Submission Guidelines


Sony Music Entertainment (SME) accepts a variety of archival-ready formats for ingestion but requires that the media be submitted as its native source (original frame rate and resolution) and adheres to international standards. Please also note that submission of content that does not meet SME’s preferred file specs will most likely result in a processing delay.

Masters that have been standards-converted (PAL to or from NTSC) by conventional 4-field linear conversion equipment are NOT acceptable. Please provide masters in the native frame rate / resolution in which the content was produced.

Video DVDs and compressed codecs such as H.264 are NOT considered a broadcast-ready or master format, and are not acceptable. In the event that a submission to SME does not pass our QC, you will be notified and offered a chance to replace said material prior to delivery.


Preferred formats: Apple ProRes 422 HQ for SDR, ProRes 4444 XQ HDR10 PQ for HDR, or HDCAM/ SR for tape.

  • Files should be in QuickTime .mov wrapper.
  • Tapes should be master quality with video and audio specs clearly labeled.


We accept NTSC or PAL SD, HD, 2k, and 4k standards in native size, native frame rate, native field mode, standard SDR color space, and HDR10 PQ HDR color space.


Audio provided should preserve the best possible quality from the original recording or mix. For most mastered materials this means high quality stereo with optimized levels, or individual surround tracks for long form masters. Optimized stereo levels should be peak minimum -3 dbfs up to max 0 dbfs, but not over.


Shortform videos are a type of product configuration usually reserved for promotional material including, but not limited to, Music Videos, Behind The Scenes, Promo Reels, Short Films, and Commercial Trailers or TV Spots.


A Pseudo Video (also known as Cover Audio) is defined as a still image with an audio bed made into a playable video. Within the linear video the still image can fade in/ out or be a hard cut from/ to black, it can also dissolve between several still images, but it cannot move/ slide/ pan/ zoom as this would be considered animation/ motion graphics and would be defined as a standard Music Video.


Longform video packages are a type of product configuration usually reserved for commercial material including, but not limited to, Feature Films, Concert Films, Documentaries, and include additional elements such as Bonus Video, Artwork, and alternate audio configurations.



    • Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes 422 (LT), H.264 and MP4 are NOT acceptable codecs for full-motion video (ProRes 422 (LT) is acceptable for Pseudo Videos). Video codec must be “Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)” in a QuickTime container (**.mov).
    • If both the L and R audio are identical, it is DUAL CHANNEL MONO and will fail. Audio must be in true STEREO.
    • Videos that have a 23.98 frame rate with repeated frames, dropped frames and/or interlacing are not acceptable. Videos with a 23.98 frame rate must be fully progressive/ PSF.
    • Audio with a sample rate of 44.1kHz is NOT supported. It must be 48 kHz, even for editorial audio replacements.
    • AAC audio or other lossy codecs are NOT supported. It must be Linear PCM codec.
    • Poor audio/video sync is not acceptable. Audio/video must be properly SYNCED on all video content.
    • 4:1 CADENCE is a failure point for Long Form content and a QC issue for video in general. See Video Conversion Issues below for more detail.

***This is a list of the most common quality control issues, but videos may be failed for reasons not stated above***


4:1 Cadence has 4 progressive frames of video, and every 5th frame is a repeat of the 4th frame. There should be no repeated frames at all. This issue is often the result of a 23.98 frame video being converted to 29.97 incorrectly. When done correctly, you will see 3 unique progressive frames followed by 2 interlaced frames. Content should be kept native to the frame rate at which it was shot. This also can occur when interlaced content is tagged as progressive.



• At minimum we require 3 seconds of black/ silence at the head and tail of any program.
• To expedite asset ingest please try to adhere to the below linear timeline.

Submission Guidelines
Linear video timeline.



Dual mono occurs when both the Left and Right channels are identical to each other.
Audio should be checked on an audiometer as QuickTime will falsely define anything with two audio channels as “stereo.” See the below examples of audiometer tools that display stereo images- the amorphous squiggles indicate stereo, a mono mix would show as a solid vertical line.

Regardless of your chosen NLE, you should be able to assign left audio to left channel and right audio to right channel where a true stereo recording/ mix is present. Un-panned/ unassigned channels will act as null stereo- effectively mono even though there are two channels.

Please see the Mono Audio page.

Adobe Audition (left) and Apple Soundtrack (right) audio phase meters showing stereo imaging- mono would appear as a vertical line.



File names should not contain spaces or special characters, but should use Camel Case, underscores and dashes, and include Artist, Title, Version, Identifier (such as Product ID or ISRC if known), format details, as follows:



We accept SCC and TTML formats for Closed Captioning, and SRT in UTF-8 for Subtitles. Please adhere to professional standards in formatting the caption text.  See more details below.

Please see the Closed Captions page.