FAQ

Spinnup

Why do I need Spinnup?

With Spinnup it’s about as simple as it gets because we’ve already done all the tricky stuff for you. Just upload your music and cover art, fill in the release information, pay, and you’re away! Your tracks available in all major stores – just like that! In case that wasn’t enough, we also track your sales and social stats for you, giving you in depth insight of your fanbase through one easy-to-use dashboard.
Oh – and did we mention our Scouts?

What is Spinnup?

We’re all about distribution and discovery. Spinnup is the easiest and most exciting way to sell your music online regardless of genre, it’s a music distribution service like no other. Not only do we get your releases into major online stores such as iTunes and Spotify but we’ve also got a dedicated team of Scouts scouring the site for exciting new talent to work with, who have a direct line into Universal Music Group’s A&R teams. That is what makes us unique and we think that it makes us the best choice for unsigned artists who are serious about getting discovered. Sound like you?

Spinnup Scouts

Is the feedback that I get from scouts visible to everyone?

No. Your feedback is visible to you and you only.

Why haven’t any scouts commented on my release?

Spinnup scouts spend their time scouring through our player listening to as many releases as possible and from time-to-time they have something to say and may like to leave a private comment for you. We think this is a great way for scouts to provide initial feedback to you and share their thoughts on your release. However, we do appreciate that some artists may not want to receive comments so the feature can be switched off by simply ticking the relevant box within your artist profile.

Why hasn’t my release been listened to by a scout?

Spinnup scouts are always on the look out for new exciting artists and well written songs. They use the Spinnup player as a key tool to find new artists but there are only 24 hours in the day and despite their best efforts no scout can listen to all songs released through Spinnup immediately and some songs may not be listened to at all. To help you to get heard by the best scout we created the “push” tool which you can read about here. Please bear in mind that pushing your music to a scout doesn’t guarantee that they will listen, but it significantly increases the chances if you have researched the scout and found a good match. To further increase your chances we strongly recommend making sure that your artist profile is complete and includes all of your social media (we know the scouts are really interested in this) and if you push your track to a scout and it doesn’t go anywhere we recommend choosing a different scout the next time you use the push tool.

How do I contact the Scouts?

You have to have released at least one track through Spinnup to be able to see the Scouts contact information.

How do I push music to Scouts?

You can push your music to the Scouts up to three times per release you make on Spinnup. So do your research and only push to the Scouts you’re suited to. Read their Scout profiles and take note of the genres they are particularly looking for to see if they are right for you!

How can I get a Scout to check out my music?

The Scouts are constantly on the look out for new artists and they listen to as much music that is released through Spinnup as possible. To increase your chances of catching their attention, it’s a good idea to have a complete artist page and be active with your social media – that will certainly help to get you noticed! To make sure you’re noticed you may have to give them a push as explained below.

How can Scouts help me?

Our Scouts are a dedicated bunch, just as passionate about discovering the next big thing as you are about becoming it!

They listen to as many Spinnup releases as they possibly can (their larger than average appetite for music really helps). They do this with the help of our Scout area, which is kind of similar to your Artist dashboard. Here, not only can they see all the pushes you send along with your messages to them, but they can view artist profiles, check out your other releases, and search all of Spinnup for specific artists or genres.

The Scouts can help you by giving feedback on your releases to take your music to the next level, in some cases they offer to mentor artists, join them in the studio, or introduce them to their contacts in the music industry. As well as all of this, our Scouts have a direct relationship with the A&Rs at Universal Music, so when they find an artist they think is really special they will present them to the A&R teams in the hopes of landing them a record deal!

Log in to your artist account to view the Scout profiles and see who would be best suited to push your music to!

Who are the Spinnup Scouts?

The Scouts are handpicked by Universal Music Group and are people who love music. They can be everything from students, journalists, bloggers, or even artists themselves, all with a burning desire to work with new talent. The Scouts are independent, specialize in different genres and have a direct link into Universal Music Group’s labels, so make sure you get their attention!

Uploading your music

What format must my cover art be?

When you make a release you really want to make sure you’re presenting the whole package in the best possible way, and that includes cover art! It may sound trivial, but people really do judge a book (or in this case, song) by its cover, and we wouldn’t want your hard work to be wasted with poor or incorrect cover art. Follow our instructions and specifications below to make sure getting your release online is a smooth process.

How can artwork be incorrect?

Each retailer and streaming service has very strict guidelines for the content and specifications of an artist’s album artwork. If you submit something that goes against these guidelines, we will be forced to reject your release until you have uploaded an image that meets the requirements.

What is the correct format for my cover art?

For the stores to accept your artwork it must be:

  • A JPG/JPEG/PNG file
  • A perfect square, ratio 1:1
  • At least 1400 x 1400 pixels, but we recommend 2800 x 2800
  • A large, high quality image

Your artwork cannot be:

  • Blurry
  • Pixelated
  • Misaligned
  • Oddly rotated

If you need to re-size your artwork and are not sure how, we recommend using picresize.com. It’s free and very easy to use on both PC and Mac. Go to the site and follow the steps to create your square image.

What is my artwork not allowed to contain?

The image can’t contain:

  • The name or logo of a retailer
  • Any registered trademarks
  • Copyrighted logo types
  • Content you don’t own the rights to
  • The word ‘exclusive’
  • Production credits
  • Any reference to physical packaging, or it being a digital product
  • No pricing
  • No pornogrpahic images or links to pornographic websites  
  • Any promotion for another product
  • Any misleading information (e.g. it can’t include another artist not featured in your music)
  • No reference to content that isn’t there
  • No websites or URLs
  • No offensive imagery or symbolism

If you’re going to feature your artist name and release title on your cover art, then make sure this text is the exact same as the text you entered when creating your release in Spinnup. We recommend keeping the text as minimal as possible – just your name and the title – and don’t abbreviate your artist name unless the abbreviation is included as part of an artist logo. Your artwork cannot include any production credits also, for example “Prod. by Dr Tre.”

It sounds like a lot, we know, but it’s always better to get it right the first time! If you’re not sure about any of this, or have further questions about cover art, then contact our support team here.

Feel free to explore our other FAQs here, or head back to the homepage.

What do I need to consider when uploading my tracks?

Creating a release on Spinnup is very simple, and we’ve tried to make it as hassle-free as possible for our artists so they can spend less time creating their releases, and more time making great music!

To get your music to stores as quickly as possible, there are some steps you need to follow, and specifications you need to meet to ensure your release is accepted the first time around. It’s not the end of the world if it gets rejected, it just means you need to tweak some things to make it perfect. If you follow these tips, your release will be available on all major digital  stores in as little as 10 days and may even be available on iTunes in 24 hours.

Entering your release info

OK, so first off: entering your release title.

It sounds basic, but our retailers have rules about title formatting that we, and you must follow.

Release titles must not include:

  • Any information about the type of release or content. Avoid text like Single, Album, EP, Exclusive or Limited Edition, ft, with, &, vs, unless it is part of the actual title of the track.
  • Text referring to physical or digital versions, for example;  E-Release, Digital Download, Digital Single, 2 CD set, with Lyrics
  • Text about the artist in the release title, e.g Spinnup Songs feat. Dr Up
  • Any production credits, e.g. “prod. by DJ Ketchup”
  • Any information about file formats e,g Get Discovered .wav
  • Incorrect title casing. In general all words in the title should start with an uppercase letter followed by lower case letters, except if there are prepositions in the middle of the title, such as: a, an, as, at, and, but, by, for, from, in, into, nor, of, off, on, onto, or, out, over, so, the, to, up, yet and with. The only exception is when the word is part of a verb phrase, for example: “Stand Up” or “Watch Out”

Here’s an example of the correct format: ‘In the Still of the Night’ or ‘Look Out Below’

If your release has only one track then the title will need to be exactly the same as the tracks filename. E.g Get Discovered.wav would be “Get Discovered”

If your release has two tracks then you can name it whatever you like. But if you have both track names in the title you must separate them with a forward slash (“ / “ ).  Please note the forward slash needs to have a space either side.   e.g  “Get Distributed / Get Discovered”

We know that this sounds like a lot of rules but each store has its own set of requirements and to make sure your release is available at the earliest opportunity we need to make sure we address each one.

Next step: entering your Artist Name.

Your artist name should be the name of the primary performer on the release. When entering the artist name, make sure you:

  • Check the spelling, and that your artist name is consistent throughout your release, for example if you list your artist name on the cover art
  • Take care with your letter casing. Acronyms should be upper case and never use all lowercase or any random casing.
  • Don’t include any additional information, such as role, date, instrument, former band or a URL or website. All stores will reject releases with this information included.
  • Only list a maximum of three primary artists for album releases. This does not apply for singles or EPs.
  • Don’t enter any featuring artists in the artist name field, this must be entered in the ‘Extra (featured artists)’ box when you upload your audio file.

If this is your first ever release it’s a good idea to have a look on the stores and streaming services to check your artist name hasn’t already been taken by someone. You can of course have the same artist name, but having something unique definitely avoids confusion with things like artists profiles and pictures.

Now you choose your genre, language and release date.

For release date you have two options.

  • As soon as possible – this means we will get your release delivered to all stores within 2 – 10 days.
  • Or click on a specific date and select any date up to three weeks after you have uploaded your release. This is great if you want to schedule your release and plan a campaign around that date.

Finally, country selection.

if you wish you can select which countries your release will be available in by checking the ‘Country Restrictions’ box. A text field will drop down, allowing you to type in the name of any countries you only want your release available in, or countries you specifically do not want it to be released in. If you don’t click this box your release will be available worldwide.

And that’s it! You have completed the release info section.

At this point it’s a great idea to do a final check for any spellings or incorrect title casing and double check your release title and artist name are exactly the same as the information you enter in the audio file and cover art sections.

If you need any help of artwork specifications, click here, or here for advice on audio file formats and how to convert them correctly.

What kind of music files can I upload to Spinnup?

How exciting, you’ve finished your music and it’s ready to be released!

Unfortunately not all audio is created equal, and our retail and streaming partners have strict specifications about what type of audio files they will accept. We have broken down these specs below, so if you follow these correctly then your release should be live in no time!

What is the correct file format?

Your audio must be:

  • WAV or FLAC files (we recommend FLAC files, as they are often less corrupt)
  • 2 channels
  • Sample size: 16 bit
  • Sample rate: 44.1 kHz
  • Bit rate: 1411 kbps
  • Uncompressed. The stores will then compress the files for streaming and downloading

Please note that if you just change the file extension to .wav or .flac your files will not be accepted! You must convert them according to the steps below.

How do I convert my files to the correct file format?

To ensure that your audio files upload correctly, you can use any program you feel comfortable with to convert your files, but we find most people use iTunes. It is an easy process, but we’ve gone one step further and broken down the steps for you below:

  • Open the iTunes application on your computer.
  • In your library, highlight the song(s) you want to convert.
  • Go to iTunes –> Preferences.
  • Make sure you are on the General tab and click Import Settings.
  • Under Import Using, choose WAV Encoder and change Setting to Custom.
  • A new window opens. Choose the sample size and rate according to the values above, and set Channels to Stereo. Click OK until you reach your library again.
  • With your song(s) still highlighted, right click and select Create WAV. The conversion begins.
  • When finished, the highlighted song(s) is the old version, and the one(s) underneath the new. Drag the new files into a folder where you can easily find them, for instance on your desktop.

What do I need to do after I have converted my audio files to the correct format?

Once you have your shiny new audio files sitting on your desktop, there are a few final steps we recommend following when saving and uploading your files:

  • The audio file name should be the track title only and should match the title exactly as how you have entered it into the Release Information section
  • Don’t include the artist name or any featuring artists
  • Don’t include the type of release (original, remix, radio version etc.)
  • Don’t use any unusual symbols such as < > | @ { } ; ” = ^
  • If you have the words ‘part’ or ‘volume’ in your track title, these must be abbreviated to Pt. and Vol., e.g. ‘Scouts Pt. 2.’ or ‘Release Vol. 3.’
    • Must follow any of these exact formulas: “Title, Pt. X” or “Title, Vol. X”, including the comma, space and period point
  • Only use uppercase title for acronyms
  • All lower case, or random casing, is not allowed
  • If your track has multiple titles, each track must be separated by a forward slash with a space either side of it, e.g. ‘My First Release / My Second Release’
  • If you use a – / : or ( ) anywhere in your title, the first word after any of these symbols must be capitalised

What’s left to do?

Phew! Now that’s all done, the only thing left to do is upload your track to Spinnup. This can be done by clicking and dragging the file from your computer into the Tracks box, or click the pink ‘Click to select files’ button, and find the file in the dialogue box that pops up.

Once uploaded, the file/s will appear in the white box above, and you will be able to check how the track title/s are formatted. Once you have entered in the information in the Release Options step, you will be able to finish it all off in Package Your Release.

You can then click ‘Preview Your Release’ to check all parts and information, then make your payment to off it goes to the stores!

We have great advice articles on how to correctly format your cover art, and what else to consider when uploading your tracks.

Distributing your release

How do I remove my music from stores?

You can take down your releases at any time – it will take 1-7 days. Go to ‘My releases’, click ‘edit’ next to the releases you want to remove and then ‘take down release’. This cannot be undone be certain that you want to take down your release before you go through this process.

How do I connect my social accounts?

In order to track your social stats on your dashboard, you will need to connect your social accounts.
We’ve made this super simple – all you need to do is click each social icon on the dashboard and you will be asked to grant permission for us to track your page.
This will work for Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and YouTube!

Why is my release visible on Amazon prior to it being available for purchase?

This is because Amazon’s processes are different to the other stores. As soon as Amazon receive and process your release they feature it on their store even if it is before to the official release date. If you look you’ll see that this is the same for all artists on Amazon. You will see this with very big releases on Amazon, it serves as a preview and can build anticipation prior to your very exciting release.

Can I correct a mistake or change my release in anyway after it has been distributed?

No, unfortunately not. When you upload your music you have the opportunity to review and edit before the payment page, so please double and triple check everything then. Once you pay, your release is created and sent to all of the stores immediately so it’s then out of our hands and no further changes are possible to that version.
If you do want to make any changes to your release after it has been distributed, you will need to delete the release and create a new version. Sorry, we have to work inside the rules set by the stores on this one.

Why should I check my artist name isn’t being used by someone else in all digital stores before releasing my songs?

We’d recommend it to ensure you are searched correctly. All digital stores sort by artist name so checking first will avoid getting your artist name mixed up with anyone else’s.

How much does Spinnup cost?

It depends what you want to release – single, EP or album. Check out our prices here.
The prices are for one year’s distribution through Spinnup. Distribution of your music will be automatically renewed using the same payment method for another year unless you choose to cancel.

Can I choose which countries I sell my music in?

Yes. We always distribute to the major digital stores (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, Rhapsody, TIDAL, Deezer), however you will, at the time of entering your information be given the option of which regions you release in.

What products can I release?

Spinnup gives you three options to give you maximum flexibility:

Single: 1-2 tracks
EP: 3-6 tracks
Album: 7-25 tracks

[see also Why is my EP labelled as a single in some digital stores?]

How long will it take for my release to hit the stores?

You can set a date for your release, at least three weeks in advance. If you wish for the release to go up as soon as possible, you simply leave it blank. Then we send your release to the stores within 48 hours after payment. Each service needs to process it themselves but they should only take a few days. The approximate time frames for each partner are:

iTunes: 1-5 days*
Amazon MP3: 3-7 business days
Google Play: 3-7 business days
Spotify: 2-7 business days
Rhapsody: 3-7 business days
TIDAL: 3-7 business days
Deezer: 2-7 business days

*IMPORTANT: iTunes randomly selects some releases to go through an internal store review process which can take up to 16 business days – please bear this in mind when scheduling your release, if your are planning any launch or press, have your release up ahead of time.

Which stores does Spinnup distribute to?

We distribute to the major players (Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Rhapsody, TIDAL, Deezer) for maximum impact! Their coverage is global so your music will be distributed around the world.

Money and sales

How much do the stores keep from my sales?

It varies from store-to-store. With downloads, you will be paid the wholesale price attached to your track by the particular store. Stores generally take about 20-30% of the retail price after sales tax.
With streaming, when a subscriber to a store streams your music you get paid a proportionate share of the subscription revenue (or, if the service is ad funded like Spotify’s free tier, the ad-revenue) collected by the store in that particular month. This means that payments will vary from month-to-month depending on the amount of subscription or ad revenue that was generated by the store and how often your music was streamed. If you would like further details about how Spotify pay artists, here is a link to their artist site.

Just to be clear: we take nothing! We get paid from the annual upload fee, that’s it.

 

Does Spinnup keep any money from my music sales?

You keep all your rights and receive 100% of the royalties paid by the digital stores.

 

How do I withdraw my money?

You can withdraw money at any time as long as you have earnings of €10 or more in your Spinnup account, just go to ‘Withdraw Money’ in your Spinnup account. You’ll need to be registered with PayPal and please make sure you use your PayPal email when requesting the withdrawal.

If your PayPal account is set up in any currency other than Euro please make sure it is set up to receive foreign currency. You will find this setting in your Paypal profile. You will need to click on Settings, Selling Preferences, Getting Paid and Managing Risks, Bloc Payments. In Bloc Payments you will see an option for Payment Receiving Preferences, please select “Yes, accept and convert”.

It normally takes 3-5 business days before the money reaches your account.

When do I see my sales & how soon can I collect my money?

Spinnup will publish sales reports on your dashboard on or around the 10th of every month. Spinnup receives monthly sales reports from all stores and these reports are delivered by the stores on a minimum two-month delay from the end of the sales month during which the reported sale took place. This means that it may take just over 3 months for your initial sales reports, and the money relating to those sales, to appear in your dashboard.

To walk through a quick example, if you have a sale on iTunes at the start of January, the sale would be reported through by iTunes to Spinnup at the end of March. Spinnup would then processes all of the iTunes reporting (in addition to the reporting from all other services) and publish the sales data on your dashboard at the earliest opportunity which would typically be on or around the 10th of April – we can’t unfortunately give an exact, fixed date each month because sometimes the services report late or deliver their reporting with errors that we have to work with them to fix.

We know this is a long wait but don’t despair! Spinnup provides you with real-time social stats and daily Spotify trend data (on a 2-3 day delay) so if you’ve been playing shows or promoting your release check your dashboard to see the immediate impact that this is having.

Please bear in mind that we rely on the stores to provide you with sales reporting and sometimes the stores encounter unforeseen delays. Rest assured that every month we are working with the stores to ensure that your sales reporting and money are updated in your dashboard at the earliest opportunity, but this will generally always be around the 10th of each month.

Where can I see my sales?

Dashboard! It’s got all the stats you’ll ever need. Go to ‘My Spinnup’.

Where can I find my UPCs and ISRCs?

They’re in the ‘My releases’ section.

Retail

What is a UPC?

A UPC (Unique Product Code) is a unique code used to identify a release (also called a product), whether it’s a single, EP or album.

Do you provide ISRCs?

Sure do. ISRC codes are included in the prices for distribution, and it is not possible to use your own codes.

 

What is an ISRC?

ISRCs (International Standard Recording Code) are unique codes which are used to identify every registered released track around the world.

My music is already being sold through another distributor but I want to switch to Spinnup – what should I do?

We like your thinking! Ask the current distributor to remove your release(s) from all stores – stores will not accept the same release twice – and when they have done that, you can create new versions through Spinnup. It is however important to understand that Spinnup attaches new ISRC codes to all recordings. Unfortunately we can’t currently import existing ISRC codes and attach them to your recordings. We would like to do this and it’s something we’re working on so watch this space!

How do I cancel my yearly fee?

Contact our support team support@spinnup.zendesk.com and they’ll advise you on how to take your content down and cancel any future payments.

Can I set the retail price of my music?

No, digital stores set their own prices and they can vary from country to country.

Why is my EP labelled as a single in some digital stores?

Digital stores all have their own way of labeling releases, dependent on various factors such as number of tracks and track lengths. e.g. on iTunes a single will be 1-3 tracks provided each of the tracks are less than 10 minutes long, however, if one of the tracks be over 10 minutes then the release will be labelled as an EP. So that you’re aware, Spinnup (and some digital stores) classify release types purely on the number tracks included in the release (1-2 single, 3-6 EP and 7-14 album). This doesn’t make any practical difference but you may see different labels used on different stores.
Here’s a bit more detail on the 10 minute track rule mentioned above: a track can be any length you like but if you release one to three tracks and one of the tracks is longer than 10 minutes iTunes automatically classes the release as an ‘EP’ and puts the retail price up accordingly. Similarly, if your release contains four to six tracks but the total length is 30 minutes or more iTunes automatically classes it as an album and fixes the price accordingly.

Legal

What age must I be in order to use Spinnup?

We would love to distribute everyone’s music regardless of age but we’re afraid that for legal reasons you’ve got to be 18 or over to sign up and distribute through Spinnup. If you’re under 18 please use the parent consent form or contact Spinnup Support.

Can I sell cover or tribute versions?

Yes, you can. However, you may need to get permission from the original copyright owner in some of the countries in which you plan to release your cover version. This permission would typically take the form of a mechanical license. In the U.S. you can purchase a mechanical license from The Harry Fox Agency.
Also, it is very important that no one is misled into thinking they’re buying or listening to the original so you mustn’t include the name of the original performing artist anywhere in the release information. That means when you’re filling in your track and artist details don’t credit or reference the original artist. As an example, using the track title ‘Club Tropicana’ is fine but using ‘Club Tropicana (Wham)’ or ‘Wham Original – Club Tropicana’ would mean that your cover would not be able to be delivered to the digital stores. We want everyone to hear your covers so please help us with this.

Can I upload music with samples in?

Everyone loves a great sample but if you’re using a sample that is not from one of your own tracks you need to make sure they are legally cleared for use. This would involve getting the permission of all copyright owners and it applies no matter how short the sample is.

Do I need to own the copyright to the recording I want to sell?

Yes, yes, yes! It’s essential you have all the rights in the recording(s) you want to sell. If not, you must have permission from the person that does have these rights. This one is really important so if you are in any doubt get in touch with the Spinnup Support team and we will talk through it with you.

 

Does Spinnup have any exclusive rights to my music?

No, we don’t, it’s 100% your music, here at Spinnup we think you should be able to do whatever you want with it.

 

Do I need to register copyright for my music before distributing it?

No, your music is copyrighted the moment you create it but for extra protection you may wish to register your songs for copyright before they are released. This can be done with numerous websites on the internet for a fee. You will need to find a legitimate website that offers this service, upload your songs, enter your details and pay a fee. Please bear in mind that registering for copyright protection is not the same as registering your recordings or songs with a collective rights society.

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