The next biggest music streaming and promotion platform after Spotify is Apple Music, with over 72 million subscribers. Every indie artist should leverage Apple Music as part of their promotion strategy, regardless of how far they've come in their careers.
What's even better is that Apple Music is designed specifically to promote music. For artists who choose to release their music on Apple Music, the service offers a number of promotional tools. However, what you do next will really make you stand out once you've got your music on there.
The first thing to consider when promoting your music on Apple Music is its differentiating characteristics from iTunes. A subscription-based service, Apple Music lets users listen to unlimited songs and albums for a fixed monthly fee. Apple Music is a great place to promote your music even though you can still sell your music on iTunes. Here's what you need to do.
- Take advantage of Apple Music for Artists by claiming your profile
Start your Apple Music promo strategy by claiming or verifying your Apple Music for Artists profile!
- To claim your Apple Music profile, follow these steps if you are new to Apple Music.
- At artists.apple.com, you can set up an Apple Music for Artists account.
- Click on 'Request Artist Access' once you have signed up
- In the text box, paste your iTunes Store artist link
- Verify your artist name by selecting it and clicking Verify
2. Post a track preview on Twitter
Apple Music users have the option to tweet track previews as one of their best promotional tools.
Twitter audio cards enable you to share a 30-second preview of your song with cover art, as well as a link to Apple Music so fans and Twitter users can listen to the song in full directly from Twitter.
You can use track preview tweets to enhance social buzz and music sharing among existing and new fans.
Please note that this feature is only available for individual songs, not for albums or playlists.
3. You can design your own icons and badges
Apple Music badges and icons are available in 42 languages to help you connect with global audiences. These are great strategies for promoting your music on social networks, apps, websites, and in printed material.
A badge is a branded image that represents your music or product, with a name displayed in text.
An icon is an image of an item with a music note and color scheme.
If you embed either or both badges and icons into your website or social media, you can promote your music on Apple Music, Facebook, or wherever you wish.
Here are the steps you need to follow in order to create an Apple Music badge or icon:
- To access Apple Music Marketing Tools, go to the Apple Music website.
- If you want to promote a particular song or album, search for it and choose it.
- You can enter your affiliate token into the affiliate field on the content page if you have one.
- To access badges and lockups, scroll to the bottom of the page.
- You can customize the Listen on Apple Music badge by selecting a colour and language.
- To download and add press photos, album artwork, and more to your marketing materials, click Download.
- Your website's URL will be copied to your clipboard when you click Copy Embed.
Make sure you review the Apple Music Identity Guidelines before creating any official Apple badges and branding.
4. Create a player that can be embedded
Embedded players allow you to provide listeners with a sneak preview of your music wherever they are!
Listeners without Apple Music subscriptions can listen to a 30-second clip of your song, preview your album, or even create a playlist showing the full song list. With Apple Music, listeners can listen to full tracks without leaving your website.
Just as with the tweet previews, embedding a player allows listeners to sample a preview, but with the added flexibility of embedding it on any site that accepts HTML code.
Here's how to embed Apple Music:
- Visit the Apple Music Marketing Tools page.
- If you want to embed a song or album, search for it
- Fill out the affiliate field on the content page if applicable with your affiliate token.
- The size and height of the preview player can be altered by scrolling down to the 'Preview Player' section.
- To embed the embed code, click 'Copy Embed' and paste it into your website.
5. Link your music to your website
With links that open automatically on Apple Music on any mobile device or digital device, listeners can be sent directly to a song, album, or playlist.
You can also use shortened links to communicate with your followers on social media and via email marketing!
Here's how to create an Apple Music link:
- You can find marketing tools for Apple Music on the Apple Music website.
- You can promote a song or album by searching for it.
- Fill out the affiliate field on the content page if your affiliate token is applicable.
- You can copy the link by scrolling down to 'Content Link' and clicking 'Copy Link'.
- Once you have selected the short link, click 'Generate Short Link', then 'Copy Link'.
6. Create a following on the platform
You can start by asking friends, family, and supporters already pledging support. Your Apple Music profile can then be linked to all your social media accounts, allowing you to drive different followings and traffic straight to it.
Taking it a step further, support fellow musicians within the app. Don't forget to follow them and compliment their music if you like it. On your social media platforms, you might want to give them a shout-out.
Creating a community of like-minded musicians through the app will not only help you build a fan base, but they'll probably return the favor if you help promote them.
7. Maintain a consistent upload schedule
You are more likely to do well on Apple Music if you have more music, songs, and albums available. Keep your fans informed about new music by posting it regularly. Enforce a regular and well-marketed uploading schedule to remain in their musical peripheral and streaming areas.
You should never compromise the overall quality of your music. Your fans will see right through substandard content, even if it can be tempting to stay relevant by putting out substandard content.
- Prepare a playlist
As with Spotify, Apple Music playlisting is a great way for newer artists to promote their music.
In contrast to Spotify, Apple Music's public playlists are curated by the company's editorial staff. You can't pitch your music for playlisting unless you're friends with a curator or employee at Apple Music.
There are ways you can increase your chances of getting on a public playlist, even though Apple Music does not accept playlist submissions directly.
A well-networked distributor, a verified profile, and growing your fan base on and off Apple Music are all steps that will help you succeed!