Guides / 12 September 2023

How to upload music to Apple Music in 6 simple steps

Have you heard? Apple Music announced the epic milestone of 100 million songs on their platform last fall. What’s even cooler is you, as an indie artist, can easily add your original music to this massive collection. With music distribution services like BandLab Distribution, you won’t break a sweat figuring out how to upload music to Apple Music. Stick around and we’ll walk you through how to use it.

All you need to start is a BandLab Membership. Don’t have one? No worries. Give it a spin with our free three-day trial.

How to add music to Apple Music: First, pick the right distributor!

The role of a music distributor seems pretty straightforward – they get your music in front of listeners via stores and streaming sites (also known as digital service providers or DSPs). However, there’s a lot happening behind the scenes.

Distributors take on several essential tasks, including licensing and disseminating your music to each platform, ensuring that your music’s metadata adheres to each platform’s standards, and allocating royalties to the rightful owners – whether that’s you, your collaborators, or artists you’ve remixed or sampled.

When you’re choosing a distributor, keep your wish list in mind. Think about how fast they work, how user-friendly their system is, what it’ll cost you, and how much of those royalties and rights you get to keep.

Why use BandLab Distribution?

BandLab Distribution is an easy choice for emerging artists. With BandLab Membership, you’re not just gaining access to Distribution – you’re tapping into a comprehensive suite of services spanning from music promotion to career opportunities. No more hopping between different software and platforms for your various needs.

The benefits don’t end there. When you opt for BandLab Distribution, your music goes through an expedited review process (typically less than 24 hours) before it’s swiftly dispatched to stores. Bear in mind that exact distribution times may vary depending on the retailer.

Plus, you get to submit an unlimited number of original tracks to Apple Music and other major music platforms, while keeping 100% of your royalties and rights.

How to get your music on Apple Music

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about how to upload music to Apple Music with BandLab Distribution. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll soon have your tracks streaming on one of the most popular music platforms globally.

Step 1: Get a BandLab Membership 

BandLab Distribution is only available to users with an active Membership. If you’re not already a member, no problem! Check out our three-day free trial, and gain access to tools and services such as BandLab Opportunities, Fan Reach, and Profile Boost.

Step 2: Upload your track, title, release date, and cover art

Once you’re a BandLab Member, it’s time to upload your original music. Select a high-quality WAV file of the track you want to release and enter the information requested. Don’t forget to upload captivating cover art that expresses your music visually. Cover art should be a perfect square, at least 4000 x 4000 pixels in size, and contain no text other than your artist name and release title. You can find more information on cover art guidelines here

Step 3: Add contributors

If your music involves a collaboration with other artists, BandLab lets you credit them as contributors. This step ensures that everyone gets the recognition they deserve. 

Step 4: Await the stamp of approval

As mentioned above, using BandLab Distribution means your music goes through an expedited content review process. This takes roughly 24 hours, and you can easily manage and browse your releases by status. 

Step 5: Watch your music go live

Once BandLab approves your release, it’s sent straight to Apple Music. While the exact time of upload can vary, rest assured that your music will be available for listeners to enjoy in a reasonable timeframe. Apple Music’s processing usually takes two to three business days.

Step 6: Collect your royalties

As your music gains traction on Apple Music, you’ll start collecting royalties. According to Apple, their average per-play rate is $0.01. Again, their processing time varies, but you will typically receive your earnings after two months. For instance, if you put your music on Apple Music in September, you can expect to see your first royalty payments in November. 

Having an active BandLab Membership ensures that you receive fair compensation for your creative efforts and keep 100% of your royalties. If you choose to end your Membership after your free trial, your releases will stay right where they are and you’ll receive 80% of your total royalties instead.

With BandLab Distribution, the journey from music creation to global exposure has never been smoother. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to sharing your tracks with a whole new audience of listeners on Apple Music. 

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