Frequently Asked Questions

Smith Music is a service for Artists and Labels that puts your music and videos into online stores & streaming services. Then when people listen to your music or watch your videos, we send you money.

ZERO upfront fees, just 10% of what we collect from the Digital Service Providers (DSP).

It can take several days for albums to be reviewed, approved, and sent to stores. If it’s important that your album go live on a specific date. Otherwise, by default, your release should go live once ingested by stores according to the rough schedule below.

  • iTunes/Apple Music: 1-7 days. A very small percentage of albums go through manual review at Apple, which takes an additional 1-2 weeks or so.
  • Spotify: 2-5 days
  • Amazon: 1-2 days
  • Google Play/YouTube Music: 1-2 days.
  • Deezer: 1-2 days
  • TIDAL: 1-2 days
  • Facebook/Instagram: 1-2 weeks.
  • TikTok: 1-3 weeks.

Note: Delays are rare, but they do happen and are typically outside of SmithMusic.com’s direct control.

Pandora has their own in-house review process to curate content, so we are not able to provide too much info in regards to how long it might take releases to be added to Pandora stations (if they are). To be included in Pandora Premium (Pandora’s rad streaming service).

Deliver your content through portal.smithmusic.com, and then notify your current distributer to issue a TAKEDOWN. Typically takes 24-48 hours but by the time we have delivered you should not experience any down time.

Yes!

  • Releases should go live and be searchable in the app within 1-3 weeks. 
  • Your music can earn money when it’s included in a video by a TikTok user.
  • TikTok is not a music service where users can stream full-length music on-demand. Users can embed song clips into their videos.

SmithMusic.com makes it easy for labels to upload music for all of their artists.

Labels can attach their record label name to releases. Some stores display label information. Every release can have the same label name, or labels can choose different names (if you have sub-labels, imprints, etc.) at no additional charge.

Labels keep 90% of earnings. Earnings reports can be viewed per artist, or all together. Labels can also download reports into Excel/Google Spreadsheet/etc for extra slicing & dicing.

Apply to SmithMusic.com and select “Label” on the application.

Yes.

SmithMusic.com uses bank-level SSL encryption (SHA-256 with RSA, TLS 1.2).

Your entire session is SSL encrypted (“https”).

This all helps protect your SmithMusic.com account from any unauthorized access. 

You do! SmithMusic.com does not take any ownership or intellectual property rights from artists. You keep 100% ownership. 

Unless you have permission from all concerned parties, it is not possible to upload songs with uncleared samples.

You are welcome to upload remixes of your own work. However, if your remix is of another artist’s song, or contains any part of another artist’s original music, stores require permission from the original artist.

How to credit a remixer

If you’re remixing your own song, enter the song title as: “Song title (Remix)”

If your song has a remixer, here’s how to credit them:

  1. Select Add/View Participants;
  2. List the original artist’s name in the Artist/band name field;
  3. Make sure the Role is set to Remixer.

 

(This will help stores properly tag the remixer’s artist page. They’ll remove the featuring credit when tagging the profile.)

For obvious reasons, you should use an artist/band name that doesn’t already exist in stores. Having several artists with the same name just causes all kinds of confusion. Imagine if there were two Led Zeppelins, or two Dave Matthews (a common name no doubt). 

But sometimes this can’t be avoided. Here are the main questions people ask when there’s another artist with the same name as them.

Will I get paid? Or will that guy with the same name as me get paid for my downloads?

You’ll get paid for your downloads. Technologically, artist names are totally independent from sales tracking. So you’re all good and have nothing to worry about.

My albums are being listed alongside the other artists’ albums. So it looks like we’re the same person. Can you separate them?

Stores sometimes group artists together who have the same (or similar) names, or create a new artist page instead of using your existing page. We can help!

Ideally, if someone already has the name, you should come up with a different name. In the world of actors, for example, no two actors are allowed to have the same name as each other and both belong to SAG (the actors union). That’s why Samuel L. Jackson is Samuel L. Jackson, and not Sam Jackson or Samuel Jackson — those names were taken. If you want to look like a pro, suck it up and come up with a different name if yours is already taken. 

Yes! You can make edits by visiting your album page, making your changes and when you are done, click “Request Update”, “Metadata Update” and then “Save”.

Certain other things such as audio files, track listing, genre, language, Album Extras, and ISRCs cannot be changed via metadata update. To change them, you will need to delete and re-upload a corrected version. Here’s how to take down your release(s) from stores.

Note: Stores do not allow an Artist Name to be changed once it has been delivered. You can use your new Artist Name for future releases, but stores require the Artist Name to remain the same on past/existing releases.

Stores also do not allow you to upload, delete, and re-upload with different metadata (artist name, titles, etc.), and they are cracking down on this issue. Even if you have deleted a previous version and tried to re-upload with corrections, stores will not allow multiple uploads with conflicting metadata.

If you need to remove your release from certain stores, remove it from specific countries, or specify an artist as a remixer, drop us a line and we can assist.

Yes! 

If you’ve read our FAQ and still haven’t found the answer you’re looking for, feel free to contact us (here). We get a lot of emails so please allow a few days for a reply. Thanks for understanding! 

Sales reports and payments are available to you based on when Smith Music receives sales numbers and earnings from stores. Stores usually deliver these reports monthly, and they reflect sales from about 3 months ago. So a song you sold yesterday won’t be reflected for about 3 months. That’s how long it takes before stores send us (or any distributor) the information. 

It’s also important to note that not all stores report at the same time, or at the same frequency. Each store & streaming service delivers reports & payments on their own schedule. So, for example, you likely won’t receive updated iTunes & Spotify numbers on the same day.

The same thing goes for different distributors–if you have other music online via a distributor other than Smith Music, that distributor may reflect your Spotify (and so on) numbers before or after Smith Music does. We’re usually first!  But not always. 

Your money will be paid via check and mailed USPS within 1-14 days of receipt from digital sites.

To see the tracks you’ve sold (and how many), sign in. If you do not have access please contact your label rep. 

Once signed in, select statements from the left menu. You will see a statement for each period (month). 

Sales reports are available monthly-ish, as soon as we get them from stores. A song sold in July will not show up until the September reports.

In the event you decide to take down your content with SmithMusic.com, we will continue to receive royalties for up to 180 days or more.

If we have a W-9 on file you will continue to receive payments after the takedown date. Once we do not receive royalties for 180 days we will issue final payment.

If we do not have a W-9 on file you will need to submit a completed copy to your label rep.

When you upload your music using Smith Music, your music will appear in YouTube Music (YouTube’s streaming service) and on YouTube as Art Tracks

Art Tracks will be placed on an auto-generated YouTube channel known as a Topic Channel

If you have an artist channel on YouTube, then you can easily claim your Official Artist Channel by using Smith. Once you have an Official Artist Channel, all of your Art Tracks will appear on your artist channel instead of the auto-generated Topic Channel.

If you searched by artist name or release title and still cannot find your music, it is likely that one of the following has occurred: 

  • Music is not live yet.
  • Stores are still indexing your artist name. Until your name is indexed, it may not appear in search, despite your music being live. Stores handle this internally (we don’t control search results), but it shouldn’t take too long for them to index your name shortly after your release is live. This generally happens if this is the first time using your artist name.
  • Your release title is too common. If you have a common song or album title, such as “Home,” it may not show in search results at the top, if other releases are very popular in rank.

It can take up to a week or so for your first Smith Music upload to go live in all stores. (For more information about the time it takes for releases to go live to stores.

In the very very rare case that even after your release has gone live, it may require some additional processing time.

Most stores & streaming services compress audio files to make them download faster. An unfortunate side-effect is that compressed audio may not sound as good as the original tracks you uploaded to Smith Music.

As compression technology advances and bandwidth gets faster, this will become less of a problem.

In the meanwhile, there’s usually a way for listeners to make audio sound better. For example, in the Spotify app (desktop or mobile), paid users can go into “Preferences” and turn on “High-Quality Streaming.” 

SmithMusic.com adds your audio to YouTube’s Content ID system, which scours YouTube for videos that use your music. When a match is found, ads show on the video and you’ll get the ad revenue.

If you have a video on YouTube that uses your own music, you’ll likely get an email from YouTube that there’s been a copyright claim against it. This is nothing to worry about–it’s YouTube’s ContentID system doing its thing. You can safely ignore the message. Ads will appear on your video & we’ll send you the money earned. 

If you want to allow specific videos to use your music without Content ID claims, you can do so here.