Submission and delivery of Dolby Atmos audio differs significantly from standard audio and video in several ways.
To jump straight to specific submission instructions, head straight to Atmos Product Creation.
- User Experience
- Music Service Ingestion
- Stereo and Atmos Products in Central
- Stereo First...Then Atmos
- Atmos Product Creation
- Track List Requirements
- Atmos Product Metadata
- Change Requests
Music services aim to present one release to listeners and to give them the ability to switch track playback between stereo and Atmos.
What listeners hear depends on whether their playback device supports Atmos, and whether they have Atmos playback enabled in their app and device settings.
All listeners will see the same product, but they will hear either stereo or Atmos depending on these two factors. The music services make it clear which is being played by displaying badges on screen.
Music Service Ingestion
Although specific music services may support certain Atmos options and capabilities, Ingrooves' requirements are designed to ensure the most consistent results across submission, delivery, user experience and reporting.
The music services allow or require different things that are not always consistent with each other, such as delivery of separate stereo and Atmos products, to delivery of single hybrid products under one UPC, to independently controllable Release Dates, and much more.
NOTE: Apple currently does not support independent Atmos Release Dates. If you set an Atmos Release Date later than the related stereo Release Date, it will only work at Tidal and Amazon and not at Apple.
Stereo and Atmos Products in Central
Although the end user experience at the music services will feel like one release with two different types of tracks, you are required to create two separate products in Central: one core stereo product, and one Atmos product linked to it.
This is for a variety of reasons, including:
- Music service delivery requirements
- The mechanics of how the music services link Atmos tracks to their stereo counterparts
- Maximization of Ingrooves' ability to report consumption
- Flexibility when additional music services add Atmos support in the future
Stereo First...Then Atmos
All Atmos products must be linked to a core Stereo product ("Audio" product type in Central).
The core Stereo product must be submitted, approved, ingested and delivered to music services before a linked Atmos product can be created.
This is a requirement of the music services: you may not create a standalone Atmos product with no connection to stereo versions of the same tracks, and the stereo version must be delivered first.
Atmos Product Creation
Once your stereo product is submitted and visible in Central Releases, you can create an Atmos product and link it in one of two ways:
- Find the product in the main grid view in Releases, click the three-dot menu on the right side, and click Duplicate to Atmos
- Click Create Product and select Dolby Atmos
- Choose the same Label under which the stereo ("Audio") product was submitted, then search the UPC of the stereo product and click Link.
- If you cannot find the UPC, check that you've chosen the correct label and that the stereo version is in Releases
Either option will create an Atmos version of the stereo product. The newly created Atmos product will contain a clickable link that takes you back to the stereo product.
Track List Requirements
Any linked Atmos product will have its track list locked to its stereo counterpart, and each track will require an Atmos asset.
Ex: an Atmos product linked to a 10 track stereo release will require Atmos versions for all 10 tracks.
Although the music services may support Atmos delivery of only some of the tracks on a given stereo release (eg: a 10 track stereo release with only 3 Atmos tracks available for playback), this requirement ensures that you will not lose placement opportunities - some of which require a complete Atmos track list.
It's also important to understand that the music services that support Atmos do not receive them in exactly the same way. The Atmos tracks may be included in one product delivery as additional assets within the stereo product, or delivered as their own independent product and linked to the stereo product at the music service.
Also, the music services that receive stereo and Atmos separately and link them in their systems do so by matching ISRCs alone. This means if the same stereo track is on a single and an album, and a linked Atmos product is created in Central on the single, that Atmos track will also be linked to the stereo version of it on the full album - in effect allowing for a "partial Atmos" track list.
Ex: if you deliver a 1 track single and a 10 track album that also contains the single, then create an Atmos product from the 1 track single, Amazon and Tidal should link the Atmos track to both releases.
Additionally, it's an arguably superior user experience to be able to listen to a full release in Atmos. Wherever the Atmos accounts for only a part of the track list, the listener will experience changes between stereo and Atmos as they listen through the track list, rather than one consistent listening experience.
As such, Ingrooves requires that all tracks on a stereo release must have counterparts on the linked Atmos release. This streamlines the product creation and delivery process (as only one linked Atmos product is required), avoids possible issues with placement limitations, and delivers the optimal listener experience.
If you simply do not have Atmos assets for every track on a release, it's recommended to create a new stereo product that includes only those tracks, then create a new Atmos version linked to it, and all Atmos tracks to that product.
Atmos Product Metadata
It's very important to remember that the music services present Atmos as one core release with both stereo and Atmos options for track playback.
As such, you'll want to fight any urge to make Atmos-specific changes to your metadata, for instance, by adding "Atmos Version" or changing the cover image or song titles, with a few important exceptions.
UPC, Catalog # and ISRC must be unique on your Atmos product. Otherwise, all metadata must be the same as the linked stereo product.
Delivery of Atmos products differs significantly from standard product type delivery. There are two methods by which Atmos will be delivered to music services:
Two Products: Stereo and Atmos
Both the stereo and the linked Atmos products are delivered, and the music services associate the Atmos audio on their side and link it into the main stereo product.
The end result looks and feels like a combined product, but it is a stereo and Atmos product delivered separately and then linked together by the music service.
Tidal and Amazon both use this method.
One Hybrid Product
In Apple's case, the link between the stereo and Atmos tracks must happen within the product itself, specifically underneath the stereo product's UPC.
To accomplish this, Ingrooves does not directly deliver the Atmos product from Central. Our system recognizes the linked relationship between the stereo and Atmos product, and when it delivers the stereo product, it includes the Atmos assets directly in the stereo delivery package.
Because of this, you will need to observe the Deliveries tab on the stereo product that's linked to your Atmos product in order to see when it delivered.
Because of the previously mentioned requirements in Atmos Product Metadata, and because UPC and ISRC cannot be changed after submission, you can only submit a Change Request on an Atmos product for Catalog # and Atmos audio assets.