How to register, setup and use Apple Music Connect
In June 2015, Apple Music launched in the UK, and along with the streaming service and Beats radio station integrated, they also launched Connect, the ability for artists to connect with their fans direct from the music app.
Think about that for a moment. That’s not Facebook Pages, or a Reverbnation or MySpace, that’s the ability to use social integration right within the App that the music streaming happens. No more disconnect or trying to link the two.
To be fair, Spotify had already launched Spotify Artists, and they have 150m subscribers, so again another platform/app where the artists can connect directly with the people listening to the music, where the music is happening. But the Apple community is already in billions of people’s hands!
I describe Spotify in another How To, so I will leave that for now, but there are some comparisons just now, and both have some things you can do direct, and others are brokered through other agents, like AllMusic (Spotify and AllMusic) or distributors like CD Baby (Apple).
How do I get Apple Music Connect?
It comes with the Apple Music app! Which comes standard as part of upgrading to iOS 8.4.
The icon sits at the bottom of the screen, just next to My Music.
Register your Apple Music Connect account!
Your label may have already done this for you, and if so they will have the account details. However, most artists should take control of that account because you will need to be posting updates from your phone/iPad and to do that it needs to be your Apple ID ideally.
Apple Music Connect has its own subsite for Artists here… https://www.apple.com/itunes/working-itunes/connect/
There are a few explanatory notes here and links to register your Apple ID, and then when logged in, if your music is already in iTunes, you can search for your artist and request to take control of it. They ask for your label and management details. They then contact them asking to transfer the site over to you.
Sit back, wait a few days, then an email will appear confirming you now control the artist.
If your music isn’t on Apple Music, then there is also a link to register for that too.
If you are an agent doing this for a number of bands, then you can request more artists to be assigned to your one Apple ID account.
There are a number of affiliate aggregators that you can distribute your music to Apple Music, and they are listed here https://itunesconnect.apple.com/WebObjects/iTunesConnect.woa/wa/displayAggregators?ccTypeId=3
Setting up Apple Music Connect
As it has just launched there really isn’t a lot of functionality, you can load a specific profile image and create posts with images, text, video or soundbites! That’s it. People can ‘like’ your music and posts, and post their own comments.
That’s it, it works straight away! Go try it… Look at other artists too, they’ve already started using it for the same type of exclusive content that you post on other sites to get fans sharing.
At the moment you cannot update your own artist images, which is a little frustrating, but Apple are allowing the likes of CD Baby to do some of the back end integration and if they are your distributor and you want to upload a better artist profile image you just email firstname.lastname@example.org with :
1. Artist name
2. Apple ID username
3. Square, hi-res artist photo (must be minimum of 1200×1200 pixels, but recommended at 2400×2400)
CD Baby are also posting How To articles and I recommend you look at some of Chris Robley’s blog on http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me @leighmullin on Twitter, but probably better to email ArtistConnectHelp@apple.com
So, it is fair to say that it remains to be seen how successful it is, and what Apple allow artists to do and whether they allow it to integrate to other platforms and so on. However, my belief is this will be the model for direct artist engagement and that it will become more important than your Facebook pages. But not your website! Her day will come again…
Leigh Mullin, Digital strategist to independent bands and artists!