Sales – Templates

Sales – Templates

Templates are used to ingest sales data from different sources & in different structures. The Templates tell Curve how to read a file, directing the system to where the data is, describing the columns, mapping specific values & even performing calculations. The goal is to create a Sales Template for each and every statement source, that allows you to upload your sales file onto Curve without any need to make adjustments to the original sales file.

Curve provides an ever-expanding library of pre-canned templates. However should you need to ingest data from a source not represented in the library, it is a simple process to create your own templates.

To begin, select Templates from the Sales sub-menu on the sidebar. Once there, hit Create. You will be presented with two options: ‘From Library’ to download an existing template from the library or ‘From New’ to create a template from scratch, which we will describe now.

OVERVIEW

Name – Give the template a name for your own reference.
File Type – Publishers will have to select whether the statement is in a standard Excel/CSV Structured file, or in a PRO type file. With PRO type files (such as DAT or CRD files), data is spread via a character width rather than columns, and you will have to specify in the Example Lines what the character width of each data field is.
Source – This will group your templates together per Source.
Tab Number – If the sales file is an excel, the system will need directing to the tab/sheet in which the data is present.
Starting Column – Does column A contain useful data to ingest or is it blank or redundant information? Tell the Template which column to start ingesting data from.
Starting Row – Are there any headers, blank rows or total rows at the top of the data to be skipped?
Delimiter – For CSV or Text Tab Delimited files, are there unusual delimiters? For instance, rather than data being stored in different columns, CSV files can use a comma or semi-colon to delimit their data. Enter the delimiter in this field and it will make sure all data is spread over the right columns, like a Text-to-Columns function in Excel. For files with a tab delimiter, use the tab character “\t”. If not relevant, this can be left blank.
Encoding – This can be left blank in most cases. Only in specific cases where a non-standard character encoding is used on the file, such as UTF-16 or UFT-8, this will need to be specified.

When first configuring a template, set the Starting Row to include pulling in the column headers on the sales file. This will help matching columns to fields. BUT make sure to change the starting row afterwards so that it skips the headers in the data. Otherwise, you’ll need to delete those lines manually every time you upload a file.

CATALOGUE OVERWRITE SALES

There are times when specifics are not reported, such as Formats on physical releases, or you need to inherit defaults from the catalogue, such as Price Categories. This is often due to the lack of data being supplied in the incoming data. Curve allows you to inherit these values from the catalogue, enabling you to complete these accurately, based on the release that you’re matching down to.

You have three options here – Distribution Channels, Configurations & Price Categories. Selecting each of these will overwrite any data from the file, with those values stored against your catalogue.

EXAMPLE FILE

To properly configure the template you need to upload a sales statement file as an example file to work from. To do this, hit the Browse button in the Example File area. Select an example file from your computer & then Save the template. Example lines from the file will then populate at the foot of the page. This will be important later.

Now the template knows where the data is within the file & has a sample of data to work with, it now needs to know how to read the data. There are certain values that we need to extract from the file in order to understand what sales have occurred for future royalty calculations. Which record was sold, what track was streamed, where in the world the transaction occurred & the subsequent currency. We’ve provided a checklist of data fields that need to be captured:

REQUIRED FIELDS

These are the variables necessary for your royalty accounting. As you work on your template this panel will update from red crosses to green ticks. Your goal is to get this as complete as possible. Any Required Field left blank on your Template, will have to be completed each time you upload a sales file using this Template. So you don’t need a complete list of green ticks for the template to be operable. For example, a common exemption are the Sale & Transaction Dates, which would vary with each statement & payment and should not be set as a Standard Field in your template.

STANDARD FIELDS

With any reporting, there will be elements that are not explicitly defined in the data but is instead inferred or provided in additional communications. For instance, Spotify data will not define the channel or a file from a territory-specific distributor will probably not contain a territory distinction. In these situations, you can use the Standard Fields panel to set some defaults for the template. With Standard Fields, you can set values that will be fixed for every line on a file uploaded using this template.

You should only specify Standard Values for Fields that will be the same for each sale line in each statement that will be uploaded using this Template.

Source – The store or service that made the sale to the consumer, important for data from distributors who will be reporting sales from multiple retailers.
Sub Source – Who has reported this file, if different from the Source. For instance you may use this to capture the distributor supplying the sales sheet.
Channel – The over arching consumption type (Physical, Digital, Merch etc).
Configuration – The format or more specific consumption type; perhaps CD or 12″ for physical, or Download or Stream for digital.
Price Category – Often used in physical statements to specify discounted versions of the PPD.
Currency – The original currency the statement is reported in. The exchange rate can be set upon import of the sales file.
Territory – The country of sale.
Multiplier – May not be immediately self-explanatory. This field can be used to apply a commission to the Net Amount. A multiplier of 0.985 for example will multiply the Net Amount by 0.985 so essentially take a 1.5% commission.

You can also set a fixed value for the following two fields. However, these dates will most likely differ with each statement using this Template, and are better only to be set for each sales file individually when ingesting to Curve.

Sale Date – The day the sale, performance or copy was made.
Transaction Date – The day you received payment for this sales file.

All values entered as a Standard Field will overwrite any values pulled from the data. A common mistake is to enter “World” as the Territory standard field for a file reporting multiple territories, differing line by line. Any territory variables pulled from the data are discarded & overwritten by “World”. Thus losing some potential important detail for your royalty statements & analytics.

EXAMPLE LINES

Once an Example File has been selected & the template saved, example lines will populate at the foot of the page for you to set the Field headers on the template. The objective here is to match the columns of data to the necessary Fields using the drop-down options at the top of the columns. This tells the system the specific type of data contained in the columns.

For Record Labels, the main fields to consider are:

Territory – The country of sale.
Channel – The over arching consumption type (Physical, Digital, Merch etc).
Configuration – The format or more specific consumption type; perhaps CD or 12″ for physical, or Download or Stream for digital.
Source – The store or service, important for data from distributors who will be reporting sales from multiple retailers.
Currency – The original currency it was reported in
NB If Necessary, all of the above can be managed in the standard fields

Sub Source – Who has reported this file, if different from the Source. For instance you may use this to capture the distributor supplying the sales sheet.
Price Category – Is it a Frontline sale, Mid Priced or Budget? Or any other category you may have set a rate for?
Sale Date – The date of the end user consumption. This is typically reported by retailers as the last day of the relevant month, though a specific date is not unusual.
Transaction Date – The date the sale was reported to you. So sales occurring in March might be reported in May.
Release Title
Release Artist
Cat No – The Catalogue Number, used to match any sales rows to your releases.
Barcode – Used along with Cat No for matching to releases.
Track Title
Track Artist
ISRC – Key identifier for matching sales to tracks.
Contract Identifier – An identifier allowing you to map sales directly to a Contract. The matching Contract will receive the value of this sales line with a Participation Rate of 100, but doesn’t stop other Contracts attached to the mapped Track or Release of this sales line to still earn their share too. Mostly this will only be useful in exceptional cases. For sales to flow through catalogue & participation rates as normal, you can leave this field blank.
Units
– The amount of units sold or streamed.
Gross Amount – This may be the amount received from the store or DSP, before any distribution fees are taken.
Net Amount – the amount due to you per line
Retail Price – This should equal the per unit Retail Price. It’s only necessary to pick this up when you have Contracts using the Retail Price as a calculation input.
Per Unit Rate – This should equal the Net Amount divided by the Units. It’s only necessary to pick this up when you have Contracts using the Unit Price as a calculation input.

For Publishers, the main Fields to consider are:

Territory – The country of sale.
Channel – The over arching consumption type (Physical, Digital, Merch etc).
Configuration – The format or more specific consumption type; perhaps CD or 12″ for physical, or Download or Stream for digital.
Source – The store or service, important for data from distributors who will be reporting sales from multiple retailers.
Currency – The original currency it was reported in
NB If necessary, all of the above can be managed in the standard fields

Party 1, 2 & 3 – They are easily overlooked but very important fields. These should be mapped to any columns in the file stating any Composers or Publishers. This data is necessary for you to map sales lines to Works on the Unmapped page. Where possible it is advised to specify at least three different parties. As some of this data will likely be stored in the Composers field too, you can use the Copy Field function on the Mapping tab to store the same column as both Composers & a Party. Please visit our documentation on the Unmapped page to understand the importance of these fields.
Sub Source – The original source of income, eg the radio station, television station or DSP.
Description – A more specific description of the royalty source, if available.
Work Title
Composers
Identifier – The unique identifier of the song being reported, sometimes unique to that particular Sub Source.
ISWC – A globally used unique identifier of your songs.
Contract Identifier – An identifier allowing you to map sales directly to a Contract. The matching Contract will receive the value of this sales line with a Participation Rate of 100, but doesn’t stop other Contracts attached to the mapped Work of this sales line to still earn their share too. Mostly this will only be useful in exceptional cases. For sales to flow through catalogue & participation rates as normal, you can leave this field blank.
Share Percentage – The percentage paid. Should be equal to your share on the work.
Units – The number of units sold or streamed.
Gross Amount – This may be the amount received from the collection society or sub-publisher, before any fees are taken.
Net Amount – The amount due to be paid to you per line.
Sale Date – The day the performance or mechanical royalty was generated.

You may often find there are columns of data in a sales statement that are not useful to store. By not assigning a Field to a column (ie not selecting a header for the field), the data will be ignored.

TEMPLATE LIBRARY

As you can imagine many Curve clients receive sales data from the same DSPs, retailers & distributors, in the same structure. So for your convenience, we have provided a Template Library with pre-canned Sales Templates. To download a Template from the library, hit Create & select From Library. A search bar will appear where you can select the template you are looking for.

Once the Template is in your library, you will be taken to the Template’s configurations, per the above for when you select New from the Create menu, for you to review its settings. It is important to always cross-reference the Template with your needs. The Template Library is a tool to help you create your Templates, but should never be blindly trusted. For example, we don’t make any assumptions about where any of our clients are based, or what currency they are being reported in.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when downloading a Sales Template

Order of columns – Perhaps you may receive your statements in a slightly different format than other clients. To be safe, always upload an example file after downloading the template & ensure all fields align with the columns as needed.
Source vs Subsource – Some clients choose to swap the use of Source & Subsource. Make sure these are mapped correctly for your particular setup.
Standard Fields – What is standard for one, might not be for another. You may have a commission that requires the use of a multiplier. Also, Channels and Configurations of Templates in the Templates Library are purposely left blank in the Standard Fields even when necessary, as one may use the Channel “Physical” while the other may use the Channel “Analogue”.
Mapping & Calculations – You may have set up your system in such a way that it requires extra mapping & calculation efforts.

When you upload a sales statement that includes a Territory, Channel, Configuration or Price Category value that the system does not recognise, a pop-up will appear that makes it easy for you to map these values. These mappings will then automatically be stored on the Template.