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End of Year Deadlines for Digital Music Distribution

  • 02 November 2021, Tuesday
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The end of the year is coming. Are your releases ready? Not only are the last six weeks of the year the busiest time to release music, many shops and streaming platforms are closed or have limited support during the winter holidays. If you have releases planned in December or early January, take a look at the deadlines and tips below to make sure your release plan goes, well, according to plan.

How to guarantee your release gets out on time

In creating these deadlines, we’ve taken the deadlines set by the stores and added a few days to QA, process, and send your tracks to the stores and platforms. Please bear in mind that these are hard deadlines. That means your release has to meet the release requirements, with the music uploaded in the proper format, the album artwork approved, and everything submitted by this date. Also, if there are problems with the quality of your release or we don’t have everything we need when you submit it, your release might not make store or platform deadlines — so submit early!

Please note: Express and 48-Hour delivery are not available between December 10th, 2021, and January 3rd, 2022.

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Why the end of the year distribution deadlines?

The last six weeks of the year are the busiest time for releases. This is, in part, because artists and labels want to have their releases available for the big holiday shopping season. It’s also the final push to release something before the end of the year. Also, many stores are not open during the week between December 24th and January 2nd.

What about submitting to Spotify at the end of the year?

On average, Spotify delivers around 20,000 tracks per day — so imagine what it’s like during the end of the year rush. Normally, Spotify recommends submitting your track to their playlist editors two to four weeks ahead of the release date. With the holiday madness, you’ll probably want to shoot for earlier rather than later. Remember, it can take a few days from when we send it to them for your release to appear in your upcoming releases on your Spotify for Artists profile.

What if I need support or a change to my release during the holidays?

Please note that due to the winter holidays, we will have limited support from December 17th, 2021 through January 3rd, 2022. During these dates, you might experience support request response times of longer than 24 hours. All emails will be answered as soon as possible when we return. 24-hour support resumes on January 4th, 2022.

Also note that most stores and streaming platforms will have limited support, which could cause all change requests to take longer than usual.

If you have any questions about the upcoming deadlines or how to prepare, feel free to reach out to our Artist & Label Relations team for support.

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