FAQ

The Basics

Cover Art

Audio

Video

Metadata

Copyright

Royalties

What’s the deal?

The AWAL deal is a simple 30 day rolling digital distribution license. We take a 15% sales commission. There are no fees for distribution.

What happens after 30 days?

The agreement is a rolling agreement, so the minimum term is 30 days, but it will continue for as long as is required.

What promotion will AWAL do for my release?

As part of a standard AWAL agreement we pitch for store features where possible. In order to do this we need a comprehensive press release and evidence of market presence (reviews, radio play, TV appearances and touring). To be considered for features we also need adequate lead time - at least 6 weeks. Please refer to our marketing section for additional bespoke services.

What happens if I sign up with AWAL but then get offered a record deal?

The AWAL agreement is designed to allow maximum flexibility in these circumstances, so we can either remove the relevant catalogue within 30 days or simply remove certain territories, depending on your situation.

OK, I’m sold… how do I sign up?

We request that you complete this information request form so that we can evaluate your catalogue.

In the meantime you should read the agreement and make sure that you are happy with the terms.

I’m all signed up. How do I submit my music?

Music is submitted exclusively via our website using the upload wizard. You will receive login details via email once we’ve processed your agreement. Use these to login to the website and access the AWAL uploader, and follow the onscreen instructions. Please note that we no longer accept submissions via CD, so please do not send any audio in the post. Back to top

Once my music is submitted what happens next?

Your product will be checked by a member of staff at AWAL and then sent to the stores. You will receive your client login, if you don’t have one already, within 2 working days. Back to top

How do I retrieve my login details?

If you have signed an AWAL agreement and have not received a login, firstly use the password reset function. If that doesn’t work, please contact us to check that we have the correct email address set up for you. If you are having problems logging in, make sure you’re using a current browser. Back to top

How long will it be before I can see my music on iTunes and the other stores?

We usually process releases within a couple of days. However, all the stores have varying processing times (we say up to six weeks to cover them all). It’s always best of have a longer lead time to enable proper promotion of your release. Back to top

Which stores will my release appear in?

AWAL supplies around 200 stores as part of the standard agreement. Back to top

Can I handpick which stores my music goes to?

We believe it is beneficial to have your music on sale in as many places as possible, so as standard we deliver your music to all these stores. This provides maximum exposure for the artist, and widespread availability of your music for purchase helps to reduce piracy – particularly in the case of streaming stores such as Spotify, where after previewing your release listeners will be able to directly purchase it. Back to top

How do I get my music on Beatport?

Beatport cherry-pick only the best dance music, and to help them identify which releases they would like to offer they require that each new label applies for inclusion on Beatport via their distributor. An application form is available to begin this process once you’ve signed up with AWAL. Back to top

How do I submit/amend my biography information on the various stores?

Many stores, including iTunes and Spotify, use Rovi’s AllMusic database as the source of their biography information. In order to submit your release for consideration, please visit the AllMusic website. Allow plenty of lead time to ensure they have a chance to review your submission prior to release. Amazon use their own proprietary Artist Central system, see the website for details on submitting information. Back to top

Which web browsers and operating systems do you support?

The AWAL website and uploader is compatible with most modern browsers and operating systems. We recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari for an optimal user experience. If using Internet Explorer, version 8 or higher is required. Back to top

What format should the cover art be in?

The cover art should be a JPEG or PNG file, minimum 1400x1400 pixels at 72 DPI in RGB format - not CMYK. Please also make sure artwork is square - 1:1 aspect ratio. Ideal size is 2400x2400 pixels, and it must not be blurred. It’s best to use the original digital source artwork, but if you need to scan the printed sleeve then please make sure you set your scanner to 300 DPI with the Descreen option ‘On’, if available. For an explanation of DPI and its relevance to digital artwork, please read this article. Back to top

What information is allowed on the cover art?

If artist names are displayed on the cover art, they must also be listed in the metadata. No URLs (for instance, links to the artist’s website or Facebook page) are allowed. Unauthorised use of corporate branding and logos is not permitted either. Back to top

Can I put ‘iTunes version’ or ‘Digital version’ on the cover art?

No. Apple does not allow the use of the word ‘iTunes’ on cover art, and the product should not refer to it being a digital version either. Back to top

Which audio formats do you accept? Is an MP3 OK?

You should prepare the audio as 16bit / 44.1kHz WAV files. We only accept uncompressed audio files, so no MP3s. Back to top

Do you do anything to my tracks? Are they compressed or turned into MP3s by AWAL?

The AWAL upload wizard doesn’t apply compression or any other form of additional processing to your audio files. Identical, checksummed copies of the WAVs you submit on our website are sent via FTP to each of our store partners, who then use their own processing methods to transcode your audio into the formats they offer to their customers. Back to top

Are there any other requirements for audio?

Remember that you are selling these tracks, so the audio must be of commercial quality. There should be no excessive silences at the start/end of a track, and there must be no technical glitches or distortion. Remember also that any samples used must be cleared by the original artist or their label. Please listen critically to your finished tracks before sending them to us, as any problems will delay distribution of your release. Back to top

I’ve made a video. Can I sell it on iTunes?

We can have videos encoded for iTunes. However, there is a cost involved. In line with our ‘no-fee’ ethos, we pass this encoding fee on to you at cost. Back to top

What is metadata?

Metadata in this context refers to the important information about your release which we require to distribute it to the download stores. This includes track titles, artists and copyright information… and more! Back to top

What’s a UPC code? How do I get one?

UPC stands for Universal Product Code, it’s essentially a barcode that identifies your release. We assign these automatically (at no charge) if you don’t have your own. Back to top

What are ISRC codes? How do I get them?

ISRC stands for International Standard Recording Code. It’s a unique identifier for a recording (not the song; different versions such as a Radio Edit and a Live version would have different codes). Again, we assign these automatically once your release has been submitted if the field is left empty. Back to top

What constitutes a single or an EP?

In digital terms, a product with between 1 and 3 normal length tracks is classified as a single, and 4-6 tracks is an EP. The standard format is Product Title - Single or Product Title - EP. The upload wizard will add these terms automatically once your submission has been processed. Back to top

What does number of discs mean, in this context?

For a digital release, this is the number of virtual ‘discs’ (or playlists) the release contains. It does not refer to the number of CDs the physical release is distributed on. In most cases, in this context this will be one. A digital double disc release costs twice the standard pricing; three discs is three times the standard price etc. Back to top

What does Preview Time mean?

This is the point in a track (in seconds) that the audio preview on iTunes begins. As standard, customers can listen to 90 seconds of each song before purchasing if the track is over two and a half minutes. If it’s less, then the preview length is reduced to 30 seconds. The preview will start at 45 seconds if this is left blank. Back to top

I don’t have a label. Is that OK? What should I put in the label field?

Just put the artist name as the label. We didn’t get our acronym for nothing ;) Back to top

I chose a particular genre for my music, but it’s been changed. Why?

Any genres specified are subject to approval by us and our store partners, and occasionally we may need to alter them to ensure your content is allocated to the most appropriate area of the store. For instance, music should only be tagged Inspirational if it is of a Religious nature, such as a performance by a Church choir or recital of a hymn. Back to top

I’ve spotted a mistake in my submission. How do I amend it?

We absolutely recommend that you check everything thoroughly before sending it to us. Once uploaded, errors take a lot of time and energy to rectify. If you have discovered an error in your submission to us, please notify us as soon as possible. Back to top

What does C Copyright mean?

This is the copyright for the release. It is not the publishing credit. Back to top

What does P Copyright mean?

This is the copyright of the sound recording. Again, it is not the publishing credit. Back to top

Do I need permission to include samples of other peoples’ music in mine?

Yes, you must obtain written permission from the rightsholder of the track you’re sampling in order to ‘clear’ the sample. Without this, you are committing copyright infringement, which is against the law. We take this issue very seriously, and not only will this result in immediate termination of your agreement with AWAL but may also result in legal action from the rightsholder. If your music contains samples, you must provide proof of the relevant licence via email before submitting. Back to top

When will I get paid?

Royalties are paid monthly, although we don’t pay out until the balance owed is more than £20.00 (or equivalent other currency value) – so if you earn less than that in a month, whatever you have earned in that period will be carried over to the next statement, and a payment will then be issued if the total is over the £20.00 threshold. Back to top

Where can I see my sales?

When you login to the AWAL website, you will be able to review sales figures in the Latest Statement section. You can also view daily iTunes activity in the My Catalogue section. Back to top

My payment details have changed. How do I notify you?

You need to login to the AWAL platform and update your bank details/payment type in the My Details area. Please note, you cannot change the payment currency. Back to top