Getting your music into the iTunes Music Store can be a huge step to gaining necessary exposure, especially if you are a band that is unrepresented by a major music label. Publishing your music on iTunes does not cost anything, but will require you to complete a specific process in order to do so. You can publish music on iTunes as often or as infrequently as you'd like.
1. Label or Distributor
See https://artists.apple.com/support/1108-get-your-next-release-on-apple-music. There are two methods to publish on Apple Music.
- Label artists: Your label will handle the music delivery on your behalf to take care of your distribution needs.
- Independent artists: You will need a direct partnership with an Apple-preferred distributor with the tools and resources to get you started.
2. Find an Apple-preferred distributor
Music distributors handle your administration and revenue collection. Apple explains the basics of music publishing in a support document, you should read. Understand your rights.
3. There are five Apple Preferred Plus
- Believe Digital
- CD Baby
- Kontor New Media
- The Orchard
4. Understand your Apple Music Royalties
Apple explains their 52% royalty rate. The average royalty play rate is $0.01. Apple released statistics stating:
Apple Music paid out royalties for more than 5 million recording artists around the world in 2020, over 1 million more than in 2019.
They continue to explain:
The number of recording artists whose catalogs generated recording and publishing royalties over $1 million per year increased over 120% since 2017, while the number of recording artists whose catalogs generated over $50,000 per year has more than doubled.