How To Carry Out An Effective Apple Music & iTunes Promotion
The Internet has completely changed the way we conduct business. With one single move, you could go viral and completely surpass the targets you set out for yourself.
Drake’s album ‘Scorpion’ for instance got over 170 million streams on Apple Music within the first 24 hours of being uploaded. We are living in an age of high levels of digital literacy and digital platforms in every kind of business are a huge force to reckon with. The music business is not any different. One of those digital forces every artist should leverage is the streaming platforms.
With streaming platforms such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music boasting tens of millions of subscribers, you see why every successful artist is on these streaming platforms. There is money to be made here.
That’s the simple reason. Streaming platforms are huge earners in today’s music industry. One of the best streaming platforms to be on is Apple Music.
Apple Music just reported that as of June 2019 it has 60 million subscribers. A figure that has grown from January’s 50 million subscribers. This is a considerably immense growth.
This goes to tell you as an artist that this is one of the streaming platforms that should be on top of the list for you.
How can you tap the potential of such a streaming giant as apple music?
This guide will take you through what you need to do to make the most out of it so trap in.
What is the difference between Apple Music and iTunes?
At times the difference between these two can be confusing especially to beginners who want to enlist apple services for their music promotion and distribution. Apple Music and iTunes are owned by the same company apple. Here is a breakdown.
Apple Music is a music streaming service. Subscribers pay for unlimited access to the music catalog that is availed to them.
Currently, apple music streaming platform boasts of a 50 song million catalog. Streaming does not give the subscriber ownership rights of the song.
iTunes, on the other hand, is an online music store where fans buy a song. Users pay to own the song different from apple music where they pay a monthly subscription fee to access the catalog of songs.
Apple Music is a streaming platform while iTunes is a platform for users to download songs. You could be asking, “I’m already on iTunes, is it really necessary for me to be on apple music?” Absolutely.
With apple music’s fast-paced growth rate, it is clear that music listeners are opting for music streams to downloading.
Why use Apple Music streaming platform?
With a variety of music streaming platforms out there, it can be hard to decide which one to settle on if you want to use just one. What do you stand to gain if you settle on apple music?
Here are a few reasons you should use apple music.
- Raw data/analytics
With apple music for artists, it is simple to monitor your music performance on the platform because they offer you regularly updated data on your plays, radio spins, song purchases and album purchases on your Apple Music for artists dashboard.
With this information, you get to intimately understand your audience. There is information on their location, ages, gender, and other information. With such data, you get a clear picture of your audience demographics.
- Higher rates
Apple music offers higher royalty payments compared to other players in the market. This platform offers higher rates than its close opponent Spotify for instance. This should be one of the reasons you sign up for apple music.
- Audience size
Apple Music currently boasts of about 90 million active users 60 million of which are premium subscribers and those on free trials. With these kinds of numbers, you know beforehand the potential audience size at your disposal that you could cover.
Apple Music promotion tools
This streaming platform has a few music promotion tools that you can leverage to grow your audience. Apple Music playlists placement is one of such tools.
- Apple Music and iTunes services for artists
Having looked at the differences and the reasons you should use apple music, let us now delve into the services available for you as an artist on apple music and iTunes.
- Apple Music for artists
Apple Music for artists is a platform developed by Apple to make it convenient for artists to track their progress across both apple music and iTunes.
The Apple Music for artists dashboard displays information on radio spins, plays, song and album purchases. This makes it very simple for the artist to monitor the performance of their music because they have the necessary analytics.
- Apple Music toolbox
Apple Music provides artists with apple music toolbox that has a few tools that help you accomplish some tasks with ease like creating links to your music that you can share on your Social media platforms and make it easy for your fans to access your music.
Another thing that you can do using the apple music toolbox is making widgets using the widget builder. You can also make some banner art using the banner builder.
How to increase your chances of landing a spot on Apple Music
- Music playlists
Whereas it may take just one song to break you out as an artist, Apple Music boasts of about 50 million tracks on their music catalog.
Whereas that is a good thing for the users, it means that your music may not have a huge chance of being picked or placed in playlists.
Apple music unlike Spotify or any other streaming platform does not involve third party curators. Their public playlists are made by the apple editorial teams or other companies that work with apple music.
Competition to be on those playlists is stiff unless you personally know these Apple Music curators.
As an artist, you have to do all that is in your power to tip the odds in your favor. How then do you increase the chances of being spotted from the ocean of musicians out there?
Here are the steps and you could employ.
- Get your music on the platform
Getting listed may be all that is in your mind but to get on those playlists wouldn’t happen if your music is not released. There has to be something to list. The first step, therefore, is to upload and release your music on the platform.
- Get verified
For authenticity reasons, the next step after you have gotten your music on the platform is to get verified. There are very many inauthentic people out there ready to claim what is yours for themselves.
So, as much as it is a requirement by apple music that you get a verification badge, it’s a good thing for you.
Go to iTunes connect and claim your artist profile. It takes a few days to a week to get verified. Be patient.
- Build a following on apple music
After uploading your music on the platform and getting verified, it’s time to get to work. To draw the apple music curators to your page, you need to have a substantial following.
Start with the people you know your friends and family. Request them to support your music on apple music. Use your social media platforms too. You need a fan page on all the social media platforms you can manage.
Another trick to Apple Music promotion your music is supporting and following other musicians in your level. Pay compliments to their music help them promote their music by giving them a shout out or mentions on your social media platforms.
There is a likelihood that they will return the favor. They can help expand your network of fans.
- Use music promoter with a close relationship with apple music
As I already highlighted earlier, when it comes to apple music playlists, there are no third party curators. You would have to have a close relationship with the Apple Music curators to get your music listed in the playlists. What are the odds?
Using a music promoter with close links with apple significantly helps reduce the hustle. To do this, visit here and get started. You can get an Apple Music promo that suits you best.
- Keep uploading consistently
The more songs or albums you have on the platform, the more chances you have at being on the playlists. Don’t just stop at the first one. Don’t give your fans a chance to forget you. Keep your music profile alive by releasing music regularly.
When trying to keep alive, however, be careful not to compromise on the quality of your music. It is very tempting to put out substandard content in the process of trying to remain relevant.
To avoid this kind of scenario, carefully craft a release schedule and adhere to it. Make sure you thoroughly check the quality of your music before you upload it on the platform.
- Approach playlist curators
Reaching out to apple music curators can greatly increase your chances of being listed in the playlists. Send emails to them and make sure it’s a good one.
Don’t just send out a line asking them to list your song. Put some serious thought into it. Introduce yourself and build up a relationship with them.
- Reach out to blogs
As a starting artist blogs are a good place to start. You can always reach out to smaller blogs looking for content to post.
The best thing about blogs is that there is a variety out there and you can always find those that blog about your music style.
Share your story with these blogs. They are a great way to reach out to new audiences which you can convert to fans.
- Hire a publicist
If you have some coins to spare, you can hire a publicist. A good publicist knows their way around the press and radio DJs. They will help you plan and execute your promotional campaigns effectively.
However, there is a catch. You have to ensure you get a legitimate publicist. There are people out there looking to make a quick buck off people. Don’t fall into their trap.
It is a good idea to talk to other artists and get referrals is you don’t know your way around it.
- Collaborations with other musicians
Music collaborations are another great way to break you out as a new artist. The right music collaboration can go a long way in promoting your music and drawing the attention of the playlist curators to your page.
When choosing an artist to collaborate with, its best to pick out an artist with the same genre of music as yours. The idea is that by collaborating, you mutually expose each other to your respective fan bases and help each other increase your audience coverage.
When picking out an artist to collaborate with, let it be one whose music you love.
How to make an Apple Music Playlist
Making a playlist on iTunes is an integral part of your music promotion and can help you sell to up to hundreds of new users you couldn’t reach without creating a playlist.
The iTunes publish function allows you to publish playlists that customers get to rate. A playlist with highest ratings gets to appear on the pages of the albums where the songs were drawn from.
On the bottom left corner of your iTunes window, there is a + sign. Click on it. After this get to your album in the iTunes store and select some of your songs. You don’t need so many of them.
Just one or 2 of them will be okay. You don’t want the playlist to be a copy of your album. Now go through the iTunes store and drag more songs from different artists. Finally, review the playlist and publish it.
Tips on how to make the most out of your Apple Music playlist
When creating a playlist on Apple Music, there are a few things to consider to get the most out of that playlist.
Here are a few.
- Choose songs from artists with a similar style of music as yours. This gives the playlist some element of harmony.
- Include the songs within your level of popularity. Super famous songs get featured in lots and lots of playlists and there is a very slim chance that such artists will feature you in their playlists.
With songs in your level of popularity, artists you feature might create playlists featuring you in return.
- Pick songs that can be easily downloaded as singles. This increases the chance of customers buying the entire playlist.
- Don’t overload the playlist with your songs. The temptation to include several of your songs is great but remember you are not creating a copy of your album.
You want to make the playlist as diverse as you can while keeping it within your niche.
- Use new releases. The probability that someone has not yet heard a song that is newly released is high. There a new song has not yet been featured in lots playlists which makes new releases ideal in this case.
- Make as many playlists as you can. This is one of those scenarios in which more is good. Make as many playlists as you can featuring as many artists as possible to maximize your iTunes sales.
Apple Music best playlists
There is an unbelievable large number of playlists on the apple music platform. As an artist, you don’t want to get onto just any playlist that will not impact your music career.
You want to make sure that you maximize the promotional effect of a playlist and the best place to start is by being on the right playlist.
Here are some of the best apple music playlists as of 2019.
- Best of the week (electric)
Just as the name states, this is a collection of the week’s best music round-up. Updated weekly, there is a considerable chance of being on this playlist ae it is edited more often in comparison with other playlists.
- Ovo sound radio (hip-hop, curated by drake)
This is one of the few radio shows on apple music. Features drake’s taste as well as new amazing music. You could find your song playing next to his. Imagine how impactful that would be for your music.
There are millions of contemporary rap songs being released into the music industry every so often. If you want yours to be one of those that matters, this is the playlist to look out for. This playlist features new breaking hip-hop tracks.
This playlist is for those relaxing soft whispery songs. The likes of Ariana Grande. If this is your genre of music, this is the playlist to look out for.
This is a list of consistent pop songs. Most people listen to this list while taking the long city drives to keep themselves alert.
iTunes Promotion: how to push your track on the Top 100 chart
When it comes to being featured on the iTunes top 100 sings, you know there are a huge number of artists who have their eye on the list at any one time. Let that not discourage you.
Here are a few things you can do to increase your chances.
- Carefully strategize your release
You must strategize your music release to ensure that you release your music at a time that is most impactful for your music.
The trick to doing this is releasing your music 5 to 6 weeks after uploading it on iTunes.
This gives you the time to most importantly promote your music and increase your pre-release sales and orders and also monitor and analyze the market.
Also to note is that iTunes selects the artists to be featured in this list weeks before in advance of the placement.
- Use iTunes promotion services
Promoting your music on iTunes may be a challenging task and you might consider getting professional help to promote your music on the platform. Make use of these iTune promotion services to maximize your sales.
- Quality recordings
You may not have a recording label but let this not compromise the quality of your music. You might have the most amazing song but if you get the recording wrong, people will not listen to your song as they should.
Be ready to invest in a good recording of your music.
- Create a buzz around your music
Plan a promotional campaign for music and execute it. People may not buy your music not because it is not good enough but for the simple reason that they don’t know it exists.
Use the social media platforms and any other tool at your disposal to drum up support for your music. Get noisy, tell your story make sure people know what you are up to.
- Consider the competition
When it comes to releasing your music, try to pick out a time when there are not major artists and record labels releasing their music.
This will reduce the shadow effect. It is not a guarantee that you will get this figured out and realistically speaking there will not be such an ideal time but it is worth trying.
- Albums over singles
It is worth noting that as far as the top 100 list is concerned, iTunes prioritizes albums to singles. This does not mean that singles are not equally as important.
When Apple Music and iTunes are some of the biggest platforms to be as an artist in this digital era. That being said, it’s one of those things you have to do right if you are going to succeed.
In this age, one song could be all you need to go viral or break out. It may not have happened for you yet but not every artist got their big breaks when they were teenagers like Justin Biber.
Others like Sia took time. What you need to do is keep in putting in the work and exploit every avenue at your disposal. Lucky for you with platforms like apple music you don’t even have to have a recording label.