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Apple Music Guide for Independent Musicians

When distributing your music, it’s important not to put all your streaming eggs in one basket. Although Spotify is a popular platform, there are many more platforms where you should distribute your music to maximize your income, in this Apple Music guide you can see why. For example: Apple Music is often featured alongside Spotify as the two giant streaming competitors in the world. This is because in 2020 Apple Music is just behind Spotify in total number of subscribers. These are the numbers of our friends from MusicAlly:

-Spotify: 130 million paying subscribers

-Apple Music: 60 million paying subscribers

So why are you interested in being on Apple Music if Spotify has more users? Now we will talk about it. But first, a little story.

How did Apple Music start?

As its name suggests, Apple Music is the music streaming branch of Apple, the technology company responsible for the Macintosh computer, iPhone, iPad, and various other gadgets with hundreds of millions of users around the world. Maybe you also remember an old program called iTunes. Apple Music is also its spiritual successor, but we will talk about this later.

The genesis of Apple Music began with the purchase of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics company – and with it Beats Music – in May 2014. Beats Music had come out as a streaming service earlier that year and amassed a library of more than 20 million songs.

A year after purchasing Beats, Apple merged the Beats Music library with its internet radio service iTunes Radio. Apple announced its new music streaming service in early June 2015 and officially launched Apple Music later that month.

In its first six months, the platform exceeded 10 million users. By mid-2019 it had reached the record 60 million users, surpassing Spotify in paying subscribers in the United States.

Why distribute to Apple Music?

That latest achievement is significant because unlike Spotify, Apple Music only offers paid subscriptions. Any paid subscription service pays more for listening than a platform that offers a free streaming option.

The other important reason to have your music on this platform is simply a matter of numbers: since it comes pre-installed on all Apple devices, Apple Music has a built-in potential user base. considering the shapeless of Apple CEO Tim CookAs of early 2020, there were 1.5 billion active iOS devices, which is a lot of potential Apple Music users! Especially if Apple offers a three-month free trial to attract new users to its subscription. Don’t ignore that huge user market.

How do I send my music to Apple Music?

Okay! Now that we’ve convinced you why to be on Apple Music, how do you do it?

Just like taking your music to any other streaming platform, you will need a music distributor to send your music to Apple Music. CD Baby is for that. Along with dozens of streaming platforms, we deliver your music to Apple Music, all for a one-time fee. And it is easy to do. Just follow these steps:

  1. Press Add New Title in your control panel
  2. When you get to the Distribution Options page, choose Downloads and Streaming
  3. Check that Apple Music is selected in the list of partners

And that’s it! CD Baby will distribute your music to Apple Music at the same time as the other selected platforms.

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How do I request my Apple Music artist profile?

Once your music is available, you can request your artist profile through Apple Music for Artists. It is similar to verifying your artist page on Spotify. Both features allow you to customize your artist profile and view statistics and data, including:

-Streaming reproductions on demand

-Average daily listeners

-Buying songs from iTunes

-Radio Plays on Apple Music

–Shazams (yes, Shazams!)

-Details and achievements of your music around the world (for example, “you have exceeded 10,000 listens in Canada”)

-Plays in playlists

-Most listened songs

-Most popular countries (with maps)

-Demographic and geographic information about your listeners (by song, album, playlist, etc.)

-And more

The best part is that you don’t need to go through the hassle of requesting your profile if you distribute through CD Baby. You can request your page directly from your CD Baby account!

To request your profile from Apple Music for Artists:

  1. Press Tools and promotion on the control panel
  2. Tap Apple Music for Artists Request access now
  3. Or head over here to go to the page directly

You can see detailed step by step instructions in this video.

Can I make my music accessible for pre-booking?

In another parallel with Spotify, Apple Music offers a similar function to pre-save. Pre-adds allow listeners to save an album that is available for pre-order on iTunes to their Apple Music library. On the sale start day, the album will automatically appear in the user’s Apple Music library.

Pre-adds can also include an “instant gratification” song if the artist wants it. This means that when a listener saves an album, they can immediately hear a song from that release. Then you are notified when the full disc comes out.

How is the Apple Music pre-add different from the Spotify pre-save?

The only major difference between Spotify pre-saves and Apple Music pre-adds is that only albums have the option to pre-add in Apple Music. Singles posts do not qualify for pre-add.

How do I submit my music to pre-add on Apple Music?

You can choose the Apple Music pre-add option for your album during the CD Baby registration process. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose a publication date with enough margin to qualify for pre-add (use the CD Baby Post Generator to plan it!)
  2. Choose the distribution in iTunes and Apple Music
  3. Select pre-sale in iTunes
  4. Choose your advance sale date
  5. Choose your instant gratification song

How do I create a playlist on Apple Music?

As this platform is somewhat more exclusive thanks to its subscription-only operation, functions such as creating playlists are not as clear as on other platforms. But make a playlist on Apple Music it’s pretty easy once you know the steps:

  1. Open the Apple Music app on your device
  2. At the bottom of the screen, tap on Library
  3. Play Playlist
  4. Play New Playlist
  5. Name your playlist, then tap Add Music
  6. Find the music you want to add, press and then Done

You can also make your playlist public by selecting “Show in My Profile and Search”.

How do I share my Apple Music playlist?

You can share your Apple Music playlist on social networks by following these steps:

  1. Check that you have Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat installed
  2. Open the Apple Music app
  3. Find a song, album or playlist that you want to share
  4. When you find something, press and hold, then tap Share.
  5. In the Share apps section, choose Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. If you don’t see Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, swipe left on your apps, and click the More button.

What is Apple Music Radio?

Earlier in this article we mentioned that iTunes Radio merged with Beats Music to create Apple Music. So far we’ve only talked about the streaming on-demand part of Apple Music, but the radio part still exists and is a versatile way to discover new music.

Apple Music Radio It is divided into two separate sections:

Apple Music 1, which is a 24/7 radio station similar to any traditional FM station. This station is divided into three:

  • Apple Music 1: The flagship station of Apple Music 1 radio. It broadcasts a mix of novelty songs from popular genres like pop and rap.
  • Apple Music Hits – Broadcasts hits from the last three decades. Attractive to Gen Xers and Millennials.
  • Apple Music Country: Apple Music Radio’s country station broadcasts current hits and country classics.

Apple Music Radio– Unlike Apple Music 1, Apple Music Radio stations are not run by DJs and can offer a wide selection of genres. These stations are divided into two categories:

  • Semi-automated stations that are pre-created and organized by genre. So if you walk into an 80s metal station you can expect to hear things like Maiden, Priest, Ozzy, etc.
  • Custom stations created by users. They are not fully customizable song by song. The Apple Music algorithm creates a station based on your tastes and the song you are listening to.

To create a custom station andn Apple Music:

  1. Start listening to a song that you like.
  2. Click on the ellipses button (the three dots) to the right of the song.
  3. Select Create Station from the menu.

How do I send fans links to my music on Apple Music?

Did you know that there is a set of marketing tools available on Apple Music? You can use these resources to:

  • Create custom links that you can share on social networks and insert in web code.
  • Links to your artist page, a specific album, or even a song.
    Create a QR code that fans can scan with their phone to go directly to the page you are linking to.

You can also use Ad Builder from show.co to insert your songs into interactive ads on your fans’ favorite websites.

And don’t forget HearNow’s smart links, which host links to your music on internet platforms.

ITunes Gone?

You may remember that in 2019 Apple announced that it was suspending iTunes. Although this is true, they have not completely eliminated it. Instead they have merged iTunes with Apple Music.

So yes, your fans can still purchase and download your music from iTunes. They just have to press the iTunes Store tab in the Apple Music app. And CD Baby still distributes to iTunes, so select it for fans who want to buy music instead of streaming it!


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