This guide will help you through the process of submitting a release to Symphonic for store approval. It also includes some basic style guidelines to adhere to per store regulations for content submissions.
Where to start
Login to the SymphonicMS. Click the Create Release button or select Create Release under the Distribute drop-down.
Step 1 (Create Your Release)
We first need to know if your release already has a UPC associated with it. If it doesn't select the I need a UPC button.
If the release has a UPC, enter the UPC in the field and select Verify UPC. After validating, we can assist with populating your release with as much information as we can find.
If you don't know your UPC, you can select I don't know my UPC, where you will be prompted to enter the Spotify Album URL. If you're transferring your catalog to Symphonic, please take a look at our catalog transfer tool, TransferTrack, and other helpful resources here before moving on to step 2.
Step 2 (Release Details)
Fill out all Release information. This information pertains to the overall release and does not include any track information.
Upload Artwork - Click 'Upload cover art' and select the artwork stored on your computer or device you wish to use. Art must be SQUARE, and at least 3000 x 3000 pixels at 72 dpi (300 dpi is recommended) in a 1:1 square image and CANNOT be blurry or pixelated. Be sure to view our full cover art specifications.
- If you are releasing a single that is part of a full album, the artwork for both releases must be different. They must be different artwork.
Release Name - This is the release title, which is the title that will show for the whole product.
- If it is an EP, stylize it as EP. Do not use ep or Ep, and do not use dashes or colons before the EP label. If you're unsure if this release is an EP, see our release classifications.
- If the release title is a Volume or a Part, it must be stylized as "Release Title, Vol. 1" or "Release Title, Pt. 1".
- Artist names cannot be in the release name unless it's a self-titled release (i.e., "The Beatles" self-titled album).
- Producer credits cannot be added to the titles. Use the Producer contributor role to credit producers on the tracks.
- For single-track products, this title must match your track title.
Release Version - The release version allows you to define a specific version that differentiates the release you submit from other versions of the release.
For a one-track release, the track mix version should match the release version.
Common/correct uses for this field are:
- Remix or Remixes (for releases that are a collection of remixes)
- Cover (if the cover is performed in a different genre than the original, this is typically specified as "Acoustic Cover")
- Live versions - Tracks that are live versions must specify that they are live, this is typically done by adding "Live" or "Live at Place, Time" in the version field. Time and place references help prevent confusion when there are multiple live versions of the same track in your catalog. Albums that are full live albums must indicate that they are live in either the title itself or in the album version. For Spanish localized content use "En Vivo" and for Portuguese use "Ao Vivo"
Incorrect uses of this field are (Do not enter this information):
- Original Version or any other redundant version information, original releases must leave this field blank.
- Single, EP, LP, Album (these are all product types, not versions).
- Search terms such as Sleep Music, Music for Concentration, Chill, Chillout, etc., must not be used as product titles or product versions.
- References to Physical or Digital content or content not included (i.e., E-Release, Digital Only, Digital Download, Digital Single, E-Album, 2 CD Set, With Lyrics, etc.).
- Clean/Dirty/Explicit, etc., use the track level explicit information field instead.
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. Alternatively, you can use the one automatically generated. Once audio files are uploaded, this field cannot be edited again.
Metadata Language - Select the Language of the release and track titles. If a language other than English, Spanish, or Italian is chosen, please enter English translations (see next).
English Translation - If your release is in another language, this field is where you can enter English Translations. If you do not want your content to display in English, do not enter English Translations. The translation will show on English-speaking stores; however, your release will still show the original language on non-English stores. English translations are optional for Spanish, Italian, or French titles. Specific languages require this field: Arabic/Farsi, Chinese, Korean, & Japanese, and Indian & Pakistani languages.
Primary Artists- Select the Primary Artists for the release. If there are more than 5 primary artists, select "Various Artists." If you need further information on Various Artists, click here.
If you do not see your artist in the drop-down list, you can add their name by typing it and clicking Create New Artist.
You can also edit or add the artist's name under Distribute ► Artists to set up their profile. To ensure the artist's name is aligned to the correct artist page, check out our article on setting up your artist profiles in the SymphonicMS.
UPC - A UPC is a Universal Product Code similar to a barcode or serial number. It gives your release a unique identity. Each new release created in the SymphonicMS needs its own unique UPC.
This field will already be populated with a UPC from Step 1. This field cannot be edited; if you need to change the UPC, please create a new release.
Genre - Select the Genre of music your release falls under.
Subgenre - For instance, if your first selection is 'Dance,' you should make this more specific, 'Deep House' or 'Electronica.'
Label Name - Select the Label in which the release is to be distributed. This only applies to accounts with multiple labels. Once the release is approved, this field cannot be edited.
Copyright Year and Owner © - For new releases, the year it is submitted to us is the year it is created and is also considered the copyright year.
- If you submit a release in November 2019 to be released in January 2020, then 2019 is the copyright and phonograph year. (Because that's when the content was created)
- If the release is part of a back catalog, you must select the year it was initially copyrighted.
Sound Recording Copyright ℗ - This symbol represents the sound recording copyright for the release. You must identify the owner of the sound recording copyright. This may be the label, artist, producer, or an un-associated party that may have rights to the copyright. In most cases, it will match the general copyright from the previous section.
Number of Tracks - Select the total number of tracks that will be on the release. Once saved, this number cannot be edited under the release details. You can add or remove tracks under Songs & Audio.
Release Pricing Tier - Stores automatically choose their own pricing for releases 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.
Compilation - If your release is a compilation, select Yes. Here's a brief guide to help you determine if your release is considered a compilation.
Step 3 (Tracks)
Here you can provide information for each track, including the audio files.
In Step 2, you should have selected the number of tracks needed for the release, so you should see the number of blank tracks listed here for editing. You may add tracks by selecting 'Add Tracks' or remove tracks by selecting the 'Delete' next to each track.
It is important to save often when editing tracks to prevent loss of information, especially with multi-track releases.
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 using Dropbox. Once uploaded, the files are loaded into our system to be selected later using drop-down menus.
Muti Track Edit- *This is not available for Starter plans at this time. You can use Multi Track edit to mass update your tracks for select information. You can check out more details about this feature here.
Reorder Tracks- You can use this tool to change the order of your tracks. Once the release has been approved, you cannot update the order.
Add Tracks- In step 2, you select how many tracks you want on the release. Once the release details are saved, you can not go back and update that field. Here you can add additional tracks near the bottom of your track details. If you need to remove tracks, click the delete button next to the track to delete.
Edit Track - Click on the Edit button to begin editing a track.
Audio File - If you previously used the bulk audio uploader, you should be able to find the correct audio file listed in the drop-down menu. Otherwise, you can select the Upload Audio button to load the track into our system. Once the upload is complete, you can find the track in the drop-down menu. Please note our system does not accept mp3 format. Full details on our audio specifications can be found here.
Once the track is selected, the audio preview will populate along with the track length.
ISRC Code - The ISRC code or international standard recording code is a series of numbers used to identify a specific recording version of a track.
- If this is a new track, select Generate ISRC code, and we will provide you with a code.
- If you already have a code or are re-releasing the track in an album, you can input your code in the field.
Clip Start Time (optional)- The clip start time field informs TikTok of the time at which you want your clip to start on their platform. For example, if you have a 6-minute track and want to start the clip at 47 seconds, you would enter a start time. of "00:00:47". The format for this field is HH:MM:SS.
The duration of the clip we send to TikTok is 60 seconds long. For a complete TikTok overview, click here.
Song Name - Enter the track name only.
- Do not add any featuring artists or remix information in the track title.
- Artist names are not allowed in the track titles.
- Do not enter explicit/clean versions.
- Producer credits are not allowed in any titles.
- If the track is a Volume or a Part, it must be stylized as "Release Title, Vol. 1" or "Release Title, Pt. 1".
- Do not use generic titles, such as Track 1, Track 2, etc.
- Do not enter remix version information in this field.
Mix/Version (optional) - 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 be added to the track title once delivered to DSPs.
Common uses of this field are:
Incorrect uses of this field are (Do not enter this information):
- Do not enter "Original Mix", "Original Version", "Album Version", "Original", or any other mix information that signifies a standard version. Any track that is not a remix is deemed an original mix by store standards.
- Do not enter "Exclusive", as this can cause confusion on DSPs.
- Do not add Producer credits to this field.
English Translation (optional) - If the release language chosen in the release details (step 2) was something other than English, Spanish, or Italian, you can enter English Translations. This will overwrite your title in English-speaking regions. We don't recommend adding a translation if you do not want English titles. Specific languages require this field: Arabic/Farsi, Chinese, Korean, & Japanese, and Indian & Pakistani languages.
Display Artists (Primary/Featuring/Remixer)
Primary Artist - Each performing artist must be listed for the track. If multiple primary artists are on the track, click the +Add Artist button to add an additional artist.
- Do not list multiple artists in a single entry.
- If your artist is comprised of more than one artist name, such as "Hall & Oates", please review correct Compound Artist naming conventions.
Featuring Artists - Typically, a featured artist is an artist who is a guest on the track and is not associated with the main performing artist/band. Often, they are a guest on the track as a vocalist or instrumental soloist. 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. When you select a Featuring artist from the drop-down, the track title is automatically renamed to Song Name (feat. artist name) at partners that support that type of title formatting.
Remixer - If an artist has remixed a song by another artist, they are not considered primary or featuring. The original performing artist remains listed as a primary artist. If the original track had a primary and/or a featuring artist, those roles stay the same on the remixed track, and a remix artist is added to said track.
Writers- Each track requires at least one writer. You'll be able to add your writers' first and last names and then select either Composer, Songwriter, or Lyricist from the drop-down menu. The writers added must be in first and last name format only. These roles should not use stage names, aliases, or alternate performer names unless such a name is the person's actual name, such as a singer/songwriter artist. If you need to add more writers, select +Add Writer. Full details on writer requirements here.
Contributors - Producers, mastering engineers, side musicians, and other roles you would find in traditional liner notes are the types of roles supported in this field. While a band or group will be listed as a primary artist, you can list the individual members of bands or groups using these roles (i.e., drummer, lead vocals, rhythm guitar, etc.). Very few partners currently support these roles (notably Spotify & Apple), but we encourage you to fill out as much information as possible when creating releases. Some genres, such as Jazz, require the use of these roles.
More partners may utilize these rules in the future to properly submit a release on their platform. Adding these roles to your releases now may benefit how your release displays in the future. Check out this article for more information on contributors.
Genre - Select the genre that broadly covers the track.
Subgenre - Choose the subgenre 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, select the genre that most closely matches your preferred genre.
Explicit Status - If your release has explicit language or art, you must check the explicit content checkbox. More information on explicit tagging can be found here.
Price Tier - Track pricing can be set at 3 tiers - Front, Mid, or Back. This is the pricing for a purchase of just that individual track. On most partners, this translates to:
- Front - $1.29
- Mid - $0.99
- Back - $0.69
Some partners don't allow custom pricing, so your pricing may vary between partners. If you need more information, see our track and album and price tiers.
Recording Year - Enter the year the master recording was finalized. This field will be auto-populated with the current year.
Country of Recording (optional) - Enter the Country in which the recording was finalized.
Audio Style- Select whether your track is instrumental or vocal. If the track contains vocals, you must select Vocal; otherwise, choose Instrumental.
- Singing, vocal loops, spoken word, or conversation are all considered Vocal.
- A dance song with a single vocal sample of "Stop!" would be considered having vocals in English.
Vocal Language - This option will appear if you select Vocal for Audio Style. Choose the language of the audio in the track. If there are multiple languages used, enter the language that is most prominently used on the track.
Lyrics - Enter the lyrics for the track in the blank field provided. This must contain only the actual lyrics; it can't have headers or other information (i.e., you cannot enter Chorus, Hook, Verse, Outro, Intro, etc.). Do not write "x3," "x10," etc., for repeated lines; they must be written in full. Please see our full guidelines on lyrics.
Step 4 (Release Availability)
During this final step, you will select the partners (stores) that the release will be sent to and when it will go live. Select 'edit' on Timeline to begin.
Release Date - This is the general release date when your release will go live on all selected partners. Please submit 4-6 weeks before the exclusive, pre-order, or general release date (whichever comes first for your release) to ensure timely delivery on partner sites. This is also recommended if you wish to submit for playlist pitching. We cannot guarantee the release will be live on time if submitted with less than 18 days of the release date.
Release Time (optional)- This field will apply to any DSP that accepts release times (Apple does not). This feature will change when the release goes live per territory. For example, if you want your release to unlock at 2:00 PM for fans, it will unlock at 2:00 PM at each territory's local time (when each timezone reaches 2:00 PM). The default is 12:00 AM (Midnight). Further detailed instructions, here.
Synchronous Release Unlocking (optional)- When activated, your release will go live worldwide all at once. This will be the morning for some listeners, afternoon for others, and night for the rest. This is an advanced launch strategy for releases. Further detailed instructions, here.
Pre-Order Date (optional) - A pre-order is an option that allows you to make your release available for sale before the official release date. Customers can see the release name, art, and 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. If a Pre-Order date is chosen, your release will be available for Pre-Order on all download sites; you cannot choose specific stores. Pre-order is not available for streaming sites.
Pre-Order previews (optional) - If you have selected a pre-order date, you can check this box to enable audio previews for your pre-order on Amazon and Apple. If this is unchecked, consumers will be unable to preview your release on these two DSPs.
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 drop-down menu to select which partner will get the exclusive release. From here, select how long you'd like the release to have exclusivity. Currently, the options are 2, 4, 6, or 8 weeks.
Territory - You can select Worldwide unless you have specific regions in which you need to send your content. If you do not select Worldwide, you will need to pick each 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. Some partners may not support releases that do not have worldwide rights and may hide the release if worldwide is not selected.
The example below is set up so that the release is delivered to all territories except Brazil.
Selecting Partners - You can use the pre-made lists at the top to select different sets of partners or select all partners. Alternatively, you can scroll through the partner list and pick each partner you wish to send to. Be sure to check that all desired partners are selected on this step. Once done, save your release before continuing to the final review. If a partner is showing Unavailable, you can hover over the partner for a reason as to why the release cannot be submitted there.
Submit Final Review
Once you have completed all steps, you can proceed to a final review of the release.
Once you click 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.
Congratulations, you're finished with creating your release!