Frequently Asked Questions.
Below you will find a list of the questions most often asked by new artists and labels. If you don't see an answer to your question, try searching our site. If you still can't find an answer, feel free to contact us.
Digital distribution is the method by which your music is distributed to various digital music stores which then sell downloads of your music for iPods, iPhones, Zunes, Sansas, or any other number of portable music devices. Where a traditional distributor would ship out your physical album to stores, we will distribute digital copies of your music to stores such as iTunes, Rhapsody, AmazonMP3, eMusic, Zune, Spotify, etc.
Major digital music stores such as iTunes require artists and labels to use a digital distributor such as Catapult to make their music and content available in their stores.
We charge a one time setup fee of $25 for each album submitted for digital distribution ($9 for singles or ringtones). After that, we pay you 91% of the royalties received from the respective music store. There are no hidden fees. How's that for fair?
For example: If iTunes sells one of your songs for .99 cents. They would pay us .70 cents, and we would then pay you 91% of the .70 cents.
Currently, we offer digital distribution to all of the major music stores including:
iTunes (All World Stores)
and many more...
While iTunes continues to have the predominate share of the music download market, Catapult is always in negotiations to provide even more distribution to other major online music stores to maximize our artist and label's sales.
The following link will display the current stores that your album will automatically be delivered to:
Click To View The Stores We Distribute Into
In order for us to distribute a cover song (ie: A song you didn't write) you must purchase a license from the owner or administrator of the song in order to use it on your album.
Once you have uploaded or shipped us your album(s), it normally takes 1-4 business days for us to encode the audio, process the cover art, and digitally distribute all of the album's metadata to iTunes and the other music stores. From there, each music store's time frame is different.
Currently, we are seeing albums appear in the iTunes music store within only 24-48 hours of delivery. The other music stores can take up to around 3-6 weeks. This delay is due to each music store's own unique ingestion queues and processes.
No Way! By utilizing our distribution service, you allow us to digitally distribute your music until you terminate the agreement. We do not take ownership of the music, but only help facilitate the process of spreading your music digitally.
Yes. You may digitally distribute any of your music even if you have never had a CD printed. You will simply submit an album via your Dashboard at Catapult and then upload the audio files and cover art.
Yes. UPCs (or Barcode numbers) are required by every major music store. It is the universal method by which various companies and organizations are able to uniquely identify a product. If you do not currently have a UPC for your album, we can provide you with one for only $20 during the album submission process.
We regret that the nature of our business as well as our incredibly discounted payment rates do not allow for us to field a call center for questions pertaining to our digital distribution service. All questions must be submitted via the "Contact Customer Service" links located on our homepage or from within your Dashboard at Catapult. Once an inquiry is received, a representative from Catapult will e-mail you back.
We offer the following additional services that can be purchased during the album submission process:
Barcode Graphic Creation
Nielsen SoundScan Registration
iTunes Digital Booklet
iTunes Trend Reports and Metrics
Yes. Once your album has been distributed, you'll have access to HTML code for pasting the iTunes Media Player on your own website(s).
iTunes Media Player Example:
Your album and single will remain distributed in the music stores until you choose to terminate the distribution for your item from within your Dashboard at Catapult.
We disperse payments to our Artists and Labels once a month. Each music store is different and they all have their own payment intervals (monthly, quarterly, etc), however, once we have received payment from a music store, we will then pay you at the end of the next month for the previous month's sales.
We pay all of our artists by way of PayPal, the global leader in online payments. It is free to sign up for and regardless of which account type you create (personal, premium, or business) it will cost you nothing to receive money from us as we cover all transaction fees. Once the money is transfered to your PayPal account, you then have the option of depositing it into your bank account electronically for free, or for a small fee PayPal will mail you a check. To learn more about setting up a PayPal account, please visit www.paypal.com.
Yes. You can log into your Dashboard and view detailed reports of your sales figures for the previous months.
When you subscribe to our Daily Trend Reports and Metrics Service, you'll have the ability to see reports of your sales faster than ever from the iTunes Music Store and AmazonMP3.
The music stores delay their normal sales reports by around 2 months (These are the reports that you always receive free of charge once a month for previous months sales).
However with our Trend Reports and Metrics Service you don't have to wait months to view reports of your sales, you can view sales of your albums and tracks in iTunes and AmazonMP3 from as recent as the day before along with graphs and maps!
Yes. We have partnered with Zferral to offer an affiliate program to allow anyone to become an affiliate of Catapult and begin earning money for any sales that are generated.
When you sign up as a Catapult Affiliate, you have access to your own Control Panel that will allow you access to various Banner Ads and Text Links that you can then paste into your own websites, e-mails, Twitter and Facebook feeds. When a customer clicks on any of these links, creates an account at Catapult, and ultimately submits an album or single for distribution, you are then paid a monetary amount for referring that artist or label to Catapult.
Our current Affiliate campaign allows you to earn $5 for every album or single submitted into our service that is referred to us by your links. If that client continues to submit albums or singles, you would continue to earn $5 for every album or single.*
*Up to 365 days from the time the client first visited Catapult via your affiliate link.
Affiliates that do not earn any sales leads for Catapult in a 90 day period may be removed from our Affiliate Program.
Anyone can become an Affiliate of Catapult. This can include either a current Artist or Label at Catapult, or even just someone who has their own website (ie: Music themed forums, message boards, sites, etc.)
However, you cannot earn commissions for submitting your own content.
You can upload .wav or .mp3 files (.wav files are recommended for posterity since they are not compressed and offer the highest quality possible to encode into the various formats for each music store).
Audio files must conform to the following industry standards:
- 2 Channel Stereo
- 16 bit
- 44.1 kHz sample rate
Cover Art Requirements:
Dimensions should be at least 600 x 600 pixels at 72 dpi (1500 x 1500 pixels recommended).
Image must be square (i.e. 600x600 not 672x600)
Cover Art should not be pixelated when viewed at its normal resolution or it will be rejected. Do not convert from a lower resolution file to meet the requirements or it will be rejected by the music stores.
File format must be .jpg (JPEG)
Cover Art CANNOT contain information normally found in the liner notes such as:
Cover Art CANNOT contain any time or date related information (ie: Release Dates, etc)
Unfortunately, No. We used to offer this service but since only a small portion (ie: less than 1%) of our clients used this service we have discontinued it. You must upload your audio files and cover art via your Dashboard at Catapult.
Yes, you can submit a single (ie: An album containing only one track).
Please note that since "singles" are still albums, they still require their own UPC (Which we can provide during the album submission process) as well as unique industry standard cover art.
Yes, you can submit a Ringtone.
Please note that Ringtones also require their own UPC (Which we can provide during the ringtone submission process) as well as unique industry standard cover art.
Only one ringtone can be submitted at a time. If you have multiple ringtones that you wish to have distributed, you must submit each one invidually and each requires its own UPC.
Unlike Albums and Singles, Ringtones are only distributed into the iTunes Music Store (As most all other music stores do not offer Ringtones to their customers).
The cost to submit a Ringtone is $9.
If you wish to have an Audio Book distributed, you should contact Audible.com as they are the sole distributor of Audio Books for iTunes and other music stores.
Yes. During the album submission process, you will have an opportunity to submit your ISRC codes for each of your album's tracks. If you do not have ISRC codes for your tracks, our system will automatically generate them for free during processing.
Yes. During the album submission process, you will have an opportunity to set the street date for your album or single. Please note however, that while iTunes and AmazonMP3 are very quick in ingesting albums (Normally only a few days), many of the other music stores can take several weeks, so even though you may choose a street date, it's entirely possible that the album will not appear in some of the stores until they complete their own processing and ingestion.
If you are choosing a street date in the future (Rather than just having the album or single go live as soon as possible), we suggest setting the street date at least 7 days out to give time for iTunes and AmazonMP3 to ingest the album.
The music stores have placed extreme restrictions on the Classical Genre (ie: Pre-20th Century Composer based music) and therefore we DO NOT support the distribution of this genre.
Unfortunately, you cannot offer a track for free in the music stores.
The music stores do not allow tracks to be made available for free in their stores (or they would not make any money).*
*Sometimes music stores do offer tracks for free in their stores as promotions, but this decision is solely determined by each music store's editorial departments and is normally reserved for high profile / top billboard artists.
The music stores have placed extreme restrictions on Karaoke albums and tracks, therefore we DO NOT support the distribution of this type of content.
When we deliver albums and singles to iTunes, most content goes live in their store within only a few days. However, a small percentage of content is randomly selected by iTunes staff to be reviewed manually by them for quality control. This manual review is to ensure that your content conforms to their guidelines and does not violate any of their standards.
Unfortunately, when content is flagged by iTunes for review, it will take additional time for your content to go live in their store since an actual human will be reviewing your content and its metadata. The time frame for their review averages around 1-10 days.
Once iTunes completes their review process, your content will go live in their store.
*Catapult has no control over the timing and speed of this review process.
Finding content in iHeartRadio can sometimes be frustrating because due to the way they manage and provide their data in their search results it's possible that an artist may not be able to be found even if that artist's content is in their database. The reason being is that the way iHeartRadio works is by using similar artist data that is provided to them by 3rd parties like AMG (All Media Guide). If iHeartRadio doesn't have enough similar artist data, a station will not be able to be created and the customer will not see that artist in the search.
iHeartRadio uses a few 3rd party data companies including the Echo Nest, Rovi, AMG, etc. in order to try and come up with around 40 artists with similar music styles. Those artists are whose tracks are going to play inside the station. So there is a possibility that lower level artists will not have the ability to have a station created at first, but their tracks DO have the possibility to end up in another artist's station.
iHeartRadio is not an on-demand service (Though sometimes it feels like they are when you search for a specific artist), so customers won't be able to search for an artist and then play any song they want. Customers will only be able to create a radio station that plays seed artist tracks and other similar artists to them. However, iHeartRadio continually sends those artists without a station through the 3rd party companies services to try and have one created. This can normally take some time and is totally dependent on those 3rd parties.
Yes. Customers will be able to purchase individual tracks on your album without having to purchase the whole album. However, in cases where a track exceeds 10 minutes in length, some stores will flag the track as an "Album Only" purchase which would require the customer to purchase the entire album in order to download that specific track.
We are not able to flag tracks on an album as "Album Only" purchases.
What others are saying about Catapult
"...Where other digital distributor payouts were laughably small, Catapult's were more than fair and actually skewed rates in the artists' favor; imagine that. I'm glad to be associated with these folks. Their payouts are prompt (once a month on the dot) and they are accessible whenever I have questions/concerns, unlike many other faceless corporations whose empty promises of customer service fail once they get your money."Eric Peters - Independent Artist