Are you an artist planning a self-release album or a label with several different projects for release?? Finding music distribution is not always easy. In this interviewed we reached out to Symphonic Distribution’s Director of Marketing Janette Berrios. We had some questions about how the company started ,the types of music they represent, and what kind of the deals they offer..
Hello Janette, thanks for taking time out for our readers. What is your roll at Symphonic Distribution?
You’re very welcome, thanks for having us! I am the Director of Marketing at Symphonic. I focus on the overall branding and marketing strategy for Symphonic Distribution, as well as coordinate events and promotions for Symphonic both internally and externally.
How long has Symphonic Distribution been around and how did it start?
We recently celebrated our 10th anniversary! Our CEO, Jorge Brea, began the company back in 2006 out of his parents’ house without any venture capital or outside funding, and has grown it to the establishment that it is today. It was quite gratifying to witness its development from the beginning stages up until now.
What genres of music do you prefer to work with, and what are some examples of what you do for the artists?
We specialize in electronic genres, but are not limited to it. We also distribute music for Hip-hop and R&B artists, as well as some Gospel. There is no preference for us. We strive to help creatives of any music genre to spread not just their music, but their passion as well; It’s our mission.
Do you consider yourself a label?
No, not exactly. We have labels and artists as clients. Symphonic is a digital music distribution firm. This means that we deliver new releases to Digital Service Providers like Spotify, iTunes, Napster, Google Play, etc. Why stop there, when we love hooking our clients up?
For this reason, we provide in-house marketing services to our clients like Instagram promo videos, release packages, professionally written bios, lyric videos, logo creation and more. We also have some Radio and PR partnerships that provide unprecedented services to our clients to assist with branding strategies and promotional efforts.
Who are some of your major distribution label partners?
Artists and Record Labels that have had their content distributed through Symphonic Distribution include: Bassnectar, Deadmau5, Waka Flocka Flame, Datsik, The Movement, Tommie Sunshine, Richie Hawtin, Play Me Records, Moody Recordings (Bad Boy Bill), and many more of various genres and music focuses.
Can anyone signup? What kind of terms are in your contracts with the artist/label?
We currently have two plans, one of artists and another for record labels. Artist earn 100% of royalties and they do not have a term for working with us. Labels on the other hand, get to choose anywhere from 70% – 90% of royalties and their term is for two years, since these typically involve more volume.
Do you take ownership or publishing in anyway?
Symphonic acts as an administrator and thus, doesn’t take any ownership of your music. Our unique deal and partnerships enable you to receive as many royalties as possible from as many territories as possible all while you retain full ownership and 90% of any songwriting royalties.
There are a lot of digital distribution platforms out there, what’s different about Symphonic Distribution? What types features you offer the others don’t?
We have a few differences when it comes to the different distributors out there. First one would be our pricing. There are distributors that charge you annually to keep the music up on stores. So that can get very expensive very quickly.
There is also a very popular distributor that charges a fee and also takes a percentage from your sales. In addition to pricing, we are one of the few distributors out there that offer Marketing services. This piece has become vital in today’s music market. Finally, we also have a personalized approach to distribution. We support our clients at every stage of the process, from mastering to marketing plan creation, creative design, brand development, and much more.
Did you guys do SXSW this year? Any other festivals or workshops we should know about?
Yes, we did! We had a solid group of six of our awesome team members attend (including myself and our CEO Jorge Brea), and we all flew down there for about a week.
There were various industry influencers there, and we attended some awesome panels. We also had a trade booth of our own, sponsored the artist lounge while there, and got to speak in the SXSW Pitching stage. In terms of other conferences I would recommend Indie Week by A2IM, LAMC, and ADE if you are an electronic musician.
Any last words of advice or shout outs?
I would say that to any label or artist that is looking to be in the industry to:
Be original and create something that has not been done before. Collaborate, support other artists. Don’t sample illegally, ever! Take pride in your work but always be humble. Be aware of the visual story that you are telling with your music. Be 100% C O N S I S T E N T.
It won’t happen on its own. Have realistic expectations, and keep in mind that things may take time. All the “over night” successes that you see have been doing this for a very long time. Make sure to check out our website for more details at Symphonic. Welcome to hit us up for any questions or feedback on what you should be doing. Also follow us on our social media for the latest on our community and best practices!
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EDITOR: La Mont Reed
IMAGE: Janette Berrios