FAQ...Answers to frequently asked questions

Welcome to Sugo Music Group’s FAQ Page!
Please review our database of frequently asked questions.
Also, feel free to contact us with any other questions you may have.
Click HERE to visit our Global Music Distribution E-Agreement Page.

 

FAQ Categories

Digital Distribution & Downloads

Why can’t I use more than one digital distribution company for my album?

First of all, Sugo Music Group will never inhibit you from growing as a content provider, label or artist. That said, it is definitely not a good idea to use more than one digital distribution company to service your products because it creates confusion. Many retailers might automatically remove your album completely from their site. In addition, consumers become confused when more than one product is available. Yet most importantly, your “rankings” will be diluted and compromised when two identical products are available.

Can I still sell my songs on my own personal website or artist website?

Absolutely! Sugo Music Group’s mission is to provide a Complete Distribution Portfolio for each of our label partners and artists. This is an ongoing commitment. It is important that all of our label partners are successful and thriving. If you want to sell your music on your site—CDs or downloads—we completely support your efforts. It is important to us that this is a win-win situation for both parties! The more notoriety and brand recognition you receive, the better it is for both of us.

What is Digital Distribution?

Digital distribution is the method by which your products are distributed to various digital stores which then sell digital downloads formatted for various music and video devices. Major digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon MP3 and eMusic require content owners to use a global enterprise digital distributor such as Sugo Music Group to make content fully ingested, correctly formatted and available in their stores.

Where will Sugo Music Group distribute my music?

Worldwide! We distribute to more sites and stores than any other distributor in the world.

What types of media do you distribute?

Sugo Music Group distributes music, video and CD products.

How long does it take for you to start sending my music to music stores and stations?

We’ll begin delivering your music within 24-72 hours once we’ve received your products.

How long does it take for my music to go live on digital retail stores?

Sugo Music Group is known for having the fastest turnaround time for any major music distributor. Depending on the size of your archive and how much processing we need to take on, the time can range from one week to four weeks. That said, each music store (and music station) is different. It can take several days or a month or so for some of our other partner sites to post music for sale (or for airplay). Once we send it to each site, it depends on the amount of products each specific site is dealing with as well as each company’s unique ingestion queues and processes. Rest assured, our delivery systems (for all our services) are fine-tuned on an daily basis and your products are delivered as fast any distributor on the planet.

Will you tell me when my music is up on their site?

Someday this may change, yet currently all digital retailers (and broadcasters) do not inform distributors, labels and artists when a product has gone live. We are still ”pushing” for this and encouraging our channel partners to do so.

How much will I be paid for digital sales?

Each retailer pays different rates. Currently iTunes and Amazon pay the best rates and many other sellers remain competitive to these benchmark standards.

What is your distribution fee?

We offer flexible contracts depending on the size of your archive and on what your particular needs are.

What genres do you accept?

Absolutely all of them… and we’ll listen to all of your music to ensure best placement and global sub-licensing.

How will I be submitting content?

Please see our “Content Delivery” category on our FAQ main page or at this link: https://www.sugomusic.com/faqs/category/14-content-delivery/

What kind of audio should I upload?

Please see our “Content Delivery” category on our FAQ main page or at this link: https://www.sugomusic.com/faqs/category/14-content-delivery/

What formats and bit rates are my songs being converted to?

We format all audio and multimedia files to specific site requirements, and there are numerous sites and various requirements for each. These requirements vary from one distribution partner to the next. Rest assured that we always utilize the highest quality standards, formats, bit rates and protocol possible.

Why shouldn’t I upload MP3s?

For our distribution and licensing purposes, higher resolution audio files work best. MP3s are not considered high enough quality for ingestion. Even the highest resolution MP3s such as 320kbps or so are not comparable to WAV (and other) high resolution formats (1411kbps). WAV format contains uncompressed audio in the linear pulse code modulation (LPCM) format. Look at it this way: The standard audio file format for CDs, for example, is LPCM-encoded (WAV), containing two channels of 44,100 samples per second, 16 bits per sample. Since LPCM uses an uncompressed storage method which keeps all the samples of an audio track (very important!), professional users or audio experts most often use the WAV format for maximum audio quality. That said, once we send WAV files to our distribution partners, they typically choose to use a compressed format to then deliver or stream audio to consumer digital devices.

What if I need help with the process?

Once you partner with Sugo Music Group, you will be guided through the process, step by step. We ensure that you and your products are well taken care of. Your satisfaction is our primary objective! You will be provided with a Welcome Package and with a dedicated client service representative who will assist you with any questions you may have along the way.

How does iTunes sell my music?

iTunes sells your music via digital downloads and also streams your music through iTunes Radio (which will also earn revenue for you through each play!).

What countries are iTunes stores located in?

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina-Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

Can I sell full-albums & singles through Sugo Music Group?

Yes, all of the above and more. We recommend that if you have a 10 song album, why not create 3 or 4 singles as well! Simply create new fr cvr artwork (if possible) and we’ll do the rest! We’ll supply a free UPC, ISRCs and format your new singles (from your original album) for downloads, airplay, synchronization and licensing around the world. We’ll even try to place your tracks on new album compilations so that you’ll be exposed to a larger database and demographic of fans. Remember…. Sugo Music Group does not charge any set-up fees, upload charges or any add-on expenses. That’s right! We are one of the only distributors around the globe to offer free set-up on all your products!

My album has songs that are over 10 minutes!

Most digital retailers do not regard track length as a problem. Yet keep in mind, if you submit an album that has a track that is one hour long, it will download for the same price as a 1-2 minute song. Also, some sites offer such songs as “Album Only”! This means that the song can only be purchased with the rest of the album as a whole. FYI, iTunes automatically creates “Album Only” for songs over 10 minutes in length.

Can consumers download individual tracks without having to download the whole album?

Yes. Consumers have the option to download individual tracks without having to purchase the whole album.

If my music is already in music stores, can I transfer my music albums to your company?

Yes. First, terminate the agreement with your other music distributor. This sometimes is as simple as a “flip of the switch” on your online distributor dashboard, especially for distributors that are charging you annual fees and costly set-up charges. You know who they are.  Once completed, then contact us and we’ll get you fully ingested back into stores.

What album changes or track edits can I make after my release is distributed to stores?

For simple changes, our customer service department will take care of that for you! Just let us know. Yet there are several other types of changes that are more involved, such as: adding, deleting or re-ordering songs; changing the UPC or ISRCs, changing artwork, etc., and may be more involved. The good news is that Sugo Music Group will handle any minor or major change for our label partners. Just let us know and we’ll get working on it for you!

What kinds of things are not allowed in my artwork, according to your digital retail partners’ guidelines?

Good question…and thanks for asking. Here you go: Website URL, Social network symbols or information (i.e., Facebook links, Twitter handles, etc.), contact information (i.e., email addresses, phone number), pornographic images, pricing information, copyrighted images

Scan of a CD (it must be retail-ready artwork), UPC barcodes, pixilated blurry lo-rez artwork, and certain “promotions” that don’t pertain to the album.

Why does the information I provided in my metadata spreadsheet need to match my album artwork?

It is mandatory for many retail sites, especially iTunes, that the information and metadata submitted is supported by your cover art, and vice versa. Information irregularities may cause confusion with sites, and the product may not be ingested correctly (or taken down by the retailer).

Can I use generic track titles such as “Track 1”?

Not a good idea. Track titles (track names) should be unique and not generic. For example, don’t name your songs “Track 1,” “Beat 2,” “Vocal 3,” etc. Generic titling tends to add confusion and lacks specific identity for retail sites, radio airplay, search engines, content identification, etc.  Thus, name your songs something special!

I have a DJ mix CD that blends and combines 10 tracks together. Is that OK?

Yes, yet it will be considered one long digital download “single” and will limit your digital radio streaming opportunities as well. We suggest remixing the album as 10 individual tracks. You’ll then have 10 separate ID points on your album and thus 10 different tracks. One way to achieve this is to fade out and fade in each track to create the 10 separate tracks and ID points.

Why is it important to list explicit content correctly?

Many of our digital partners have parental controls available that will prevent explicit content from being displayed to children who visit their store. It is a requirement that explicit tracks are correctly labeled when an album is signed-up with us for distribution.

 

What is Shazam?

Shazam is a music recognition service for almost every major mobile platform. Shazam identifies pre-recorded music from a variety of sources, including radio, TV, film, and more. Shazam will only recognize pre-recorded music that has been delivered to their service (we’ll take care of that for you!). Shazam does not pay royalties or offer any type of retail experience, yet they do provide links back to the iTunes store (when available) and to your products!

How do I get my music delivered to Shazam?

Sugo Music Group will handle all of this for you! Once your music is delivered to our retail and sublicensing partners, we’ll ensure that your catalog is fully ingested into Shazam’s database!

Can’t I just contact digital download sites myself to get my music out there?

Yes you can, of course, yet there are hundreds of sites and new sites emerge on a monthly, weekly and sometimes daily basis. Most of these sites are international and can be difficult to communicate with relevant to language barriers, time zones and such. Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop global solution for all major digital retailers. This way you can tend to other important responsibilities—like creating music or promoting your artists!

What digital distribution sites does Sugo Music Group work with?

We work with the largest digital,  mobile & broadcast database in the world. Here is a partial listing: 121 Music Store, 3 Mobile, 3 Suisse, 3355 Music, 7 Digital, A1, Ahlens, AGI, Aki Musica – Telefonica, Akoo, Alfa, Aliant, AllTel, Altacom, altoran, Amalgam Digital, Amazon, amex.ztorm.net, AMI, Antena 3 TV, Antena Madrid, Anycall land, Astral, Atento-O2-Telefonica, ATT, B3, Batelco, Beatport, Beeline, Beezik, Bell Mobility, Bell, Bell365, Bellbada.com, Bellsori Chingu, Bengans, Best Buy, Bilka, Billboard, BITÈ, Blinko, Blue Pie, Book & Life, Boost, Bouyges Telecom, Brisas, Buddy, Bugs, Buongiorno, Buongiorno/Mobivillage, Canal Sur TV, CDON, CDSkiven, Cell South, CellFish, Centennial PR, Charity Tunes, Chess, Chin Chin Free, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chin-Lin, CHUM, Cincinnati Bell, City Magazine, Citymarket, Classical.com, Club cyon, Club5678, Conpia, Conrad, Contexta.Antena 3 TV, Cool & Style.com, Cowon.com, Cricket, Cultureland, cyoworld japan, Cyworld, D&shop, Dada, Dajoom, Data.bg, Daum, Deezer, Digioke, Digital Reggae, Dio, Discogs, Dj, D-jix, DMX, DNA Mobile, DNA, Dosirak, DPlatinum, Drei, DU, Ebay.es, eCast, e-home, Ekstrabladet, El Giganten, Emo, Emodio, EMT, eMusic, EnNyBog, Entel, ERA, Ericsson, Euskal Telebista, Exact Mobile, Ex-Libris, Expert, Ez-i, Ezio, Flaixbac radio, Flamesky, FlyCell, FNAC, France Telecom, Freechal, Freenet, Fun game, Funman, G Market, G-Pop, Galaxie, Galaxy, Gaja i, Getmore.dk, GF38, ginzadownloads, Global, Globetrotter, gmx.de, Gom, Google, GP, Groove, Grupo Godo, Grupo Vocento, Grupo Z, GS caltex, GS retail, H3G, Halebop, Hanafos, Hanaro Dream, Happli, Happy Money, HD Tracks, Hesburger, Hilo Musical, Hip Digital, Hiphop Playa, Hits-Yunitel, HMV Digital, Home Phone Tunes, HomeEntertainment.com, Hoodiny, Hot, IC Agency, IDT, iHeart, iMBC, iMesh, Impartmaint, iMusic, IMVU, iNavi, Insound, Internet Bookshop, iPop, iSky, iTunes, Jamba, Jamster, Jingo, Jooce.com, JunketBoy, Juno, Jyllandsposten, Kang, KBND card, KBS, KDDI, Korea.com, KT ann, KTF Multi Pack, KTF Show, La Curacao, La Mediatheque, La Redoute, La Sexta TV, Label Mobile, Latitunes, LG telecom070, LimeWire, Lol Song, Los 40 Principales, Lumo, LYD, M game, M1, M6, Maco, MagixMusic, Maroc Telecom, Mbop, Médi Télécom, Media World Compra online, Mediadis, MediaMarkt, Medianet, Medion, Meditel, Megamobile.paran.com, Megapass Zone, Melon, Meteli.net, Meteor, Metro PCS, MeWe, Mi Pais Orange, Mi pais Telefonica, Midwest, MiPais Vodafone, Mix’n’Burn, Mixaloo, Mixmobile, Mnet.com, Mobile G Host, mobileshop, mobilkom, Mobily, MOG, Mokey, Moneyro, Moodmedia, Moox, Motorload.de, Movilisto, Movistar, MP Greek, Mp3.de, mpack, MSN, MTC, MTN, MTV, Mufin, Müller, Museeka, Music Airport, Music BOX TMN, Music Choice, Music Lover, Music on, Music To Go, Music.jp, Musicload, MusicMe, Musikiilaatamo, Musiwave, Music Yun China, Muz, My Country, My Freesport, My Kids Tunes, MySource Telia, Myxer, Napster Mobile, Napster, Nate on messanger, nate.com, Natta España, Natta.Pt, Naver music, Naver, NAWRAS, Naxos, Nectar, Neo-Numerique, NetAnttila, Netcom, Netville, NiceMusic, Noble Music, Nokia Music, Nokia, nowdio.de, NRJ, Ntelos, NTT DoCoMo, O2, OD2, Ohdio.com, Ok cashbag, Olemovil,, OMAN MOBILE, Omnifone, Omnitel, Onet, Orange BE, Orange, OVI, Pandora, Pannon/Telenor, Paran.com, PartyMobile, Pasaj, Passionato, Phonomonkey, Pixbox, Platekompaniet, Play.com, Playlist, Play Network, PlayNowArena, Playphone, PLEJER, Poetics, Politiken, Polkomtel, Punto TV, Puppyred, Puretracks, Q Tel via AiwaGulf, Qobuz, R&D Media, R. Galician Operator, Rawrip, Real Networks, Reggae Country, Rhapsody, Rhythm Records, Rogers, Rue du Commerce, Sabafone, Sagem, Samsung funbox, Samsung Media Studio, sas.ztorm.net, Sasktel, Saturn, Sayclub, SBSi, SendMe Mobile, SFR, Shockhound, Shop2Download, SHOW, SI Mobile, Simfy, SiriusXM, Skivhugget, Skivlagret, Sky sms, Skybell, skymms, Slacker, SOK, Sol Musica, SonyBMG, SonyEriksson, S-Phone, Spotify, Sprint, Stade De, Starfish, Starzik, Stingray, STC, Stofa, Stone Radio, SunCom, Surem, Swisscom, Synacor, T town, TDC Mobile, TDC Music, Tele 2, Tele 5, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telemadrid, Televerkko Oy, Telia, Telus Mobility, Telus, Tesco, The Source Mobile, Theta, Thinkindie, Thomson DE, Thumbplay, Thumbtribe, Ting bell, Tiscali IT, TMN, Portugal Telecom, T-Mobile, TNZ, Todo Lo Ultimo, Tonlist, Top 2, Touchtunes, Trackitdown.net, T-town, Tunes, TVC, UC story, Umniah, Univision, Urban Amplified, US Cellular, Verizon, versatel.de, Verve Life, via Bharti/MST, via I-connect, Vibramovel, Vibramovil, Viettel, Virgin Mobile, Virgin, Vitality, Viva, Vocento, Vodafone via Esal, Vodafone, Walmart, Wanadoo, Wataniya, Wax, Way media, WE7, web.de, Weltbild, Western, Wind, Word Entertainment, Xpointo Media, Yahoo!, Yahoo, Yemen Mobile, Yes 24, Yoigo, You See, Zain, and more!

Do I need to own the rights to distribute music through you?

Yes and no. First, yes, you must either own the “sound recording” (master) rights or be properly authorized to sell the sound recordings on behalf of the copyright holder. There is no way around this! Second, no, if you did not write the song (e.g. you are not the composer of the “musical work”), that’s perfectly OK. Recording other people’s songs is a good thing (and highly recommended!). Sugo Music Group is one of the only full service distributors that will manage these types of licenses for you, whereas all the publishers and composers associated with each respective third party song will be entered into our database and paid separately! You do not need to worry about a thing! For additional information regarding copyrights, licenses, cover songs and more, please check the FAQ for “Types of Digital Distribution” and “Copyrights and Cover Songs”.

How do I get my music and information to you?

First, please contact us so we can discuss your products and goals. Once an agreement is in place, you will be able to send your files in several different ways. Typically label partners simply upload files to our secure FTP site, or sometimes they choose to send us a hard drive. Either way is fine. We’ll always send a Welcome Package to you via email and guide you through the process. We’ve simplified the process in a way that will help you set up your account with us with minimum effort. Please refer to our “Content Delivery” category on our FAQ page.

What if I don’t have physical CDs of my music?

That’s perfectly fine. Many artists and labels do not manufacture CDs these days. Digital files are preferred anyway. Our Welcome Package will explain it all. Also, if you want, we can produce and manufacture CDs and DVDs for you using our CD/DVD On-Demand system.

Can you distribute my videos? What about DVDs?

Yes we can provide digital distribution for your videos. Let us know more about your videos and we’ll plug them into our distribution system! We can also manufacture your videos onto DVDs through our DVD Manufacturing, Printing & Distribution service.

What is a “music download”?

Popular online music stores that sell downloadable singles and albums include the iTunes Store, Amazon MP3, eMusic, Google Play, Nokia Music Store, and more. Paid music downloads are almost always compressed using a lossy codec (usually MPEG-1 Layer 3, Windows Media, or AAC), which reduces file size and bandwidth requirements. On the legal side of things, a music download requires both a master use license (to cover the “sound recording”) and a mechanical license (to cover the “musical work”). The good news is that Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop service for our label partners by managing all mandatory licenses and legal requirements for all global download distributions!

What is “non-interactive digital streaming (Internet radio)?

Non-interactive streaming services are very generally defined as those in which the user experience mimics a radio broadcast. That is, users may not choose a specific track or artist they wish to hear, but are provided a pre-programmed or semi-random combination of tracks, the specific selection and order of which remain unknown to the listener (i.e. no pre-published playlist). Unlike music downloads or podcasts, streaming does not result in permanent copies of masters or songs being transferred to the listener.  Rather, streaming is transient and any resulting copies are typically only temporary cache or buffer copies (also known as “ephemeral” copies).  On the legal side of things, a non-interactive stream requires both a statutory “sound recording” license administered by an organization called SoundExchange in the United States (and numerous other international PRO’s) which collects and distributes streaming royalties to content owners and performers) and a public performance “song” license (from ASCAP, BMI, or other Performance Rights Organizations). The good news is that Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop service for all label partners by managing all mandatory licenses and legal requirements for all global non-interactive digital streaming distributions!

What is an “interactive stream” (on-demand Internet radio)?

Interactive or on-demand streaming services allow the listener to select and play any song “on-demand”. This is distinctly different from non-interactive streams. That is, users may choose a specific track or artist they wish to hear, and are typically provided a pre-published playlist, in many cases.  On the legal side of things, a music download requires both a mechanical master use license (to cover the “sound recording”) and a public performance license from ASCAP, BMI, or other Performance Rights Organizations (to cover the “musical work”). The good news is that Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop service for our label partners by managing all mandatory licenses and legal requirements on all global interactive streaming distributions!

What is a “tethered download” (limited download)?

A tethered download is a song file downloaded from a music subscription service that can be played only on computers registered to the account, as opposed to untethered downloads which can be played on compatible portable devices. Some services provide limited or “tethered” downloads, in which copies are made directly to user devices; however, the copies become unusable (or “expire”) after a certain period of time or when the user stops paying a service fee (and the copies may be usable only on certain devices). On the legal side of things, a tethered download requires both a master use license (to cover the “sound recording”) and a mechanical license (to cover the “musical work”). The good news is that Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop service for our label partners by managing all mandatory licenses and legal requirements on all tethered download global distributions!

What are “ringtones”?

Ringtones are digital copies of songs, typically around 30 seconds in duration, that are designed to be played on a mobile phone in order to signal an incoming call in the same manner as would a telephone ring.  Ringtones come from a variety of sources, but, most commonly, mobile phone customers download ringtones from their service providers, such as AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon.  Ringtones come in two types:  (1) synthesized (either monophonic, which have only a single melodic line, or polyphonic, which have both melody and harmony); and (2) mastertones (which are digital excerpts of sound recordings).  Synthesized ringtones only require a mechanical license to cover the musical work, while mastertones require both a mechanical license and a master use license to cover both the musical work and the sound recording.   The good news is that Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop service for our label partners by managing all mandatory licenses and legal requirements on all global ringtone distributions!

What is a “podcast”?

Music “podcasting” is a hybrid of streaming and music downloads.  Typically, “podcasts” are full-length radio programs that the end user downloads (either automatically or on-demand) to their computer or mobile device, such as an iPod, MP3 player, or “smart” phone. Podcasts require both a master use and mechanical license. The good news is that Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop service for our label partners by managing all mandatory licenses and legal requirements on all global podcast distributions!

What is “website background music”?

To use recorded copyrighted music as background music on a website, site broadcasters need permission from both the sound recording owner and the musical work (“song”) owner.  Statutory compulsory licenses generally do not apply to website background music, since website background music involves incorporation of the music with images (or “synchronization”).  Permissions would need to cover both the required server copy and the public performance of the music on the website. The good news is that Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop service for our label partners by managing all mandatory licenses and legal requirements on all global website background music distributions!

What is “sound recording in web videos”?

To use an existing sound recording in a web video, both a mechanical license from the publisher and a master use license from the record company are required.  Since web videos will involve the synchronization of music with images, these licenses should clearly grant synchronization rights.  Performance licenses are also required for videos played on websites, which for the musical works are typically secured from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC as blanket licenses.  Note that for music videos, publishers typically permit the record companies to sublicense the underlying musical work, so in these cases, full permission to use music videos on a website may be secured directly from us. The good news is that Sugo Music Group provides a one-stop service for our label partners by managing all mandatory licenses and legal requirements on all global distributions of sound recording embodied in web videos!

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