General FAQs

Q: Is The Source a digital music aggregator?
A: Yes. But this is one of the many extensive and specialist services that we offer together from our stable of logistical, creative, technical and IT solutions for musicians, labels and content owners alike. Find out more by looking at our various Services.

Q: Can I speak to real people at The Source?
A: Of course. We value a personal approach and we don’t hide behind a web interface. Real people work at The Source and they are just a telephone call away. Alternatively, feel free to make an appointment for a visit to our offices and studios in The Netherlands. Go to our contact page for details.

Q: What sets The Source apart from, say, The Orchard or IODA? Or Tunecore?
A: An integrated package of specialist services above and beyond digital music aggregation, ensuring that your music is working for you to its full potential, and not just being delivered to the stores. Our personal approach. The fact that most of our services are provided from in-house facilities with very little, if any, outsourcing, ensuring a smooth and seamless level of service. Our competitive rates and flexible revenue share. Hundreds of portals we deliver to. Flexibility!

Q: How do I get support for my questions and queries?
A: From our Support Portal. We keep an up-to-date list of commonly asked questions, and if you have any further issues or questions, you can e-mail us via support@the-source.eu

Digital Distribution

Q: In which online music stores will you sell my music?
A: iTunes, of course. Amazon, Spotify and Beatport. And literally hundreds of others! Depending on the genre of music, specialist stores will be also be targeted for delivery to ensure direct exposure to the right fan base for your type of music. For the complete list, go here.

Q: Is it expensive?
A: The Source gets its income from a revenue share on sales which we agree upon before we start distribution of your content. This revenue share is flexible, based on a number of factors, including projected sales numbers and can always be adjusted in due course, according to developments. You pay no advance fee, no matter how many releases you provide. No sales = no costs. We can however offer a number of packages with additional features, such as API access, which carry a small fee.

Q: Can you take my back catalogue as well?
A: Yes! If needed we do a bulk import into our system of your entire catalogue database, take all of your CDs, audio tapes and/or vinyl into our mastering studios, import, scan and retouch the artwork and make sure your back catalogue is up for sale in no time.

Q: Do you have a platform for me to view and edit my releases?
A: The Source Content Editor provides round the clock access to your releases, sales reports, royalty statements and data (audio, video and artwork).

Q: Sounds nice! Now, where do I start?
A: Easy. Contact us via info@the-source.eu and we’ll take you through setting up an account, contract terms, delivery instructions and access to the Content Editor!

Q: Do you support "Mastered for iTunes"?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you support iTunes booklets?
A: Yes.

Q: Where can I find your delivery specifications?
A: Once you’re on the Content Editor you will receive the Release Delivery form where you will find all the delivery specifications for audio, artwork and metadata.

Q: Do you support promotion and release placements?
A: Yes, we are very active with promotion and placements with our portals. Furthermore, we strongly recommend that you supply not only the mandatory metadata, but also as much background and marketing information as you can, which can all be done via the Release Delivery form. Every fortnight we make a selection of eligible releases and apply for placements.

Q: How do I get the money from my sales?
A: Our systems account monthly and include all statements from portals that have both accounted to us and paid their royalties. Sales figures from portals that have not yet accounted and/or paid are visible on the Content Editor as trend reports (depending on numbers supplied from the stores), so you will always have a complete and up-to-date picture of your sales. You can also download your statements from the Content Editor and invoice us accordingly.

Q: I am a label with multiple artists, all with different contracts, and I am not looking forward to working out all or their separate accounts.
A: No problem. Let the system do the work for you. We can enter your Contract Chain into the Content Editor, which means that we automatically sub-account separately to your artists as well as you. Every detail of every deal with your artists is taken into account. This saves you a tremendous amount of administrative work.

Q: Do you support digital distribution of video items, such as concerts, clips and feature films?
A: As yet, there are not many video outlets, but we also manage video in the Content Editor in a very similar way to audio. We deliver to a number of VOD (Video On Demand) portals, including iTunes Films and Amazon, and we can deliver to any other outlet of your choice. All encoding and handling is done in-house (encoding rates apply). We also have our own video outlet, The Concert Channel. Contact us for more information.

Q: I want to be able to trade from my website so the public can buy directly from me. Can you help me set up a store?
A: Absolutely. Our white label mini store, available for your use or your own store application can use our extensive API. Catalogue browsing and secure delivery is all handled by our systems, but it all looks like it is coming from your website. API access rates apply, see our price list. Or contact us for further questions.

Content & Repertoire Management

Q: Can the Content Editor (CE) help me to manage my repertoire?
A: Absolutely! The CE was created and designed with content management in mind. It has comprehensive features that help you keep track of your content, manage rights, royalties and copyrights, edit metadata and contributors, compile releases and supply third parties with your audio and artwork. In fact, with the Content Editor, you won’t need any additional systems for content management.

Q: But isn’t the Content Editor for digital distribution?
A: The Content Editor is used for digital distribution, but it is not exclusively for digital distribution, and you can make full use of all other CE features without using it for digital distribution. We also have special offers in place for using the CE for Content & Repertoire Management exclusively.

Q: Can The Source manage my repertoire for me?
A: Of course. We do so for several licensors. We can even store and handle your physical media archive. Contact us for details.

Hosting & Storage

Q: Can The Source safely store my audio and video?
A: Yes. In fact, the Content Editor functions as an automatic backup of your catalogue. High quality audio and video is stored indefinitely on our secure storage systems in professional data centres.

Q: Can I have easy access to my data?
A: Yes, of course. From within the Content Editor you can play back and download the audio, generate downloadable metadata sheets and track lists and generate secure links to be downloaded by third parties.

Q: Can audio or video be streamed from your servers?
A: Of course. We work with worldwide content delivery networks (CDNs) to ensure safe streaming around the world. You can also create streaming links on the Content Editor and incorporate song fragments streamed from your website.

Q: Is it safe?
A: Yes. Our download links are completely secure, limited to a specified number of IP addresses/users and they time out after a specified period.

Audiovisual Technical Services

Q: Can my album be re-mastered before digital distribution?
A: Yes. We have our own in-house mastering studios with the latest processing equipment.

Q: My entire catalogue is on analogue tape / vinyl / compact cassette / pcm1630 / other format. What now?
A: Simple. We can transfer it for you to pristine digital audio in our own studios. Our analogue tape machines and other equipment kept in mint condition to ensure the best quality transfer.

Q: I want to release physical product too.
A: No Problem. We can make a CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Vinyl master in our own studios too and we can arrange for these formats to be produced and shipped to you as well, all at very competitive pricing. See our price list.

Q: Can I record my music in your studios too?
A: You can, but it depends what you need... We have a small recording studio, and although limited by floor size generally to small instruments, vocal and voice-over recording, we employ capable recording staff and mixing engineers with state-of-the-art equipment, who always look forward to a challenge.

Q: Is there any limitation to your technical services?
A: To be honest, there’s not a lot that we can’t do… Audio editing, restoration and mastering, video editing, graphic design and retouching, web design and programming, DVD authoring, CD mastering, audio and video encoding and conversion to virtually any format or codec available on the planet!

Live streams & VOD

Q: Is your streaming secured?
A: Yes, all IP streams are fully secured. A single stream is linked to a single ticket sale, and can only be accessed a specified number of times. Furthermore, streaming is only possible on a certified and authorized player as supplied by The Concert Channel.

Q: Who is your back-up partner?
A: Our technical set-up allows us to be our own back-up partner. Furthermore, we have in-house redundant systems for critical functionality, such as stream authorization. The data (including customer databases and audio/video programs) is stored in multiple locations. For live concerts, we use dual redundant uplinks to our CDN partner.

Q: How can we monitor sales and the concert?
A: Real-time sales data can be made available via a protected web interface or an XML feed. The concert live stream can be monitored online from anywhere in the world. A few days after the concert, actual stream viewership data from our CDN partner will be reconciled with ticket sales data, and made available for review as well.

Q: How does your Geo-blocking work?
A: Geo-blocking is implemented at two levels:
· Purchasing a ticket for a concert requires a billing address in a territory where viewing is allowed.
· If required by the content owner, actual viewing can also be restricted: if a stream authorization request is received from an IP address which maps to a territory where viewing is not allowed, the request will be denied.

Q: How do your payment methods work?
A: accept all major credit cards and selected local direct-debit systems as well as PayPal via a third-party payment provider.

Q: Who is your mobile billing partner?
A: We currently do not have any plans for mobile billing. If required for a certain event, we can easily implement reverse SMS billing though existing payment provider partners.

Q: Which bandwidth do you use for streaming?
A: We offer viewers variable bitrate (VBR), with a target bit rate set to work well with popular connection types. We typically strive to make one average-quality stream available, one high-quality stream and one very high-quality stream (for users with 4Mb/s+ connections and big-screen requirements). The actual number and bitrate of the streams tends to depend on the source location.

Q: What are your internet connectivity demands?
A: encoders are feeding our CDN partner systems via 100Mb/s Ethernet connections, which are directly connected to a high-speed backbone network (e.g. multiple 10Gb/s links from our Rotterdam data centre).

Q: What is your normal ticket price?
A: Ticket pricing depends on the nature of the event, and can be set by the content provider. In general, we consider 50% of the lowest venue ticket price (with a maximum of €19,99) to be the best price. Furthermore we can use price tiers such as “Budget”, “Regular” and “Premium”.

Q: How long after the concert do we receive the balance of the ticket sales?
A: This depends on the payment systems used. Most systems account within 45 days after the month of the concert, and then pay within 30 days. However, some micropayment systems require 12-14 weeks after the end of the month of the ticket sales.

Royalty & copyright accounting

Q: I want my royalty accounting to be less of an administrative hassle. I would really like it to be painless and problem-free. Can you help?
A: Of course. In fact, whether or not you distribute digitally through us, we can take care of your complete royalty accounting operations (except for making and sending the actual invoices). As long as all of your Contract Chains are entered correctly into in the Content Editor and your releases and sales figures are supplied to us, we can account to you, your licensees, licensors, artists, writers, composers etc., all to the conditions and percentages stipulated in your contracts. This means all your licensees (either directly or through you) will receive their own statements, designed in your own look and feel type stationery.

Licensing, Compilations & Campaigns

Q: Do you have any repertoire that I can use on my releases?
A: Yes, we have 10,000 + tracks available for licensing across many, many genres.

Q: I want my content to be available to others for compilation/licensing. Is that possible?
A: We can make (parts of) your repertoire available for review, compilation and licensing to other providers within the Content Editor.

Q: Can you advise or help me to compile from my own (and other provider’s) content?
A: Yes, some of our staff specialise in concept development and compilation and can assist you in creating new compilations, rebranding of existing releases and development of albums series.


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