Changes to the monthly competitions

Hi and welcome back to Amazing OurStage. We want to let you know that there will be changes to the prizes we are offering. Every month will be different.
This month we are awarding prizes of $100 to winners of the competition finals. In the future there will be prizes to help your musical career. Check back to find out.

OurStage is now part of Amazing Media

Come back to see the improvements to OurStage over the next few months.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

General OurStage FAQs

Uploading and Media Management

Channel Information and Definitions

Judging and Competitions

Judge For Me

Content Removal Policies

Artist Prizes

Charts

Buying and Selling Music

EPKs

Technical Issues

Troubleshooting

General OurStage FAQs

What is OurStage?

First, welcome and thank you for checking us out. Simply put, OurStage is a site that brings artists and music fans together in a truly democratic environment.

For artists, OurStage is a place to make your music available to your fans, to find new fans, and to have your songs independently judged in competitions for some pretty great prizes. In addition there are a bunch of practical tools, like the EPK (electronic press kit), to help you advance your career.

For fans, it is a place to discover new music. Not only is your opinion heard on OurStage, but it actually counts and has a direct effect on your favorite artists. Best of all, both artists and fans can participate for FREE.

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Getting Started

ARTISTS:

  1. Sign up for a Free Artist Account.
  2. Fill out your profile and EPK.
  3. Upload your media item (song or video) and enter it into our available competitions.
  4. Let the fans judge your work using our unique judging process.

At the end of each month, the Top 40 entries in each channel are whittled down to ten finalists. The Top 10 are then automatically entered into one of our five finals channels. More details here.

FANS:

  1. Sign up for a Free Fan Account.
  2. Start judging! Just click on "Judge" in the top navigation bar. You can build up your profile as you go and engage with other users and artists by leaving feedback and selecting favorites.

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How does the ranking engine work?

The ranking or "judging" is done via two patent-pending algorithms that serve up all of the material in a channel in a fair and unbiased manner for fans to judge. We call this "Peer Relative Ranking," which ensures that each item is judged fairly by a real audience. This system simply CANNOT be cheated or gamed. It is designed to provide each media item in any given channel an equal opportunity to be judged.

Depending on how much our users like something (i.e. rank favorably), and how long they want to keep on judging, the ranking engine will try to get users to determine just how much a particular item is liked over other ranked items. This is why users may see the same item coming up multiple times during a series of battles.

Our fan judges cannot request material to rank. And they have to view or listen to the material served for a minimum of 15 seconds each before they can rank one item over another. Once all of the rankings from all of the users are tallied, the best music, as determined by the community, rises to the top.

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How do I choose a custom URL?

Simply go to "Edit Profile" in the left navigation bar, and click on "Public Info." You will see an option below to select a URL. Now you can share your OurStage profile with the ease and grace for which you are famous and beloved. Please note that a custom URL can only be selected once, so make it count.

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How can I get a custom OurStage profile?

You can make your custom profile yourself by going to Edit Profile > Customize Profile from your dashboard. The various customization options are found on the right.

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What is the OurMusic Facebook App?

OurStage offers a Facebook module to add your OurStage profile content to your band's Facebook page. You get a customizable player, outfitted with your music and info (the music player itself can be customized separately from your profile, since it does not appear on your OurStage profile). When you're in competitions on OurStage, your fans can click "Judge For Me" directly from the app to have you come up more often in battles - at least once every five.

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How do I get the OurStage app on my band's Facebook profile?

Want to share YOUR music on Facebook? Here’s how to do it…

  1. Login to your personal Facebook account.
  2. Create a Facebook page, selecting the "Artist, Band or Public Figure" option. (Or skip to Step 3 if you already have a page set up.)
  3. Link your OurStage account to your band page on Facebook.
  4. Log into your OurStage profile and click on "Preview Facebook Profile" (located under the Facebook App section on your left navigation bar). Then select "Link to Facebook."
  5. Select the Facebook page where you want to install your OurMusic App. If you created a new page in Step 2 then this is the page you're going to want to choose.
  6. Go to the OurStage OurMusic App on Facebook:
  7. Make sure to select the your Facebook page before clicking "Add Page Tab."
  8. Congrats! The OurMusic tab should now show up in your list of applications.

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How does Facebook Connect work with OurStage?

When you sign up for OurStage via Facebook Connect, OurStage is able to quickly pull from Facebook the basic info required to activate your profile. This info includes name, gender, profile pic (which you can always edit), networks, user ID, and any other stuff you have public. Anything marked private will not be used. For more information on how to use Facebook Connect, check out Facebook's FAQs. If you are an artist, you will need to sign up for an Artist account through OurStage.com.

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How do I join an artist's Fan Club?

As you view the artist's profile page, there is an option to join their Fan Club in the “More About The Artist” box in the upper right corner of the screen. Once you do this, you’ll see them on your “Artists” page (left navigation menu), and users with Fan accounts will see updates from the artist in their News Feed.

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How do I select an artist as my "Favorite?"

Once you’ve joined the artist’s Fan Club, go to the “Artists” page from your left navigation menu, and select “My Favorite Band” from the drop menu. You will see this artist more often in judging, and a portion of any purchase you make at the OurStage Store will go to this artist.

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How do I deactivate my profile?

In order to deactivate your account and profile, please contact community and we will fulfill your request. Please note that since we are a public site that runs open contests, any songs that have completed one of our competitions may remain on display in our channel results archives.

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Uploading and Media Management

What should I know before uploading my songs and videos?

First and foremost, you keep all the rights to your material. OurStage does not make any claim to your songs or videos.

Be aware, though, that your submitted material is subject to our Terms and Conditions. Please be sure to read this document as it contains important information. Note that once your song has completed a competition, it can be hidden from search and from view on the site, but it cannot be removed from our charts and archives. The media pages remain technically live.

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How do I use the "Hide Media" and "Sort Media" features?

To hide your track, go to your Manage My Stuff page. Choose the song you want to hide in the "My Uploads" list and click the "Info" tab on the right. At the bottom is a checkbox that allows you to hide the song and prevent it from showing up on your profile and in search results. But be aware that Google and other search engines can cache and provide links to these pages.

To sort the order of your media, simply drag and drop the songs in "My Uploads" list on the right.

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How do I delete my stuff?

To remove a song or video from your profile, please email our Community team and let us know what you want removed. PLEASE NOTE that we can only remove songs or videos that have not completed a channel competition (i.e. been live in a competition at the time of rollover into finals). We can remove anything leading up to the finals but, at the end of the month, all competition entries are locked into our permanent archives. These items can still be hidden from your profile at any time using "Hide in My Stuff," as described above.

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Channel Information and Definitions

What is a music channel?

A music channel is where artists' songs compete against other songs in the same genre. Each music channel is classified according to genre. Artists can enter one song per channel per month, with a total of three songs in channel competitions in a given month. Special promo competitions do NOT count against this limit. If an artist enters a song into a promotional channel, they can also enter the same song into another channel.

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How do I enter my music into a channel?

Click on the "Upload" link under the "Competitions" menu on the top of the page to select the items you want to submit. If you need to upload a new song to OurStage, you may do so here. Then select the "Compete" tab and choose the channel(s) you wish to enter. Please be sure that you are entering your music into an appropriate channel. If it does not fit the channel you’ve selected, it may be flagged and either re-categorized or removed. In that case, you will receive a notification email and will have the option to enter your song into a more appropriate channel.

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Which channel is best for my music (channel definitions)?

Genre is subject to interpretation, of course, but here are the general guidelines you should use when considering which channel to enter. We at OurStage don't want to restrict anyone, but in order to maintain fairness and consistency in competition, we must set some boundaries. We also realize that some songs may fit multiple genres. If you need some direction, please feel free to contact us at bestfit@ourstage.com.

Americana

Alternative country, roots-rock, rockabilly, country-rock, and other hybrid genres like cowpunk...these are all acceptable in this channel. Any country-influenced music that is markedly different from the slick productions of modern mainstream country is appropriate for Alternative Country. Any blues or folk-influenced music that alters the fundamental characteristics of those genres (most commonly by crossing them with rock, etc.) is similarly appropriate, but if your music is more traditional, please enter the Folk, Blues, or Country channels. Vocals are required and lyrics must be in English.

Examples: Gram Parsons, Drive-By Truckers, Old 97's, Uncle Tupelo, Death Vessel

Ambient/Chill

Ambient/chill music is a sub-genre of electronic music that focuses largely on the timbral characteristics of sounds, often organized or performed to evoke an atmospheric or unobtrusive quality. The key element to this sub-genre is relaxation. Upbeat, aggressive, or other forms of Electronic music should be entered in the EDM Channel. Vocals are optional but, if included, must be sung in English.

Examples: Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, Enigma

Blues

Blues music usually adheres to a fairly standard musical progression, though production style can vary widely - from solo acoustic guitar and vocal to full-band electric instrumentation. This channel allows for all styles of blues music (Delta blues, Chicago blues, Memphis blues, etc.). If your music is more of a hybrid, please consider the Americana Channel. Vocals are required and lyrics must be in English.

Examples: B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Leadbelly, Stevie Ray Vaughn

Christian

Christian music is written to express either a personal or communal belief regarding Christian life and faith. The musical form can vary, but if the lyrical theme is centered on praise or worship of the Christian God, it should be submitted to this channel. Vocals are required and lyrics must be in English.

Examples: Amy Grant, Cece Winans, Chris Tomlin, Jars of Clay

Country

This is the best channel for any modern country that is or aspires to be mainstream, with professional, high-fidelity production. Typically, Country features rich lyrical content, with an emphasis on storytelling. Prominent instruments are often acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, steel guitar, and fiddle. Vocals are required and lyrics must be in English.

Examples: Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Big and Rich

EDM (Electronic Dance Music)

Any subgenre of EDM belongs in this channel: traditional electronica, house, dubstep, electro, and downtempo. Note that that there is a separate channel for ambient/chill music.

Examples: Zedd, Skrillex, Avicii, Gramatik

Folk

Folk music is faithful to a long tradition that has not strayed too far from its roots. It is focused on lyrics, usually supported by a blend of acoustic and country sounds. Bluegrass is welcome in this channel. Again, vocals are a must and must be sung in English. If your song lyrics do not contain a strong storytelling or socially conscious element, you may want to consider the Singer-Songwriter or Americana channels. If your song features mostly electric instruments and synthesized sounds, it is most likely not suitable for the Folk Channel.

Examples: Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, J. Tillman, Avett Brothers, Gillian Welch, Iron & Wine

Indie Rock

Indie Rock is usually guitar-based, and often has a comparatively lo-fi aesthetic, though this is just a guideline. Indie rock often explores arrangements, instrumentation, and lyrical subject matter not usually seen in mainstream/commercial rock music. Indie pop, which can be a bit lighter and more accessible, is welcome here. Vocals are required and lyrics must be sung in English.

Examples: Pavement, The Shins, The Pixies, The Walkmen

Jazz

This is another very difficult genre to pin down, so we accept many styles into the Jazz channel: swing, dixieland, fusion, latin, bebop, big band, contemporary, smooth jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, etc. Regardless of the sub-genre, we are looking for improvisational features over jazz-oriented chord progressions (chords expanding beyond the traditional 1-3-5 triad). If you're in a 40s-era big band with or without a vocalist (regardless of improvisation) you are also welcome in this channel. Jazz standards are also suitable for this channel; however, appropriate credit MUST be given to the composer in the Item Description Field.

Examples: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Ella Fitzgerald, Freddie Hubbard

Latin Music

Latin refers to many varieties of Latin music: reggaeton, Latin jazz, and all types of more traditional Latin music such as Samba, Bachata, Merengue, etc. Vocals are required in this channel and are typically in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. Other languages are acceptable provided that the musical component fits accurately into the Latin genre. For this channel, we want to hear at least some Latin flavor in the music – not simply lyrics in Spanish.

Examples: Elvis Crespo, Juan Luis Guerra, Shakira, Mexican Institue of Sound, Ozomatli

Metal

This channel is home to the more extreme hard rock music. Key features that distinguish a metal song form a hard rock song are faster tempos, more aggressive vocals and more intense drum parts. There are many subgenres of metal and hardcore music, all of which belong here. This includes metalcore, power metal, death metal, black metal, hardcore, doom metal, thrash metal, screamo, grindcore, heavy metal, etc. Vocals are required and lyrics must be sung in English.

Examples: As I Lay Dying, Lamb of God, Of Mice & Men, Carcass, Stratovarius, Converge, Death, Necrophagist

Pop

Styles of Pop vary, but songs in this channel should be akin to what you'd hear on Top 40 radio, with an emphasis on the lead vocal and an adherence to the standard verse-chorus-verse song structure. Pop rock and dance pop are both accepted here. Rapping should not be prominent on these songs, as we have a separate channel for Rap. Club, dance, and techno would be better in the EDM Channel. Vocals are required and lyrics must be sung in English.

Examples: Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Maroon 5, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne

Punk

Punk music was born from a frustration with the extravagance of '70s arena rock. Punk is meant to be the antithesis of this extravagance. Songs are short and feature loud, overdriven guitar. Vocal styles are less refined than traditional rock, often with yelling or shouting. Punk songs sometimes have political or socially conscious lyrics. The Punk channel also includes punk hybrids like ska-punk, folk punk, and psychobilly. Post-hardcore and screamo music is more appropriate for the Metal channel. Vocals are required and lyrics must be sung in English.

Examples: The Ramones, NOFX, X, The Sex Pistols, Blag Flag, The Clash, The Damned

R&B

While R&B historically stands for rhythm and blues, the definition applied to our R&B channel is more contemporary. Modern R&B is much more similar to pop music than to traditional rhythm and blues. The focus is on the vocals, which usually feature a strong melody. R&B vocals encompass many aspects of classic soul music, like ornate vocal embellishments and spontaneous improvisation. The instrumental accompaniment features a strong backbeat, often similar to hip-hop beats regardless of the tempo. Vocals are required and lyrics must be sung in English.

Examples: Alicia Keys, Usher, R. Kelly

Rap & Hip-Hop

All kinds of rap and hip-hop are welcome here. Vocals are required and lyrics must be sung in English.

Examples: Eminem, Nas, Kanye West, Soulja Boy, Lupe Fiasco, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, NWA, Mos Def

Rock

Rock is a broad genre, and here can include anything from classic to alternative, but note that we have a separate channel for Indie Rock, as well as Punk and Metal. Consider whether your song might be more appropriate in one of those more specific channels before entering it here. Vocals are required and lyrics must be sung in English.

Examples: Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Foo Fighters, White Stripes

Singer-Songwriter

Singer-songwriters are musicians who perform and write their own music, but please note that this is a specific genre with a specific sound. Jay Z writes and performs his own music, but he would not fit the Singer-Songwriter channel. The singer's voice should be the focus and instrumental accompaniment is often very minimal. The lyrical content is original and authored by the singer who is primarily responsible for the vocals in the piece. Vocals are required and lyrics must be sung in English.

Examples: Paul Simon, Jack Johnson, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Carol King

Videos

All genres of music videos are welcome here, with the exception of home-movie type live footage. We are looking for well-produced clips intended to accompany a song. They can include live footage, certainly, but it should not be a straight live show. Additionally, slideshows and manipulated stock footage are not acceptable. Cover songs are not allowed in this channel, and marketing clips or commercials are not appropriate.

World

The World Channel is a crossroads of all different types of genres. Most importantly, submissions should be culturally specific and outside the realm of Western music. Vocals are optional, and language is not a criterion. Artists whose music fits easily into traditionally Western genres of music like rock, pop, country or hip-hop should enter their songs in the appropriate genre channel. Reggae music is allowed in the World Channel, however Reggaeton may be best suited for the Rap channel due to its focus on rapping. New Age music is also allowed in the World Channel.

Examples: Enya, Amadou & Miriam, Balkan Beat Box, Ravi Shankar

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Judging and Competitions

How do the competitions work?

There are two main types of competition: Channel competitions and promotional competitions with our partners. The channel competitions take place on a monthly basis. While each promotional competition is unique, our monthly competitions consist of three rounds:

  1. Regular judging
  2. Semifinals
  3. Finals

In regular judging sessions, all items in the channels (sub-genres) battle for chart placement. This phase takes place from the first of the month until six days before the month ends.

During semifinals, the Top 40 entries in each channel battle amongst themselves over a four-day period. This determines the channel winner (#1 ranked artist).

In the finals, the last two days of each month, the Top 10 in each channel are rolled into one of five finals channels (Rock, Pop, Roots, Urban, Electronic) The final round decides the Grand Prize winners across these channels.

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What are the different finals channels?

OurStage has five different music finals channels: Rock, Pop, Roots, Urban, and Electronic. These channels include the following sub-genres:

  • Rock: Rock, Metal, Indie Rock, Punk
  • Pop: Pop, Singer-Songwriter)
  • Roots Music: Country, Folk, Americana
  • Urban: Rap, R&B
  • Electronic: EDM, Ambient/Chill

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What are the different kinds of "battles?"

Battles are where two or more songs are selected, according to our unique fair judging algorithm, to go up against each other and be rated by our users. There are two kinds of battles:

Head-to-Head:
Two songs pitted against each other for the love of a good fan.

Sort4:
The Thunderdome of music judging. Four songs enter, but only one can emerge victorious.

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Why can't I just vote for one particular band?

This would defeat the purpose of fair judging. If you could choose what to judge, artists could sit there all day and judge for themselves, unfairly influencing the charts and making music discovery no fun at all. We want our charts to reflect the collective wisdom of our entire community. This is what makes OurStage so unique and free from all the self-promoting noise that makes other sites a drag to visit.

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So how can I support my favorite artist more directly?

You can use our “Judge For Me” feature to do exactly that.

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Why am I limited in the number of battles I can do in semifinals and finals?

There are only so many items to judge in a competition. We limit artists to one set of battles in each of the final stages of the month in order to prevent people from trying to cheat their way to the #1 spot by unfairly participating in thousands of battles. You will be able to complete varying numbers of battles in the Finals Channels, because there are a different number of items to be judged. This system guarantees that every item in a channel receives equal exposure with the same number of chances to be judged favorably as every other entry.

Keep in mind that OurStage does not limit how many battles you can participate in or for how long you judge during the regular judging session. In the interest of keeping this competition fair to all artists and fans, however, we decided to set a limit after the regular judging phase.

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Don't artists just try to vote their competitors down?

We suppose they can try, but our systems are really smart and can identify this kind of judging behavior. Artists can't game the system by voting down opponents. We hope and encourage everyone to be honest. But those who choose to counter the counter-culture of OurStage, are statistically irrelevant to our system. Ouch.

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Judge For Me

What is "Judge For Me?"

The Judge For Me feature allows fans to see what competitions an artist is in so that they can judge for that artist more frequently. Once a fan has decided to judge for an artist in competition, that artist's song or video will appear approximately every 5 battles (but it could be more frequent than that based on the number of competitors in the competition). The best way for you as an artist to get this to your fans is to simply search for your own name in the OurStage search bar. The results page will show your name/profile with a "Judge For Me" button to the right. Click this button and share the URL with your fans. Fans can also access this feature four different ways:

  1. From the main navigation bar at the top of the page, fans can select Competitions > Find An Artist, and then simply enter the artist name into the search to find them in competition
  2. Fans can search for the artist using the site search window at the top right of the page. Artists in competition will have a "Judge For Me" button next to their name
  3. Fans can navigate to the artist's profile and click the "Judge For Me" button next to their avatar
  4. Fans can also navigate to any competition page and will see a call to action at the top of the page for them to judge for a specific artist

In any of these four paths, fans can click the "Judge For Me" button to see what competitions an artist is in. They will then select a competition to start judging. Fans will see a banner at the top, which indicates that they are judging for that artist and which will give them a countdown indicating how many battles before their artist shows up again.

Artists, make sure that you share your "Judge For Me" page on your social networks. This will make it easy for your fans to support you and help you climb the charts.

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I directed my fans to my "Judge For Me" page, but it says I'm no longer in the running for a competition?

If you did not make the Top 40 before the semi-finals round, then your fans will not be able to judge for you in that phase since your position in the competition is locked. Be sure to rally your fans for the next month's competition so you can make the semi-finals rounds and climb the charts.

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Why don't I see the countdown for my artist in this competition?

If there is no countdown visible, it is likely that the competition has entered the semi-finals or finals rounds. In these rounds, the field of competition has narrowed such that we cannot accurately tell you when a particular artist will appear again - our system works actively to provide an equal opportunity for all entries to be judged. You will still be judging for your artist if you select their “Judge For Me” button on their profile or in search…we just can’t tell you when they will come up next in battle. The good news is that with fewer artists in the final rounds of competition, the ones who remain will certainly be much more available for judging.

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Content Removal Policies

Copyright infringement

Copyright infringement is a violation of the OurStage Terms and Conditions. You must have the copyright or permission of the copyright holder in order to upload media (music or video). If a media item violates OurStage's Terms and Conditions, it is immediately removed from OurStage, and a notice is sent to the user responsible for the post. OurStage's Terms and Conditions cover copyright violations and offensive content. Since this is a manual process, we may not be aware of all media items that violate OurStage's Terms and Conditions. If you find a questionable media item, be sure to flag it. If you want to make sure you're up-to-date on all the rules, check out OurStage's Terms and Conditions.

Contributors: Once we get a report of a media item that violates OurStage's Terms and Conditions, the item will be removed as soon as the claims are validated, and you will be sent a takedown notice. Requests to reinstate an item must be made after-the-fact. You can appeal any decision by e-mailing our community team at community@ourstage.com.

If you are a trademark or copyright holder and you believe that your rights have been violated in any way, please complete and mail a signed copy of the form below to our designated agent at:

OurStage Inc.
Attn: DMCA Agent Paula Schmitz
519 CR 455
Thorndale, Texas 76577

Our agent information is provided pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 512(2).

Upon receipt of a fully completed and signed notification form, we will disable access to the allegedly infringing materials and will promptly notify the individual who posted the materials that access has been disabled as is our obligation under the Copyright Act. In the event your notification is (1) unsigned or (2) not on our form and therefore does not contain the authorization language of our form, we will work with you to obtain a properly executed notification. However, we will not be able to respond to your request, if any of the other information is missing from your notification. Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 512(g)(2), the individual who posted the materials may provide us with counter-notification that the materials in question were removed or disabled as the result of a mistake or misidentification of the materials. This counter-notification must (1) be signed, (2) include the individual's name, address and telephone number, (3) include a statement that the individual is making the counter-notification under penalty of perjury and (4) state that the person consents to the jurisdiction of the federal district court where his or her address is located. If we receive such a counter-notification, and determine that we would like to restore access to the materials, we will send you notification stating access to the materials will be restored within ten to fourteen business days. Access will be restored between the tenth and fourteenth business day after we receive a counter-notification unless you inform OurStage that you have filed a court order to restrain the individual who posted the material from engaging in further infringement activity on our network and servers. If we determine that we do not want to restore access to the materials, you will not receive any further notification.

You can access the Notification Form here.

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Flagging items for review

OurStage is a big site with a lot of media items on it, so it's difficult to make sure everything is running smoothly all the time. We appreciate the input of our users when they come across an item of concern. Please use the following categories when flagging media on OurStage: "Copyright Violation" or "Offensive."

Copyright Violation: Use this flag to alert OurStage of a media item that violates another artist's copyright. This can include sampling, repurposed images, uploading material not owned by that user, etc. (To learn more about Copyright law in the United States, please feel free to check out the US Copyright Office's FAQs.)

Offensive: This flag is for materials which users might find offensive due to language and/or graphic sexual or violent content. Please take into account the context in which an item is placed, as there may be slightly different standards for music that is placed in different channels.

All flagged items will be reviewed so that the appropriate action is taken. Users are always notified when their media is moved, removed, or, in extreme circumstances, their account suspended or banned. Be aware that no immediate action will take place until we've had a chance to review the item in question.

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Artist Prizes

What are the prizes for artists?

OurStage offers monthly prizes for the winners of our Finals channels. The artist in the #1 spot in each of the seven finals channels at the end of the month is awarded an Amazon.com* gift card** for $100. Artists who finish the month in the #1 spot in our regular monthly genre channels will no longer receive a gift card, but instead will be evaluated and considered for useful career and income opportunities, including radio play on Amazing Radio (UK and US), music licensing in film, television, and commercials, and editorial spotlight coverage.

For our promotional competitions, artists also have the chance to win great prizes like performance slots at music festivals, reviews in major publications and so much more, depending on the competitions and special promotions running during a given month. Check here for a list of current prize opportunities. Please note that it may take up to six months to award prizes. For our promotional competitions, the winners are ultimately decided upon by our sponsor partners. In these cases, the winner will be put in contact with the partner for fulfillment.

Winners will be contacted by OurStage after the competition has ended. This is often done within days, but please allow six (6) to eight (8) weeks after the close of competition. All artists are able to view their rank on OurStage.com, but note that the system takes about 20 minutes to tally the results after a competition ends, so please allow 35 minutes to pass before checking the final ranking.

*Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, the Amazon Gift Cards logo, and 1-Click are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. ** Amazon.com Gift Cards (GCs) may be used only to purchase eligible goods on Amazon.com or its affiliated website Endless.com. GCs cannot be redeemed for purchases of gift cards. Purchases are deducted from the GC balance. To redeem or view a GC balance, visit Your Account on Amazon.com. Except as required by law, GCs cannot be reloaded, resold, transferred for value, redeemed for cash or applied to any other account. Amazon is not responsible if a GC is lost, stolen, destroyed or used without permission. See www.amazon.com/gc-legal for complete terms, restrictions and exceptions. GC's are issued and 2014 by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington company.

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Charts

How do songs and artists make it onto the "What's Hot" list?

The "What's Hot" list is comprised of songs that have had the most success on the OurStage charts. All songs and artists listed under "What's Hot" have performed consistently well in their respective channels during the last year.

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How often do the rankings change?

Depending on the intensity of the battles, the rankings can change constantly. However, it can take up to 35 minutes to update the rankings.

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How are "Standings" different from "Top Tracks" on the charts page?

The "Top Tracks" section is a weekly snapshot of the "Standings," and it does not have bearing on the outcome of a competition. Every Sunday morning, we take a look at the current standings and post the results as the "Top Tracks" for a week. You can view previous weeks by using the dropdown menu on the right side of the "Top Tracks" page.

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What is the Best Of The Best?

The Best Of The Best charts show the Top 100 artists on OurStage in Pop, Rock, Urban and Country. Charts are generated four times a month and reflect the best artists over a six-month period. Charts are published up to 48 hours after the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd of each month.

The Best Of The Best chart rankings are determined by a number of factors. The specific algorithm may change from chart to chart but basic factors include:

  • Competition results
  • External information gathered from band URLs listed on their individual profile page
  • General user preferences and behavior

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How does the ranking engine work?

The ranking or “judging” is done via two patent-pending algorithms that serve up all of the material in a channel in a fair and unbiased manner for fans to judge. We call this “Peer Relative Ranking,” which ensures that each item is judged fairly by a real audience. This system simply CANNOT be cheated or gamed. It is designed to provide each media item in any given channel an equal opportunity to be judged. Depending on how much our users like something (i.e. rank favorably), and how long they want to keep on judging, the ranking engine will try to get users to determine just how much a particular item is liked over other ranked items. This is why users may see the same item coming up multiple times during a series of battles. Fans who are judging have to view or listen to the material served for a minimum of 15 seconds each before they can rank one item over another. Once all of the rankings from all of the users are tallied, the best music, as determined by the community, rises to the top.

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Buying and Selling Music

Can I download songs?

Artist tracks are available for download for 99 cents. Artists can choose whether or not to allow music sales on OurStage. Thanks in advance for supporting these emerging artists by purchasing their music.

We occasionally offer free promotional downloads, so keep an eye out.

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How do I sign up to sell my tracks on OurStage?

  • Select the "Edit Profile" from your left navigation bar
  • Click on "Account Preferences" and check the box next to "Allow OurStage to sell my music"

Once you sign up, a "Buy" button will show up next to all of the tracks you've uploaded to OurStage. To opt out, just reverse the selection.

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How and when do I get paid?

Once your balance reaches $20, we will pay you via PayPal. Be sure to have your PayPal email address up-to-date in your account.

You will be paid on a quarterly basis at the end of March, June, September and December, once your account has accumulated a balance of $20. If your account balance is below $20, then the money remains in the account where it will continue to grow until the end of the following quarter, and so on, until the balance reaches $20.

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What is the revenue split?

We are currently selling tracks for 99 cents, with 80 cents of each sale going to the artist. The remaining 19 cents go toward payment processing.

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EPKs

What is an EPK and why do I need one?

EPK stands for Electronic Press Kit. A press kit is a condensed packet of information that artists and their representatives use to highlight important facts, achievements and press clips, as well as materials the recipient (usually writers and critics, booking agents, music supervisors, etc.) might need to learn about an artist, including photos, contract info, stage plots and, of course, music.

Your OurStage EPK contains the same "Overview," "Media," "Photos" and "Calendar" sections as your Profile, with the addition of "Artist Info" and "Press" sections to provide additional information. Create a killer EPK by uploading your best tracks, videos, photographs and compelling bio.

Best of all, this kit is free with an OurStage artist account.

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How do I create an EPK?

First, you must be registered on OurStage with an active account. To create your EPK, go to your profile page and add photos, post upcoming performances to your "Calendar" (see information on adding the calendar feature to your profile below) and upload your best songs and videos.

When your profile is bursting with evidence of your talent, click the "View My EPK" link at the top right of your profile page. All of the information you entered on your profile will appear here with your songs and videos. Tailor your profile bio for a more professional audience by cutting it down to a 150-word bio that highlights your style of music, your industry achievements, and what makes you unique as an artist.

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How complete does my EPK have to be?

The more content you add to your EPK, the better you'll look to potential talent buyers and venues. Many of our competitions require that winners have their EPK more than 85% complete. See individual competition rules for details.

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How can I get my EPK to 100% complete?

Each time you fill out information in your EPK, you increase your completion percentage. Each section of the EPK has a different completion percentage:

Portrait 5 %
Overview5 %
Bio10 %
Genre5 %
Artist Info15 % if Full (can get partial credit)
Songs5% per item (Max. 15%)
Videos5%
Photos5 % for any
Calendar5 % for any
Stage plot5 %
Links5% per item (Max. 15%)
Press10 % for any

By filling out all of the above sections of your EPK, you will make your EPK 100% complete. You are encouraged to upload more than the minimum songs, videos and links required.

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How do I send someone my EPK?

You can email your EPK to anyone by clicking on the mail icon in the "Share" header above your EPK. You'll need the contact's name and email address. Adding a short, personal message is optional, but highly recommended. Press "Send It" to deliver the email.

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How do I create a custom stage plot?

You will find the option to add (or edit) a custom stage plot on the "Stage Specs" section of your EPK. If a custom stage plot has already been made, then the "Stage Specs" section also allows you to change it. Artists can supply input lists and upload their own stage plot.

Once you've selected the option to design or edit your custom stage plot, you'll be taken to OurStage's Drag and Drop Stage Plot Editor where you'll see three things: Name, Details, and the editor itself. Give your stage plot a name, and then describe it (as a suggestion, listing the required equipment). The current list of available items for the Drag and Drop Stage Plot Editor are as follows: Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric bass, acoustic bass, electric piano, turntable, drum kit, guitar amp, bass amp, monitor, outlets, microphone stand, instrument microphone, Direct-in box and a laptop.

To build your custom stage plot, drag and drop any instruments or equipment you require onto the great area between them. Remember, your audience is at the bottom of the box, meaning the top of the box is the back of the stage. If you mess up and put an item in your plot you don't wish to have there, just drag the item to the trashcan to remove it. Once you've got this all set, you can save your stage plot.

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Technical Issues

System Requirements for OurStage.com

OurStage.com uses the latest in Internet web-browsing technology. As a result, we need our viewers to have at least Adobe Flash 8 installed; Version 9 is preferred. If you aren't sure whether or not you have Flash installed, or if your version is out-dated, you can check by going to Adobe's Flash site.

We also highly recommend using Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox for Windows operating systems, and Safari, Firefox, or Chrome for Mac. AOL's built in browser will not display all of the images on our site correctly, so AOL users should consider using one of these other browsers. Additionally, we suggest using a broadband Internet connection to view OurStage.com due to the speed requirements necessary for streaming video and audio.

With the addition of the banner players, among other changes, OurStage no longer provides support for Internet Explorer 7. If you are using Internet Explorer 7 (or earlier) you will experience severe compatibility issues, ones that cannot be resolved without upgrading your browser to a newer version of IE or switching to another browser.

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What browsers is OurStage optimized for?

The OurStage experience is optimized for Internet Explorer (IE 8 or above) or Mozilla Firefox on Windows operating machines, and Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome on Macs.

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What formats should I use to submit my song or video?

For songs:
Upload the highest-quality audio file available, which may be an uncompressed .wav or an MP3 with a bit rate of 256 kbps or greater. Do not upload a music file that has copyright protection embedded because this will prevent the file from working on our site.

Specifications:

Accepted upload formats: .mp3, .wav, .ogg, .m4a
Maximum duration: 15 minutes
Cover art image size: 360 width x 360 height pixels minimum size in .jpg, .png or .gif format

For videos:
The preferred file format is h264 and aac in an m4v container. We also support .wmv, .avi, .dv, .mpg, .mpg4, .mov, .3gp, .3gp2, .m4v, .mp4 or .asf.

The preferred video size is 640x480 with a total bitrate of 600kbps.

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Troubleshooting

I didn't get my registration email/I was not able to register.

To complete the registration process and activate your OurStage account, you will need to click the activation link provided in your email confirmation.

If you entered the correct email address but did not receive the confirmation email within a few minutes, it is likely that your mail client or Internet Service Provider (ISP) is filtering the message as spam. Check your spam or junk mail folder for the message. If you don't find the message in the junk mail folder, please e-mail our support team and they will activate your account for you.

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I signed up for the wrong type of account.

If you sign up for the wrong type of account (i.e. fan that signed up for an artist account), then you will need to create a new account under the correct type. Please be aware that you cannot use the same e-mail for multiple accounts, so you will need to switch that before making your new account. Once you've made the new account, please contact community and they can deactivate the extra account.

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When I click on a song, it doesn't start playing. Why not?

Users need Flash installed on their computers. Click here to find out more about the software requirements for OurStage. If you do have Flash and are still unable to play the media on our site, please let us know.

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Can I give you some feedback?

Yes, we need and crave your feedback. We do our best, but it's only when users get the chance to kick the tires that we find out what's working and what could be improved. Send us an email.

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Help me!

Don't panic. Just write to the OurStage technical support staff using the help form. This will send an e-mail to the OurStage staff, and they will get on it.

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