Happy New Year
We hope you all had a restful Christmas and New Year break. I’m sure we are all pleased to see the back of 2020. 2021 will have it’s challenges especially for those of you heavily dependent on the live music sector. Here’s hoping that vaccines are quickly distributed and that we can get back to something approaching normality later in the year.
Shipping Goods to Kudos from Europe post Brexit
Like most companies in the UK, we are still working out the correct protocols for shipping goods to and from the EU. Here is some current guidance, though this is subject to change as we learn more.
Overseas based labels shipping stock to the UK for distribution.
Please include the following information on your commercial invoices and shipping paperwork
- Our EORI number GB538978281000.
- Our VAT number GB538 9782 81
- Your EORI number (not required for labels outside the EU)
- Tariff codes for each line item (Vinyl – 85238090, CD – 85234920)
- Country of Origin Code for each line item showing where the stock was manufactured.
UK Labels shipping stock manufactured in the EU to the UK
Many of you probably use a broker to handle logistics if you manufacture in the EU, but if you do have a direct deal with a European plant please DO NOT use our EORI or VAT numbers as You are the importer of these goods. Use your EORI and VAT details for clearance, but our address as the “ship to” address.
SoundCloud recently rolled out their version of the “blue tick” badge to denote verified creators. Any highly searched-for artist, label or DJ etc. is eligible to apply for verified status. More info and instructions are available here.
Spotify Canvas – Update
Canvas is a tool accessed through Spotify for Artists which allows a video loop to be added to track which then displays in the mobile player while that track is playing. The feature has been in testing for a long time but was previously available only by invite or application. However, the tool should now be available automatically to all artists with a release delivered by Kudos. More information on the updated knowledgebase article, here.
Kudos is pleased to announce that we now have an agreement in place with Jazzed – a highly curated, jazz-focussed music streaming and radio service which also features videos, documentaries and articles. The agreement covers the soon-to-be-launched Jazzed Premium plan which offers subscribers on-demand streaming and high-resolution audio in addition to the benefits of their existing non-interactive radio services. All relevant Kudos content should be available at launch.
Record Store Day 2021
Record Store Day 2021 takes please on Saturday, 12th June. The annual event usually takes place on the third Saturday in April, however 2021 will see it move to a hopefully “Post Pandemic” mid June.
Eligible labels will have received a recent email with more detail and a link to the application form.
AIM Announces Free Associate Membership Tier
The Association of Independent Music (AIM) recently announced that they will be launching a new type of membership – available without charge to any label distributed through an Independent Distributor member. Kudos have been engaging with AIM to develop the scheme which is expected to launch in January 2021. Kudos-distributed labels will then be eligible to gain access to many of the resources offered by AIM. More about the announcement in this article.
2020 Apple Music & iTunes Holiday Season Delivery Schedule
If you plan on releasing music on Apple Music and iTunes between November 27, 2020, and January 1, 2021, please check the delivery deadlines.
The dates refer to the last day on which your release data can be ingested by Apple’s system to guarantee availability on the requested release date. In order to achieve this, your release will need to have been submitted and approved by your label manager at least 24 hours before the deadline listed.
Releases which are scheduled to the recommended lead time as allowed on the label portal should meet these deadlines. However, labels are advised to allow additional lead time wherever possible.
It will be “business as usual” at Kudos during this 2nd National lockdown. Our Sales, Label Management and Development teams have all been working from home since March, while the Warehouse team (our essential workers!) all live close by. Most cycle to work, so avoid long public transport journeys. With the rest of the crew working from home, we are easily able to practice social distancing.
The closure of High Street retail is obviously a major concern, however many indie retailers spent time refining their on-line offerings during the first lock-down, so hopefully (and with all our support) they will manage to retain at least some of their share of Christmas sales.
New Service Announcement: Moodagent
We are pleased to announce that we have just signed a licensing agreement with Moodagent, a subscription streaming service based in Denmark which uses AI to create real time personalised playlists based on a user’s mood. You can find the service introduction on the knowledgebase.
Bandcamp are continuing to waive their fee on the first Friday of each month in 2020 – which means the next event will be this Friday, 4th September. The commision free period will last for 24 hours from 8am Friday (UK time).
We have been pleased to support the labels using our Bandcamp fulfillment services to help them capitalise on the increased orders and extra sales revenue that these popular events have generated over the last few months. Please tag us in your social posts so that we can amplify your voice and support your efforts. Social links below. Please make sure you’re following us as well! Any specific requests for social media support can be directed to Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spotify for Artists… for Labels
Spotify have recently introduced Label Teams to their Spotify for Artists platform. This allows labels to access stats for all of their releases – whether or not they are an invited member of the artist’s SfA team. This replaces the Spotify Analytics dashboard for labels which has now been discontinued. More here:
Facebook Music Video
This week, Facebook announced the immediate launch of Facebook Watch – a destination for Premium Music Video on Facebook which also integrates with existing artist pages.
It’s currently US-only and will initially have mostly major label content while additional rights-owners come on board. We are setting up a supply chain for this service and will send out more information soon. If Kudos has previously delivered your videos to Apple Music or VEVO, we anticipate that we will be able to deliver these for Facebook as well. If your label owns music video content that hasn’t been supplied to other services by Kudos, now would be a good time to make sure you have high-quality files and credits to hand as well as a list of your artist’s Facebook pages. More here:
YouTube Foundry Fund
Applications are open for “Foundry”, YouTube’s international artist development support Program (see this article). If you have an artist that you would like Kudos to nominate for the next class, please speak to your account manager ahead of our 12th August deadline.
Ideally, the artist will have released new music (or will be releasing music) in 2020. The artist will need to produce a live YouTube event and stage a YouTube premiere within 2020 in order to participate.
Arts Council England Cultural Recovery Fund
AACE have set up a fund to offer financial support to cultural organisations that were financially stable before Covid-19, but are now at imminent risk of failure. The fund is open to companies whose primary role is to ‘create, present or support’ the arts. We’ve received information from the BPI which confirms that record labels can apply. The deadline for the first round of funding is midday on 21st August. Eligible labels based in England can apply here. There are similar schemes for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (note that these have different deadlines).
Kudos Welcomes Beth Leckenby to the Team
We’re excited to have a brand new member in the Kudos team. Beth has previously worked with major music brands at Sold Out and BIG BOX and now joins us as Marketing and Social Media Manager. She’ll be reaching out to labels directly to offer support with marketing campaigns and also managing the Kudos social channels. Make sure you’re following the Kudos accounts and please re-post messages you’re mentioned in and tag us in your posts so we can do the same.
British Library Sound Archive
We are currently in the process of testing a data feed with The British Library so that we can assist labels who wish to donate digital copies of their releases to be safely stored and catalogued by The British Library – making them available for future generations to discover as part of The Nation’s cultural history. You can find more information about the Sound Archive on the knowledgebase here. Let your label manager know if you’d like to take part.
Kudos July Bandcamp Day Recommendations
Today, Bandcamp are once again waiving their fees to support artists and labels affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. After the ongoing success of their 24 hour ‘Bandcamp Friday’ events, July sees artists and labels once again offering donations, special merch and more. This Friday we have lined up five special bandcamp releases from a selection of our labels spanning jazz, electronic, metal and more that you should not be missing out on.
Our Spotify Pre-Save function is a little bit like a pre-order for streaming. It provides a landing page for your upcoming titles where you can direct users from social media etc. as part of your pre-release promotion – just as you would link to an iTunes or Beatport pre-order page for downloads. When your fans pre-save your release, you will be available to see the stats per release via the Presave tab in the stats section on the portal.
Updated: Covid-19 Support Resources
Last month we published this blog post with information and links that we hope will be useful to you and those you work with. Please take a look, even if you have seen it before as it has been recently updated.
Bandcamp Fee-Free Fridays
Bandcamp have announced that on the first Friday of May, June and July they will be waiving their platform commission fee to maximise returns to artists and labels.
Kudos will be offering our own recommendations from Kudos-distributed labels and supporting through our socials. We expect to be very busy packing customer orders for those labels that use our fulfilment services.
Spotify Fundraising Pick
Spotify have now launched the feature announced last month which allows artists to raise funds for themselves or a nominated covid-19 support fund from their Spotify artist page. Full info here: https://artists.spotify.com/blog/introducing-artist-fundraising-pick
Jaxsta Free Pro Subscriptions
We recently told you about a new delivery partner Jaxsta – the world’s most comprehensive resource of official music credits. Their Pro subscription tier allows any artist, label, songwriter (or any other credited contributor) to take ownership of their profile and access additional features. In light of current events, Jaxsta Pro is now available completely free-of-charge for the rest of 2020 – so there has never been a better time to try it out. And if you or anyone you work with wants to continue the subscription in 2021 there’s a discount code available for friends of Kudos. Further reading: https://help.kudosdistribution.co.uk/kb/artist-programs/
Limits on Deliveries to Kudos
A reminder that with many releases planned for a spring release now postponed, our warehouse is bursting at the seams with pre-release stock. So, until further notice, we ask that you do not deliver any stock to Kudos for release dates beyond the end of May 2020. Your label manager can arrange off-site storage for you where required. Please continue to use the delivery booking form to advise of all shipments ahead of delivery. https://forms.gle/cMvM8ouCoCbyrqjS9
Record Store Of The Day
Our #RecordStoreOfTheDay campaign which aims to support indie retailers during the lockdown continues to be well-received. Please get involved by engaging with our dedicated socials (below) and amplifying the message. Full press release here.
Kudos are hiring
We are looking for a Marketing and Social Media Manager. Details can be found here. https://kudosdistribution.co.uk/jobs/
Record Store Of The Day
Our #RecordStoreOfTheDay campaign launched with a strong start, seeing coverage in Music Week, Billboard, MusicAlly, Cracked Magazine and DJ Magazine. You can read the full press release on our blog here.
Please help us support indie retailers by encouraging music buyers to turn to their local record shops for their music needs while they “stay at home”, rather than the usual multi-nationals. Follow the “Record Store of the Day” socials below, and help amplify their message by retweeting, sharing on your instagram story and Facebook Page.
Deliveries to Kudos
The Covid-19 pandemic has led many labels to postpone physical releases until later in the year. As a result our warehouse is bursting at the seams with pre-release stock. So, until further notice, please do not deliver any stock to Kudos with release dates beyond the end of May 2020.
If you have manufactured a release and you have nowhere to store it, we can arrange off-site storage of palleted stock on your behalf. Please contact your label manager for more information.
It is vital that you advise us of all shipments using our delivery booking form.
Covid-19 Support Resources
Whether you are a self-employed performer or someone running a label as a business and employing staff, the disturbance caused by the Covid-19 outbreak represents major challenges for everyone.
Among all the noise there are several hubs where you can find support and advice – plus special offers and other ways to keep yourself busy and productive. We recently published this blog post with links that you may find useful.
Amazon for Artists
Amazon recently launched their “for artists” app giving artists and their teams access to streaming performance analytics on Amazon Music. More info and instructions on how to access it are on the knowledgebase here.
YouTube Official Artist Pages
We have started gathering applications for YouTube Official Artist Pages. These combine an artist’s existing YouTube channels with their artist profile on YouTube Music to streamline the presentation of their content across YouTube’s family of apps and combine their subscribers. For more info see this updated knowledgebase article.
Reduced Shipping Rates For International D2C Sales
We have recently negotiated reduced shipping rates for our international D2C shipments which can now be passed on to the end customer. These new rates will be applied across all of our D2C integrations including kudosrecords.co.uk, Bandcamp & Discogs.
For labels on the fulfilment option for their Bandcamp integration – we recommend updating your shipping prices to match using this grid. Labels on the distribution option will have the updated rates applied by the end of the week.
Departure from the European Union
The UK officially withdrew from membership of the European Union on 31st January. You might have heard something about it on the news. We now enter a withdrawal period which will continue until the end of this year and means that operationally, everything stays exactly the same for the time being.
Jaxsta Pro Discount Code
Following the launch of the Jaxsta music database, Jaxsta have now launched the beta version of Jaxsta Pro. The Pro service lets labels, artists, writers and other contributors manage their Jaxsta profile page and gives access to a range of additional features such as chart alerts. There’s a 30 day free trial and discount code available for Kudos labels and their associates. More on the knowledgebase here.