We have an enormous distribution network at our fingertips and can deliver your music to the world’s biggest digital retailers, streaming platforms and social media platforms around the world. Something that’s equally as important is the promotion and marketing of your release, ensuring that you reach, inform and engage your audience and attract potential new consumers. On this page we have provided some key points to help you maximise your promotion and revenue.
1. Advertising, Influencers & Social Media
This is now one of the most effective ways to connect with fans and increase your reach. It requires a budget and a strategy, but you can expect great returns on your investment if you do it right. Social media is full of influencers and if you find the right one for you, they will create posts and promotional content to their huge fan base! Advertising is just as effective although it should be focussed very specifically to match your demographics.
We recommend working through the 8 articles below.
2. Press – Magazines, Publications & Music sites
Traditionally the most effective way to reach new fans and potential buyers is through the press. Magazines, blogs and music sites are the billboards of the music industry. It takes time and good research to build your own press contact list, however it’s a fantastic way of reaching wider audiences and using existing fan bases to increase overall reach. The following are examples of features which can help you achieve this –
Label and Artist Interviews, Reviews, Streaming premieres, Free Giveaways, Featured Releases, Exclusive Guest Mixes, Fan Gating, Premiers and Events.
The more press you achieve, the more you can post on your social networks to push your forthcoming releases.
Pitching for playlists is the newest and most effective way of getting your music discovered. Whilst focusing on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music & Deezer, a single placement can present your release to millions of new listeners. At Cygnus, we submit priority content to streaming platforms every day. However, certain key playlists are generated outside of the various companies who provide this service; these are known as user curated playlists.
We recommend working through the 2 articles below.
4. DJ and Radio Support
Getting big radio plays or DJ support can make a release immensely successful and even raise revenue through income streams such as PRS and PPL. Putting together and regularly updating your DJ and Radio contact list, whilst organising them into priority tiers will ensure that the right people get them at the right time. If you receive any big plays such as on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Kiss FM or Ministry of Sound, you should post the links via your social networks. However, you should take extra care not to spam DJs, as it can have an adverse effect.
Radio play can be vital when it comes to promoting a release, just like press. If you haven’t already built relationships radio tastemakers, a good place to start is by reaching out to them on social media. A radio premiere prior to a streaming upload can really help push a release announcement, especially on big platforms such as BBC Radio 1. Setting this up alongside a Spotify Pre-Save, which you can use to direct fans to where they can listen to the track following its release, can boost your music’s visibility. Radio plugging has always been key to larger more mainstream campaigns, however playlist placements add far more value nowadays. Important note: Parity
5. YouTube & SoundCloud Premiers
These can be a powerful way of showcasing a forthcoming release to a bigger audience. Remember though, often these sites will ask you to waiver monetisation rights meaning revenue from the plays will often go directly to the network hosting them. A good balance to this would be to only allow a segment of a track to be uploaded and that pre-order links are included in the upload description. Essentially when the track comes out on full release you want your fans to only be able to buy or hear the full track through a monetised platform, where the revenue comes back to your label. Important note: Parity
6. PR Companies
An established PR company can provide the full spectrum of promotion and exposure your release needs. PR campaigns can range between a few hundred pounds and thousands of pounds; however, they may double your investment in the long term. Having an expert with years of experience in building and maintaining industry contacts representing your label, release or project can raise your profile immensely. However, always do your research before handing over any cash. Find out more.
Press releases are quite simply one of the cornerstones of promotion. A professionally written and effective music press release can be a true key to creating massive awareness for your project. It’s a great way to achieve music publicity for your project whether posting online or sending to significant media outlets and music journalists either on or offline, whilst providing key release and artist information for press to include.
A press release should contain:
- Cover artwork
- Release date and Catalogue Number
- A write up that can be used for news stories
- Artist and label information
- Track List
- Embedded links to streamable audio files
- Significant DJ support
- Press highlights
- Contact details
Dave Jenkins (UKF / Mixmag / DJ Mag / RA / Red Bull Music) “I’m a hype man. I want to cover every record I hear and get inspired by. I want to shout about them from the rooftops and scream about them in your face. I wish I had 200 pairs of ears to listen to everything and four pairs of arms to type four times more features and interviews. But I don’t. And time is my biggest enemy. So I have to decide what should be covered and what I don’t have time to cover… And a professional press release that has no waffle or BS and gives me concise facts and potential angles will often help me make a decision on what to cover. Not having one may prevent support.”
Label Marketing Manager at Juno “Press releases are an important tool for us as a store; they highlight releases and give us some background information on the label and artist. A press release is a quick and easy way for us to sort through the thousands of releases and help us decide which releases can be featured. It is good to see if the label is undertaking its own marketing around the release, newsletter campaign, and social network updates etc.”
Stores will feature content to help promote releases in the form of banners, recommended listings, Top 10’s, label takeovers, newsletter placements and more. At Cygnus Music we have a FEATURE SUBMISSION FORM which we use to deliver submissions in the format most preferential to stores.
Providing you complete the form in its entirety and demonstrate an effort towards the promotion of your release, we will submit the information to stores on your behalf.
WHAT STORES ARE LOOKING FOR: The quality of data provided, size and reach of label, popularity of artist, quality of music, quality of artwork, high performing social media content, uniqueness, well written press release, level of DJ and Radio support, amount of PR coverage, commitment to marketing, previous releases on the label, previous releases from the artist, potential to be the next ‘big thing’ and the overall hype surrounding the release.
Please complete this form in its entirety. You can update this form any time including after the release has come out. The ideal time is up to 8 weeks pre-release or up to 2 weeks post release. This form is used as ‘part’ of our company priorities, feature submissions, playlist placements and editorial on stores such as Spotify, Yandex, TikTok, Beatport, Apple, VK, JunoDownload, YouTube, Traxsource, Amazon, Instagram, Deezer, Facebook, Tencent and many more.
FAQ’s Features, Banners, Reviews, Playlists.
Q: How will I know if my release will be featured? A: Some stores reach out to us with a list of featured content for the week and ask us to inform the labels. We then email clients directly. For the most part however, stores will have independent curators who decide on featured content and it’s a case of looking on the day of release to see if your release has been selected.
Q: My release or track isn’t in my forthcoming section on the Spotify app ? A: If your release is on a Various Artists album Spotify do not display this in their app pre-release. They only allow content to be submitted to playlist via their app for content where the artist name/s are featured at product level.
Q: How can I guarantee store features? A: You can’t. However you can greatly improve your chances by carrying out high profile marketing campaigns, submitting high quality content and completing submissions via the form above, by requesting a pre-order link (see how further down) and driving up pre-orders prior to release, and finally by going exclusive with a chosen store.
How competitive is the market? In the Dance music industry, there’s over 100,000 tracks released each week. Spotify estimates that over 120,000 tracks are uploaded each day on their platform alone. So the competition is very high. Some labels and artists have teams of staff and significant budgets so make sure you go all out and put your best content forward.
How come most of the big opportunities and placements go to the biggest artists? This is the nature of the beast and DSP’s ultimately want market growth and consumer satisfaction. However, there are many opportunities for artists and labels of any size, provided they stand out from the pack, and commit to growth, marketing and driving organic music consumption on the DSP’s.
Increasing your chances of getting featured
- Try to sign, work with or commission remixes from the biggest artists you can work with. Leverage their fan base to increase your own. Use real-time engagement metrics to chose who you work with.
- Focus on influencer marketing. Build a network of influencers who command a large audience and get them creating content which includes your music.
- Build up a network of user generated playlists. On Spotify, search for playlists and try to find the owners of them. Engage with them and gain their support. This feeds organic consumption which can lead to editorial.
- Focus on TikTok creations and Instagram Reels.
- Artist engagement is essential. If your artist is not promoting and sponsoring the release, it can massively impact the success.
- Around 70-90% of your marketing resources and ad spend should go on or after release date. We suggest 90%.
- Collaboration is key. Utilise and grow your network.
- Organic traction matters the most. If the music isn’t moving off it’s own steam, it doesn’t demonstrate that consumers are engaged. Consumer engagement is what DSP’s lean into heavily.
A playlist is one of the most powerful tools in the music industry. The songs on a curated playlist are often grouped together for a target audience – and that means more listens if your track is selected by tastemakers. Some established playlists have hundreds of thousands of followers, opening your music up to a different fan base and if a track from your label gets selected, you can expect to see a huge boost in revenue.
Getting on to a Big ‘User Generated Playlist’
- Start by putting together a list of playlists paying close attention to whether your track is appropriate for the playlist’s genre or theme.
- Follow them on Spotify/Apple Music/Deezer/YouTube/Yandex as well as other streaming platforms and see if they also have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, etc. and follow them there as well.
- Leave comments, share their posts and like/favourite their content. Demonstrate to the person who programs the playlist that you’re knowledgeable about their music choices.
- Make your pitch and send a private streamable link, be sure that your pitch communicates clearly how your music can benefit the person you’re contacting and their playlist.
- Be specific from the start about why your song is perfect for the playlist. This could involve genre, theme, topic, something noteworthy in your music career or the release’s support, but you can include any combination of these factors.
- For targeting playlists that are curated by a particular streaming platform, research and find the “Artist Liaison” contacts in your region or country. Look for their contact and reach out to them, asking for suggestions on who you can send your music to, so that you can be considered for the playlist genre that best fits your music.
- As an artist, it’s also imperative that you sign up and submit your music for playlist consideration through the Spotify for Artists platform. This way, you’re able see song stats and fan insights to see what’s hitting hardest. If you’re struggling with your Artist Profile for any reason please check out Spotify’s FAQs. Spotify also have great resources for helping you to get the most out of the platform, which we’ve included links to below. (See Essential Spotify Links)
- If you make it onto a playlist, share it as much as you can across your social media platforms and do your best to develop a relationship with the curator as you’ll potentially get more music on their playlist in the future!
Most of your audience will be regularly visiting sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube to find new music. Plan how you want to inform and engage them by posting updates about the label, releases and artists. Often the most effective forms of engagement come in the few weeks preceding the release, as posting too much too early can water down the impact of your campaign due to the volume of data people are posting and receiving daily.
There are a variety of ways in which you can begin to build your social presence, including inviting people on your personal Facebook account to like your artist page, creating Twitter lists for music blogs, PR companies, other DJs and record labels (they’ll get notifications to say you’ve added them) and pinning your key posts at the top of your profile. It’s also important to limit your posts and make sure they’re engaging, meaning your audience will feel more connected to you as an artist. With Facebook in particular, less is more, so concentrate on only posting content that’ll get the best interaction from your audience, especially when it relates to your releases.
Regarding Twitter it’s imperative to interact with other users to gain followers. It’s important to ensure that you mention or follow each brand you interact with on Twitter with the tag ‘@’ feature, whilst utilising popular hashtags relevantly, enabling you to appear within Twitter’s primary search function. But be careful, as following too many profiles will mean you clog up your Twitter newsfeed and you may miss important industry news.
Instagram is just as important for many labels, DJs and producers – their stories function is a great way to keep fans involved with your brand and gives a daily insight into their day to day proceedings. Like Facebook, posting engaging content is vital in building a follower base. Similarly, much like Twitter, tagging other individuals, following other profiles and utilising hashtags will also build your audience. Take advantage of cross posting content by linking Instagram and Facebook to maximise engagement.
TikTok All social media is important across artist campaigns. However, the main social platform for music discovery is TikTok. TikTok has emerged as a powerful platform for music marketing campaigns, allowing artists, labels, and marketers to connect with a wide and engaged audience. The platform’s unique algorithm and user behaviour have made it a place where many users discover new music.
How it works
Links are emailed out to clients 9 days before the release date, or if exclusive with a store, 1 week before the store exclusive date. Clients are sent a URL link to a page which initially allows fans and followers to ‘Pre-Save’ the forthcoming release on Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music and Deezer. The page will also display a store link for any stores with pre-orders or a coming soon status. Once the Pre-Save is clicked on by a person :
- The release will appear in the users playlist on the day of full release (Spotify only).
- The person who Pre-Saved the release now automatically follows the artist.
- The artist gains an additional follower for every new Pre-Save!
Once the release is available worldwide the Smart-Link will automatically switch to buy and streaming links to key stores such as iTunes, Apple Music, Beatport, JunoDownload, Amazon, Spotify and Deezer.
After some thing more customisable?
Whilst our Pre-Save & SmartLink system is an effective and free promotional tool, you may wish to pay for one which is customisable with background analytics and a dashboard. For these we would suggest a smart url specialist company such as as smartURL or ToneDen.
Need a URi link for Spotify Pre-Save?
In 2017 a report showed that Spotify officially had more UK listeners than Radio 1, demonstrating the switch in listeners discovering music from radio to online platforms. In fact, Spotify now generates more revenue for our labels than any other digital service provider and we encourage our clients to put as much focus on Spotify as possible.
While the platform is mostly artist led, it’s important that labels work with their artists to ensure they’re verified, regularly creating playlists and getting the most from the platform. Spotify is all about momentum. It’s bringing in new revenue for the music industry and it’s primarily down to this revenue recurring. With a digital download someone pays for one download and that’s the entire purchase, whereas Spotify users favourite, share and playlist the music they like which means each time it’s played a monetary contribution is made. We have many clients whose revenue is going up consistently every month because more people are discovering their music, sharing it and revisiting it, and this is very much the case for tracks that came out many years ago, where the digital downloads have already passed their purchasing peak. We’ve found that labels who start adding Spotify links to their buy link posts can increase their revenue by around 20% within the space of just six months.
Investing time into Spotify can build consistent growth and momentum for a label. DJs will continue to download tunes through stores, but you can grow a huge audience of streaming listeners out there too, so it’s worth investing your time!
Submit New Music for Playlist Consideration
Everyone, whether you’re an artist, label, manager or part of an artist’s team, can try out this feature. Simply log into your Spotify for Artists account or, if you work at a label, head over to Spotify Analytics. There, you’ll have the option of selecting one unreleased song for playlist consideration and submitting it to Spotify’s team.
It’s important to give us as much information about the track as possible — genre, mood, and other data points all help them make decisions about where it may fit. The data you share will be complemented by what Spotify already know about you — what else your fans listen to, what other playlists you’ve appeared on, etc.
Editors will be searching through submissions based on the information you share to find unreleased music to consider for their playlists. The song and all the info you add about it will also impact their personalised recommendations. For example, as long as you tag and submit your track seven days in advance, the song you select will automatically appear in every one of your followers’ Release Radar playlists. This way you have control over which single you’re promoting to your fans.
Some things to keep in mind
- We recommend a minimum of 4 full weeks between submission through our Cygnus Music label management system and your chosen release date. This gives plenty of time for us to deliver and for you to submit for playlist consideration. This also gives Spotify’s editors a good amount of advance time to listen and go over the information you have provided.
- If you see the status Available Soon, Spotify are still processing your release.
- Submitting a song doesn’t guarantee a playlist placement, but gives it the best chance.
- You can submit one song per artist profile at a time.
- You can’t submit releases with ‘Various Artists’ in the product title.
- You can’t submit if you’re a featured artist on the song.
- There’s no set amount of time a song will stay on the playlist.
- High production value is one of many important factors for playlist consideration.
How will you know if a song gets on Spotify’s own curated playlist?
Spotify will send an email to let you know (Providing you are signed up to Spotify for Artists or Managers). You can also check the Playlists tab in Spotify for Artists when your release goes live, and explore detailed stats about it.
ESSENTIAL Spotify Links
More about Spotify Playlists
Your essential guide to hitting the biggest playlists on Spotify
Spotify has launched Promo Cards. This is a new way for creators to develop personalised assets for use on their promotional channels & social media.
There will be 3 types of Promo Cards: visitors to the Promo Card site can create a Promo Card for an artist, track, or album.
Where can I access this? You can access Promo Cards via artists.spotify.com/promocards.
Who can access this? Artists, managers, label reps, marketers, or fans can access this site as it does not require log-in.
Spotify has over 299 million listeners across 92 markets worldwide just waiting to discover podcasts. They’re the second most popular place to listen to podcasts in the world — and growing fast.
On Spotify, people can stream or download your show on Android and iOS, desktop, across gaming consoles, cars, TVs, smart speakers, and on whatever else they use to tune in.
Cygnus Pro Tip: Side-carting releases
When you release a Remix, VIP, Version or Extended Mix, why not add the original on to the new release. Simply create your ‘NEW RELEASE’ on the label management system, ‘ADD NEW TRACK’ to upload the remix, and then ‘ADD EXISTING TRACK’ to add the previously released original version.
When you add an existing track from your back catalogue, your ISRC and track data all carry over to the new release. When the new release goes live on streaming platforms all the play counts will carry over and match to the new version of the original track. The new release will now link to any previously featured playlists, and may add more weight to the algorithms linked to your content.
Report a problem with your music: Artist Managers or Labels who distribute content via Cygnus Music will need to submit requests via the content relocation form below.
How long will it take the request to update on Spotify? 24 – 48 hours to reflect on Spotify, once you hear from Spotify’s team that the form submissions has been actioned. What links do I use in the form? URIs or URLs can be used on the form. You can get the URLs from the app.
When it comes to releasing an album, good planning is critical. With so much energy and work often going in to production, mixdowns, mastering, artwork, promotion, videos, pitching, plugging, touring, radio, advertsing and more, it’s important that you lay out a timeline giving the project the maximum opportunity to see its full potential.
From a distribution point of view we have laid out some top tips and creative ideas to compliment what you’re planning or suggest a different way in which it can be done inline with the evolving modern music scene.
Never, never rush an album.
Hammer out the singles! If you want to maximise the revenue, open up promotional opportunities, the more singles the better. A single (or album sampler) is a track taken from, and included in, the forthcoming album and is released in advance of the album. For example, a 15-track album could quite easily have 7 singles in advance. We have only seen positives from lining up lots of singles. MAKE SURE you use the same ISRC code, metadata and version of the single as it will be used on the album so streaming play counts carry over. The aim is to have numerous album tracks all playlisted with high play counts on release day.
How to create singles from an album
- Create the album with all the tracks and submit it to us. Only submit the album when it’s absolutely final.
- The album will be checked over and your release date confirmed via email.
- Now your release date has been confirmed you can schedule the singles.
- Create a new release for the single and select ‘ADD EXISTING TRACK’ once the release has been created.
- Select the track from the list of tracks presented.
- The metadata and the audio will now carry over from the track on the album.
- Submit your single to come out before the album.
- Releasing lots of singles can significantly increase the exposure of the album provided each single is promoted well.
- Using the ‘Add Existing TRACK’ function means that playcounts from the singles will cross over to the album on release day.
- Name Dropping Really Works: The artist should consider collaborating with the BIGGEST artists you or they can possibly work with. Check out the potential collaborators monthly play counts and followers on streaming services and pick off the biggest ones possible. The streaming algorithms will work on these numbers and place the album to the collaborator’s audience and more. Call in the biggest favours you can, this can multiply your downloads and streams… monumentally.
- Preparation is key: We recommend that you do not make album announcements until you have a project timeline in place, all the assets finalised, all the assets submitted, and your release date confirmed. Often these announcements will be scheduled in line with marketing efforts and aim not give away too much too soon as timing is everything.
- Project Timeline: Once you have your release date confirmed you can action your marketing plan. We would recommend that working to a 4 (or more)-month lead in time as the optimum. A 3-month lead in time is a good average, 2-months often means the project is being rushed or has lower expectations, and 1-month lead is insufficient. You will find huge benefits in coordinating all the various activities using a project timeline.
- Commit to Marketing: You should factor in a good marketing budget or have all the relevant resources in-house. If you choose to use a 3rd party for a professional marketing campaign, we would be happy to help vet them for you in advance. They should be focussing on Radio, Playlists, Interviews, Features, Announcements, Premiers and more (Be aware of parity). They should take control on the feed of information to the potential consumers of the album and provide you with instructions or advice on when and how to engage with your fans. If you can tour or do an album launch party, do it!
- Pre, During and Post Impact Date: The impact date is often considered as your release date. This is the time you want the most people talking about your album and the very best features going live. Just as important is the build-up period to create the hype and anticipation of the forthcoming album, along with the weeks immediately after the impact date as you can extend the hype by drip feeding additional press, artist curated pieces and interviews to ride the wave of success while the album is still hot and getting playlisted. Make sure you tell us
- Cool Suplimentary Content: Make sure the artist/s are creating DJ charts, playlists, artist videos, club reaction videos, studio videos, mixes etc. Stores will often reach out for complimentary content.
- Be mindful…Radio or Streaming? There’s a battle in place for new music discovery. Radio stations want to premier music first and as early as possible and streaming sites want listeners to discover your new music first on their platforms. Be aware that focussing too heavily on radio premiers ‘may’ work against you in the eyes of playlist curators. (Be aware of parity!)
- Commit to Advertising: Allocate a good advertising budget to promote the album and research how to optimise your marketing methods. This must be coordinated with the marketing campaign and project timeline.
- Set Your Sights on Spotify: It should be considered as one of your highest priorities.
- & DON’T FORGET METADATA IS IMPORTANT
Getting music seen on Spotify is crutial. Only ‘Primary’ artists at ‘Release Level’ will have their music displayed as a new release on their artists page under Singles and Ep’s, and only ‘Primary’ artists at ‘Release Level’ be able to pitch through Spotify for artists.
Releases that have more than 3 primary artists at release level will be classed on Spotify as a ‘Various Artists’ release (This is an industry wide practice that is hard coded in to our label management system). No artists on a various artists release can pitch their music to Spotify editors through Spotify For Artists, and neither can the label or any managers. Artists on various artists releases will be considered a ‘Featured artist’ and find their music on the ‘Appears On’ section on release day which is lower down the artists page.
You can have up to 3 Primary artists at release level, utilise this and the music will be presented to each artists followers via release radar, can be pitched through Spotify for Artists and will appear as a new release on their Spotify profile. Solution to VA releases, Spotify only Singles.
YouTube is the biggest entertainment platform in the world and a powerful way to showcase your music. YouTube channels with high subscriber bases can present your music to huge communities and fanbases, massively increasing the reach of your content, label and artists. It is entirely up to you as the rightsholder to choose when and where a track is premiered, and we have provided some information below on what happens when content is uploaded.
YouTube Content ID
Content ID is a digital fingerprinting system developed by Google which is used to easily identify and manage copyrighted content on YouTube. Videos uploaded to YouTube are compared against audio and video files registered with Content ID by content owners, looking for any matches.
At Cygnus Music we deliver your music to YouTube content ID and this protects your content from being uploaded and monetised without your consent. When a YouTube channel uploads your premiere Content ID will match it to our delivery and your content. (Note: YouTube content ID is very robust and accurate, but sometime can miss content, we can manually claim content if you bring it to our attention.)
Our global policy on YouTube is set to match and monetise, however if you wish for some thing to be removed or blocked, just let us know.
You retain monetisation. Content ID matches the upload and CLAIMS it to your label. When claimed it will say Licensed to YouTube by Cygnus Music ltd (on behalf of “YourLabelName”). This means we now collect all of the revenue for you and add it to your monthly label statements.
You sign over the revenue to the YouTube channel. Some channels will request or insist that you hand over any money made from the upload to their channel. If you agree to this, you will normally need to sign an agreement. You’ll then need to email us at [email protected] with a private link in advance of the premier and we will RELEASE the claim.
YouTube Premiere FAQ’s
When’s the best time for a premiere to be made live? A: The closer to the release date the better, the release date itself is the most beneficial time for the label.
As a label I want to keep the money generated from the upload. A: Then the claim should be left on and we will collect any revenue generated from plays.
The YouTube channel premiering the music says it will not make the premiere live unless the claim is released. A: The claim can only be released by us at Cygnus Music upon the copyright holders request. You must decide if you wish to work with the channel and instruct us to release the claim if you do.
I want my content removed from a channel. A: Please email us a link we can action this Monday to Friday.
Someone has uploaded my content and I need it removed urgently. A: Please email us a link, mark the email as urgent and we will remove the content quickly. However if this is outside of normal office hours, please report this to YouTube directly. Submit a take down notice on YouTube
My premiere is happening on the weekend. A: Please note we work Monday to Friday, please try to give us at least 3 full days advance notice.
Content ID hasn’t picked up my track? A: Whilst content ID is very good, it can miss things or be delayed in matching content. Just send us a link and we’ll manually apply a claim if this is the case.
What does the channel uploading the content need to send us to release the claim? A: Please ask them to send you a private link (unlisted if it’s not yet live). Then email [email protected] with the link, your label name and the request, and we will release the claim. The email must come from the label account.
Can the channel dispute the claim? A: We will only accept a dispute from the channel if they provide a link to a signed contract from the rightsholder in the dispute note. We prefer to hear directly from the label via email and in good time.
How long does it take for Cygnus Music to release a claim? A: We endevour to release all claims as swiftly as possible, this is normally within 1-2 working days on reciept.
The channel has requested approved. A: Approved means Content ID will be removed on an entire channel for all of the labels that use that distributor, this is not done at Cygnus Music. Channels often ‘mistake’ this term for ‘Releasing a claim’. We are happy to release a claim at the request of the copyright holder, but the channel will not be approved.
What does a Content ID claim look like? A: The upload will have the following information displayed (Pic below) as ‘Music In This Video’. It will show the relevant release information. Cygnus Music ltd will collect royalties and protect your content on YouTube.
(5 continued) An established PR company can provide the full spectrum of promotion and exposure your release needs. PR, radio, playlist and marketing campaigns can range between a few hundred pounds and thousands of pounds; however, they may double your investment in the long term. Having an expert with years of experience in building and maintaining industry contacts representing your label, release or project can raise your profile immensely. However, always do your research before handing over any cash. Prior to proceeding with a campaign, you should always ask and understand the following:
- What is included and what is not included?
- Who are your points of contact and how often will you be updated?
- What can be realistically achieved?
- When will features, articles, premiers or announcements be going live?
- What do you have to do as a label manager throughout the campaign?
- What is expected of the artist/s?
- The final price and prices for any additional work?
Below are a number of companies who our clients have worked with. All of these companies are well established, have worked on hundreds of campaigns, with many high-profile clients, but remember, it is your responsibility to proceed with due diligence. If in doubt, please feel free to contact us via [email protected] and we will be happy to offer our advice prior to you commissioning their work. The content below is taken from their marketing decks and websites.
“Infectious PR is a marketing agency working with some of the best artists and labels in the business. Our mission is to find great music and share it with our worldwide network of influential contacts.
We’ve crafted campaigns for the likes of Major Lazer, Snoop Dogg, Tiësto and Machine Gun Kelly, while keeping true to our roots working with dance music heroes including Armand Van Helden, Benny Benassi, Cajmere, Chase & Status, Dom Dolla, Monki , Sonny Fodera and Shy FX.
At Infectious we leverage our expertise in PR, digital marketing, radio plugging, DJ promo and playlist pitching to deliver exceptional campaigns.”
- PR Campaigns: Price on request
- Influencer, Streaming & Meme Campaigns: Price on request
- Live Streams & Podcasts: Price on request
- UK National Radio: Price on request
- UK Specialist Radio: Price on request
- International Radio: Price on request
DJ Promo Service
- Tastemaker DJ Mail Out: Price on request
- Tastemaker Podcast Plugging: Price on request
Discount for Cygnus Music clients
Infectious PR has offered 15% off all services. Mention you work with Cygnus Music when you contact them.
“Your Army was founded in 2007 by James Pitt with fellow Director Christian Nockall joining him in that first year. The pair wanted to establish a music company that media could trust to deliver them the best in new music. They also wanted to create a company that had a real joy for the work. The team now is full of promoters, pluggers and publicists that love what they do.
The Your Army Group grows in line with the needs of artists, managers, labels and distributors. Each company shares the same core values and vision to be the best in their respective field.”
Radio: Radio play makes artists and drives hits. From BBC Radio 1 to SiriusXM to Triple J, our Radio Departments across multiple major territories fight for every play.
- Price on request
TV: A TV appearance by an artist creates a nationwide moment, often taking careers to the next level. Our UK TV Department makes those moments happen, places songs in TV shows and gets videos in rotation on TV channels including MTV and The Box Network and via retail placement.
- Price on request
Club: Get your track played at the biggest clubs and festivals in the world, by the biggest DJs in the world. Our club services generate peer support and expose your music to thousands of potential new fans.
- Price on request
Digital: Data is the newest valuable resource. We utilize data-driven strategies to amplify artist and brand campaigns through creative marketing and targeted advertising, increasing audiences and engagement across platforms and in the real world.
- Price on request
” Listen Up provides a bespoke 360 promotional service offering radio, club, streaming promotion and press campaigns globally.”
Events Press: Our team have experience running press campaigns for a broad range of events and venues, from underground club nights, world-renowned festivals through to high-end venues, restaurants and hotels.
- Price on request
Artist & Label Press: Listen Up’s artist and label press department consists of a large team with extensive experience across print and online world wide campaigns.
- Price on request
Daytime Radio: We aim to create campaigns tailored to each individual client’s need, whether building a track through key UK radio tastemakers, developing an artist towards a playlist push, or establishing promotional radio partnerships for festivals. We look for the best promotional opportunities for artists, including flagship events for Radio 1, Kiss and Capital, on air interviews, live sessions and guest mixes. We work closely with the national radio stations and various playlists and production teams to provide you with results in every campaign.
- Price on request
Streaming Promotion: With the popularity of streaming erupting in recent years, success across streaming apps is critical to promoting music globally. Listen Up builds relationships with independent playlist curators to get your music heard. We devise an individual approach to each campaign to achieve the best possible coverage for a release, with the ultimate aim of engaging an audience as wide as possible for our clients.
- Price on request
Specialist & Club Radio: Here at Listen up we work very closely with all specialist radio presenters and producers across the globe from our UK office. We have daily meetings across all stations and aim to gain exposure for your project on a global level. We work out strategic timelines for radio with targeted roll out plans, looking to confirm high level single and remix premieres.
- Price on request
“Soul 2 Streets was originally established as a Club and Radio Music Promotions Company in 2001 and has expanded to include Artist Management, A&R Consultancy, Brand Awareness and Events Promotions, specialising in Urban and Dance Music.
We provide bespoke campaigns based on our clients needs from full blown national Radio campaigns to street level radio tours and awareness, and commissioning remixes. Each campaign is devised to get the artist maximum coverage.”
“Bespoke Electronic Music PR, Promotion & Management with specific expertise in Disco, Techno, Tech House, Dance and House Music PR”
“MIL-MGMT is a PR & Promotion firm running bespoke campaigns promoting records across the globe – targeting top DJs, Radio Hosts, Playlisters and Print / Online Press. Manchester based but working worldwide, our team has more than 20 years experience collectively in promoting, marketing and selling records for hit Electronic Music releases.”
“MCPR are a strong, dependable and diverse stable of industry-leading PR & Artist Management professionals. Our ventures into the deep and demanding depths of the music industry have awarded us with a powerful platform that is aiding to nurture and develop the careers of talented artists, record labels and businesses around the world.
By offering bespoke PR & Artist Progression Management to our clients – we’re able to drive hard-hitting, global promotional solutions which are the backbone behind numerous household names and next generation talents in the music industry.”
Making sure the right people get your pre-release music at the right time is essential. It’s essential you work out what timeline works best for you and your release; however we recommend the following as a guide.
- Printed Press ie: Magazines such as Clash, Mixmag, DJMag, Mojo, Q etc. Submission deadlines are generally within the region of 10-6 weeks ahead of release date.
- Leading music sites, YouTube networks, SoundCloud channels and International/National radio stations six weeks from release.
- VIP’s DJ’s & radio premiers four weeks from release.
- Tier 1 DJ’s three weeks from release.
- Specialist radio stations & Tier 2 DJ’s two weeks from release.
- Blogs, taste makers & Spotify playlists 1-2 week from release and on release day with streaming links (private links if prior to full release day).
As a Cygnus client, you’re eligible for an exclusive discount on promo mailout services from Inflyte.
From the major labels to over 5000 independent record labels and hundreds of international PR agencies, Inflyte is an award winning company trusted to securely deliver content for the most important brands in the music industry.
The only promo platform integrated with Pioneer DJs Rekordbox, Inflyte also provides integrations with Dropbox, Google Maps, Twitter and Amazon Alexa. Inflyte’s iOS mobile app also offers offline sync and cloud storage as standard.
To claim your discount, use the referral code ‘Cygnus2020‘
Choose from monthly subscription or flexible Pay As You Go credits, with no contract.
Keep up to speed with important industry updates by following us on our social channels.
Join us on twitter
Join us on facebook
We also post important announcements on the Label Management System ‘Latest Updates’ bulletin board.
Here’s a few key sites we often visit to see what’s happening in real time:
Shazam allows the user to find the name of any song and artist in seconds. Listen and add to Apple Music or Spotify playlists and It is said that Shazam is used 20 million times worldwide, daily.
If you have a Radio play, ask everyone to Shazam the tune, screen shot the Shazam counts and these can be used to show real engagement that stores love to see!
Registering as an artist is also important as it enables you to track releases and see when people are Shazaming your music the most, whether that’s because of a play on national radio, or at a music event. A verified page can also help you gain followers and it can become another platform in which to grow your audience.
You’ll see on the label management system that we offer store exclusives for Beatport, Traxsource, Spotify, Apple Music and JunoDownload and this can be selected when creating a new release. You’ll also see options for dual exclusivity. Going exclusive with a store can present several benefits, which include:
- The release retails at a higher price for the period of exclusivity.
- Sales are concentrated into one store and the release has a much better chance of charting.
- The store may give your release preference for features in return.
A pre-order link provides the opportunity for a buyer to pay for a release in advance of the release date. Customers who pre-order content will not receive the actual assets until the original release date. Pre-order links are a great way to drive sales in advance of a release and if successful, a release will shoot straight in to the charts on the day of release. If you would like a pre-order link please email [email protected], these are generally sent out 1-2 weeks before release unless requested otherwise.
JunoDownload do not offer Pre-Order links but instead present previews around 2 weeks ahead of the release date. If you do not want these previews for your label we can request that they are removed.
Upon your request, we can instruct Beatport to generate a Pre-Order link for every release on your label by a default of 1, 2 or 3 weeks in advance. Drop us an email to request this.
NOTE iTunes pre-order: iTunes now link as a default to Apple Music on mobile devices, and the release won’t be available until the actual release date. Your pre-order will work through the iTunes app on a desktop.
- Pay for Beatport HYPE (especially if a label launch) WHY: Beatport allocate banners, editorial and features to HYPE labels. (If elegibile)
- Make DJ charts with 20 or more tracks WHY: Beatport’s DJ streaming service LINK features charts with 20 tracks as a minimum.
- Tag Beatport in your social media posts WHY: Beatport like to see labels and artists promoting their store.
- Check out Beatport NEWS WHY: They post articles, store news and competitions.
- Promote Beatport TECH WHY: Early adopters of new tech innovations can become front runners on Beatport.
- Aim to hit the charts! WHY: Content that charts high often stays in the charts for a long time. Therefore, you may wish to focus solely on Beatport in your first week of promotion.
- Make DJ charts. WHY: JunoDownload post and feature charts on their store.
- Tag Juno in your social media posts WHY: Juno like to see labels and artists promoting their store.
- Follow Juno NEWS: WHY: Keep up to speed with store activity.
- Aim to hit the charts! WHY: Content that charts high often stays in the charts for a long time. Therefore, you may wish to focus solely on JunoDownload in your first week of promotion.
- Use Spotify CANVAS for visuals WHY: It looks great and gives listeners a more personal music experience.
- Make sure all artists are posting playlists, promoting their release and have up to date profiles WHY: Spotify editors want to see artists are playing their part in the Spotify Ecosystem. MORE INFO
- Secure user generated playlists placements! WHY: Spotify editorial look for organic reach, you can increase this by doing the following. Login to Spotify for artists, go to Music, playlists. Scroll down to Listener, each playlist is clickable. Spend some time tracking own the editors and owners of these playlists, some may have contact details on their page, some you may find on social media. Build up your contact list and approach them for playlist placements. (Example below)
- Use Spotify Artist Pick WHY: The Primary artists on the release can shout about the new release and assign it it’s own space!
- Complete the SPOTIFY Editorial: Significant Press Updates from. WHY: We can email Spotify editors updates to support your pitch
- Use Apple Music for artists (if an artist) WHY: Artists can get detailed insights. Insights can help artists understand what your audience is looking for, and how they’re reacting to your music
- Make sure all artists are posting playlists, promoting their release and have up to date profiles WHY: Apple editors want to see artists are playing their part in the Apple Ecosystem.
- Complete the SPOTIFY/APPLE Editorial: Significant Press Updates from. WHY: We can email Apple editors updates to support your pitch.
Boost your chances even more by engaging with the stores themselves. Check out some examples of store initiatives and resources for labels below.
TOP TIP: Tag the store in your social media posts. If they see something they like or something trending, they’ll sometimes repost your post or drop you a comment.
We submit priority content to iTunes/Apple music every day. They are looking out for releases which have been well supported, have received widespread media coverage and have had radio plays and DJ support. There are however additional things that you as a label can do to increase your odds of getting featured and that’s by doing the following:
- Go Exclusive with them for a certain time period.
- Pre-Order: When you use the iTunes store to view an item that hasn’t been released yet, the normal “Buy” button instead reads “Pre-Order.” Pushing a pre-order link, getting a good amount of pre-orders in and charting in the pre-orders charts massively contributes to feature placements on the day of release! Email [email protected] to request a pre-order link.
- Bonus Content: Sending them bonus content that can’t be found any where else, and is exclusive to them
- iTunes Instant Gratification allows your fans to buy and download specific, pre-defined tracks before the official release of your album. When someone pre-orders the entire album, they will automatically receive the Instant Gratification
Apple Music provides artists with detailed and powerful analytics and all artists should sign up and claim their artist profile. The tool allows you to:
- Keep tabs on how your music is performing.
- View a quick snapshot of your music’s overall performance.
- Expand your understanding with details of trends over time.
- Find out where listeners discover your music.
Create and share Apple Music playlists
You can create playlists with music from the Apple Music catalog or your own collection, then share your playlists with friends and fans. Or if someone sent you a playlist, you can save it.
Create a playlist
- In the Apple Music app, find a song.
- Press and hold on the song. Or if you’re on a computer, hover your pointer over the song and click the more button
- From the menu that appears, choose “Add to a Playlist.”
- Tap or click “New Playlist.”
- Give your playlist a name. And if you want, add a cover image and description. If you’re on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android device, tap Done.
- Browse or search for another song, then press and hold on it. Or on a computer, hover your pointer over the song and click the more button
- From the menu that appears, choose “Add to a Playlist,” then choose the playlist that you created.
Submit supporting evidence for an iTunes/Apple Music feature
Complete the FEATURE SUBMISSION FORM in full so we can summarise and submit this information to iTunes/Apple on your behalf. The submission goes to their marketing and curation team who decide which releases will receive feature placements. Labels with the best promotion, reach and support take priority so make sure you are following the advice for promotion on this resource page. If you would like to set up an exclusive, pre-order link or iTunes Instant Grat please email [email protected] at least 3 weeks in advance of your release date.
Beatport has a wide array of features on their store. The very best of what they think a buyer will want is featured as a ‘header banner’, underneath the header banner you’ll find the ‘new releases’ feature where their content team curates a selection of choice music. Beatport also features artist Top 10s and artists and labels can make one at any time; Beatport will then pick a selection of Top 10s to feature each week. The Top 10s are extremely effective at drawing in potential buyers and at Cygnus we strongly recommend one is done for every release on your label.
Pre-orders contribute immensely as a measurement tool when Beatport consider a release feature. If you’re going as a Beatport exclusive with your release, email [email protected] once your release has been submitted and request a Beatport pre-order link.
- Sign into Beatport with your account.
- After signing in, create a new chart.
- Title your chart and upload a cover image
- Add your tracks
- Publish the chart
The Beatport Hype Chart was created to showcase the best boutique labels in the world. On average, labels signed up to Beatport Hype have seen an increase of more than 70% in track sales. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind opportunity: subscribe to Hype now!
- Follow this link to learn more.
How to make it in Hype
We do not have any influence over Hype, however it works as follows. Only labels earning less than $12,000 per year are eligable, so you’ll find that you’ll never be competing against the big labels in the genre charts. Instead, the hype charts are just for eligable labels who pay the subscription, and who will be competing for a space in the hype charts for the extra visibility. The Hype features section is Beatport’s curated section where Beatport staff pick select hype releases for extra coverage. Hype is very competitive but does allow newer and middle level labels to get extra space on Beatports genre pages. The main way to get into the Hype charts and then be on the radar for the limited Hype features, is to generate sales and push your way up the rankings.
SUBMIT SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR A BEATPORT FEATURE
Complete the FEATURE SUBMISSION FORM in full so we can summarise and submit this information to Beatport on your behalf. Just like with iTunes, the submission goes to their marketing and curation team who decide which releases will receive header banners and feature placements. Labels with the best promotion, reach and support generally take priority so again make sure you are following the advice for promotion on this resource page.
GET BEATPORT PRE-ORDERS FOR EVERY RELEASE!
Beatport pre-orders go live 10 days in advance of the release date.
Juno has a wide variety of features on the store. Not only do they display various banners of featured content across the home page and genre pages, they also write in depth reviews on featured content. Juno Download is a firm favourite among the dance scene with many labels offering a week of exclusivity prior to full release.
SUBMIT SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR A JUNODOWNLOAD FEATURE
Complete the FEATURE SUBMISSION FORM in full much like Beatport and iTunes, so we can summarise and submit this information to JunoDownload on your behalf. The submission goes to their marketing and curation team who decide which releases will receive banners, reviews and feature placements. Like before, labels with the best promotion, reach and support generally take priority so make sure you are following the advice for promotion on this resource page.
With over 100 million passionate music fans around the world, Spotify is a great place to grow your audience. Spotify is an artist-to-consumer based platform with little emphasis on the ‘record label’, however if you spend time developing your artists on the platform, you’ll see huge growth through fans discovering your label through its artists.
Whether you’re an artist, label, manager or part of an artist’s team, can submit forthcoming music to Spotify’s editors. Simply log into your Spotify for Artists account or, if you work at a label, head over to Spotify Analytics. There, you’ll have the option of selecting one unreleased song for playlist consideration and submitting it to our team.
SUBMIT SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS
Complete the FEATURE SUBMISSION FORM in full so we can summarise and submit key information to Spotify curators on your behalf. Labels with the best promotion, reach and support stand out best so make sure you are following the advice for promotion on this resource page.
SUBMIT SUPPORTING EVIDENCE TO TRAXSOURCE
Complete the FEATURE SUBMISSION FORM in full much like Beatport, JunoDownload and iTunes, so we can summarise and submit this information to Traxsource on your behalf. The submission goes to their marketing and curation team who decide which releases will receive banners, reviews and feature placements. Like before, labels with the best promotion, reach and support generally take priority so make sure you are following the advice for promotion on this resource page.
DEEZER is one of the world’s most popular streaming platforms and offers both Free and Paid for plans for listeners. The Free model places advertisements in between tracks when played, whereas the Paid model works on a rolling subscription and offers no advertisements, an offline mode and a number of perks!
Creating a playlist on Deezer
ACCESS artist analytics with Deezer backstage
Go behind the scenes: Discover Deezer Backstage, a platform designed to bring artists and music professionals closer to their audience. Their tool lets you analyse and understand your streams from behind the scenes.
Make the most of your music: Deezer Backstage gathers the best information on users’ streaming habits and activity in order to help you connect with your audience and understand their needs.
Boost your listening! Using data analysis and metadata curation, Deezer Backstage assists in optimising your content to boost your stream count.
Curate your artist profiles: Deezer even offer a complete space for you to update all your latest artist credentials. From highlighting specific content to biographies, photos and social network links, your fans will never be without the latest news again!
How to use Deezer
SUBMIT SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR DEEZER PLAYLISTS
Complete the FEATURE SUBMISSION FORM in full so we can summarise and submit key information to DEEZER curators on your behalf. Labels with the best promotion, reach and support stand out best so make sure you are following the advice for promotion on this resource page.
Amazon Music (previously Amazon MP3) is a music streaming platform and online music store operated by Amazon.
Amazon Music Unlimited offers on-demand access to 50 million songs, all ad-free. This premium service includes offline listening with unlimited skips, popular new releases, and an even wider variety of hand-curated playlists and stations.
Prime Music offers more than 2 million hand-curated songs are instantly available as part of a Prime membership at no additional cost, including thousands of stations and top playlists.
Amazon Music Free offers an ad-supported tier of 2 million songs, providing free streaming to anyone using the Amazon Music app on iOS, Android, Fire TV and Amazon Music on the web in the US, UK, and Germany. This is effectively the same catalog that comes with Prime, only it includes advertising and doesn’t require a membership.
ACCESS artist analytics with Amazon Music for Artists
Amazon Music for Artists is available as both an app for iOS and Android and a companion website at artists.amazonmusic.com. The app gives both top level and granular insights. For example, you can see a song’s total listening stats or look at its performance over the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, the website gives more nuanced information about how to use the app, interpret data, suggestions for better discovery by fans, and more.
- Dig into Stats: All the reports you need, all in one place.
Stay high level or dive deep.
- Know Your Audience: Discover a world of fans. Find out where your biggest listeners are with location insights.
- You & Alexa: Learn how you trend on Alexa through voice reporting with their Daily Voice Index. Keep your fans asking.
Amazon’s app gives insights on how an artist is trending on Alexa. Not only does the app display an artist’s total number of voice requests, it shows details about the various ways people request songs, such as by artist, album, song, or lyrics.
SUBMIT SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR AMAZON MUSIC
Complete the FEATURE SUBMISSION FORM in full so we can summarise and submit key information to AMAZON’s curators on your behalf. Labels with the best promotion, reach and support stand out best so make sure you are following the advice for promotion on this resource page.
Moodagent is a music streaming service that specialises in interactive playlists and personalised music recommendations. The Moodagent brand is developed and owned by the Danish company Moodagent A/S, which has proprietary methods for recognising emotional and musical characteristics of individual tracks. Moodagent is redefining what it means to discover, listen to and share music.
• AI understands all the music, all the moods and emotions
• Moods make music more personal
• Recommends the right track at the right time
• Intuitive UX everyone can use
• Refine and customize listening experience
• Delightfully interactive, human voice commands
Deep & wide discovery
• Listeners get what they want
• Discover new music that fits taste and context
• Go deep and wide with your friends
• Share and discover with friends
• Explore and use their taste to find your own
• Share experiences in-app, with the music
SUBMIT SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR MOODAGENT
Complete the FEATURE SUBMISSION FORM in full so we can summarise and submit key information to Moodagents curators on your behalf. Labels with the best promotion, reach and support stand out best so make sure you are following the advice for promotion on this resource page.
If you’re an artist on YouTube, your Official Artist Channel (OAC) brings together all your content from your different YouTube channels into one place. The channel automatically programs your music catalogue on two new shelves, including your music videos, songs and albums.
Official artist channels offer:
- Organised content: The Official Artist Channel layout automatically organises your discography into an album section and your Official Music Videos into a new playlist. You have the option to move, delete and re-add either of these auto-generated music sections from your channel.
- Promotional content: Choose what you want to highlight in the featured video slot.
- Fan engagement: One verified and official channel where you can directly reach and interact with your fans on YouTube.
To be eligible for an Official Artist Channel, your channel has to meet the following requirements:
- Own and operate a YouTube channel that represents one artist or band
- Have at least three official releases on YouTube delivered and distributed by a music distributor or label
- Have no policy violations on your channel
And one of the following:
- Work with a YouTube Partner Manager
- Be part of the YouTube Partner Programme
- Your channel is part of a label network that works with a Partner Manager
Instagram lets you add a soundtrack to your story that fits any moment and helps you express how you’re feeling. Instagram Stories is used by 400 million every day, and it’s a great way to feel closer to their friends and followers.
When you tap to add a sticker to a photo or video in Stories, you’ll see a music icon. Tap on it to open a library of thousands of songs — you can search for a specific song, browse by mood, genre or what’s popular and tap the play button to hear a preview. When you’ve selected your song, you can fast-forward and rewind through the track to choose the exact part that fits your story.
You can also choose a song before capturing a video. When you open the camera, swipe to the new “Music” option under the record button. Search for a song, select the exact part you want, and record a video as the song plays in the background.
Special moments are often associated with music, and your artists and their fans can choose their favourite soundtrack for the moments they share on Facebook, whether that’s the newest releases, regional hits or classic songs.
Products are available in over 60 countries and Facebook continue to work towards adding more. Facebook are thrilled to open up the ability for people to express themselves in meaningful ways through music, and give artists and their fans new ways to connect and build communities around music.
Facebook has 6 core Music Features and Products.
- Organic UGC
- IG Music Stories
- FB Music Stories
- Reels (BR only)
- Music in Profiles
- Lyrics in Stories
Q: Can I put my content on Bandcamp?
A: Yes, you are free to sell your content directly to fans if you so wish and we support any thing that contributes to the growth of your label and brand.
It is worth noting the following points
– Making content available before the worldwide release day can impact on charting positions in stores. Charting in stores is incredibly important as it creates momentum which leads to more sales and sustained growth. Some buyers only shop by what’s charting in the stores rather than sifting through all new releases.
– Making content available whilst a release is in a store exclusive period can upset the stores and can result in less features.
– Whilst it’s tough to stop content appearing on torrent sites, some individuals hunt bandcamp looking for high demand exclusive content to put on P2P platforms. Whilst an anti-piracy campaign can help prevent this, once something has been leaked on a high trafficked torrent site it can cause a lot of damage to a releases success if it is not widely accessible to buy and stream.
When a piece of music has been written and recorded it has two separate rights attached to it; The Master Copyright and the Publishing Copyright.
The Publishing Copyright is the right that covers the underlying composition and lyrics of the song. This would be owned by the composers and lyricists. Composers and publishers can sign this right to a publisher.
The Master Copyright is the right that covers the actual recording of the song. This would be owned by the artists and performers of the song. This is also the right that a record label would sign to be able to sell the music. Of course, often a label may sign music before it’s been created in which case the label would own the copyright from the start, rather than the artists.
For instance, if Band A does a cover of a Beatles song, the record label or artists would own the master copyright however the publishing rights would still be owned by the original publisher.
In today’s music industry especially in electronic and dance scenes, the artist and writer are often the same person. Also, the vocalist and lyricist may be the same person. On top of this in dance music you do not really get ‘covers’ of big songs. It is much more likely to be remixed, which is a totally different thing legally. Taking this into consideration it is hardly surprising that today’s new electronic musicians find it hard to understand this side of the industry, as it was created for an industry many decades ago, and things have changed.
So, if you are a producer that has just written a dance track that is not signed, as mentioned above you would have two rights attached to the music. Both of these rights are able to generate royalties. To ensure that you can collect these royalties correctly, let’s look at what royalties you can collect.
When music is performed publicly you would be due royalties. This would include being played on radio, TV or played in a pub or club. Venues as well as TV and Radio stations all pay a license fee for them to be able to use music. Those license fees are then split down between all the writers that have had their works publicly performed.
The nonprofit organisation the handles these rights and collect the license fees and pay writers are called Performing Rights Organisations (PRO’s). Here in the UK that organisation is the Performing Rights Society (PRS for music). You can sign up with PRS as a writer for £100 inc VAT.
Also when music is sold, whether that’s through a CD, on vinyl, via a download or through streaming, royalties of 8.5% of the sale price are deducted. These are called mechanicals. This is then paid to the another nonprofit organisation called Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS). This was traditionally paid by the label for physical products such as CDs and vinyl, however these days with digital formats such as streaming and downloads it is the responsibility of the Digital Service Providers (DSPs) such as Spotify and Beatport to pay this directly to MCPS. You can sign up with MCPS as a writer for £100 inc VAT.
When commercially released music is performed publicly you would be due royalties. This would include being played on radio, TV or played at a pub or club. Venues, TV & Radio stations all pay a license fee for them to be able to use music. The royalties that are generated are automatically split 50% for the label and 50% for the artists and performers. These royalties can often be referred to as Neighbouring Rights.
In the UK, the nonprofit organisation the handles these rights and collect the license fees and pay artists, performers and labels are called PPL. You can sign up as either an artist or label with PPL for free.
When signing up as a label, they will also be issued an ISRC registration code. This will enable labels to create their own ISRC’s which they will need to register with PPL. An ISRC is a unique identifier for music and music videos. As well as being used as unique identifier for things such as accurate royalty calculations and payments, it is also used by the UK charts to help track chart placement.
Many songwriters work with representatives to help navigate and collect royalties on the use of their music globally. Generally, a song you write can be used in three ways:
- Performance: When a song is performed or transmitted online (including streaming) or played in a public place.
- Mechanical: When a song is reproduced digitally or physically.
- Synchronisation: When a song is used in visual media.
Finding your performing rights organization
It is important to become a performing rights organisation (PRO) member to receive your writer’s share of the performing rights income. When signing up with a PRO, make sure you understand how they collect on performances and what they offer in terms of resources and networking opportunities. Research your country or region’s performing rights organisations, as there may be more than one organization to consider.
Finding your music publisher
Music publishers register your copyrights and help manage the administration and revenue collection for the use of your music around the world and may also provide creative services such as an A&R (Artists and Repertoire).
When considering teaming up with a representative in the publishing space, make sure you understand what types of services they’ll provide (which may vary by country or region), contractual terms or commitments, and how your copyright ownership might be impacted. Seeking out independent legal advice before entering into any agreement is always recommended. Research your local music publishers association to learn more about music publishers in your country or region.