing Mid as this is what almost every release you see on iTunes is listed as. For more information click here.
13. Copyright and Publishing - For new releases: The year in which it is submitted to us is the year in which it is created and is considered the copyright and publishing year.
- If you submit a release in November 2019 to be released in January 2020, November 2019 is the Copyright and Publishing year as that is when the content was created.
- If the release is part of a back catalog you can select the year in which it was originally copyrighted
14. Publisher Name - The Publisher name is most often the label name. Occasionally the artist/group name or another company name is used.
15. Release Biography (optional) - For any release that is being sent to Beatport you can enter the release biography which is displayed on their site alongside the release details. If you are not sending your release to Beatport this field is not needed.
16. Upload Cover Artwork - Click "browse" and select the artwork stored on your computer or device you wish to use as the Single/EP/Album Cover Art. Art must be SQUARE and at least 3000 x 3000 pixels at 72 dip (300 dpi is recommended) in a 1:1 square image and CAN NOT be blurry or pixelated. Full specifications can be found here.
Step 2 (Tracks)
Here you can provide information for each track including the audio files. In step 1 you should have selected the number of tracks needed for the release, you should see that number of blank tracks listed here which you can now edit. Note* Remember it is important to save often when editing tracks to prevent loss of any information, especially with multi-track releases.
1. Bulk Upload Audio Files (optional) - If you have multiple tracks on the release you can upload audio for all of the tracks from the main view tracks screen by clicking on the icon for your preferred upload method (listed in order: web uploader, FTP uploader, DropBox uploader, Google Drive uploader). Once uploaded the files are loaded into our system so that they can be later selected using dropdown menus.
2. Edit Track - Click on the track name to begin editing that track.
3. Song Name - Provide the track name only. Do not put any information about mix version, explicit / clean or any artist names in this field. A full list of track title formatting guidelines can be found here.
- Do not add any featuring or remix information here.
- PRODUCER CREDITS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN ANY TITLES OR ARTIST NAMES. If you would like them tagged or credited they must be added as a Primary or Featuring artist.
4. Mix/Version (optional) - This field will auto-populate with the remix information when a remixer is selected. If adding a remixer select the remix artist first then verify if any additional information needs to be added. If the track is a special mix version of the original track for example a radio mix, remix, remaster, etc, you can enter that information here. Mix information entered here will automatically update the track title with the mix information when delivered to the store. Also, do not put any performance credits in this field such as produced by.
- You cannot enter Original Mix, Original Version, Album Version, or other mix information that signifies a standard version. Any track that is not a remix is deemed to be an original mix by store standards. Also, do not put any performance credits in this field.
5. Audio File - If you previously used the bulk uploader you should be able to find the correct audio file listed in the dropdown menu. Otherwise you can click the "upload track" button to load the track into our system. Once the upload is complete you should be able to find the track in the dropdown menu. Full details on the correct audio specifications can be found here. The "preview" feature uses Adobe Flash and will allow you to check to make sure you have uploaded the correct track, if your flash player or browser are out of date it may not function, you can update Flash here.
6. Song Length - This will automatically populate and show the length of the audio file you have selected. If the track length looks wrong you may want to check your files.
7. Primary Track Artist - Each performing artist must be listed for the track, if there are multiple artists on the track click the "+" sign to add an additional artist. Do not list multiple artists in a single entry.
For more information on Primary Artist guidelines please review this article.
If your artist is comprised of more than one artist name such as "Hall & Oates" please review correct Compound Artist naming conventions here.
8. Featuring Artists - Typically a featured artist is an artist that is a guest to the release and is not associated with the main performing artist/band. For example, the song "Get Lucky" is by the band Daft Punk (Primary) and featuring Pharrell Williams. Full guidelines on featuring artists can be found here.
9. Remixer - If an Artist has remixed a song by another Artist then they are not deemed Primary or Featuring. The original performing artist remains listed as a Primary Artist. So if the original track had a Primary and/or a Featuring artist then those roles stay the same on the remix except a remixer role is added for the artist who has performed the remix. The Mix Version field will populate with this information when a Remixer is selected.
10. Primary Genre - Select the genre that broadly covers the track.
11. Secondary Genre - Select the sub-genre that more specifically categorizes the track. The secondary genre options will change based on which primary genre is selected. If your genre is not listed then select the genre that next most closely matches your preferred genre.
12. Recording Year - Enter the year the master recording was finalized.
13. ISRC Code - The ISRC code is series of numbers used to identify a specific recording version of a track. Each track has a code unique to it. If you have your own ISRC code you can enter it here, if not you can click "generate ISRC code" to have a code generated for you. For more information on ISRC codes click here.
14. Price Tier - Track pricing can be set at 3 tiers - Front/Mid/Back, this is the pricing for a purchase of just that individual track. Typically on most partners this translates to:
- Front - $1.29
- Mid - $0.99
- Back - $0.69
Some partners do not allow custom pricing so your pricing may vary from partner to partner. For full guidelines and information on price tiers please see this article.
15. Lyrics - If the track contains lyrics you must select "yes" otherwise select "no." Selecting the wrong option here may be cause for some partners to hide the content after they review it.
16. Language - If the track is in English simply select English. If another language is used then English translations may be needed (Spanish, Italian, & French do not need translations, you can leave blank for those languages if you wish), check to see if a new English translation field has been created (at the top under Song Name) and provide the proper English translation based on the language guidelines for that language there. Foreign language guidelines can be found here.
17. Lyricist - Provide the name of the lyricist performing in the track. If you are using cleared sampled content and there are no records of the lyricist's name you can enter "Unknown Lyricist."
18. Lyrics Field - Enter the lyrics for the track in the blank field provided, this must contain only the actual lyrics, it cannot have headers or other information (ie. you cannot enter Chorus, Hook, Verse, Outro, Intro, etc). Do not write "x3" "x10" etc. for repeated lines, they must each be written in full. Please see our full guidelines on lyrics here.
19. Album Only (optional) - If you select "Album Only" for a track that means that a customer has to purchase the entire album to receive that specific track. They will be unable to purchase that track by itself. Not all partners provide this function, it is mainly available on iTunes.
- Any Track longer than 10 minutes will by marked as Album Only by the Digital Service Providers and this can not be changed. This may reflect a higher price level for this track.
20. Explicit Content - If your release has explicit language or art you'll need to check the explicit content checkbox. More information on explicit tagging can be found here.
21. DJ Mix - If your release is a continuous mix/DJ mix you'll need to select this checkbox, otherwise leave it blank. DJ Mixes submitted must be all original content that is sampled. Each track sampled must be added as a track to the release in addition to the full continuous mix.
Step 3 (Partners/Stores)
During this final step you will select the partners (stores) that the release will be sent to and when it will go live.
1. Exclusive Release (optional) - Here you can select a specific partner to receive the release and go live before other partners. If you check this box the next line will have a dropdown menu you can use to select which partner(s) will get the exclusive release. You must also select what date the exclusive release will start, and how long it will be exclusive. The general release date for an exclusive release should be set for a time after the exclusive period ends.
2. General Release Date - This is the date when your release will go live on all selected partners. Please try to submit at least 18 days before the exclusive, pre-order, or general release date (whichever comes first for your release) in order to avoid issues, we cannot guarantee the release will be live if enough time is now provided.
3. Pre-Order Date - A pre-order is an option that allows you to make you release available for sale before the official release date. Customers can see the release name, art & tracks before the release. Using this feature your fans can lock in their purchase of your release before it even comes out. This article explains more about Pre-Orders and how to use them.
4. Enable Amazon Previews on Pre-Orders (optional) - If you have selected a pre-order date you can check this box to enable audio previews for your pre-order. If this is unchecked consumers will be unable to preview your pre-order.
5. Territory - You can select Worldwide unless you have specific regions in mind. If you do not select worldwide you will need to pick each individual region you want the release to be sent to. Keep in mind certain regions may not host your content due to language or other restrictions.
6. Selecting Partners - You can use the pre-made lists at the top to select different sets of partners or even select all partners. Alternatively you can scroll through the partner list and pick each individual partner you wish to send to. Once done, save your release before continuing to the final review.
Submit Final Review: Once you have completed all three steps you can proceed to a final review of the release. This will be competed by a member of our staff within 24-48 business hours, not including holidays and weekends.
Once you click to submit you'll see all of the details for the release one last time. When you're ready click the submit button at the bottom of the final review to submit your release for delivery.
Congrats! You've finished! Once your release hits the first live date (exclusive, pre-order, or release date) you'll receive a notification that the release is going live on stores.