reachingout

Okay, so you’re not Trent Reznor or Drake, but you do make music. Will you be able to get your music on Apple’s streaming service? And what about these artist pages for connecting with fans?

Answer: yes to both, if you like.

Apple today gave a lot of lip service to independent producers and “bedroom” music makers – even going as far as showing the latter in their video. (He had a vintage M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro and a new IK Multimedia iRig Pads, no less.)

It seems there are specific plans, too, posted for the moment on a page under the banner Apple Music for Artists.

There are two aspects to this. One is getting your music on their streaming service (if you actually want that). The other is “claiming” an artist page.

“From the Artist” – yet another social channel to update.

On the surface, the “Apple Music Connect” artist pages are basically what you have right now with Facebook, or Tumblr, or, you know, The Internet: “Share your thoughts and ideas, post demos, remixes, lyrics—really, anything you can imagine—and connect with fans all around the world.” The difference with those services is, you’re evidently making that appear in the Apple Music app, rather than on a Webpage. That’s shades of Apple’s failed Ping service – only now with genuine mobile app integration and what promises to be slicker functionality.

Getting into Apple Music

You can only use Apple Music Connect if you’re on Apple Music. Now, as it happens, it seems if you were ever on iTunes, that’ll happen automatically – I found an artist profile for a lapsed TuneCore subscription.

If not, you can use one of Apple’s approved aggregators, listed via iTunes Connect. That includes providers like The Orchard, CDBaby, finetunes, Believe Digital, and Space Shower. These providers vary by region, but provide extra features like pre-orders, ringtones, translation services, mastered for iTunes, and those music videos.

Right now, there’s a claim form for getting your own profile. You fill out whether you’re a representative of an artist or the artist yourself (including options for saying you’re solo or a band member). Then, you list artist management and label contacts, though it seems if you lack these, you’d fill in your own contact info. (You aren’t allowed to leave those forms blank.)

I tried filling this out myself, as a solo artist and as a member of NERKKIRN on the label Snork Enterprises, so we’ll see how both the self-released and label options go. (I’ll let you know.) Multiple members of a band can all post under their own name.

itunesconnect

Posting Content

Then … you wait. There’s a management interface in iTunes Connect that’s similar to what developers see for apps.

Once approved, you can add your own media content, including up to 8-minute videos and 90-minute audio (like podcasts), plus photos. There are two interesting twists. One, you can do this in-app (cool). Two, you can repost Apple Music content, though that’s only available to people who bought a subscription.

What’s missing appears to be any sort of Web interface, which I think is a huge omission – and part of what killed Ping. Everything shows up in the app in a section called “From the Artist.” Also oddly, you can’t post media in Apple Music Connect and have it show up in the iTunes Store. So, if you post a music video for your new LP, it’ll be missing from the store, and will only show up in the Apple Music section. We’ll see how that works, though I’m concerned it may further discourage buying music, and it seems not to be the “integrated ecosystem” Apple described.

Interaction is also an unknown. For instance: “To see your posts in the Connect feed, or to love or comment on your posts, those fans must be following you.”

It does seem it’ll be interesting to play with. I’ll report back. But I expect the big questions from artists will be how they can manage what happens on their page, and whether suddenly iTunes is streaming for free what they had previously sold. Apple has some pretty serious competition in the form of Facebook and the lot. Artists lost interest in Ping simply because it meant an extra investment of time. Apple Music Connect will face that, too – and possibly also the ire of artists who are afraid that streaming will cost them revenue.

On the other hand, if users like this feature, it could take off quickly. I’d bet on success or failure in that narrow window after launch.

Apple Music for Artists: Apple Music Connect

Apple Music Connect: Frequently Asked Questions

  • SomeDude

    I really wonder, how are they going to verify that you are the artist especially if you’re using a pseudonym and uploading your stuff thru an aggregator ? Will they check your real name against the one in your aggregator’s database ? Do they have access to that ?
    Also do you have to fill multiple forms if you released music under more than one pseudonym ( I have two ) or can you do it all from one account ?

    • I think it works the way Ping did. But… heh, I forget how Ping worked. 😉

      • SomeDude

        about Ping, from what i remember, you had to to ask your aggregator to setup an account for it. Tunecore , at the time, did announce that they will offer the option, and then it dragged a long time with nothing happening, and then Ping just collapsed anyway later…
        But that’s not the case with Connect, since you have to sign up directly on Apple’s website.

  • SomeDude

    I really wonder, how are they going to verify that you are the artist especially if you’re using a pseudonym and uploading your stuff thru an aggregator ? Will they check your real name against the one in your aggregator’s database ? Do they have access to that ?
    Also do you have to fill multiple forms if you released music under more than one pseudonym ( I have two ) or can you do it all from one account ?

    • I think it works the way Ping did. But… heh, I forget how Ping worked. 😉

      • SomeDude

        about Ping, from what i remember, you had to to ask your aggregator to setup an account for it. Tunecore , at the time, did announce that they will offer the option, and then it dragged a long time with nothing happening, and then Ping just collapsed anyway later…
        But that’s not the case with Connect, since you have to sign up directly on Apple’s website.

  • Matt Leaf

    for me its the line between pop and ‘musicians music’. unless this can compete with the experience you get from trawling soundcloud, bandcamp, or even archive.org, i fail to see how i’ll be pulled in. i never bought into the spotify thing, because they dont even have the labels i check out on there anyway. there’s still scope for a service i think, though, that is a netlabel aggregator. to a degree you get this a little bit with bandcamp, but not really. i should be able to follow a tonne of artists and labels and get notifications when a new release is posted, thats all i want really. the bandcamp app is so lame. theyre so close, the thing thats in the way for them at the moment is having an artists music in the app is the reward for having bought it, but that doesnt make sense to me. you also always get emails when other people you follow buy records. thats so weird! i’d rather pay bandcamp $10 a month to unlimited stream all their artists, follow them and get notifications about releases. thats where all the good stuff is.

    • Well, that’s easier to answer – I think because it will pull content only from the artists you already have in your library.

      Here’s the nasty bit. So, sure, it’ll show content from music you acquired on Bandcamp. But to get there, you’ll have to get your music on Apple Music. Does that mean you’re giving up and letting everyone stream for free, download offline for free? Because that could kill Bandcamp.

      But that’s why I signed up. I want to answer these questions directly.

      • Actually, reading the journalist hands-on reports, I have no idea how it works.

        These are the key questions:

        1. What determines which content shows up in the “from artists” section driven by Connect?
        2. If artists don’t want all their music free-to-stream, what happens with Apple Music?

        #2 is a doozy. 😉

        • Matt Leaf

          I spent a bit more time going over it. Fully converted all libraries on all my devices to iCloud Music Library, and what can I say, the experience is amazing. Complete sync across multiple Mac devices – one iTunes library to rule them all. This is something I’ve wanted for years. But to go back to your previous point, I have to say I’m very worried about Bandcamp. Maybe not yet, because the artist user experience on Apple Music is basically non-existent and still ruled by the aggregator model. But the problem is, any album i can find on Bandcamp, I can find on Apple Music. Which means, why would I pay for the album on Bandcamp when its so much cheaper on Apple Music? Maybe I’ll buy on Bandcamp just to be a nice person?

          If I was working at Bandcamp I’d be very scared and working very hard to think about how their model now sits with this Apple Music monster in business. I love Bandcamp, I love what its done for music. But the very fact its own music is now available elsewhere at what is essentially zero cost means Bandcamp could basically evaporate. I think this is the end of the paid digital download.

  • Matt Leaf

    for me its the line between pop and ‘musicians music’. unless this can compete with the experience you get from trawling soundcloud, bandcamp, or even archive.org, i fail to see how i’ll be pulled in. i never bought into the spotify thing, because they dont even have the labels i check out on there anyway. there’s still scope for a service i think, though, that is a netlabel aggregator. to a degree you get this a little bit with bandcamp, but they could take it a lot further. i’d rather pay bandcamp $10 a month to unlimited stream all their artists, follow them and get notifications about releases. thats where all the good stuff is.

    • Well, that’s easier to answer – I think because it will pull content only from the artists you already have in your library.

      Here’s the nasty bit. So, sure, it’ll show content from music you acquired on Bandcamp. But to get there, you’ll have to get your music on Apple Music. Does that mean you’re giving up and letting everyone stream for free, download offline for free? Because that could kill Bandcamp.

      But that’s why I signed up. I want to answer these questions directly.

      • Actually, reading the journalist hands-on reports, I have no idea how it works.

        These are the key questions:

        1. What determines which content shows up in the “from artists” section driven by Connect?
        2. If artists don’t want all their music free-to-stream, what happens with Apple Music?

        #2 is a doozy. 😉

        • Matt Leaf

          I spent a bit more time going over it. Fully converted all libraries on all my devices to iCloud Music Library, and what can I say, the experience is amazing. Complete sync across multiple Mac devices – one iTunes library to rule them all. This is something I’ve wanted for years. But to go back to your previous point, I have to say I’m very worried about Bandcamp. Maybe not yet, because the artist user experience on Apple Music is basically non-existent and still ruled by the aggregator model. But the problem is, any album i can find on Bandcamp, I can find on Apple Music. Which means, why would I pay for the album on Bandcamp when its so much cheaper on Apple Music? Maybe I’ll buy on Bandcamp just to be a nice person?

          If I was working at Bandcamp I’d be very scared and working very hard to think about how their model now sits with this Apple Music monster in business. I love Bandcamp, I love what its done for music. But the very fact its own music is now available elsewhere at what is essentially zero cost means Bandcamp could basically evaporate. I think this is the end of the paid digital download.

  • jizmatron

    THANKS FOR REACHING

    OUT

  • jizmatron

    THANKS FOR REACHING

    OUT

  • Sjakelien

    But how do I get onto iTunes WITHOUT an aggregator?

  • Sjakelien

    But how do I get onto iTunes WITHOUT an aggregator?

  • SomeDude

    You can’t , unless you’re already a big name with a sizable catalogue ( i think at least 10 albums , last time i checked )

    • SomeDude

      Oops , my post was a reply to @Skakelien

    • Sjakelien

      OK, thanks. And I assume the Aggregators will need money before they do anything, even if you don’t sell a single copy of your music?

    • Popo Bawa

      How many syllables do they regard as being “a big name”?

      • SomeDude

        Try with a 128 sized font in BOLD and report back to us . 🙂

  • SomeDude

    You can’t , unless you’re already a big name with a sizable catalogue ( i think at least 10 albums , last time i checked )

    • SomeDude

      Oops , my post was a reply to @Skakelien

    • Sjakelien

      OK, thanks. And I assume the Aggregators will need money before they do anything, even if you don’t sell a single copy of your music?

    • Popo Bawa

      How many syllables do they regard as being “a big name”?

      • SomeDude

        Try with a 128 sized font in BOLD and report back to us . 🙂

  • Michael McDermott

    most common question from people who download/buy my music from bandcamp: “How do I get this on my iPhone?”. People love the easy and familiarity Apple Music Ecosystem.

    • Specifically blocked by Apple – which is absurd. And I think the dullness of Apple Music suggests some of the problems with this ecosystem becoming a monoculture. (More of an issue for music makers than app developers, I’d say…)

      • Michael McDermott

        yeah i feel like this a move by apple to go after bandcamp as the primary way for indie artists to release music without a label direct to fans.

      • echolevel

        Sorry Peter, could you explain this as if I’m a 3 year-old? I sell a fair amount of my music on Bandcamp and I’ve never had people ask how they can get it on their iPhone – and when I buy music from Bandcamp I download on my iMac or Macbook, unzip, then drag the whole lot into iTunes and selectively sync with iOS at my leisure. In that sense, Bandcamp integrates gracefully with my Apple ecosystem stuff. So are we talking here about the computer-free/mobile-only workflow of buying via your device and then listening from iOS’ Music app? Am I (and my customers) among a dying breed of People Who Can Be Arsed To Unzip Archives™? Or even People Who Can Be Arsed To Use OS X™?

        Maybe I’ve failed to understand the flurry of articles that’ve sprung forth in the last 24 hours, but is there any suggestion that bundles of MP3s purchased through Bandcamp will now be shut out of iTunes on the desktop and consequently from iOS via selective iTunes music sync?

        Please say it isn’t so 🙁

        / Brendan

        • Michael McDermott

          it is easy to get music on your iPhone, if you are a little computer savvy *and* you connect your iPhone to your computer…. but for some people all these steps are a pain in the ass… and a lot of people (esp. younger people) I know just buy (or subscribe to a service) and listen to music just on their phones.

          • echolevel

            Thanks for putting me at ease, Michael! Yeah, my own niche area is largely populated by people who are more computer savvy than the average, but this is still a concern. I don’t use Bandcamp’s app myself, and I’ve no idea what the usage stats are (though maybe Bandcamp publishes those as they’re so good at stats), but I agree that anything beyond the Music app and Spotify is far less smoothly integrated and would be perceived as more of a hassle. Even the Spotify app is a dick about resuming where it left off, staying awake, etc (though maybe that’s more to do with my cranky old iPhone 4S).

        • Matt Leaf

          I’m a little late to the party here but I’ve spent a week or two digesting Apple Music, and from what i can tell, most albums i want on band camp are available on apple music. for instance – rare, ambient independent records, lets say. i think this is very scary for bandcamp users, or perhaps band camp itself. the focus has been on spotify, but here – what if the album on band camp is $10. To stream it all on Apple Music is $10 a month. Suddenly, that margin of income which indies are used to on Bandcamp disappears, because the unlimited tap on Apple Music offers the entire history of music at that very same price per month.

      • SomeDude

        What do you mean by “blocked by Apple” ? I can get my Bandcamp purchased music into my iPhone just fine. You just drag and drop the files into iTunes.

        • SomeDude

          Also, they specifically say in the new Apple Music page that you can upload whatever music you purchased from other stores into your “locker”

  • Michael McDermott

    most common question from people who download/buy my music from bandcamp: “How do I get this on my iPhone?”. People love the easy and familiarity Apple Music Ecosystem.

    • Specifically blocked by Apple – which is absurd. And I think the dullness of Apple Music suggests some of the problems with this ecosystem becoming a monoculture. (More of an issue for music makers than app developers, I’d say…)

      • Michael McDermott

        yeah i feel like this a move by apple to go after bandcamp as the primary way for indie artists to release music without a label direct to fans.

      • echolevel

        Sorry Peter, could you explain this as if I’m a 3 year-old? I sell a fair amount of my music on Bandcamp and I’ve never had people ask how they can get it on their iPhone – and when I buy music from Bandcamp I download on my iMac or Macbook, unzip, then drag the whole lot into iTunes and selectively sync with iOS at my leisure. In that sense, Bandcamp integrates gracefully with my Apple ecosystem stuff. So are we talking here about the computer-free/mobile-only workflow of buying via your device and then listening from iOS’ Music app? Am I (and my customers) among a dying breed of People Who Can Be Arsed To Unzip Archives™? Or even People Who Can Be Arsed To Use OS X™?

        Maybe I’ve failed to understand the flurry of articles that’ve sprung forth in the last 24 hours, but is there any suggestion that bundles of MP3s purchased through Bandcamp will now be shut out of iTunes on the desktop and consequently from iOS via selective iTunes music sync?

        Please say it isn’t so 🙁

        / Brendan

        • Michael McDermott

          it is easy to get music on your iPhone, if you are a little computer savvy *and* you connect your iPhone to your computer…. but for some people all these steps are a pain in the ass… and a lot of people (esp. younger people) I know just buy (or subscribe to a service) and listen to music just on their phones.

          • echolevel

            Thanks for putting me at ease, Michael! Yeah, my own niche area is largely populated by people who are more computer savvy than the average, but this is still a concern. I don’t use Bandcamp’s app myself, and I’ve no idea what the usage stats are (though maybe Bandcamp publishes those as they’re so good at stats), but I agree that anything beyond the Music app and Spotify is far less smoothly integrated and would be perceived as more of a hassle. Even the Spotify app is a dick about resuming where it left off, staying awake, etc (though maybe that’s more to do with my cranky old iPhone 4S).

        • Matt Leaf

          I’m a little late to the party here but I’ve spent a week or two digesting Apple Music, and from what i can tell, most albums i want on band camp are available on apple music. for instance – rare, ambient independent records, lets say. i think this is very scary for bandcamp users, or perhaps band camp itself. the focus has been on spotify, but here – what if the album on band camp is $10. To stream it all on Apple Music is $10 a month. Suddenly, that margin of income which indies are used to on Bandcamp disappears, because the unlimited tap on Apple Music offers the entire history of music at that very same price per month.

      • SomeDude

        What do you mean by “blocked by Apple” ? I can get my Bandcamp purchased music into my iPhone just fine. You just drag and drop the files into iTunes.

        • SomeDude

          Also, they specifically say in the new Apple Music page that you can upload whatever music you purchased from other stores into your “locker”

  • I do hope they have a web interface for Apple Music eventually, I agree that that is a big omission. Apple’s insistence on doing everything in-app like iTunes, and until not so recently their office suite, is one of the big reasons I started using other services. The fact that I can get to my music on basically any computer with a browser makes services like Google Play Music and Spotify so nice.

  • I do hope they have a web interface for Apple Music eventually, I agree that that is a big omission. Apple’s insistence on doing everything in-app like iTunes, and until not so recently their office suite, is one of the big reasons I started using other services. The fact that I can get to my music on basically any computer with a browser makes services like Google Play Music and Spotify so nice.

  • bwax

    Yes, here’s another platform to update. I’m curious if anyone else is getting social media platform fatigue?

    I’ve finally finished an album I’ve been working on for three years. Now I want to get it out there to the public. I realize whether the public actually gives a damn is a separate matter, but… all the avenues of publicity and sales are quite overwhelming to me.

    So many accounts, so many passwords, so many stats… so little time to uhhhh, start on the next album.

    I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting onto any of the labels I know of. Most say they aren’t accepting demos anyway. But, I’m curious about these aggregators – CDBaby, Tunecore, etc. and services like AWAL/Kobalt.

    At least as independent artists we can get out music into digital stores around the net (although, aside from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and a couple others I haven’t even heard of most of these! I feel so old.).

    I suppose constantly updating all these accounts is just how it’s done these days, but I almost want to just drop out entirely and play the mysterious scarcity game, like a very non-famous version of Boards of Canada. Just stick to a website and release on Bandcamp, screw everything else.

    I feel like the only real money to be made in the music industry these days is selling services like these, not to mention gear, to wannabe musicians.

    Just thinking out loud.

    • jerdif

      Reasonable until “wannabe musicians”. You sound like a bit of a wannabe by your own description, so where do you draw the line? When does somebody graduate into nonwannabe? The term “hobbyist” should maybe enter your lexicon, not everybody has time to go pro like you…

      • bwax

        Wow. I meant absolutely zero harm by the term. In my experience this is not such a derogatory term. Doesn’t it just mean you wannabe up a level or something – as in I want to be… Didn’t even enter my mind that someone would respond and focus on that. Apologies.

        I am a wannabe musician. I am an amateur, or hobbyist, or goofball, or whatever else you may want to call me. I encourage everyone to make music no matter if it’s by themselves in a cave, in front of a group of 30 for free beer, or on a tour playing to thousands. I really don’t care. If you’re doing something creative with your time I salute you.

        I have no intention of being some sort of rockstar. Simply thinking of ways of offering up my music for sale if somebody chooses to purchase. Simple as that.

      • bwax

        On a second reading of my original post, good lord, is it not clear I am taking somewhat of a self-deprecating view of myself? Is it not clear that I am one of these wannabe musicians buying gear and services from these companies that I asked about? They are the ones making money in the biz – off the dreamers like me.

        The internet really baffles me sometimes.

        Peter Kirn, my sympathies to you – writing all these articles with people just waiting to be offended and misinterpret every other thing you write. You must have the patience of a saint.

        • polysix

          I got what you meant, jerdif took it the wrong way. I agree with you somewhat even though I’ve had my music on TV (paid handsomely for) and sold more than I ever though would be possible (at one point in my life before the internet and social networks happened) I do still get fed up of all the running around you have to do, but that’s how it is now as truly independents. You have to find what level makes you happy, I too am not remotely interested in being a rock star even though some of my fans may prefer me to be 😉 I make music for the love of creating it primarily, then I love people to hear it and if they like it that’s a bonus, after that sales are what validate it (people actually paying money!) and I feel validated even from small income, I don’t chase ever increasing levels of validity. Find your level, be happy with it (unless you are young enough and hungry enough to really want to be ‘famous’ and devote every waking hour to it).

          I do think a lot of services are now just new ways to screw the millions of musicians out there in hobby or semi pro land (and even some ‘full’ pro) but some are still decent. I’m with CDbaby and I have my music through a library for sync so it adds up, but it will never buy me a house.. maybe in 1990s money.. eventually… it would have but not these days.

          I do know what you mean about being a really obscure version of BOC and just selling from your website, though it’ll always be small sales – and you’ll need some kind of social network presence to back it up or literally you’ll be selling only to friends and family!

          As the sales would be small anyway you may be better off going for exposure, even accidental, via streaming, youtube videos, and being on iTunes/Amazon downloads. I’m not a fan of streaming (as an artist) as it pays shit, but some fans love it, but what I do is only allow 6+ month old releases into streaming, keeping it download only for the first 6 months. This gives the early adopters a reward for actually BUYING your music (as it should be). ANd even then I won’t put everything onto spotify (nor will I on AppleMusic) only select releases, and if they like them well they can come buy the album.

          good luck with your music! Whatever happens, creating new songs is probably the most beautiful thing we can do that doesn’t involve procreation or saving lives. 😉

          • bwax

            Thank you for writing down your thoughts, Polysix. Good advice in there.

            My top level I’m shooting for – just enough money to replace income from my day job. I doubt that would ever happen so, next level – pay for gear I’ve bought. Heh. Keeping it somewhat realistic.

            I’ve been leaning towards CDBaby, as I’ve used them a while back for an actual CD, pre-iTunes days. Good to hear you are having success with them. By library, do you mean a service that handles publishing, licensing, and/or film/tv rights? Something like that? I’m afraid that’s an area I am clueless about. I will do some research. Or maybe Peter has already done an article on such services? I’ll search.

            Yes, the BOC idea was me throwing up my hands I guess. But I really admire their approach to all things media/pr. I doubt it is even a planned approach, but scarcity has obviously worked for them. If everyone is doing one thing, sometimes it’s best to take a different path. But, yes, small timers like me would still need to get the word out somehow. I will perhaps try a path somewhere in the middle of BOC and… I don’t know… Kanye West.

            Seems like streaming is a necessary evil these days? I like your idea about delaying the streaming release though, and only partial availability. Smart. I guess that is possible with CDBaby’s user account dashboard or something?

            Thank you! Continued success to you! I agree. We can’t all be brain surgeons or firefighters. There is much ugliness in the world today. We need to counter that by putting a bit of beauty back into it. Music, drawing, writing, whatever it may be. Better than watching sitcoms at least. Cheers.

          • polysix

            Hey I love watching sitcoms too though ;() (usually on DVD at my own time and place not idly controlled by the TV though!).

            Yes with CDbaby I can just deny any streaming service on initial setup, then when I’m ready I just write to them and ask them to (also) send it to spotify or whatever (no more cost), they usually sort it very quickly and minimum fuss. It would be good if this was automated in their dashboard though. I’m sure you could do this with most companies but not sure how good customer service is with others. The only other place I have been with was zimbalam but I didn’t like some of their methods.

            anyway – good luck!

        • jerdif

          sorry, my bad.

  • bwax

    Yes, here’s another platform to update. I’m curious if anyone else is getting social media platform fatigue?

    I’ve finally finished an album I’ve been working on for three years. Now I want to get it out there to the public. I realize whether the public actually gives a damn is a separate matter, but… all the avenues of publicity and sales are quite overwhelming to me.

    So many accounts, so many passwords, so many stats… so little time to uhhhh, start on the next album.

    I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting onto any of the labels I know of. Most say they aren’t accepting demos anyway. But, I’m curious about these aggregators – CDBaby, Tunecore, etc. and services like AWAL/Kobalt.

    At least as independent artists we can get out music into digital stores around the net (although, aside from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and a couple others I haven’t even heard of most of these! I feel so old.).

    I suppose constantly updating all these accounts is just how it’s done these days, but I almost want to just drop out entirely and play the mysterious scarcity game, like a very non-famous version of Boards of Canada. Just stick to a website and release on Bandcamp, screw everything else.

    I feel like the only real money to be made in the music industry these days is selling services like these, not to mention gear, to wannabe musicians.

    Just thinking out loud.

    • jerdif

      Reasonable until “wannabe musicians”. You sound like a bit of a wannabe by your own description, so where do you draw the line? When does somebody graduate into nonwannabe? The term “hobbyist” should maybe enter your lexicon, not everybody has time to go pro like you…

      • bwax

        Wow. I meant absolutely zero harm by the term. In my experience this is not such a derogatory term. Doesn’t it just mean you wannabe up a level or something – as in I want to be… Didn’t even enter my mind that someone would respond and focus on that. Apologies.

        I am a wannabe musician. I am an amateur, or hobbyist, or goofball, or whatever else you may want to call me. I encourage everyone to make music no matter if it’s by themselves in a cave, in front of a group of 30 for free beer, or on a tour playing to thousands. I really don’t care. If you’re doing something creative with your time I salute you.

        I have no intention of being some sort of rockstar. Simply thinking of ways of offering up my music for sale if somebody chooses to purchase. Simple as that.

      • bwax

        On a second reading of my original post, good lord, is it not clear I am taking somewhat of a self-deprecating view of myself? Is it not clear that I am one of these wannabe musicians buying gear and services from these companies that I asked about? They are the ones making money in the biz – off the dreamers like me.

        The internet really baffles me sometimes.

        Peter Kirn, my sympathies to you – writing all these articles with people just waiting to be offended and misinterpret every other thing you write. You must have the patience of a saint.

        • polysix

          I got what you meant, jerdif took it the wrong way. I agree with you somewhat even though I’ve had my music on US TV (and got paid handsomely for) and sold more than I ever though would be possible (after the internet and social networks happened) I do still get fed up of all the running around you have to do, but that’s how it is now as truly independents. You have to find what level makes you happy, I too am not remotely interested in being a rock star even though some of my fans may prefer me to be 😉 I make music for the love of creating it primarily, then I love people to hear it and if they like it that’s a bonus, after that sales are what validate it (people actually paying money!) and I feel validated even from small income, I don’t chase ever increasing levels of validity. Find your level, be happy with it (unless you are young enough and hungry enough to really want to be ‘famous’ and devote every waking hour to it).

          I do think a lot of services are now just new ways to screw the millions of musicians out there in hobby or semi pro land (and even some ‘full’ pro) but some are still decent. I’m with CDbaby and I have my music through a library for sync so it adds up, but it will never buy me a house.. maybe in 1990s money.. eventually… it would have but not these days.

          I do know what you mean about being a really obscure version of BOC and just selling from your website, though it’ll always be small sales – and you’ll need some kind of social network presence to back it up or literally you’ll be selling only to friends and family!

          As the sales would be small anyway you may be better off going for exposure, even accidental, via streaming, youtube videos, and being on iTunes/Amazon downloads. I’m not a fan of streaming (as an artist) as it pays shit, but some fans love it, but what I do is only allow 6+ month old releases into streaming, keeping it download only for the first 6 months. This gives the early adopters a reward for actually BUYING your music (as it should be). ANd even then I won’t put everything onto spotify (nor will I on AppleMusic) only select releases, and if they like them well they can come buy the album.

          good luck with your music! Whatever happens, creating new songs is probably the most beautiful thing we can do that doesn’t involve procreation or saving lives. 😉

          • bwax

            Thank you for writing down your thoughts, Polysix. Good advice in there.

            My top level I’m shooting for – just enough money to replace income from my day job. I doubt that would ever happen so, next level – pay for gear I’ve bought. Heh. Keeping it somewhat realistic.

            I’ve been leaning towards CDBaby, as I’ve used them a while back for an actual CD, pre-iTunes days. Good to hear you are having success with them. By library, do you mean a service that handles publishing, licensing, and/or film/tv rights? Something like that? I’m afraid that’s an area I am clueless about. I will do some research. Or maybe Peter has already done an article on such services? I’ll search.

            Yes, the BOC idea was me throwing up my hands I guess. But I really admire their approach to all things media/pr. I doubt it is even a planned approach, but scarcity has obviously worked for them. If everyone is doing one thing, sometimes it’s best to take a different path. But, yes, small timers like me would still need to get the word out somehow. I will perhaps try a path somewhere in the middle of BOC and… I don’t know… Kanye West.

            Seems like streaming is a necessary evil these days? I like your idea about delaying the streaming release though, and only partial availability. Smart. I guess that is possible with CDBaby’s user account dashboard or something?

            Thank you! Continued success to you! I agree. We can’t all be brain surgeons or firefighters. There is much ugliness in the world today. We need to counter that by putting a bit of beauty back into it. Music, drawing, writing, whatever it may be. Better than watching sitcoms at least. Cheers.

          • polysix

            Hey I love watching sitcoms too though ;() (usually on DVD at my own time and place not idly controlled by the TV though!).

            Yes with CDbaby I can just deny any streaming service on initial setup, then when I’m ready I just write to them and ask them to (also) send it to spotify or whatever (no more cost), they usually sort it very quickly and minimum fuss. It would be good if this was automated in their dashboard though. I’m sure you could do this with most companies but not sure how good customer service is with others. The only other place I have been with was zimbalam but I didn’t like some of their methods.

            anyway – good luck!

        • jerdif

          sorry, my bad.

  • Marc Tuinier

    Hi, I’m an independant artist wanting to get his music on Apple Music without an aggregator. Is it possible Peter? I clicked on the ‘claim form’ link in your article but all I get is a page that asks for an artist already on iTunes. I’m confused by the fact that Apple wants independent artists on Apple Music, but I can’t find how to get on there. Could you help?

  • Marc Tuinier

    Hi, I’m an independant artist wanting to get his music on Apple Music without an aggregator. Is it possible Peter? I clicked on the ‘claim form’ link in your article but all I get is a page that asks for an artist already on iTunes. I’m confused by the fact that Apple wants independent artists on Apple Music, but I can’t find how to get on there. Could you help?

  • Eric B.
  • Eric B.
  • genshi

    Hey Peter, do you know how to add an additional band member once you’ve already been verified as a “Band”. I manage several artists/bands, but when I initially submitted the info, I only listed myself as a band member for one of the projects and now I need to add the other band member. Any insight/advice would be greatly appreciated!