What you want to know...
Do you have some questions? We thought you might. The biggest starting question we hear from many artists is "How do I sell my music online? What's the best way to sell my music online? Will I be able to keep my original artist's rights?" The process can seem daunting, but with Activist Music, it’s our job to as an online music distributor to submit your music to major digital music retailers. We pride ourselves to make it easy for you to do what you do best, create and play music, let us get your hard work online with no long-term contracts or hefty fees.
Who is the Activist Music services for?
It is for any Independent artists and Labels who create or manage “original artistic material” and allows the ability to release and distribute their content to the globe. The service was specifically designed for ourselves, the more we used it, the word spread -- it has become a service by musicians for musicians!
How do I sign up?
Look up at the top bar! Click on the register for a free account and fill in the details, you only need to create a unique user name (this cannot be changed so be careful) your name, email and a password. You will recieve a verification email, follow the links to enable the account and start preparing your album today.
Do I give up any of my rights?
The short answer is No! And the long Answer is still No! You grant us a non-exclusive global licence to collect and administer to you royalties and communicate, sell, distribute your recordings by digital means to Digital Media Outlets that you choose. You retain and own all the rights to your music and no stage will this change. This is your hard work, we are simply providing a service to help you distribute to the globe and collect 100% of you net royalties.
Do I get locked into a contract?
No! Activist Music is pay per service model based on a yearly subscription. You can cancel at any time, simply unsubscribe your artist and contact us and let us know. Activist Music will remove your releases administered by us from any Digital Distribution Outlets and we will pay to you any outstanding net Income due to you. We would never stand in the way of any artist having a choice on who to use as a distribution parter or cause road blocks if you did get signed by a major label or record company. For many Activist Music Artists, the ability to access easy to use global digital distribution allows them the freedom to negotiate physical license agreements in other regions, knowing they will retain control of there digital distribution rights. "Be Heard -- Your Way!" - Not theirs!
How much does it cost?
We like to keep things simple. Its free to sign up for an account. An artist yearly subscription is $19.95 Inc GST, which includes dedicated account management, albums and audio files preparation, monthly accounting to track and report on your digital sales and collect then return to you 100% of your net royalties. For each release, there is a one-off setup fee of $9.95 Inc GST for a Single (comprising one to three songs) or $9.95 Inc GST for an EP/Album (four or more songs, up to one maxiumum capacity standard CD). For example if you represent two artists and you have a back catalogue of 5 albums you wish to get online, this will cost you $19.95 per artist ($39.90 In total for yearly subscriptions) and $49.75 Inc GST Album upload fee.
Where does my music end up?
Currently your music ends up on the largest Digital Download Retailer in the world, Apple iTunes. There is no doubt that iTunes has set the bench mark for digital music retailing and we believe it is best to starting place for you to find new fans. We are in discussion with three others digital retailers, however we are careful who Activist Music and you partner with. We look for the best possible deal for our members and when a new retailer come online we will provide you the choice if you want you music to appear on this service. Once you publish and album our dedicated account manager will contact you to assist with your regional and pricing preferences.
How many songs do I need to submit?
You can submit as little as one or as many that will fit on a standard 74 minute CD. Activist Music defines a single as one to three songs and an Album/EP as four or more.
What file format do I need to upload my audio files?
Currently m4a. This is the required format by iTunes. If you need to convert your CD, WAV or MP3 files, import into iTunes and use the Apple Lossless Encoder or the AAC Encoder at the higest possible rates. The Activsit Music portal will not accept MP3, WAV or other file formats.
Can I submit album artwork?
Yes, it is requirement that you do. You do however need to ensure it is at least a 600 x 600 pixel JPEG file with .jpg extension or TIFFfile with .tif extension, best quality, RGB Color mode, for your album's cover art. Do not scale up artwork if it is smaller than the required size of at least 600 x 600 pixels. The cover art must not contain text that advertises extra material not included in your release, or mislead the customer in any other way.
What is a UPC Code?
UPC means a ‘universal product code’ that is required for tracking the sale of products sold through the Digital Distribution Outlets and which must be attached to each Release. You can obtain and supply your own UPC code for each album submission, or, if you want Activist Music to supply a UPC code, then you must pay an administration fee of $45.00 Inc GST for each UPC Code.
What is an ISRC Code?
ISRC means ‘international standard recording code’ and is a worldwide identification system for sound recordings and music promotional videos. Each ISRC is permanently encoded within a specific product for the purpose of identifying it, and can be used to trace and track the product throughout the value chain. An ISRC also facilitates automatic product identification for royalty purposes and can be used as a tool for combating piracy. If you do not have an existing ISRC code for your digital records Activist Music can provide a unique ISRC code for you. This is provided at no additional cost to you. The ISRC code is unique to the specific recording, if you remix, re master or re record the track you will require a new ISRC code.
How long before my music is available for sale?
After you publish your album, Activist Music process and delivers your music to the Online Digital Retailer straight away. The process for each of the stores can differ from 4 - 6 weeks dependant on there individual process and the back log of albums to be processed. Once your album goes live in the store your status in the Activist music portal will change to "Active".
How and when do I get paid my royalties?
Once you have sold tracks via the download stores, we will report them to you and through the Activist Music Create.Connect portal you can request payment and view your electronic statement of accounts, which shows any income owing to you, the number of releases sold, the individual tracks sold, your previous and current invoices. The request payment button will be come active once your total income due, is equal to or greater than AUD $100 in any given calendar month otherwise the balance will be carried over to the following month until AUD$100 is reached. The statement of accounts is updated by Activist Music on each occasion we receive income to be credited to you from a Digital Distribution Outlet or after we make a payment to you or after you make a payment to us. Payments made to you will be processed 45 days after each month’s end. In other words, for all sales made in September, for instance, you will be paid in mid November. Activist Music will pay your royalties into your nominated PayPal or Bank Account.
How much do I get paid?
That one is easy! You get paid 100% of you net royalties. We do not take a percentage of or cut of your income, it is your income not ours, we make our money from the subscription and upload service. The amount of the royalty is determined by the digital down load retailer, for instance iTunes Australia, one model is if one of your tracks is sold for $0.99 you will $0.69, for Albums it a little different, depending on how many songs and the level you wish to sell at, our dedicated account management team will assist you with this once your album is published. You will have the flexibility to work with the account managers to set the correct pricing in each store and this will clearly be displayed in the
What is Net Income?
While Activist Music collects 100% of your royalties, these royalties are subject to factors beyond our control. These include but are not limited to foreign exchange variation, individual tax treaties, bank fees, withholding tax, and potential insurance liability
Do I have to live in Australia to use your service?
No, you don't have to live within the Australia. You can live anywhere in the world, and still use our music distribution network, because we are able to distribute your music to international markets.
What if my songs have explicit lyrics?
Your albums may contain explicit lyrics. You will be asked this question during the submission process if you album has explicit lyrics, please make sure that you select the appropriate answer. Explicit content will not cause any increase in fees or cause your album to be rejected; rather, many retailers require their albums to clearly state whether they contain explicit lyrics before they are able to sell your music.
Can I submit cover songs?
Our major music retail partners accept covers, so you don't have to worry about your songs getting rejected because they're covers. All you have to do is find out who the publisher is of the song and receive permission to reproduce it. It's important to ensure that you have permission from the publisher to distribute and profit from the cover song. While covering a song is a great way to promote your music performing and profiting from that song without the permission of the publisher can get messy with legal issues for you later down the line. So, avoid the hassle and gain permission from the publisher before you submit your song to us. Activist Music is not responsible for policing copyright infringement, this is your responsibility.
How can I cancel the service and subscription?
If you wish to cancel the service, unsubscribe your artist and contact Activist Music to close the account in full and ensure all monies owed are paid.
Where can I get some more info?
You can get more info from the Help section of the Activist Music Create.Connect, just sign up for a free account or use the Contact Us form.
We hope we have covered most of your topics above. If your question isn't listed or if you need more information, then we're here to assist and help you figure out if Activist Music suits your needs, please use the contact us page to send your question to the Activist team.