Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thank You Itunes For Blocking Sound Alike Cover Songs

Pomplamoose equals cover song hell
It is no thanks to shows such as American Idol and The Voice that drown mainstream music and mass culture with a litany of cover songs by individuals that think they are bound for stardom. Yes, there are some shining examples of individuals that have used that forum as a way to be heard and kudos to them for having honed their talent and craft. What propels artistry forward though is a unique talent and a new approach. Crazy thought here, maybe write your own song and create a real fan base.

The bigger fallout and issue that indie musicians face is the amount of music being created as a whole. Trying to decipher what is a great new track and what is a cool new artist to check out, gets tough when cover "artists" are spiking the punch and trying to game the system. As an indie label we are working to do whatever we can to cultivate a fan base for the great bands on our label that we choose to rally behind. Thankfully Itunes understands the big picture and that music is a reflection of our culture. Weeding out the hacks and maybe making things a bit less cluttered is indeed a step in the right direction.

Read more on Digital Music News

"For a long time artists and labels have found ways to game iTunes. And fool the public. Apparently, iTunes customers have accidentally downloaded “tribute” versions of songs they thought to be the original. Some of these “tributes” sound awfully close to the originals and come with confusing titles.

iTunes most recent Style Guide states that for cover or “tribute” songs, they will no longer accept any song title or artist name with the original artist name listed. Like “Problem (Originally performed by Ariana Grande)” or Artist: The Billy Joel Tribute Band. And the cover song cannot sound too similar to the original recording or it will be blocked. So all you YouTubers out there, you’re going to have to get a bit more creative with the production of your covers.

iTunes states for track titles: “Do not use phrases such as “Originally Performed By,” “In the Style of,” “Tribute to,” or “Cover of.”

Go to your local karaoke bar and be a star

For Karaoke tracks, they make a slight exception and will allow the original artist name in the track title only if it is clarified as “Originally performed by… (original artist name).” And “Karaoke” may not be used as the artist name unless it is the legal entity like “The Karaoke Kangaroos.” However, the song must clearly be marked (in the song or album title) that it is a karaoke version. “Karaoke” or “Instrumental version” may be used. And “Karaoke” must be the primary genre.

iTunes has already hidden most karaoke versions in search results. Unless you explicitly type the word “karaoke” along with the song you’re searching for, those versions will not be displayed.

The only exception iTunes makes for cover songs is to include the artist name in the album title. But, the album title cannot START with the artist name.

Acceptable: A Tribute To Bob Segar

Unacceptable: Bob Segar Tribute

They will not accept popular song lyrics as titles like:

Artist Name: Because You Know

Album Title: I’m All About That Bass

Track Title: No Treble

iTunes is actively starting to “clean-up” their store. So, even if your songs are currently showing up, they may not very soon.

Worth noting that Spotify and YouTube accept virtually any song, artist or album title. They have very little restrictions. Anyone can just skip a song on a streaming service. No harm no foul. iTunes must have been getting hit with complaints and returns from customers. In a time when their revenue has been dropping significantly and consistently for the past couple years, iTunes is looking for any edge to slow down the sales decline and hold onto their (legacy) customers."
Don’t expect to see this album to be visible on iTunes for much longer: