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What text can I have on my cover art?
What text can I have on my cover art?

Distribution: What text is and isn't allowed on your release artwork

Joel avatar
Written by Joel
Updated over a week ago

If you want to get your music on the major streaming platforms, your release artwork needs to meet certain criteria. Unfortunately, we don't set the rules on what is and isn't allowed, but we are here to help you get your release accepted first time!

Some rules we passionately agree with. Others, we think are a little strict. In either case, if your artwork does not meet their requirements, it will get rejected by Apple Music and others.

Can I have no text on my release artwork?

Yes, absolutely! The rules are all about what text you can't have. You are under no obligation to add any text at all if you don't want to, even the Explicit Content badge. Textless covers can still be some of the most memorable!

What text can I have on my release artwork?

Any text on your artwork must be taken from the metadata of your release, and must be spelled in exactly the same way.

To give some examples, you can have:

Artist Name ✅

Featuring Artist(s)✅ (as long as they appear on every song of the release)

Release Name✅

Version Information✅

Explicit Content Badge✅ (this is optional! If you do use it, don't edit or obscure it!)

You can't have:

A Website Address ❌

Pricing Information ❌
Names of Streaming Platforms ❌

The name of an Artist who is not on the release ❌

Any text that is not in the metadata ❌

How big does the text need to be?

One of the most common reasons for artwork to be rejected by streaming platforms is that the text is too blurry or hard to read. Remember that all sorts of different people with different eyesights are using different screen sizes and devices to stream music from. They will almost never be seeing your artwork at full size, but they still need to be able to read it!

It's not just a question of size! Your choice of font, text color and background color all contribute to the legibility of your text.

For all you keen calligraphers out there, we're not saying you should do everything in Arial or Times New Roman. Just make sure the font choice, size and color don't make the text difficult to read, especially when the image is shrunk!

In addition, you should be very careful when applying filters or blur effects to your artwork!

In order to pass this requirement, a good rule of thumb is to shrink down your browser/preview window (or zoom out) so that the image is as wide on your screen as the short side of a dollar bill. If you then take 2 steps away from your screen, can you still clearly see each individual letter of every single word on your artwork?

Again, this is just a rule of thumb that should cover 99% of cases, but it does not guarantee that your artwork will be accepted!

What happens if my artwork is rejected?

In the event that your artwork is rejected, we'll set your release back to draft and let you know what changes need to be made before you can resubmit it. If you originally picked the earliest possible release date, you may have to reschedule your release so that it can go through the approval process again in time for it to be distributed.

To avoid any delays, we always recommend choosing a release date at least 21+ days in the future, so that there is time to make any necessary changes.

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