Apple finally revealed their upcoming ‘Apple Music’ service at their 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference this week.
Along with the expected Spotify-style streaming service the Cupertino company also announced a raft of new features for when it launches at the end of this month, including the Facebook-stream style integrated social network for bands and artists to connect to fans inside the new app.
This gives bands and artists yet another medium through which to market their music by sharing text posts, photos and videos with Apple promising unsigneds will be able to utilise the system as well as the massive bands usually showcased.
Potentially, this is extremely exciting for bands and artists. Whilst it wont be the utopian panacea solution to getting noticed by everyone what it will do is hopefully cut through all the noise you would normally find on traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter and deliver your updates direct to people who are actually, you know, interested in you or your style of music. Relevancy is key.
So, how can you as a lowly band or artist get your profile on Apple Music Connect?
Well, firstly you will need to have music available on iTunes already. There’s no point having a profile without having that initial crucial content that underpins the whole thing. You also need an Apple ID (most will have this for using iCloud or buying from iTunes, but you can create a new one to have a clean login for Connect).
Then, you have to apply to access your profile.
Most unsigned bands and artists will have music on iTunes through a third-party distribution service (Tunecore, CD Baby, Sentric, etc), but if you self publish direct through iTunes the process will be much simpler through your existing iTunes dashboard.
So, step by step, here is where to go to apply for your Apple Music Connect profile as I experienced it:
1) Log in to iTunes Connect.
Firstly, login to iTunes Connect Artist Accounts service here: https://itunesconnect.apple.com/WebObjects/iTunesConnect.woa
2) Select content type
If presented with the ‘Get Started with iTunes Connect’ page, select ‘Artists’. (Note: I tried this on two different accounts and only got this page on one login, so you may not see this step, skip to the next step if so)
3) Click '+'!
Click the + button to ‘request to manage an Apple Music account’.
4) Select your band/artist name
Enter the name of the band or artist whose profile you wish to manage. This will search the iTunes library and present you with a drop-down list from which to make your selection.
For ease (and perhaps accuracy) you can also paste your iTunes artist page link here.
5) Fill out the form
Next, choose your role. From this list you can apply if you are a band or group member, solo artist, artist manager or label representative.
Fill out the sections for Artist Management Contact (likely yourself if you’re a small band/artist and don’t have management) and Label Contact.
It is unclear what to put in the label section if you self-publish through a third party distribution service but it is unskippable, so this could be trial-and-error. I have tried for a band using the details of the third-party distribution service so will report back here on how that goes when I hear back from Apple.
6) Click submit, sit back and wait…
This is a manual application process so you’ll not get instant access like some other social networks. Therefore, you now have to patiently sit back and wait for Apple to review your details and contact you back if and when approved. Good luck!
You can check the progress of your application in your iTunes Connect dashboard through the same log-in link above in step one.
So, that’s it. Thoughts? Will you be applying for your Apple Music Connect profile and do you think it will be a big benefit for your band? Did these steps work for you? Let me know in the comments below!