Even though Spotify is king of the castle at the moment when it comes to online streaming, Apple Music still has over 72 million subscribers. Plus Apple Music pays more on average per stream than Spotify does. But how do you actually market your music on Apple Music?
In this post i’m going to go over several methods you can use to market your music on Apple Music. Some preface for this post, i’ve gotten over 100,000 streams on my solo music on Apple Music.
Get Apple Music for Artists
This is something you need to setup prior to diving too deep with Apple Music marketing. Head over to Apple Music for Artists and claim your profile. This will let you see how many streams, shazams and song purchases you have. Plus you can see demographic data for the people engaging with your music on Apple Music, and customize your profile image.
Without Apple Music for Artists you’re just guessing when it comes to marketing. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.
Here is a screenshot of my Apple Music for Artists data for 2022 up to March 1st. In this case i’m not even focusing on Apple Music, for the most part this is all as a side effect of promoting my music on Spotify and a percentage of people going to Apple Music instead.
If you don’t have access to Spotify for Artists yet either, learn how to get access here: https://musicgrowthmachine.com/how-do-i-access-spotify-for-artists-before-my-first-release/
Facebook Ads for Apple Music
This method is how i’ve gotten most of my streams on Apple Music. In fact most of them have been a side effect of promoting my music on Spotify. When I link people to my landing page in my Spotify conversion campaigns i’m sending them to a page like this:
Since i’m targeting for Spotify and Spotify is more popular than Apple Music, 70-80% of people tend to go to Spotify. However Apple Music is very often in second place, unless I include YouTube on the page. In many of my campaigns I only include Spotify and Apple Music on the landing page to concentrate the results on those two platforms.
Overall after several years of running Facebook ads to promote my music I see an average of 5-15% of people going to Apple Music.
However, you can increase the percentage of people that go to Apple Music by doing a few things:
- Instead of targeting Spotify in your Facebook ad conversion campaign, target for Apple Music
- Put Apple Music as the first option on your landing page
- For an extreme case, try making Apple Music the only link on your landing page (not recommended, but it may be worth a shot if you care a lot about Apple Music)
The rest of the campaign setup can be done in the exact same way as how I setup my Spotify conversion campaigns on Facebook. I have a full guide on how to do that here: https://musicgrowthmachine.com/facebook-ads-how-to-run-a-conversion-campaign-for-spotify-streams-full-guide/
Apple Music Marketing Tools
Apple Music actually provides a set of marketing ‘tools’ on their website. In reality they should call this marketing assets, because they’re really just things you can share on your website, emails and social media. So to utilize these options you need some type of following already, some place on the internet.
They offer the following assets for you to share online:
- Badges and icons
- Embeddable Player
- Twitter Audio Cards
If your fans hang out on your website often then the badges and icons, and embeddable player will be useful to you. You can also use the badges and icons on your social media assets to encourage Apple Music streaming. If your audience is on Twitter then the Twitter audio cards will be useful.
The Apple Music Algorithm
Despite Apple Music not having as popular algorithmic playlists as Spotify does, they do have a discovery algorithm. Their algorithm uses the following information to decide what to recommend to people:
- Listening history
- ‘Loved’ songs
- Songs added to playlists
- Downloaded songs
- Music you’ve added to your library
- How many times you’ve listened to songs
If Apple sees people listening to a lot of your music and engaging with it they will recommend more of it to them. If it can figure out what your fans have in common it may start recommending your music to new people who are similar to your existing audience. This is quite similar to how Spotify does their algorithmic recommendations as its based on a process called collaborative filtering.
I have a video on the Apple Music Algorithm here:
Apple Music Playlists
Apple Music playlists are tricky because they have no public number that shows how engaged they are. The playlist owner can’t even tell how many people are listening to the playlist unless they have their own music on the playlist, and even still you have no way of knowing if the streams came from the playlist or somewhere else.
With that said, there are still thousands of user generated playlists you can find on Apple Music. You can bet that some of them have a substantial regular audience that listen to the playlists every day.
You could look up some genre related playlists similar to your music, see if you can find the person who made the playlist online (either an email address or social media account) and ask them if they can add your song. Keep in mind this is not a tested strategy and I have no way of knowing how it will go for you. It’s totally possible you could spend hours doing this will no measurable increase in streams. But if you have the time and want to give it a try, i’d love to hear how it goes.