My experience with RouteNote.com (so far)

Update, July 21th, 2015:  It has been a long road, with several bumps, but overall I do recommend RouteNote. They always pay on time, and they have been willing to work out some of the particular issues I’ve had. Read on for more details on my long journey.

If you decide to sign up for RouteNote, please use my referral code: 2f72c02f

https://routenote.com/referral/2f72c02f

I’ve also written a guidebook on how to use RouteNote to release your music to the world, available at Amazon. If you’ve never used a music aggregator, this book takes you through the whole process from sign-up to submission.


routenote logo

Originally posted January 29th, 2014:

I’ve been bitten by the “create a bunch of music and then publish it” bug.  I wish I would have contracted this virus earlier, but timing can’t always be helped.  Since I am new (very, very new) to distributing my music online, and there was no help online when I searched for certain information, I decided to chronicle my experience to share with others.

I had some questions, like:

What services should I release my music on?

How long does it take for a song to be released on iTunes?

How long does it take for a song to be released on Amazon, or Spotify, or Groove (Xbox) Music?

Is it easy to release my own music online?

How do you pronounce RouteNote? (it’s pronounced like root)

How much do iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Groove Music, etc. pay artists?

So hopefully, by sharing my experience with some of the details, it will make it clearer for others trying to go the same path.  Maybe my experiences will even give you confidence, so it doesn’t feel like you are jumping into a big dark ocean, in the middle of the night, naked.

Keep in mind that my experiences are mine alone and are not necessarily representative of typical experiences with music distribution services.  I will update this post as my experience increases with this exciting venture.

What music service should I release my music on?

There are many options for anyone interested in independently releasing their music online.  You can release to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, eMusic, Xbox Music, Rdio, and more.  Then there are aggregators that will allow you to submit your music for release one time, and then the aggregators do the rest of the work for you.  Each of these aggregators have their quirks, benefits, and limitations.  Choosing an aggregator may be the most important decision you make in regards to releasing your music online.

I researched a few North American aggregators and settled in on RouteNote.  They provided me with the ability to sign up and release music for no upfront cost.  This was a big deal for me, as I don’t expect to make much, if any money.  They keep 15% of my revenue in exchange for not charging me upfront.  If any of my music blows up, I can change this and pay the fee and then keep 100% of my revenue.

But when releasing through Routenote, as well as other aggregators I assume, I was given the choice of which services I wanted to submit my music to.  “Why wouldn’t you release through all services?” I thought.  That’s more exposure, right?  Well, yes.  But it also limits your impact on a particular service.  If your music were only available on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play, you are only splitting your market into three groups.  But should you choose to release across every service, your iTunes sales would likely reflect lower numbers as you are leeching sales out to other services.  Because of this, I can see why someone would only want to release to a single service or even just a few.

Then there’s the streaming services, like Deezer, Spotify, Groove.  Where you don’t get 60 cents for selling a song there, you get a fraction of a cent for a “play”, that is, someone streaming your songs.  Maybe you don’t want people copping these cheap (free, even) listens and would rather they pay for the right to hear your music.  In that case, don’t release to streaming services.

How long does the approval process take with RouteNote?

I submitted my first song, Do Your Homework through RouteNote on January 23, 2014.  It was a Thursday.  According to the FAQ on RouteNote.com, I was to expect a 1-2 day moderation process.  If you submit everything properly, and your art and song quality are acceptable, you get approved.  In my experience, I received an email the next day stating my song had passed the moderation process.  “This is moving quickly.” I thought.

Also according to the FAQ at RouteNote.com “most retail partners normally work on a 1 – 2 week moderation process”

What do I fill out for “Copyright Name” and “Label” when releasing with RouteNote?

I was a little intimidated when I didn’t know what to put in some of the fields when filling out the RouteNote application.  I did my best to answer honestly.  It asked for Copyright Name, and I wrote the song, so I put my name in there.

For label, it doesn’t really mean much for most people.  I just used ToolOfGod records.  I released an album of Jam Tracks under that label on Createspace (the opposite of iTunes), so I kept that going.  Plus, it’s the name of my website, plus…etc.

  • Artist: Orion Williams
  • Title: Do Your Homework
  • Album: Do Your Homework
  • Track: 1
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Sec Gen: Rock
  • Label: ToolOfGod Records
  • Year: 2013
  • Cpy Year: 2013
  • Cpy Name: Orion Williams
  • Explicit: Clean
  • Ssdate:
  • Length: 2:24 minutes (4.4 MB)
  • Format: Joint ster 44kHz 256Kbps (CBR)

How long does it take for a song to go “live” on iTunes?

My first release was approved by RouteNote on Friday, January 24th.  I don’t know how soon after that the song was submitted to iTunes, but I figure it was same day.  My song went live on the iTunes store on Monday, January 27th.  So, either the iTunes people are working weekends, or they are just fast.  That’s fast anyway, even if they were working over the weekend.  I was expecting a week and I got a weekend.  Bravo iTunes!

As a bonus bit of information, it seems reviews of your music take about a day before being displayed.

Update: Most releases actually go live on iTunes the same day they are approved by RouteNote.  They put every other service to shame in this regard, and that is coming from someone who refuses to install iTunes on his computer.

How long does it take for a song to go “live” on Spotify?

Since my first release was approved by Routenote on Friday, January 24th, and first saw my track on Spotify on Saturday, February 1st, I conclude that it takes about a week for a track to go live on Spotify.  Once a song becomes available on Spotify, it can be streamed, shared to social networks and saved to playlists, just like any other song on the service.

Spotify is where I first noticed some of the information I filled out during the Routenote submission process.  Spotify lists my song as being Copyrighted by “Orion Williams” and published by “Orion Williams”, both of those in 2013.  This all coincides with what I entered on my submission form.  So far, no one seems to care about what “label” my song was released on.

How long does it take for a song to go “live” on Rdio?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t watching Rdio as closely as I should have.  I only noticed that Do Your Homework had been published on February 3rd, but it may have been published much earlier.  I’ll have to watch closer on my next release, now that I have an Rdio account.

How long does it take for a song to go “live” on Google Play?

After being approved by RouteNote on Jan. 24th, Do Your Homework went live on Google Play on Feb. 5th.  Shy of two weeks from submission to availability.

How long does it take for a song to go “live” on Last.fm?

I uploaded Do Your Homework to Last.fm and my song became available for streaming within 24 hours.  RouteNote did not upload to Last.fm, I did this manually, but they make the process painless.  I was able to register as a record label (ToolOfGod Records) and have control over the artist (Orion Williams) and the associated page.

How long does it take for a song to go “live” on Amazon?

My song, Do Your Homework, hit the Amazon MP3 marketplace on Feb 8th, over two weeks after uploading and being approved at RouteNote.  I was surprised by how long this took, considering uploading to Amazon via createspace for my album of Guitar Jam tracks took less than a week.

I released a song called Sailing on the Sunset and it took over two months to show up on Amazon.  A RouteNote representative told me that it is because Amazon closed their ingestion servers.  It does not explain why that release is still not on Xbox Music.

How long does it take for a song to go “live” on Groove Music (formerly Xbox Music)?

Well, that was a long time.  My songs first appeared on Xbox Music on May 14th, 2014.  Over three months from my original submission.  However, this seems to be related to a contract issue between RouteNote and Xbox Music.  This should not be the norm, though I will need to release another song to learn more.

Unfortunately, there is yet another issue with my music on Xbox Music, that being my “albums”, which are actually singles, are selling for “$9.99”.  I did not set this price and think it’s ridiculous, and I’m filing a support claim at the moment to get it cleared up.  Please do not buy my singles for 10 dollars a piece.  Thank you.

Update:  Most songs take about a week+ to go live on Xbox Music.  This is what I have learned after numerous releases.

How long does it take for a song to go “live” on Music Unlimited? (this service is no longer available)

So far this has never happened.  I see other people’s songs have gone live since I have uploaded mine, but still not one has ever been featured on the service.  So, the answer for me is “never” until they actually release my music.  I will try to update this should that ever happen.


Getting Started with RouteNote

If you are looking for help releasing music with RouteNote, I have written a detailed guide. This step-by-step instructional takes away the fear of the unknown and encourages you through the entire process.


Update, June 20th, 2014

It has now been 4 weeks and my latest release, Sailing On The Sunset, has not been published to multiple stores, including Xbox Music and Amazon.  The track went up after the usual 2-3 days on iTunes, and I figured another two weeks at most for the release to go live on Amazon.  It is still not available and that saddens and frustrates me.  When it takes this long, I have to question if it’s every going to be published on these stores.

My singles on Xbox Music are still being sold for 10$ each, and it took nearly one full month for RouteNote to respond to my support ticket in this matter.

On the bright side, after three months I finally earned enough money to get paid by RouteNote, reaching my 50 dollar threshold.  But the overall experience prevents me from recommending the service as a whole.  I have only used the free distribution model, and in this regard I can say that you pretty much get what you pay for.

Update, July 24th, 2014

Sailing on the Sunset has just now become available on Amazon MP3.  It’s still not available on Xbox Music.  RouteNote support has been very slow to get back to me about the issues, if at all.

Update, December 1, 2014

I have released several singles lately under a new artist name.  Here is what I have learned over the past several months.

  • RouteNote is having trouble convincing Xbox Music that there is anything other than a full-priced/full-length album
  • All of my single releases are “albums” and those albums are on Xbox Music for $10
  • There is nothing that RouteNote can do about this, apparently the ball is in Xbox Music’s court
  • Since RouteNote has started distributing to Sony’s Music Unlimited, I have exactly zero releases on their service, despite requesting for all of my releases to be there
  • Apparently Sony has been flooded with new tracks to host since all of Routenote’s catalog gets retroactively added to Music Unlimited
  • It may take months for my songs to appear on Music Unlimited
  • iTunes is amazingly fast at releasing music onto their store, usually available the day my music is approved by RouteNote
  • RouteNote doesn’t like people releasing music that has trademarks in the song titles (I was rejected), but you can get around this if your song is a parody or satire (mine is satire)
  • If you want to upload your music to YouTube but don’t want your music to have copyright strikes against it on YouTube, don’t check the box for RouteNote to distribute your songs through YouTube

Update, July 21, 2015

Since my last writing Sony Music Unlimited has folded. I guess that explains why my music never made it onto the service. On a much more positive note, Nokia Mix Radio is now playing my music. RouteNote continues to improve as a service. For some reason there is no convincing Xbox Music (Groove Music) that my singles are not 10$ albums.

Well, we do what we can with what we’ve got.

 

123 comments

  1. In case anyone stumbled on this website trying to decide whether or not to use RouteNote, let me tell you from experience, DON’T! I’ve been using their service for about a year now and I have NEVER had a 100% successful delivery. There will certainly always be an error somewhere on one of the websites they deliver to, so keep an eye out! This wouldn’t be a problem if they would actually take the time help resolve the errors. Most of the time my support tickets go COMPLETELY unanswered without so much as an acknowledgment. If my problem is small I might get lucky and get a response. There were times when I’ve had to resort to contacting them through Twitter just to get a response, which simply referred me to the contact form on their website. What’s the point in having a support system if you’re not going to answer it? Why send users to your contact form when you have support tickets waiting? Be cautious with this service if you care about your music at all.

    1. Thank you for your feedback. I originally wrote this post because I wanted to share my experience with those who were not familiar with the process of releasing music online. I couldn’t find but bits and pieces of the process so I wrote my experience with detail to chronicle my adventure. It’s interesting to find that you too have had problems with your RouteNote submissions. Are your issues mostly with the way they appear on various services? For example, I have had the date listed as 1999 on a 2014 release. I have had an album with one song marked for $9.99. I don’t know if my experience would be any better going with TuneCore or any other. Who do you recommend?

      1. The reason why create space got it on amazon that quickly is because amazon is their parent company, it has a lot to do with the associations of these aggregators, i have a track pending four days now so i’ll see what happens on free before i go premium.

    2. I have been using RouteNote for over 3 years now and have added over 50 releases. I have never had any issues. I have noticed everything seems to go live on the main stores very quickly. iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon all within hours or max 24 hours of being approved. Some of the other stores are a little longer, but nothing more than a week!

      Ive also moved some of my more popular releases to the premium option, which works great!!!

      Highly recommend!!!!

      1. bogus post for sure. I dont know any happy customers.
        I had late and lost uploads which I constantly had to chase up due to their bullshit

        1. I’m sorry for your experience. I seem to be somewhere in the middle of you and Chris. I have had issues for sure. They are pretty bad about getting back to me. Though the money gets to my paypal account on time every month if I have met my threshold. Would you elaborate on the issue of not getting paid. I can understand the occasional upload issue, but in my 13 or so releases, every one is approved the next morning. I am just interested in what other negatives I may have to look forward to.

    3. I’ve just uploaded an EP of mine, I’m on bandcamp mainly, but artists have to be on Spotify now days, it’s the only place to be discovered by the masses

    4. i highly DO NOT recommend anyone ever use this site. i first uploaded an album in october of 2013. i did the free service. my album and the second album i had uploaded still to this date is not on itunes. and i recently went with a different service. i had seen that a certain song had only made a few cents. and i have no idea how many were sold to get that. and the worst part is you have to earn 50 dollars before you get paid. all this wouldnt be as bad if it werent for how difficult it is to delete your account. i sent them an email from the routenote website. i have 4 emails so i wasnt sure which one it was. i thought it was 1 of my 2 gmails. they were extremely quick to answer me telling me i used the incorrect email. then when i finally figured out the email for it. i sent them an email saying i wanted to delete my account. this was on april 12th,. i still have not received a word or anything from them. i have my youtube linked with them and i really hope i can get it removed because they have to approve it. im forreal about to get a lawyer if they give problems. im gonna try and call them sometime, and if they still dont delete it. im getting a lawyer. DO NOT USE THIS SITE

      1. I’ve had an occasional song not make it on to a service. Every time I have contacted them to let them know, they have followed up and eventually gotten my song on the service. That is, except for Sony music unlimited, which I think went defunct around the time I was trying to get music onto their service.

        Regarding the $50 minimum payout: Yes your music has to actually make money to get you paid. You shouldn’t expect that they will cut you a check for 6 cents just because you had 30 Spotify plays or whatever. If your music sells well, you get paid. If not, then you don’t. That is going to be true for any service you register with.

    5. Yeah I had same problems with them recently, they put my music up and the artwork was completely wrong, they put a picture of some other artist on my music, they took like two weeks to put first single up, the second single took even longer, to which they replied oh sorry the submission failed, too many problems with these guys that take forever to get resolved, exactly most of my support tickets went unanswered, when they did get back to me they seemed completely unsympathetic to mistakes which should not be happening in the first place, I told them take my music down, I can’t work with unprofessional aggregators, being an independent artist its hard enough getting your music made and then having to promote it, you want people you can rely on to get things done correctly, routenote is not that company, people don’t waste your time with routenote, it maybe free but they will only cause you grief and waste your time, I went with another aggregator next day paid a very small fee for three songs, I did that in the morning and my songs were on iTunes by the afternoon, thats how it should be done guys, fuck routenote, Routnote are a bunch of lazy ass rookies who dont give a fuck about you or your music………….

      1. What aggregator did you use that had same-day iTunes distribution? That’s dang fast! RouteNote always has my stuff on iTunes within a few days, but the same day is incredible.

      2. ” I went with another aggregator next day ” Okay, fine. Who was it? Posts like this that don’t include details are useless to any independent musician taking their work seriously enough to want distribution.

    6. Sure, I can relate to the frequent errors (although that has been happening less), but their support team has been great so far, at least for me. They resolve any issues I might have fairly quickly and reply sooner than even I expected.

    7. I agree don’t use this for your music. Because if you have the same name as someone else, that person will now own your music on whatever website you published to.

      I had a similar name to someone that had their last album in 2003, and I searched around before publishing my music, I could not find this artist anywhere.

      Until now, where he has my songs, and will soon receive the money I should be getting for it.

      I have gotten no response from RouteNote with trying to find multiple ways on contacting them.

      This makes me get the outlook on RouteNote as a company that doesn’t really care for musical artists and are in it for the money.

      1. Your releases are tied to your routenote account. Even if the artist name are very similar, RN will know that your music is your music. If the artist name is identical, services like Spotify night lump them together, but you will still get paid for your plays, which show up in your monthly reports.

        BTW, if the artist name is identical, that could lead to some issues with the other artist thinking you are trying to capitalize on their name. Definitely have a unique name.

          1. A little, perhaps.

            He has, however, been clear about problems he’s encountered. I think we have all gotten a bit too accustomed to name calling, all caps, and the like. At this time in history public discourse has degenerated so much that reasoned and unemotional criticism, written like a professional who lives and works in the adult world, appears lees convincing than so called “rants”. Also, for my part, a single opinion from a single site doesn’t constitute thorough research.

    8. I know a known artist albums were in stores then not there anymore although they have upc and codes along with approved ..they don’t fix it. we have contacted them for over two years to get it fixed they are rediculous is there any lawyers we are in usa. and we want the mp3 files back so we can use a service that actually gets them in stores and in distribution. She is pissed this is a grammy tv star etc…and then the money whatsoever nothing plus they do some youtube thing where is that money.
      anyone want to do a class action lawsuit? contact me. I want them to pay for damages or give us back our copyright files. you actually got other artists ..she actually created and producer her own and paid some money for mastering. They need to be kicked in butt

    9. I recomend this site very much as my music went up on to itunes and spotify incredbly quickly. My artist name is Zero K for the proof.

  2. Routenote are a bunch of complete wankers. They never pay what is owed. Their blogs and opinions are arrogant and misguided let alone badly informed and Id be suprised if they know anything at all about the music industry and how it works.
    I had to chase my payments every single time and never got any emails,queries or problems answered. To me it seems to be run by kids with over inflated opinions of themselves who are failed musicians wanting to be involved in the industry. AVOID if you want your money

  3. Routenote is scammer. They steals youtube revenue from artists videos distributed by them. Never ever distribute your music via routenote.

    1. I haven’t had this issue, but I should have something to report on the topic in the next month or two. I recently added a bunch of music that is on youtube, and though I haven’t joined their MCN. A couple of my songs showed up as being managed by “routenote”. I’ll know more in a couple of months as I just added my channels to the whitelist, which should allow me to get my payout through YouTube directly.

      1. I havent see a dime we need them to fear of GOD in them .. and get our music files back from them do you know how to get them off your whitelist?

        1. I don’t understand what your experience has been. But in mine, simply contacting RouteNote and asking them to pull music from streaming/sale has been plenty. As far as “getting the music files back”, you do have the originals, don’t you?

  4. Hey my experience was as follows:
    -They have yet to deliver to all of the stores they list.
    -They have always hit Itunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Spotify…but rarely the others.

    I will still use them for my collabs..unless the other party is willing to half the bill.

    Otherwise, I will be using Mondotunes or CD Baby as they ,in my opinion, are far better than Routenote.

  5. Hi, as you, I was searching info about how can I release my own music and I found nothing. Two hours ago I discovered RouteNote and wow, I thought “Wtf, really I can release my track for free on Spotify…?”. I submitted a track and later I found this review, I’hope they accept my song!

    Thanks for write this Orion 😉 Will listen you :p
    Greetings from Spain !

  6. I used to work for a similar company, to be completely fair to the business I’ll give you guys some info on how it really is (from the distributors side).
    Firstly, when they say things like ingestion problems or errors, usually that’s the truth, the big guys (iTunes, Spotify etc.) have all the power. As us musicians can’t upload straight to them, we go through Routenote CD baby etc. when we have an issue, (speaking from experience in the industry) we’d hound the big guys. They usually don’t care though, and the distributor is left in the middle trying to get your releases online (think about, they don’t get paid unless your tracks are online). They get nowhere with the big boys and all the flack from the musician. Same with payment, we had an automatic system that wouldn’t pay until it received the stats of the artists sales. If 1 service fails to get the stats back in time, there you have it, we couldn’t run the payment info (And again we’re stuck being ignored by the retailers and abused by the musicians). That last point (about them claiming on YT), I didn’t work with YT when I was in the business, but people can’t claim on your stuff. The only way they’d do that is if you’ve stolen someone else’s music that the company are distributing for. My honest opinion… Find one guy/gal at the company and politely speak to them and they’ll probably go out of their way to help you. The people above slagging them off have probably tried to release music they don’t own or of a poor quality and are now in ‘ruin the company’s rep’ mode as revenge!

  7. I recently uploaded 4 live tracks from a concert me and my band had, it got approved a few days ago. It’s already out on iTunes, not really looking for making a profit, just want to get our music out there…looking forward to Spotify, I’ll post an update when it’s out on Spotify!

  8. I just released some of the bands under my label in routenote but I’m a member of the site since 2013. I’m just trying my luck and I hope they can get our music out there as well. I don’t know what to expect yet.

  9. Awful. The guy who runs it is the most arrogant, deluded tosser i have ever dealt with.
    He knows nothing about the music industry and wants to make a fast buck. He has hung up on me 3 times when i’ve called about my music. Why is the owner of the company even answer the telephone, do they not have support staff?
    I honestly don’t know how this company is still here. Their website is so bad. I would be embarrassed to tell anyone i had my music on Routenote.
    I still can’t even get it off their system!!

    1. Who do you prefer for distribution? I am thinking of trying another service and submitting a song through them to compare services. I can write about my experience with them and share my findings.

    2. Why would you be upset that the owner of a company answered the phone? I think that’s awesome that I could get directly in touch with the H.N.I.C.

      1. I’ve learned that many of the people who post on this article are drive-by trolls. They come in and trash RouteNote based on some vague story of how they were deprived sales or some other ridiculous, unsubstantiated claim. If he didn’t reach the owner, he would likely complain that the support staff was pathetic and that he had the right to talk to the owner directly. Some people can’t be pleased.

        If there are other legitimately better options, I’d like to discuss them, but the drive-by posters don’t want a discussion.

      2. VERY TRUE….THEY MUST HAVE BEEN RUDE HE HAD TO HANG UP.
        DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA OF HOW MANY ARTISTES THAT WOULD BE CALLING HIM UP

  10. Anybody have any experience with ReverbNation? My band (Fear 2 Stop) released our album GoTime via their distribution service, and it took a week to get up on Amazon (which was first) , iTunes, and Spotify…but so far nothing else. I’ve read some not so good things about their promotion services so decided not to do it, but after reading this I’m wondering if we made a mistake using their distribution service as well.

    1. I don’t think it matters much in the end who you end up using. Your album is on Google Play and Rdio too as of this morning. If you are unhappy with one distribution company, you can always do your next release through someone else to “shop around”. They don’t have exclusivity over you.

      Good luck with your release.

      1. Thank you for the advice. I actually got an email response today from RN. Didn’t realize it can take up to 4 weeks for it to go live….it’s just been a week and a half, so I think I just need to chill!

  11. Mi esperiencia con routenote.com:
    Recientemente he subido algunas canciones. Al principio todo bien pero despues de 13 canciones empezo a ir mal. Sin previo aviso dejaron de publicar, pregunte por correo a unos de sus miembros si habia alguna limitacion y me contestaron que en el modo libre no habia limitaciones. Entonces abri ticket, preguntado si habia un fallo en el sistema. Mi sorpresa fue la siguiente:
    ———————————————————-
    Hello,
    We have reason to believe that you are mass uploading releases with short audio to our site. Here at Routenote we do not accept bulk releases with short audio as this leads to signs of fraudulent streaming.
    ———————————————————
    Yo respondi:
    ———————————————————
    By the moment I compose one song every couple of weeks approximately. I asked if there was any limitation on free mode, he answered no.
    ———————————————————
    Sigo sin tener respuesta ni solucion. Pienso que routenote.com es un servicio muy poco profesional y aconsejo a quien quiera ser usuario se dirija a otra web mas competente.

  12. My experience with routenote:
    I recently uploaded some songs. At first all well but after 13 songs I started to go wrong. Without warning they stopped publishing, mail to ask one of its members if there was any limitation and they said that there was free mode limitations. Then he opened ticket, asked if there was a fault in the system. My surprise was:
    ————————————————– ——–
    Hello,
    We Have Reason to Believe That You are mass uploading With short audio releases to our site. Here at Routenote we do not accept bulk With short audio releases as esta leads to signs of fraudulent streaming.
    ————————————————– ——-
    I answered:
    ————————————————– ——-
    By the moment I compose one song every couple of weeks approximately. I Asked if there was any limitation on free mode, I answered no.
    ————————————————– ——-
    I still do not have an answer or solution. Routenote.com I think is a very unprofessional service and advise anyone who wants to be a user is directed to other more appropriate site.

      1. I have now the same problem. I tried uploading an album that had some really short songs in it, as I didn’t know there was that kind of rule. Those were just parts of a longer song, but thay had their own names. Now they keep removing all my music regardless how long the songs are. The last song that got removed was about four minutes long, so the length cannot be issue there.

    1. I have now the same problem. I tried uploading an album that had some really short songs in it, as I didn’t know there was that kind of rule. Those were just parts of a longer song, but thay had their own names. Now they keep removing all my music regardless how long the songs are. The last song that got removed was about four minutes long, so the length cannot be issue there.

  13. glad i came across this article… someone just put me onto Rotenote today, it was good to get some perspective… i see your last check-in was in december, so are you still using the service now?

    1. I am! I am currently readying another full album release that I plan to distribute through RouteNote and a single that I plan to release through another distributor (maybe Tune Core or another). Good luck with your venture!

      1. just wondering if i have a song uploaded to iTunes through another distributor and want to use routenote to upload to another i don’t have music on like tidal will it be pulled from iTunes cause from reading there faq it seems so

        1. As I understand it, you would have to uncheck iTunes in your list of services when you release with RouteNote. This would keep your current distributor for iTunes, but allow you to distribute to others (Spotify, Groove Music, etc) through RouteNote. You don’t want to have two distributors publishing to the same service.

  14. I would like information on route notes YouTube channel (the one with the 200 million views one ) I’ve already uploaded track to route note so do I have to do anything additional to get my track on that YouTube channel? ( yes I did select YouTube as a store while uploading )
    Thanks in advance

    1. I cannot find it either, and their support told me to just search for my tracks in YouTube – they don’t exist. My question on the forum asking about this was deleted, and the YouTube information page on their website has now been removed and goes to a 404 error.

      My advice is this – ask them to confim that your track has been submitted to YouTube ContentID. If it has, then you should submit your music to a few independent YouTube channels that promote your style of music. If your music is in the ContentID database and it is getting played on YouTube then you will get the revenue back through RouteNote.

      Hope this helps.

  15. They are good to do distribution and pay on time, but they have very slow support. Also some of their services i’m not sure if they work, i’m waiting more than 4 weeks to get into their Premier features on the SoundCloud Network…

    1. Their SoundCloud premier services were absolutely fine when I first used them in November 2015. However that side of their service seems to have taken a nosedive this year. Their stats have slipped to months behind and the delays getting SoundCloud tracks cleared are getting longer and longer.

  16. I’ve been using RouteNote for 4 months, to distribute a 10 track album and 2 singles. I would not recommend them.

    Their distribution to the major stores works OK, there is usually a delay to some of the stores. However if you are looking to monetise your tracks on Soundcloud and YouTube (ContentID) forget it.

    Their YouTube ContentID submission process is a shambles. I had a track refused because they ran it through Shazam and saw a ‘match’ – I had to explain to them that my content is 100% original with no samples or derivatives, and they then agreed to submit it to ContentID. Then they came back and said there is a delay with YouTube, that was a week ago.

    In the same support email their ContentID guy told me that they didn’t like to submit content that had a hit on Shazam because YouTube threatened at one point to pull their content as RouteNote was generating false copyright claims. No other distributor I’ve spoken to has this issue as they know how to set up their ContentID policies correctly (matching overlap percentages etc) so that this doesn’t happen.

    The same track has been sitting waiting for them to clear it for SoundCloud monetisation, meanwhile the track is getting hundreds of plays a day and isn’t generating me any revenue.

    I have a support ticket sitting unanswered for 3 months, I’ve had support questions deleted from their forum, and they do not generate YouTube ‘art videos’ and monetise them like they claim on their site. That information has now been removed from their site and just goes to a ‘page not found’ error.

    Many times I have emailed their support and received a reply a day or two later asking me to email someone else at a different email address. I have just this morning received two emails from two different people in RouteNote, giving me totally contradictory information.

    If you want a cheap way to get your stuff onto iTunes and Amazon and a few others, use RouteNote. If you want to get your music monetised for streaming, or you want to use a service with good support and a slick website, don’t – that’s as fair as I can be.

    1. Jormun,

      I was about to go with RouteNote and then have read this thread. Yours is the most balanced and recent comment on here. If not RouteNote, which service would you choose and why?

  17. The delay from uploading music seems to be a bit of a problem for someone attempting to release music on a very specific day.

    Can I just send in my music ahead of time and have all those services just put my music on their services on a specific day?

    1. Yes. In fact that’s the exact procedure they recommend if you want to release on a specific day. You can upload anytime and set a “release date” which the services abide by.

  18. Hi Orion, thank you for sharing this information. I’m thinking of uploading an album through routenote and was wondering if you can tell me whether they allow you to upload an ‘artist image’ in addition to album artwork for your profile on spotify, for example?

    1. I’m glad to help. Bandpage is supposedly for uniting a profile across multiple services, but I haven’t found very useful. My Spotify profile, for example, was created and updated manually apart from RouteNote or Bandpage. You can try this link out. https://www.spotifyartists.com/

      RouteNote doesn’t handle unified profiles or anything like that, just distribution. I have set up my own profiles on Last.fm, Spotify, google play, and youtube. This lets you tailor your profile for the service so it’s better in the long run anyway, in my opinion.

      1. Hi Orion,
        First, thank you for starting this! It’s been extremely helpful! I was just reading through the upload manual on routenote and it seems my band will have to pay for an ISRC code, is this your experience?
        Thank you

        1. I have never had to pay for an ISRC code. They are automatically assigned to your recording when you upload. I’m in the US, if that makes a difference.

  19. I’ve been using routenote for a few months now and it is working fine for me. I have put out several dozens of releases and they all seem to be out on all the forms their using. I even tested it and bought some of my own tracks to see how they would show up on the site. And it did. A lot of people get pissed at routenote because they were either using it in 2014 or not reading their terms and shit. I’m not a bot, I don’t work for them. If anything, its awesome to get my music out there for my fans to listen to on easier mediums.

  20. I put Helix up on RouteNote a couple of days ago, it’s past the 72 hour period now and still no word on moderation. Will be contacting them about the issue.

    1. I have had some success reaching out on twitter. Response is less than prompt usually, regardless of how you contact them, 72+ hours is out of the ordinary for the moderation process. I wonder if they are “on holiday”.

      1. Helix got approved and is now in stores, happy to know that they still got it approved regardless. And they’re approving my releases within the 72 hour period at this point, so that’s good.

        Funny thing, there was actually an issue with the distribution, it was released under another “Blayze”; I asked RouteNote if they could change my artist name for everything, and it’s possible for them to do that, surprisingly. And they’re very responsive, too, I aksed them why one of my releases, “Take ‘Em Out”, didn’t get to GPlay, and they got it taken care of. At this point I’m very happy with how RouteNote does their work.

  21. My single took a week to moderate but I was asking them some few questions on FACEBOOK page n they reply within minutes n fix ur problem.. M a member since 3rd September I wanna know my single that I’ve uploaded will reach $50 because its out there as we speak

      1. Hi thanks for support …my artist name is ANDREW SOULTEEN SA ….& MY track is called BELIEVE (Deep Tech) ….and also pls check out my latest E.P called ADDICTION

  22. I’m a UK artist and i’m think about using a distribution service. This is a good insight to Routenote but i’m still a little unsure. I’m planning to release my debut album before the end of this year and need some advice on what Routenote REALLY does.

    I’ve never uploaded to sites like Itunes, Tidal, Spotify etc. All i have is my trustworthy Soundcloud account and a (neglectated) youtube account. I would love to see my album on itunes, spotify and so on even though i doubt i would make any sales.

    My album is 16 tracks long and wanted to know the best distribution service. Does Routenote create accounts for you and is the service somewhat painless? I physically don’t have the time to go on everyindividual site, create a account and then upload. I’d rather spend the limited time i have (2 part time jobs don’t help my music *unsigned artist problems* ) writing new music, creating cover art and obviously recording.

    To wrap this up because i’m going on a bit…HELP!

    1. As with any music distribution service, they do the work of collecting your royalties, and stat tracking with each music service. RouteNote has a free option, which I use, where you give them 15% of your sales. For a guy like me that makes next to nothing, this option is amazing. Other services would have me paying up front and some of my releases would literally never pay for the registration cost. With RouteNote I don’t have to worry about any of that. If you are really unsure, you can release a “throwaway” track with RouteNote using their free plan and learn the ropes. Good luck with your music.

    1. I’m not sure of the legality of using the movie samples. I hope you don’t take a penalty for it. I would advise though, in the future, make sure you own (or properly license) all of the material in the song. Then no one can come against you.

      1. ORION…DID U NOTICE WITHIN A MONTH ANDREW HAD PRAISES FOR ROUTENOTE…I THINK THEY MUST BE AN OKAY COMPANY.
        NICE TIP FOR ANDREW,
        THANX ORION.

  23. Hi, how does this work when it comes to YouTube, suppose that I publish my music on YT, are they going to take my videos down, or disable me from monetizing it? Not sure how all that works, I appreciate if you could explain. Also, when I publish with them and the song gets ISRC code embedded into it (I suppose they do this because I have no idea how), is it automatically copyrighted by me or I have to register and protect my music prior to publishing. My music is very diverse (almost every song is diff genre) so I can’t register an album anytime soon, and it would be very expensive to register single by single, registration is like 70$.

    1. I used to have RouteNote manage my music through YouTube, but opted to change it later. If you don’t mind RouteNote taking a cut of your youtube profits, they manage all of it well enough. A “release” in RouteNote is a “song, EP, or album”, and will be given it’s own unique identifier codes as part of your release through RouteNote (ISRC and UPC). For its flaws, RouteNote is a great option in the digital music publishing field.

      1. The thing is, I don’t even know what does it mean they “manage” YouTube? Do they open a channel and post your music? If I have a channel, how does that affect it? Also, what happens when they do not manage your YouTube? Do they still protect your rights such as, if someone, say, takes your music and monetizes that video, they get copyright claim? Do they prevent you the same way? (you get strikes) Not sure what either implicates, I’ve been making music for years but have zero experience in publishing world.

        Another question that bugs me, I’ve seen you can manage several bands etc. from your account. Is that hidden from the public, such as, can I have several music projects so that the listeners have no idea they’re connected? I know, weird, normal people would use one project to get more exposure on the other and vice versa, but I’m a weirdo so I’d like to keep things private and totally separate.

        About copyright, that’s what I’ve also been thinking and it is totally common sense, still, advice all over is strict “register your work, that’s the only real proof”. Maybe they are just counting on the instability of data in case a person decides to delete their YT or something. Anyway, thank you for the encouragement. It’s appreciated!

        1. From what I remember, you can post your music wherever you like, and you tell them what channel you have the music on. Then they collect the royalties from it and make claims on others who post your music. I don’t know if anyone gets a strike for it, but you do hand them the right to collect royalties and claim copyright. Of course all of this is reversible, and you can reclaim your music at any time. I don’t know that there is a great benefit to having them handle your YouTube, since I bailed out too soon and my channel is too small to really notice.

          I don’t know what normal people do, but I use RouteNote to publish all of my music across all of my different projects (acoustic/ukulele, electronic dance, rap, metal, guitar jam tracks) There is literally no issue managing several bands on RouteNote, each release is its own entity and no one can know they are even related unless you put the same record label for each one, and yes you can create your own record label for your music.

          I’ve heard the same about “register your work”. The actual value is debatable. How often does someone take someone to court to sue them for stealing music? 1 in a million songs? And I doubt that anyone goes after small potatoes anyway, why would they think they can prove that they wrote my music? I have all of the files and a published date. They would have to prove that they had written my music before I published it. How can they do that? Even if they registered it later, I would have released it first. Plus, even Michael Jackson went to court to defend his writing of his own music, and no one seemed to care if it was “registered”. The court wanted to know if he was able to write the song, and gathered testimony. They didn’t just go to a copyright filing. Seems like a waste of money to me, but I’ve never been sued (for that).

  24. So for this reason I’ve been stuck, cannot publish any music and that’s killing me. I’m afraid someone might steal it and falsely claim it as their own and ruin my dreams. I have released a lot of music but that’s praise music so it’s not intended for monetization and I don’t consider it my ownership really, it belongs to the temple. Whoever has the guts to steal from the temple… well I know I wouldn’t like to be that dude.
    Please advise on how to protect my music. Did you register it so it’s copyrighted? Does it automatically get registered when it’s published?

    1. It is my understanding that releasing through RouteNote (or any distributor) is a solid “time stamp” of when you had a completed work. So if someone were to try to steal your music, they would have to provide proof that they had the work before it was posted released through your distributor. I also release in a wide variety of genres. Here’s my tip: Don’t wait for an album. Get your stuff out there to share and be heard. Save your working files and you will have a strong case against anyone foolish enough to claim they wrote your music.

  25. Here’s my experience with RouteNote.

    I have a few artists I work with albums distributed on RouteNote.

    Got released on time etc.

    BUT I’m having a very hard time collecting royalties that I know are there. At my office I have Groove and have some playlists one with some of my artists music in it as well as others so I know these songs have been getting plays since I signed up for Groove in February, but I have yet to see a dime on any of my royalty statements from Groove.

    This makes me wonder if they are taking my money because my friend also has music distributed and on Groove and I have his music in my playlist and he is distributed through CD Baby and he has already received royalties from Groove.

    Also, makes me wonder how much can they be pocketing without me knowing and this Effects not only myself but the artists I have distributed through RouteNote.

    I’ve contacted them but it’s always a run around their support guy Alex just runs around the issue.

    1. First off – just a word of caution – I would be very cautious about playing music that you have a financial stake in. Groove is the best paying music service, or at least one of the top, so it can be tempting to boost those plays. It is possible that this could be seen as fraud though, so heed that or not, but be careful. Mentioning it to support only outs yourself. If you say you know there are plays…anyway, that’s all I’ll say about that.

      Secondly, RouteNote doesn’t pocket your money. The whole system is automated, no one is skimming your money. Routenote profits by having reportable income to give you. If you are signed up for the free distribution, that is. Their books need to be clean. They can’t have a bunch of unpaid royalties sitting in their account come a tax audit. That said, what is happening to your “play money”? My first guess is that you have your songs either: on the local drive or, in your music folder on OneDrive. If you already “own” the music, Groove is going to play the one that doesn’t cost them any money first.

      There is no way to really know how many plays you are getting. And if you do know, then it’s fraud. The goal of a musician or label should be not to pad the play count, but to earn new listeners and have that royalty statement looking clean and fat.

      God bless you!

  26. Hi Orion

    Any update on your dealings with Routenote? You mentioned you were going to try a different service to release a song to compare – how did that fare?

    Somebody else mentioned CDbaby. They seem to have good reviews and, aside from the cost difference, they seem to do most/all of what Routenote can do. Do you know whether CDBaby are part of the Soundcloud premier partnership deal (ie: monetising soundcloud uploads)? I couldn’t see them on the list or anything on the CDBaby website? Audiam also seem interesting as a collection agency (but they don’t distribute so would need to use a Routenote or CDBaby type outfit to get the music out there).

    Thank you for taking the time to post this, it is of great help to many people! The digital side of copyright is very complicated, and it is hard to know which aggregator/collection agency to work with.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and the follow-up. I did say that I would try another service to compare, and I (shamefully, but truly) have a reminder on my calendar for every single day of the week to finish this idiotic song I am writing to test on another service. Because I see it every single day, I have gotten really good at ignoring it. Also, my hard drive failed and I lost my entire OS install and music software installs (music files were on a separate drive). Bah, anyway, I haven’t made good on that but I “still plan to do it”.

      I hadn’t heard of Audiam, but now I am curious how that works. Having two agencies to do the work of RouteNote seems…inefficient.

      RouteNote continues to pay, every several months as I accumulate the payout limit. I figure the other services work the same way. Unfortunately, if I only have one song on another service, and it makes next to nothing. I will likely never get to report my payment experience with that service. Now if I was in some way successful… Oh well. I’m just one guy trying to share his experiences to those that may find them useful. Thanks again!

    1. Satire isn’t a listed genre. For example, my the genre for my song was probably best classified as “alternative” because it had half electro-pop and half speed punk. RN initially didn’t approve my song because I used a trademark in the title. I explained to them in an email the purpose of the song and that I wasn’t just “cashing in” by using a popular trademark in my song title. That was enough to allow them to approve it.

  27. Hi Orion! Just wondering, if the iTunes is fast at uploading music, should it still take 4 weeks (the date selected on SSD) or you can upload it early? Thanks! (I’m thinking uploading my music on spotify and itunes only)

    1. Greetings! You can upload it earlier. The 4 weeks is suggested because during certain parts of the year, it can take several weeks, but (probably) never more than 4. Most of the time, songs are on iTunes within a week of submitting, but I’ve seen it go close to two weeks before. And since each release is manually approved, if a bunch of us hammered them with releases all at the same time, it could take longer. This is especially true near holidays. Good luck!

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