The new chapter of our series “How to make money with your music” is dedicated to Apple Music. Over the last few years, this music streaming service has gained weight and presence in one of the most competitive industries of the moment. To find out how you can get the most out of it, read on.
What is Apple Music?
Apple Music is the music streaming service from the tech giant Apple, although it can also be used on Windows and Android devices. Its catalog has more than 90 million songs, 30,000 playlists, radio stations, etc.
Some of the benefits of Apple Music are also offered by other DSPs. We are referring to the absence of ads, the possibility of using the platform offline, creating playlists or receiving recommendations. But there are some very interesting ones that are exclusive to this service. For example, Apple Music offers its subscribers exclusive original audiovisual content, spatial audio*, lossless audio** or song lyrics.
Apple Music plans
As usual in this type of streaming service, the user can choose between different subscription plans:
Apple Music Voice: A plan designed exclusively for Siri, so it only works through voice commands. The subscription gives you access to the entire catalog and is priced at $4.99 per month.
Student: a plan designed for students, so you must prove that you are one and its use is limited to a maximum of 4 years. Subscription gives you access to the entire catalog as well as spatial audio, lossless audio, and lyrics. It also allows you to download 100,000 songs. Its monthly price is $4.99.
Individual: This plan includes all the benefits that Apple Music offers without any limitations. Its price is $9.99 per month.
Family: the only difference between this plan and the Individual plan is that it can be shared by up to a maximum of 6 people. Each of them has its own profile and, therefore, receives personalized recommendations. Its price is $14.99 per month.
*Spatial Audio: This new form of audio makes use of Dolby Atmos, a revolutionary sound technology that immerses the listener in what they are listening to. Stereo splits the sound into two channels, left and right, but Dolby Atmos doesn’t use channels. Each artist can adjust the volume, size and intensity of each of the sounds as well as where to place them.
**Lossless audio: refers to an audio compression format that manages to reduce the size without losing its quality. To activate it you must access Settings, then Music and select Audio Quality. You have the choice between lossless and high resolution lossless. This last option requires the use of external equipment.
Apple Music for Artists
As with other DSPs, the first thing you should pay attention to is developing your artist profile.
Image: High-quality photos that reflect your project and capture the attention of Apple Music users, both those who already know you and those who don’t. Make sure you meet all the requirements specified by the platform. The process for the team to approve your image can take up to 5 days. You don’t want to have to start over because you didn’t pay enough attention to the requirements.
Music Metadata: this includes all the data that is essential for your audience to know you. Your name, the title of your songs, the release dates… This is the data most likely to be used by users to find you, so you can imagine how important it is that they are well written. Don’t leave aside data such as moods or genres either, you’d be surprised by the number of searches that are made based on them. And the number of lists that algorithms create! Of course, be faithful to your project and only add the data that corresponds to your work.
Extra tip: the rules and requirements of any platform are subject to change. Being aware of all the modifications they make in this regard will ensure that you have the most up-to-date profile possible.
The advantages of Apple Music
Apple Music allows you to directly upload the lyrics of your songs. Take a look at the requirements, adapt the format and submit it through the “Submit Your Lyrics” tab. Remember that you will have to do it song by song. Don’t forget to add the link to the track in iTunes, as well as filling in the authors field.
This option allows fans and listeners to add an upcoming release to their library or playlist. It’s a way to make sure they don’t miss out. In addition, pre-adds send the user a notification when the song or album is available, allowing them to listen to it directly. According to figures from Apple Music, the releases that have made use of this tool had a significantly higher number of listeners.
Through the Apple Music for Artists app you can share your achievements on the platform through artworks. In this way you can share your successes with your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat communities. In fact, you can even send them via email or message. A very interesting function that you should take into account when developing your marketing and communication plan.
At this point, it is not necessary for us to explain to you the importance of your audience data. Knowing how your audience behaves will allow you to refine all your strategies, from commercial to artistic. Through Apple Music you can know how many plays each of your songs has; what is your average number of listeners per day; how much of your music is purchased on iTunes; how many Shazam searches; how many videos; where your listeners are, city, state, country or region; what gender and age group they belong to; what other music groups usually listen to; which of your songs they listen to the most, or even how they react to all of them.
How to include your music in Apple Music editorial playlists?
We have bad news. Unlike other music platforms, on Apple Music you can’t directly submit songs for the editorial team to consider for inclusion in a playlist. But yes, there are certain actions that are in your hands and that can lead to that happening. One of them is to have a good artist profile and make sure it is as complete and up-to-date as possible. Having a strong and solid community can also give you a big boost: curators will naturally be drawn to your profile. And of course, don’t rule out using contacts through distributors or Apple Partners either.