iTunes is currently the leader in online music distribution in 2009 and may continue well in the future. Song downloads is currently one of the hottest and modern ways to sell your songs online.
As an independent artist that writes your own song, produces your own recording and releasing your own recordings online; iTunes offers ways for indie artist songs to be listed. I know it is almost impossible for an independent artist to get some kind of national or international distribution without major recording label backup. If you need some kind of worldwide distribution then iTunes is one of the best ways to distribute your music.
Currently below are the tips and procedures needed for you to submit your songs to iTunes. I observed it to be a two major step processes. First major step deals with securing your songs and filing application; the second major step deals with submitting songs and application with iTunes partner sites like CD Baby.So if you are ready here we go (the sub-steps):
Step 1: Write and produce broadcast quality song recordings. If you are not sure what “broadcast quality” means; you can read this tutorial here.
Step 2: iTunes requires you hold the sound recording copyrights. So it is essential to register your catalog (or the songs you are interested in submitting to iTunes) to US Copyright Office or to your country government copyright office. You can file online here.
It is good to have this sorted out first, to avoid any delays in submitting your songs as well as with the legal processing to be done later. If you are confused about sound recording copyrights and its application. You can refer to the following useful posts below:
a.) Newbie’s guide on sound recording copyright application – highly recommended for beginners.
b.) Procedure on registering your sound recording work – using online method e.g. US Copyright ECO.
In addition you can read this tutorial on SoundExchange.
Step 3: Once you have your copyright certificate or any evidence supporting your claim. It is time to apply online as an Apple iTunes content provider.
Fill it up carefully, if you register some company or business entity listed it out. iTunes also ask for the number of songs in your catalog and possibly other artist you are representing (if you have like some sort of independent label).
Review all the data carefully and then submit it. It will take more than 3 weeks for them to give a reply because they will thoroughly review your application.
Step 4: If you received a positive reply, they will tell you to submit your music to independent artist partners such as www.cdbaby.com , which partners with Apple Itunes. They might be suggesting other sites other than CD Baby. For example, you register your music with CDbaby, they will be the one to submit music to itunes.
Step 5: Wait until you have full confirmation from partner websites and then after some follow up and filling up of forms on their partner websites. You can then upload your music. They will then process it and submit it too to iTunes.
Step 6: Depending on reporting methods, you can check your sales online.
Other important pages to check:
Partner as a content provider
CD Baby membership