More Apple Music features offered to artists through three 'preferred' distributors

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has quietly introduced the "Apple Preferred Distribution Program," a program that will allow three music distributors to provide access to certain Apple Music features that other music distributors won't be able to offer their clients.




The program, which lists all of the music distributors that currently works with Apple to add music to its services, offers three different tiers of service with its partners. Depending on what tier Apple designates the distributor, between Approved, Preferred, and Preferred Plus, clients of the distributor will be provided access to different services.

While there is no target to meet for Approved status, aside from going through a qualification process with Apple, a Preferred distributor is able to deliver 10,000 songs per quarter and have a low Apple Music rejection rate, reports DigitalMusicNews, which grants the distributor basic customer features and support.

Those who reach 40,000 songs delivered per quarter as well as a low Apple Music rejection rate are eligible for Preferred Plus. In return, the distributors gain support for advanced customer features for Apple Music and iTunes, advanced analytics, and early access to Apple Music product features and its Sales and Trends reports.

So far, there are only three distributors that have been designated as Preferred Plus services: CD Baby, Kontor New Media, and The Orchard.

A table showing the tiers of Apple's new distributor program
A table showing the tiers of Apple's new distributor program


The introduction of the Apple preferred Distribution Program follows a similar scheme set up by Spotify. The streaming music competitor revealed in October a list of "preferred distributors" for musicians to upload tracks to the service, including Distrokid, CD Baby, EmuBands, The Orchard, and FUGA.

In September, Spotify launched the "Spotify for Artists" direct upload program for independents to cut out distribution services entirely. Musicians would be paid royalties directly and get stream reports for their tracks, with no fees or commissions charged by the streaming music service.

Apple is also providing musicians access to streaming data through its Apple Music for Artists dashboard.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    I don't get it.  What's a music distributor?  This is to get tracks into the Apple Music ecosystem?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 5
    I don't get it.  What's a music distributor?  This is to get tracks into the Apple Music ecosystem?
    This story makes too many assumptions of the target audience here. Much more detail is needed, but it does appear to be a story that would only be of interest to 3 companies... and those companies are already part of this very narrow Apple program.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    chasmchasm Posts: 962member
    Yes, a music distributor a company that takes recordings made by artists and makes them available through the top e-music outlets, including Amazon, Apple, Google Play, and so forth. Similar to book publishers or aggregators, these companies ensure that the files are rated properly (mature or not), files (including accompanying art or liner notes) fit the technical standards of the store (which vary), and often handle other aspects like reporting sales to publishing companies, paying the different entities that get a royalty, and generally handling the business aspect of selling music (or e-books, to continue the publisher metaphor).

    Why this story is important to more than just the companies that achieve the top tier is that it lets artists know who is likely to get the most detailed reports and accounting on their music, which may influence who they go with for this service; it also signals that these companies are incentivized to be honest in their dealings, since they don’t want to lose their preferred status. It’s also important to know that services like CD Baby (et al) can assist in letting artists take more direct control of their digital music offerings, bypassing traditional record companies (which is likely to be the next big shift in the music business). This story being published here and elsewhere will also help get the word out to other vendors, who can then strive to become a Preferred or Preferred Plus partner over time. Yes, it’s a bit “inside baseball” to people who just buy music, but it’s certainly newsworthy to anyone involved even peripherally with the music business — which I should think a lot of AI’s creative professional readership would be.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 4 of 5
    chasm said:
    Yes, a music distributor a company that takes recordings made by artists and makes them available through the top e-music outlets, including Amazon, Apple, Google Play, and so forth. Similar to book publishers or aggregators, these companies ensure that the files are rated properly (mature or not), files (including accompanying art or liner notes) fit the technical standards of the store (which vary), and often handle other aspects like reporting sales to publishing companies, paying the different entities that get a royalty, and generally handling the business aspect of selling music (or e-books, to continue the publisher metaphor).

    Why this story is important to more than just the companies that achieve the top tier is that it lets artists know who is likely to get the most detailed reports and accounting on their music, which may influence who they go with for this service; it also signals that these companies are incentivized to be honest in their dealings, since they don’t want to lose their preferred status. It’s also important to know that services like CD Baby (et al) can assist in letting artists take more direct control of their digital music offerings, bypassing traditional record companies (which is likely to be the next big shift in the music business). This story being published here and elsewhere will also help get the word out to other vendors, who can then strive to become a Preferred or Preferred Plus partner over time. Yes, it’s a bit “inside baseball” to people who just buy music, but it’s certainly newsworthy to anyone involved even peripherally with the music business — which I should think a lot of AI’s creative professional readership would be.
    Ideally, an artist or band would incorporate, form their own label and then publish directly through an artist's portal in iTunes. After all, the vast majority of musicians make nothing on music sales. It's touring, licensing music and selling merchandise that usually makes them money. The music itself serves the same purpose as advertising for the band/artist.
    edited November 8
  • Reply 5 of 5
    chasm said:
    Yes, a music distributor a company that takes recordings made by artists and makes them available through the top e-music outlets, including Amazon, Apple, Google Play, and so forth. Similar to book publishers or aggregators, these companies ensure that the files are rated properly (mature or not), files (including accompanying art or liner notes) fit the technical standards of the store (which vary), and often handle other aspects like reporting sales to publishing companies, paying the different entities that get a royalty, and generally handling the business aspect of selling music (or e-books, to continue the publisher metaphor).

    Why this story is important to more than just the companies that achieve the top tier is that it lets artists know who is likely to get the most detailed reports and accounting on their music, which may influence who they go with for this service; it also signals that these companies are incentivized to be honest in their dealings, since they don’t want to lose their preferred status. It’s also important to know that services like CD Baby (et al) can assist in letting artists take more direct control of their digital music offerings, bypassing traditional record companies (which is likely to be the next big shift in the music business). This story being published here and elsewhere will also help get the word out to other vendors, who can then strive to become a Preferred or Preferred Plus partner over time. Yes, it’s a bit “inside baseball” to people who just buy music, but it’s certainly newsworthy to anyone involved even peripherally with the music business — which I should think a lot of AI’s creative professional readership would be.
    Thanks for this.
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