We are curatorial
We are a music company first and foremost. We believe that our greatest asset is the trust retailers and digital music services place in our A&R abilities. While much of our A&R criteria comes down to whether or not we believe in the music itself, we also consider whether a prospective label can illustrate that they understand how to effectively market their releases.
We are pro-active
We take a very pro-active approach to sales and marketing. All physical and digital retailers have a dedicated Kudos account manager, who’s job it is to ensure all our releases are appropriately represented in both retail spaces. We work only on commission. Our standard agreement includes no delivery, encoding or storage charges. So, if we don’t sell your music, we don’t earn. Simple.
We are transparent
We believe that transparency is key to ensuring we provide the best possible distribution service. We have an unblemished record of prompt, accurate and transparent accounting. All statements and sales data are available on line through our secure label portal, along with recharge invoices and remittance information.
We are human
We don’t have voice mailboxes… you don’t have to “press 1 to leave a message for your label rep”. Call us during working hours, on +44 20 7482 4555, and you WILL speak to a living, breathing, person.
- We have over 25 years of experience in music distribution (digital, vinyl and CDs), giving us a greater insight into what makes music sell. Many of the current crop of ‘new media’ digital-only distributors are technology companies first, music companies second. We are first and foremost a music company.
- Rather than distribute a large, indiscriminate catalogue, we impose a high A&R quality threshold on the music we accept for distribution. We can therefore apply our personal attention to releases we believe in and get them the exposure they deserve.
- We have built one of the largest available physical and digital account bases.
- For digital distribution, all encoding and delivery is handled ‘in house’, giving us complete control of the technical process and enabling us to deliver quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.
- You have a single point of contact for all your music sales. Your Kudos label manager can co-ordinate your releases on an international level.
- All your sales and content data are easily accessible through our label portal. You can also update, change or remove a release from our system and the change will be reflected through all of our retail partners worldwide.
- Our sales accounting is clear, concise and transparent, enabling you to easily account to your artists.
- We provide a wide range of additional services, from PR and marketing through to metadata language translations.
Our agreements are very straight forward. On both physical and digital distribution we earn a percentage of net sales. We have no set-up charges, no encoding or production charges, no digital delivery charges, no remittance charges, no statement charges. The only charges we make, other than our percentage of sales revenue, are for specifically agreed additional services such as marketing and manufacturing. No nasty surprises. We only discuss specific distribution terms with labels who have met our quality threshold. Please use the form in the contact us section and let us know more about your release plans.
Our physical and digital distribution network is international.
No problem, you can exclude specific territories both for physical and digital distribution.
With a Pressing and Distribution agreement a distributor finances and project manages a label’s manufacturing. We offer partial P&D deals, where we fund a percentage of the manufacturing, recouping the balance from sales. Full details are available only on acceptance of your label for distribution.
No problem, but you should check out both our Bandcamp Fulfilment Service and our ‘K-Shop’ solution, where you can sell both your physical and digital releases, and we take care of billing and fulfilment.
- Extracting, storing, encoding, and delivering your releases and corresponding metadata to digital music retailers in compliance with their specifications.
- Merchandising and promoting your releases, ensuring they get the best possible placement and exposure in the market.
- Providing you with promotional tools to help you sell your music more effectively to your fans
- Processing and reporting sales information provided by the digital retailers to provide sales reporting and accounting.
- Actively seeking new digital revenue streams for your music
- Paying you for your sales
Kudos works with a comprehensive list of digital partners around the world including all the big international services you would expect, like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and Amazon – but we also work with several niche, genre-focused sites such as Bleep, Boomkat, Beatport and Traxsource which are not covered by many other distribution services. We supply many regional services including Anghami (MENA), KKBOX (Taiwan, Singapore) and rights management platforms for TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snap and Triller – allowing us to monetise user-generated content on those social networks.
We are a proud and active member of the Merlin Network; a trade body which harnesses the collective bargaining power of the independent sector to negotiate with global corporations, ensuring we have access to best-in-class deals with many key digital music services in addition to the agreements we make directly.
Why isn’t there a full list of stores here? When looking for a distributor to work with, it is tempting to compare lists of services published on distributor websites. However, while it is important that your distributor is able to make your music widely available, we don’t think the specific number of shops your release will appear on isn’t really a great measure of the value your distributor can offer. Store lists are also often incomplete or misleading so it’s hard to “compare apples with apples”, not least because the digital music landscape is continually shifting and so published lists quickly become out-of-date. If there is a specific service that you think your music needs to be on, then let us know in your application and we can give you up-to-date information. The chances are that we already supply them and if not it may be something we can arrange.
When we receive your submission we will be asking ourselves what YOU are going to do to persuade people to buy your music. The more successful you are at answering that simple question, the more likely we are to accept your label for distribution. In short, we need to know that somebody is going to want to buy your music. Much of this comes down to the music itself, but of equal importance is your ability to get your message out to the music buying public.
If you upload a video to YouTube which uses any music that is distributed through Kudos Records you may receive a warning message or an email from YouTube along the lines of:
“Your video myYouTubeVideo.mpg may have content that is owned or licensed by [Merlin] KudosRecords, but it’s still available on YouTube! In some cases, ads may appear next to it. This claim is not penalising your account status….”
As a digital distributor, we provide reference files to YouTube on behalf of our labels so that they can recognise when music that we distribute is uploaded to their video-sharing service. If you have received a message like this it means that YouTube has automatically recognised that some of the music that you have used on your video matches a track from our catalogue.
You do not need to worry about this message or take any further action. This matching process allows YouTube to properly credit songs and artist on user-uploaded videos and provide links to places like emusic and iTunes so that viewers can buy the music featured on your video. It also allows YouTube to account to royalty collection agencies (such as PRS in the UK) and share any advertising revenue with the record label and artist.
You can get more information about YouTube’s Content ID system and how claims work here.