The advent of music streaming services and digital music stores have opened the door to independent artists in a way that would never have been thought possible in the pre-Internet age.
With the ease and convenience of digital download and streaming, comes the path for smaller artists and bands to get onto those services without having to go through the traditional record label system. In this Horus Music review, we’re going to look at one platform that makes that happen.->> Check Out the ULTIMATE Music Distribution Guide (Reviews & Chart)
What is Horus Music?
Horus Music acts as a middle man between the creators and their audience, a role traditionally held by record labels. They take your music and distribute it to the world, just as record labels did, but unlike record labels, they do not lock you into oppressive recording deals before you can have your music released. Instead, you pay a fee to keep your music live and in exchange, you get to keep all of the revenue your music generates.
Horus Music offers a range of services from basic music distribution to marketing and promotion and even music video production. They aim to be a one-stop-shop for all of your music distribution and promotional needs. But do they succeed in this aim?
Let’s take a look at what they offer.
Horus Music Key Features
We’ll be focusing on the music distribution side of things in this article, but if you’re interested in Horus Music’s other features, such as label services, check out their website.
The first step to getting your music online is to send it to Horus Music, but rather than just take your money and send your tracks on to Spotify, the professionals at Horus will listen to your music first to ensure only high-quality music is released. It should be said that this is as beneficial to the artist as it is to Horus Music; they don’t want low-quality music attached to their name, but neither should the artist.
Under their “Artist” package, Horus Music will grant you unlimited releases. This is a welcome change from many other services that charge per release per year. They also include the ability to handle pre-orders at no extra cost.
Under this deal, your music will be delivered to over 200 different stores in over 100 different countries, complete with all the necessary barcode and ISRC information. There are no additional fees for the distribution itself (there are fees on other aspects of the service; more on that below). As an artist, you get to keep 100% of the commission on revenue generated by your music.
For an additional fee, music mastering services are available to ensure your music is as high quality and professional sounding as possible. This is typically the very last step in the process of making a song and can help make a collection of songs (such as an EP or album) sound cohesive.
For artists looking to give their music an extra push, a range of promotional services are available for additional fees. One of the most useful of these tools in the era of services like Spotify is playlist campaigns. Horus will help you pitch your music to the most popular relevant playlists.
In the age of digital music and streaming, playlists are by far the most useful tool for smaller artists to get noticed. For an additional fee, Horus will also facilitate your music being registered for the charts. The usefulness of this particular feature is somewhat dubious; you will only benefit from being chart registered if you garner a lot of streams/sales in the first place.
If you do get those numbers, however, having your song chart can create a real snowball effect on the popularity of your music, causing more and more interest.
In the same vein as promotion, video distribution is another service offered by Horus that can be used to promote your work. Horus provides both the tools with which to make a music video, as well as the service to distribute that video to places like Tidal Video, iTunes, and VEVO. All at extra cost, of course.
If time is of the essence, Horus will, for an additional fee, expedite the delivery of your music to online stores. Within 24 hours of submission, to be precise. It should be noted that this service only speeds up Horus Music’s end of the process.
Once submitted to the various music stores, their lead times will still apply.
What to Expect from Horus Music
Horus Music presents itself as an all-in-one solution for independent music distribution, and for the most part that is correct. They really do provide almost every service you might need as an independent artist releasing music into the world, and for what seems like a very reasonable price. And therein lies the rub.
The main criticism that Horus Music receives is that there are a lot of additional fees for various services that are not made abundantly clear upfront. Beyond the basic music distribution, almost any additional feature you wish to make use of will cost extra, and the costs will very quickly start to add up. Chart registration, for example, must be purchased in conjunction with a release package, not the annual subscription.
This can mean doubling the cost of your single release if you want to register it for the charts. This is not to slight their actual service; what they promise, they deliver. You should just be very aware of the costs before opting to use any Horus Music’s additional services.
How to Upload Your Music to Horus
Once you have a free account created with Horus, you can log in to your dashboard and there should be a large yellow button labelled “New Audio Release”. Once you have clicked that, you can begin filling out the details of your new track, including metadata. Some fields will be required (these are marked with an asterisk).
Once your data is filled out and your artwork uploaded (minimum 3000×3000, 300DPI) you can click “Save and Continue” to proceed to the upload. Horus Music does not accept MP3s so bear that in mind when rendering your masters. Once your details are filled out and your track uploaded, you can select the package you wish to distribute the track under.
Assuming there are no problems with your music, it can be in stores in as little as 48 hours. You will have the opportunity to go back and edit details if you notice any problems after submission.
Price and Plans
We’ve mentioned the cost of Horus Music’s various services, so let’s take a look at those costs. The annual subscription plans offered by Horus Music come in two flavours, the Artist package, and Label package. As the names suggest, the artist package is intended for individual artists or bands, and the label package is intended for anyone starting their own music label.
The prices of this UK-based company are listed in GBP, so be aware that actual dollar price may differ based on the exchange rates at any given time.
- Artist Package – $25 per year
- Label Package – $37 per year
In addition to that, there are individual release packages. Note, if you want to make use of Horus Music’s chart registration feature, you will need to purchase one of these packages. Unlike many music distribution platforms, these are one-off, and not yearly.
- Single Distribution – $25
- EP Distribution – $35
- Album Distribution – $44
And, of course, there are the aforementioned extras that each carry their own additional costs.
- Chart Registration – $25
- Urgent Delivery – $74
- Music Mastering – Starts at $25
- Video Distribution
- VEVO Video Package – $20
- VEVO Channel Package – $74
- iTunes Video – $98
- Tidal Video – $98
- Deluxe Video – $172
So, as you can see, the initial pricing for Horus Music’s distribution deals is a very competitive one. However, it soon adds up as you get into the additional services. This is particularly the case for taking your music down from the platform.
For this, Horus will charge you £100 ($123).
The Pros of Horus Music
- 100% commission on revenue earned
- Distribution to over 200 stores in over 100 countries
- Can provide many promotional tools
- Chart registration
The Cons of Horus Music
- Require use of Western Union for payouts
- Many additional costs beyond the basic distribution deals
- Very expensive to remove songs from the platform
- Charges extra for faster delivery to stores
Who is Horus Music For?
It would be very tempting to look at the list of features available with Horus Music and declare it a great platform for all. In reality, it is a very solid platform, but the vast array of features are only really useful to artists or labels with money to bankroll their releases.
If you are working on a tight budget, there may not be any more appeal for you here than the majority of other music distribution platforms.->> Check Out the ULTIMATE Music Distribution Guide (Reviews & Chart)