How do you get a song put on Apple Music?

Quick Answers

There are a few quick ways to get your song on Apple Music:

  • Use a distributor like CD Baby, TuneCore,DistroKid, etc. to get your song onto Apple Music.
  • Sign with a record label that has a deal with Apple Music.
  • If you are an established artist, you may be able to upload directly to Apple Music.

What is Apple Music?

Apple Music is a music streaming service developed by Apple. It offers access to over 90 million songs and 30,000 playlists. Apple Music also offers music videos, livestreams, radio stations, and original content.

Apple Music launched in 2015 and has grown to become one of the most popular music streaming services, with over 90 million subscribers worldwide as of 2022. It is available on iOS, macOS, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Android, Windows, and on the web at

Apple Music competes with other major streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and Tidal. A key differentiator of Apple Music is its integration with Apple’s ecosystem of products and services.

Why Put Your Music on Apple Music?

Here are some of the key benefits of having your music on Apple Music:

Reach Apple’s Audience

Apple Music has an estimated user base of around 90 million subscribers worldwide. Getting your music on Apple Music allows you to tap into their large and engaged audience of music fans. Apple customers are also known to spend more money on apps, subscriptions, and services.

Earn Royalties

Apple Music pays rights holders a royalty rate of around $0.01 per stream. The more streams your songs get, the more royalty revenue you can generate. These streaming royalties are an important income source for artists today.

Gain New Fans

Being on Apple Music makes your music easily discoverable to millions of listeners. It allows you to connect with music fans you may not have reached otherwise. Getting on hot playlists and editorial selections can help drive new fans to your music.

Increase Brand Awareness

The presence on Apple Music can grow your brand recognition as an artist. Music fans see you alongside top mainstream and indie acts. It adds legitimacy and credibility to be on a major music platform like Apple Music.

Simplify Listening

Your fans can easily stream your music alongside the rest of their music collection on Apple Music. It makes you just one tap away for Apple device owners.

Analyze Your Audience

Apple Music for Artists provides data analytics about your listeners and their listening habits. You get insights into your audience’s demographics, locations, favorite songs, and more.

Requirements to Get Your Music on Apple Music

To get your songs distributed to Apple Music, there are a few key requirements:

Ownership of Rights

You must own or control the copyrights and master rights for the songs you want to distribute. This includes the audio recording and the underlying composition. If you don’t own 100% of the rights, you need permission from the other rights holders.

Highest Audio Quality

Apple requires lossless audio files for music distribution. This means high-quality WAV or AIFF files, with a minimum bitrate of 16-bit/44.1 kHz. The better the audio quality, the better your music will sound on Apple Music.

Complete Metadata

You need to submit properly tagged audio files with correct metadata – like song title, artist name, album name, genre, release date, etc. This metadata ensures your music is categorized correctly on Apple Music.

Cover Art

Visuals are important on Apple Music. You need high-quality cover artwork for each release. Apple specifies minimum dimensions of 1400×1400 pixels for artwork.


Unique codes like UPC or ISRCs help identify recordings and compositions. These identifiers are optional but recommended. You can purchase UPC codes and request ISRC codes.

Exclusive Rights

Your music cannot already be available on other streaming services. Apple Music requires a minimum 2 week exclusivity window upon release for new music.

Routes to Get Music on Apple Music

There are several ways independent artists can get music distributed to Apple Music:

Distribution Companies

Using an music distribution company or aggregator is the most common route. They encode, deliver, and monitor your music on various streaming platforms, including Apple Music.

Company Key Features
CD Baby One of the first aggregators, over $1 billion paid out, DIY-friendly
DistroKid Easy upload, affordable plans start at $19.99 yearly
Tunecore Free to upload with 10% commission, no yearly fees

These distribution companies ingest your metadata and audio files, package everything up, and route your music to Apple Music and other DSPs. They also collect and pay out your streaming royalties.

Record Labels

Signing with a record label that has partnerships with Apple can be a path to Apple Music. The label handles the distribution process for its artists’ music to all platforms. Independent labels like Beggars Group and Warp Records have deals with Apple for certain releases.

Direct Uploads

Established and popular artists often have the option to directly upload their music catalog to Apple via their label or distributor. But direct uploads usually require an existing partnership and clout. Unsigned, independent artists cannot directly upload to Apple Music.

Step-by-Step Guide to Upload Your Music

Follow these steps to submit your music to Apple Music via a distribution service:

Pick a Distribution Company

Research and select a trustworthy distribution partner that best meets your needs and budget. Compare distribution fees, tools, royalty rates, analytics, and more.

Create an Account

Sign up for an account with your chosen distribution company. Connect payment details so your future streaming royalties can be collected and paid out.

Package Audio Files

Prepare your songs as highest quality WAV/AIFF files. Bundle all the tracks into albums or EPs. Include cover art images.

Enter Metadata

For each release, carefully enter the required metadata – artist name, track titles, songwriters, album, genre, etc. Double check for accuracy.

Submit Your Music

Follow the delivery instructions to upload your audio files and metadata to the distributor. Use their online interface or app to queue up releases.

Complete Quality Checks

The distributor will perform checks on the audio quality, metadata, rights ownership, and more. You may need to fix any issues to pass the review.

Get Distributed to Apple

Upon approval, your music gets encoded to Apple’s specifications and sent to their platform for ingestion onto Apple Music.

Monitor Streams & Sales

Use the distribution platform’s analytics to monitor your Apple Music streams, followers, playlists additions and more. Track royalty earnings.

Promote Your Release

Just getting music uploaded to Apple is not enough. You need to actively promote your release to drive streams and discovery on Apple Music.

Optimize Metadata

Ensure your metadata highlights key details about your release that will resonate with listeners – song themes, featured artists, etc.

Pitch Playlists

Reaching out to influential Apple Music playlists and editors can help get placements and premieres. Consider pitching through SubmitHub.

Run Apple Ads

Use Apple Music for Artists’ built-in advertising platform to create and target ads to relevant listeners on Apple Music.

Share on Social Media

Let your fans know across all social channels that your music is available to stream on Apple Music. Share links.

Get Press & Reviews

Earn press, podcast interviews, and reviews from blogs and sites frequented by Apple Music users. This can drive organic listens.

Build Email/Text List

Directly notify your superfans when you drop new music on Apple Music. Share links to your artist profile, songs, and playlists.

Maximize Your Apple Music Presence

Here are some additional tips to help maximize your visibility and impact on Apple Music:

Claim Your Artist Profile

Make sure you connect and verify your Apple Music for Artists profile so you can manage your presence and data on the platform.

Curate Your Top Songs

Select your best songs and add them to the “Top Songs” section of your Apple Music artist profile to highlight them to new listeners.

Build Your Bio

Craft an appealing, SEO-optimized bio for your Apple Music artist page highlighting your music style, achievements, and press features.

Add Artist Playlists

Create and update official playlists on your Apple Music artist profile to showcase your discography and influences.

Engage with Listeners

Reply to listeners commenting on your page, songs, and playlists. Heart their comments and playlists to build connections.

Analyze Your Data

Dig into the insightful data within Apple Music for Artists to learn about your audience’s demographics, locations, songs, playlists and more.

Offer Pre-Saves

Enable upcoming song and album pre-saves via your artist profile so fans can get notified instantly upon your new release.


Getting your music onto Apple Music as an independent artist is very achievable. Leveraging a trustworthy distribution company makes the process straightforward. Your music will appear alongside the world’s top acts on one of music’s premier streaming platforms. Consistently creating great music, cultivating your fanbase, and promoting your Apple Music presence will help maximize your chances of success. Do the work and your fans on Apple Music will grow.