FAQ
Distribution

What are the cover art requirements for my release?

Last updated on
May 30, 2024

As a rule of thumb, Unchained Music requires cover art to be high quality, original, and reflect the theme of the release. For specifics, read below.

While each platform has slightly different requirements, we require cover art to fit the following guidelines in order for it to be accepted by every streaming service:

Image Quality

The cover art must not be any of the following: blurry, pixelated, mismatched, cut, misaligned, rotated, incorrect, stretched, mirrored or have any other quality issues. Also, the textual information present on the cover must be fairly readable (not too small or too distorted). Any solid color or blurred bars that are present on the cover art that do not contribute to the artistic quality of the cover art will be denied.

Accuracy

The information shown in the cover image should always match the information of the data of the release as accurately as possible and without any class of abbreviation. If there is no title or artist name present on the cover, the cover must reflect the theme of the release.

Dimensions

The cover art of all releases must meet the following requirements:

  • Proportion: 1:1 (ie. Square)
  • Minimum size: 3000 x 3000px
  • Maximum size: 5000 x 5000px
  • Accepted formats: JPG or PNG
  • Mode: RGB (We do not accept CMYK)
  • Maximum size of file: 36 MB

Any images that do not meet the requirements will either be rejected by our quality control process, or not be displayed correctly on the online platforms.

Solid Covers

Solid color covers (all white/black/red/etc) are not allowed. Many platforms will interpret this as an error and reject the release or not display it correctly.

Links, Websites, and Social Media

The cover art may not contain website addresses, links, logos of any store or service, mention of any physical formats, or any references to releases outside of the digital platform.

Credits and Collaborators

The cover art may include credits or other collaborator’s names, as long as they are correct. The information on the cover will need to be represented in the data you input with the release.

Only include relevant information in text such as artist name, release title, and the exact track title or album as released. Displaying any other collaborators on the cover art as text that are not present in the data of the release may result in the release being denied for distribution to Apple Music and other platforms that have strict cover art guidelines.

Expressions like "all rights reserved" cannot be used.

The release reference number can appear in the cover, but not the release's UPC or ISRC codes.

Prohibited Content

The cover art must not contain:

  • Text other than the artist name(s) or release title
  • Genres as text
  • A track list. It will be too small when displayed in stores.
  • Descriptions or the artist biography
  • Telephone or email addresses
  • References to the release being a digital product
  • Pricing information
  • Pornography
  • Extreme Violence
  • Misleading information (ie. referencing an artist that does not perform on your album)
  • Missing content (ie. DVD included)
  • Offensive symbolism that offends a specific group of people of ethnicities such as, but not limited to, Nazi symbolism. Symbolism of this kind will be grounds for immediate removal of the user from the platform without appeal.
  • Irrelevant information
  • Dates
  • Times
  • Timestamps
  • Release Dates

Logos, Images and Registered Brands

Every logo appearing in the cover must be justified in the metadata, including any text. These logos will be accepted if they have a clear relation with the album's content and explain some relevant information - producer, artist, label, etc. Designers or artists who created the cover design won't be accepted as they are not related to the musical release itself.

Any registered brand, person, property, or company that appears on the cover will be accepted as long as they are visually irrelevant, help to convey the cover’s intention, and the artist has explicit permission from the owners or rights holders. If requested, it will be necessary to report documentation to prove the consent of the involved mentioned logos, images, or registered brands.

If you have any other questions, please contact us through our support form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Looking for tips in the music indutry? 

Check out the Unchained Artist Academy.

Still looking for support?

Response times by plan:
Core Tier
5 Business Days
Grow Tier
3 Business Days
Pro Tier
2 Business Days
Partner
‍‍
< 24 Hours