FAQ

§ Digital Distribution

When and How Do The Bands Get Paid?

We pay our bands quarterly(April, July, October and January) for the royalties earned at that point.  We will email you statements to prove your digital sales and mail you checks.

Do I Have To Pay A Setup Fee?

No. The set up is absolutely free!

How Long Will It Take For My Music To Be Available For Download?

We will send your music to the retailers as soon as we have everything converted and formatted. Each retailer has their own policies to be completed before the songs are available. This time will depend per store.

What If My Band Gets Signed To a Label?

If that label does not deal with digital distribution, we will continue to distribute your music. However, if the label does, we will work with that label to transfer over the distribution rights.

What Will You Do For My Band?

Our goal is to make sure that you succeed. We will do everything possible to help you market your music.

Why do I need a barcode?

All digital stores use barcodes to track sales.  If you already have a barcode, we can use that.  If not, you can either purchase one from us for $15 or from another vendor.

How long does my distribution contract last?

The distro contract lasts for 14 months.  That gives us a month to get everything in all stores, a full year of sales, and a month to pull everything out of the stores.  If you wish to renew your contract at the end of 14 month term, we can handle the extension.  It will automatically renew for another 14 months.  If you wish to cancel simply let us know and it will be done.

Can I release a single with you, or do you only do albums and EP’s?

You can release singles with Distrophonix. We consider everything an album; a single is just an album with 1 song. You would submit it the same way as an album, right on our online submission tab to the right.

Do I have to pay for statements like other distributors?

No. Our statements are always free. We automatically issue them with each payment. We do not agree with making you pay to see where your sales are coming from.

What is my barcode (UPC) number for my release?

OPTION 1: When you signed up with Distrophonix you were emailed your barcode number. Please search your email inbox and try to locate that number.

OPTION 2: A few of the stores provide the barcode number along with your release. Please search the stores below for your release and obtain your barcode that that way.

Waterloorecords.com
Starzik.co.uk
Tradebit.com

OPTION 3: If you still have trouble finding your barcode number please email Submissions@Distrophonix.com and someone will retrieve it for you. Please note though that it may take us a few days for us to get your barcode number to you so we strongly recommend you try the other 2 options first.

Is the dollar amount on my statements what I will be receiving a check for?

No, the dollar amount reflected on your statement is what we receive from the stores. It is before our percent of the sale is taken out.

How do I sign up for Distribution?

To sign up for distribution you must first fill out the
application. Your application will then go through a review process.
If you are approved for distribution, directions will be sent to you
for how to sign up.

When are the online statements updated?

Statements are updated at the beginning of January, April, July, & October.

Help! I forgot my password?

Please email Submissions@distrophonix.com with your barcode number and artist name and we will reset your password for you.

I have multiple releases with Distrophonix. How can I the statements for them?

For each release you must enter in the barcode for the release. We have set the password to be the same however to make things a little easier for you.

How do I know my statement is correct?

We have our statements independently audited by a third party. They are correct. We never make a mistake. However, if you wish to verify them against another third party the stores we work with report to Neilson SoundScan. You can always double check any of our statements with them.

How long does it take for my sales to post on the statement?

Sales for most stores are reported to us 3 months after they take place. So if you just did your release hang in there, it will take a little while for the stores to send us the payment and sales activity.

When will I receive payment for my sales?

We send out payments every quarter. To get a check you must have over $10 due to you. If you do not have $10 due to you at the time checks are being sent out, we will hold the money for you until you do. For example, if you earned $5 in one quarter and then $100 the next, you will receive a check for $105.

Here is how the quarters work:

Quarter 1: Sales that take place in November, December, & January are paid on April 1st.
Quarter 2: Sales that take place in February, March, & April are paid on July 1st.
Quarter 3: Sales that take place in May, June, & July are paid on October 1st.
Quarter 4: Sales that take place in August, September, & October are paid on January 1st.

Help! I don’t see any sales on my statement?

If you pull up your statement and it either says that your barcode is not found or it is blank it means one of two things. Either your album has not been in stores for at least 3 months therefore we have not received any sales reports yet, or worst case scenario, no sales have taken place. If that is the case, don?t give up. Keep promoting and playing as many shows as possible and sales will improve.

How do I change my payment address, and other information?

Please email Submissions@Distrophonix.com with the information that needs to be changed. A change in payment name must be done via certified mail and signed by both parties.

What is digital distribution?

It is the distribution of music in a digital format. We make your song available for purchase in digital retail stores.

What/Who Is IODA?

Distrophonix is a member of the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA) that facilitates the digital distribution of your music.  They are partnered with Sony/Red to help further their digital reach.

Where Will My Music Be Sold?

We distribute your music into a multitude of digital retailers; iTunes, Napster, AmazonMP3, ZUNE, WalMart.com, & Rhapsody are just a couple of the online retailers that will be selling your music. We service over 400 mp3 retailers worldwide including the following stores.

Stores

Why Do I Have To Sign A Contract?

We hate these things just as much as you do. Unfortunately, the stores require us to obtain contracts from all of the bands we distribute. This also covers all of the parties involved. The agreement is found in term of use during the submission process.

Am I Signing The Copyrights Over To You?

No! You retain all rights to your music. The only thing you sign to us is the rights to distribute your music in digital format.

§ Download Cards

Do you charge annual file hosting fees or any other ongoing service fees?

No! We know that we are the only company out there that doesn’t charge these fees. While it may be bad for our business, we feel it’s the only option fair for you. We have a huge server with an incredible amount of space and bandwidth. It’s so big in fact that it would be nearly impossible for us to run out of space. Therefore, we will never charge you an ongoing hosting fee because that would just be wrong!

Why should I have Distrophonix make my Download Cards?

It’s quite simple. We know what we are doing! We developed our own technology for download cards so we know the process inside and out. We also use the cards for our own bands, so we trust the product and know that Distrophonix has the ability to deliver.

Have any major artists/labels used Distrophonix download cards?

Yes, we have had the privilege of working with some of the world’s most well known acts and major labels. It is likely that you may have actually used a Distrophonix Download Card before and not even known it.

How do I retrieve my music with a Distrophonix Download Card?

Go to the URL link printed on the back of the card, enter in the code, and your music will instantly start downloading. It’s really that easy. The best part about our Download Card technology is that it works with almost any web enabled device. From smart phones to computers, we make it simple to download, listen, and play your music on any iPod, iPhone, Computer, MP3 player, etc.

What can I use my Distrophonix Download Card for?

That is totally up to you! Some people give them out for free as promo items, while others sell them as merch. The choice is yours. You get to use the cards however you see fit.

Can I put other types of digital content besides music on download cards?

You can get as wild as you want! While most of our clients use them for music, we have had other people use them to distribute videos, movies, PDF’s, pictures, ebooks, etc. If it is digital, you can use Distrophonix Download Cards to distribute it.

Is there any limit on how many songs I can put on my download card, or how big the files can be?

No there is no limit at all! You can do one song or a hundred songs. It doesn’t matter to us. However, it might be nice to not to provide such big files that the download card user spends hours downloading your 100 GB “Best Of” collection in WAV format. They might not be too happy about that.
It’s best to keep in mind who the end user is going to be. If you expect to sell a few of your songs at a show, consider putting up high quality MP3’s. That way the purchaser of a download card can get the music right on their smart phone while still at the show, without having to wait forever for large files to download, or end up with a huge phone bill at the end of the month for excess data costs.

How long does my music stay on the Distrophonix server?

If your cards are dynamic, the music will stay on our server until all codes are used up. If your cards are static, your music will be available until you request for us to take the music down.

If I order cards from you, can I change the music that is on my card?

Yes you can! Say you have a killer new song and want to add it to the cards. We can help you with that. Just contact us and let us know what you would like to do, and we will work with you to make the changes. Please note that charges may apply.

Is there a way that I can have fans download my music from our band/labels website, Facebook, or social networking page?

Yes, we provide custom interfaces that can be incorporated on your website. At this time though because of the labor costs involved with this on our end, we can only offer this service to artists that are established, signed to a medium to large label, or touring heavily. If you feel that you might be a candidate for this type of service, please contact us by email or phone and we will help you get everything setup.

Do you offer static plastic download cards?

We are sorry, but at this time we do not offer plastic cards in the static format.

I need help designing my bands download card.

Great! We are here to help you. On our webpage we have a selection of various pre-made download cards that you can use. If you would prefer to have a card design custom made for you we can help with that to. We have a great team of graphic designers that can make your idea a reality. Check out our graphic design section to learn more.

What happens if a fan starts to download music using the code and then looses their internet connection?

Our download card technology is smart! If this happens our system will know that something went wrong with the connection and so it will allow the user to reenter the code and get their music.

I have some cover songs I did. Can I use a download card to distribute them?

The answer is yes and no. If you have permission from the song writer, the song is in the public domain or have obtained permission in some way then, yes, you can use download cards. If you do not have permission, then you might get into some trouble if you get caught selling the cards. We would recommend making sure you get permission/rights needed before proceeding with any Download Card order.

Does Distrophonix take any of my rights away?

Absolutely not! You keep 100% of your rights and 100% of any sales you make from selling the cards. We are just here to make the cards for you. We would never take any of your music’s rights away from you.

Do you report Download Card sales to SoundScan, Billboard, etc?

Unfortunately we do not, but neither does any other Download Card company. Here is the problem. Download Cards are still a relatively new way to distribute music and the industry has not figured out a way to effectively track sales. We believe though that due to the huge popularity of this medium of music distribution it’s only a matter of time till they do, and when they do offer tracking, Distrophonix will be the first to jump on board.

If I have any problem with using my download card who do I contact?

We have had thousands and thousands of people download music using our cards with no issues. However, in the unlikely event that you run into problems just shoot us an email or give us a call and we will get it fixed for you ASAP!

How long does it take for me to receive my Distrophonix Download Cards?

Static Download Cards take around 1 week from the time the order is placed, till when it is on your doorstep. Dynamic Cards, due to the fact that more work is involved during the printing process, may take up to 2 weeks until you have them in hand.

What is the difference between static and dynamic download cards?

With static cards every download code on the card is the same and may be used multiple times. With dynamic cards each code / card can be used only once.

Do you do rush orders?

For static cards we can accommodate a 4 business day rush order for an additional fee. We also have a way that you can have the cards made the same day. Please send us an email or give us a call if you need to go with that option so we can explain how it works.
Unfortunately at this time we cannot accommodate rush orders on dynamic cards.

Help! My band has a show tonight and I need cards right away!

We feel you. Yes, we can help you get the cards you need for tonight’s show. Please email or give us a call and we can explain how this works.

§ CD Pressing

Do you release Physical CD’s?

We do not release physical CD’s for physical distribution in retail stores. However if you are looking to get your album pressed for physical distribution, we are the place. Please see our CD Pressing section.

§ Rock Band Encoding

Why Should I Put My Music On Rock Band?

Millions of people worldwide play the Rock Band game every day!

With your music on Rock Band, you’re able to reach millions of new fans from all around the world, who can play and interact with your music in a format that is cool, exciting, and loads of fun. This makes your promotional opportunities endless!

Because your music gets played and heard, it creates an emotional response and connection from the player beyond simply listening to your music. Rock Band creates a deep level of engagement with the artist and their music. Artists that have their music on Rock Band have seen a large increase in popularity, and stronger album sales, greater concert turnout, and more visits to their website and social network pages. Being on Rock Band gives your music a new audience and increased popularity.

Oh yeah – and don’t forget, you make money from being on Rock Band! Every time someone downloads your music for play on the game you will be paid. This creates a new stream of income for your band beyond the normal album and ticket sales.

Are There Any Rules About Who Can Be On The Rock Band Game?

The Rock Band game has a Teen rating. That means that it should not contain explicit lyrics or mature subject matter. Their is a chance that references to sex, drugs and violence may be rejected.

The songs that you release on Rock Band must be your own, or you MUST have official permission from the song writer. No cover songs or songs with uncleared samples are allowed. Distrophonix is not liable for any copyright infringements.

At this time, the only languages that Rock Band allow is English, Spanish, French and Italian.

Why Should I Work With Distrophonix To Get My Music On Rock Band?

Because we know what we are doing! Our engineers have encoded some of the world’s largest acts for the Rock Band game, including Evanescence, Mayday Parade, and tons of other well known major bands. As a matter of fact if you have played the video game, the chances are that you have already played some of the songs that our engineers have done!

How Much Do I Get Paid?

Distrophonix and Offbeat Entertainment will get your encoded file into the Rock Band Network. Your music will be available sale on the network for $2. Of that, Microsoft takes their cut. The remaining amount is split 20% between us and 80% to you. Your checks will be sent from Offbeat Entertainment to you every quarter, along with a statement.

Am I Signing Away Any Of My Songs Rights When I Put In Into Rock Band?

Absolutely not! You keep 100% of your rights at all times.

How Long Does It Take For My Song To Be On Rock Band?

Getting your music ready for the Rock Band game is a very intense process that takes our engineers hours and hours of hard work. Generally, it takes around 12 weeks before your song will appear in the game. If you need to have a song rushed that is a possibility however dependent upon our work load. Please let us know your time frame and we will see what we can work out.

How do I get my music in video games like RockBand?

Your music has to be in the proper format for each game.  If you already have this done, we can make your song available for purchase on various video games.  If your music is not already formatted for video games, such as Rock Band,  let Distrophonix complete the encoding for you.



I have questions that weren't answered in the FAQ. How do I ask them?

We try to cover every common question we get, but if you still need some help please feel free to contact us by phone, email, or heck, if you find yourself in Baltimore stop by for a visit! We love to get to personally know the artists we work with. We are located in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore in close vicinity to The Johns Hopkins Peabody School of Music, The Baltimore School for the Arts, and directly across the street from The Walters Art Gallery.