Releasing your own Music on Apple Music - a Guide
Lesedauer: 7 Minuten
You just produced your own music and are now looking for ways to distribute it onto one of the top streaming services? Here is a helpful guide providing every important piece of information you need to know in order to successfully distribute your music on Apple Music!
There is no doubt that Apple is one of the most influential and established brands in the world, being responsible for the rise of the smartphone with their iPhone. According to Apple they hit an impressive milestone in 2021 of more than a billion active iPhones showcasing the company’s continued success and longevity. And let’s not forget about the plenty of other products Apple offers like Macbooks, Airpods and iPads. It is safe to say that the chances of you currently reading this on an Apple device are pretty high.
The most valuable technology company is constantly looking for improvement, growing its fanbase by offering different services such as Apple for artists. Apple Music has 72 million subscribers (2021) and is therefore a great source for artists to release their own music. Apple Music is one of the most popular music streaming services along Spotify, Soundcloud and Amazon Music which offer similar features. So if you are already working with those platforms, it is definitely worth looking into Apple Music to gain more streams and fans with little effort.
How do I create an artist account on Apple Music?
First of all, it is important to know that creating an artist account and releasing your own music on Apple Music can’t be done unconditionally. Getting your music on the streaming platform happens in one of two ways:
- You are a label artist: Your label will handle the music delivery on your behalf and will take care of your distribution and management needs.
- You are an independent artist: You will need a direct partnership with an Apple-preferred distributor providing you the necessary tools and resources.
Note: You cannot release music on Apple Music without a label or music distributor!
Music distributors are important since they make it easier for artists to navigate the sometimes complex business arrangements of the industry and help you manage the relationship between stores and streaming services like Apple Music. They are specifically in charge of
- Licensing and distribution
- Music metadata delivery
So if you are an independent artist planning on releasing music on Apple Music, get in touch with one of these Apple-preferred distributors:
- Believe Digital
- CD Baby
- Kontor New Media
- The Orchard
- Golden Dynamic
- Metropolitan Groove Merchants (MGM)
- Rock Mobile
- Space Shower
- TuneCore Inc.
- TuneCore Japan
- Xelon Entertainment
Different distributors offer different services, so make sure you do enough research to find one that fits your needs!
So basically the only way to create an Apple Music artist account is by being in a partnership with a label or a music distributor of your choice.
How do I claim my artist account on Apple Music?
The distributor will have an account created for you in order to release your music. But since you are the artist you naturally want to have access to the account to manage it and keep an eye on your performance.
This is when the tool Apple Music for Artists (formerly Connect) comes in handy. In order to use Apple Music for Artists you have to claim your artist page by requesting access.
Here is a step by step guide on how to claim your profile on Apple Music for Artists:
- Create an Apple ID if you have not already.
- Download the Apple Music for Artists app or log into www.artists.apple.com with your Apple ID.
- Click Request Artist Access and search your artist name in the search field.
- Select one of your albums to ensure you are claiming the correct page.
- Choose your role as an artist and fill out the requested application fields.
Now Apple will start reviewing your identity as the artist. You will see the status “Pending” in your request to Apple Music for Artists and receive further updates regarding your application via email used in your Apple ID. It will usually take about 48 hours until you get any update. If more than ten days have passed without receiving any updates, contact Apple Support.
Protip: Sign into your social media or distributor accounts for faster verification. The more information you provide, the easier it will be to verify your identity!
How do I edit my Apple Music artist account?
Nachdem du dein Künstlerprofil erfolgreich beanspruchst hast, kannst du verschiedene Einstellungen ändern und anpassen.
Changing your music data
Changes for release dates and the title of songs or albums can only be done by your distributor or label. Contact your partner and they will reach out to Apple for you.
Adding an artist biography
Apple teams up with TiVo for artist biographies. So if you want to add a new biography or edit your current one, get in touch with TiVo (www.tivo.com).
Add people to your team
The person who first gained access to an artist account is assigned the Administrator role. So either you (the artist) or your artist manager can be the Administrator, depending on whoever claimed the artist profile on Apple Music for Artists first. The Administrator is responsible for reviewing all future access requests for the artist account as well as adding new users to your artist page and assigning them different roles:
Multiple people can be assigned the Administrator role. Users assigned to this role manage who has access to the profile, view analytics, share milestones and update the artist image.
Users assigned to this role can view the artist's data and share milestones.
- Profile Editor
Users assigned to this role can upload artist images.
Note: The Administrator may receive access requests from artists, managers or label representatives. Requests from the latter expire after 30 days if no action is taken.
How to add a usr to your profile in 5 easy steps:
- Sign into your account by signing into the app or simply logging in on http://www.artists.apple.com .
- Click on Manage and scroll to the Users section in the app (click + in the Users section if you use the web instead of the app)
- Click Invite User and enter the user’s email address. The user will receive the invitation via provided email.
- Select the user’s role you want to assign to them. If you are inviting a member of a band, select Artist.
- Click Invite.
Is Apple Music for Artists for free?
Apple Music for Artists comes with no extra charges, it is for free. Keep in mind that Apple Music for Artists is only useful when you have already released music on Apple Music which can only be done by a partnership with a label or distributor. Therefore, the tool itself is free but there are hidden costs as you have to pay your label or distributor for their service.
How much does Apple Music pay per stream?
Apple Music’s average pay rate is between $0.007 and $0.01 per stream. The exact value per stream varies by the total amount of streams of your music, the subscription plan and country of the listener. However, Apple claims their average pay-per-stream rate is at $0.01. So according to Apple if you were to reach 1.000 streams, Apple Music would pay you about $10.
Of course, it’s important to remember that this is only what Apple claims to pay and that it can differ from the actual payment. Major streaming platforms often run on a pro rata model, meaning that the pay-per-stream rate is based on the platform’s total streaming earnings that are then equally distributed to the artists. Thus, the $0.01 is only an average and not guaranteed!
What are Apple Music analytics?
One of the strongest arguments why you should release your music on Apple Music and work with Apple Music for Artists are the detailed Artist Analytics that are tracked. They can help you decide what specific areas to focus on based on your priorities and goals you have set.
Measure your performance
Apple measures your music's performance by different categories:
- Plays: If a listener plays your music for more than 30 seconds, it’s considered a Play. You can view the amount of plays in total as well as how listeners found your music.
- Average Daily Listener: The average number of daily individual listeners in the selected time frame
- Purchases: The amount of customers who bought your song or album from the iTunes Store
- Shazams: Anytime the Shazam App or one of their partner apps that use the Shazam technology recognize your song, it’s considered a Shazam
- Milestones: A list of insights and all-time bests for your music, highlighting Top Plays, Top Shazams and additions to an Apple Music editorial playlist
- Video Views: If a user watches your music video for more than 30 seconds, it’s considered a Video View.
You can track where your listeners are from by city, state, country or region. Applying filters can help you analyze the popularity of new releases and even give you an idea of where your music might perform best next.
Trends and Insights
Take a look at demographic information and more about your listeners like their gender, age, location and the songs they like most by using filters. This way you can compare analytics and target your next move more strategically.
Even though Apple Music tracks and updates all their data daily, it can take 48 hours until your Artists dashboard shows you the latest data about your music’s performance. You can also download your data as a CSV file but make sure you set a date range before to save storage.
It is no surprise that Apple Music is one of the most popular music streaming platforms considering the massive, global success and loyal fanbase Apple has built over the years. Releasing music on Apple Music is a great option especially for independent artists to extend their range of listeners and streams thanks to the big variety of Apple-preferred distributors, promising pay-per-stream rate and detailed analytics.