Today we are taking a look at how to get your music video on Apple Music. More specifically, the various options and difficulties with regards to independent digital distribution of our music videos and music-related video content to Apple’s streaming platform. We have previously discussed services like TuneCore — one of the better options for getting your music on Apple Music, Spotify, and many others — however, things have evolved in the space since then with TuneCore competitor Distrokid now making waves, but to some degree, options are still somewhat limited when it comes distributing your companion video content. So let’s take a closer look at Apple’s official list of distributor partners, the best options available for independent music makers/content creators, and how to distribute your music video on Apple Music.
How to get your music video on Apple Music
At this point it seems, for the most part, quite straight forward to get your music on Apple Music and other comparable services. Music videos, however, are a slightly more complicated beast for completely indie artists.
Apple’s Music Partner Search list – Apple Music video distribution
Apple’s official Music Partner Search list is an obvious place to start here, but there really aren’t very many of the officially highlighted services that you can just go sign up for, pay your money, and watch you music video on Apple Music (usually a few weeks later) as far as we can tell. You’ll find loads of them on there that say they do, and that might very well be the case, but it seems as though many of them are really more like a small label you would need to submit your package to before you’re even considered — or something to that effect. And on the other hand, much of the larger, well-known services on the list (TuneCore, Distrokid, etc.) do not support music video distribution.
Which services are the best for distributing music videos to Apple Music?
This leaves independent artists, bedroom producers, and aspiring content creators at a bit of a loss, or in a somewhat confusing mess of options to consider with limited possibilities for personal authorship when it comes to how to get music videos on Apple Music. Parsing through the royalty splits and pricing for each music video distribution avenue, policies/pricing for changes to content after delivery, and understanding video content requirements/limitations for each service, among other things, is already way more than enough for independent creatives to deal with — never mind some of the services on Apple’s list that present a complicated mess of a home page and/or are really only available for folks outside of North America.
So finding a service that’s simple and easy to understand with the details clearly laid out, is invaluable, even despite all of the other monetization considerations here. Some creatives just want to get their content out there to the world and on the biggest platforms in the game, so the ability to just submit content, pay the cash, and go without having to worry about the rest of it is what we are really after here today.
Symphonic music video distribution
And that brings us to Symphonic. Of all the options Apple mentions on its official Partner list, Symphonic appears to be the most straight forward for how to get your video on Apple’s platform. While TuneCore and Distrokid (use this link for 7% off your distribution job)— arguably the two biggest players in the indie music distribution game — don’t offer music video services, Symphonic appears to have a simple submission process that anyone can use.
The usual royalty splits and video spec requirements apply here as expected (no lyric videos on Apple Music anymore, no Facebook uploads unless you have a public official artist page, etc.), but in the end, you fill the forms out, send your cash, and you’re on your way. No need to have a million Spotify plays or a massive Instagram following for the independent distributor to consider you, just pay your cash and get your content out there.
Symphonic has a simple to follow submission process available that walks creatives through the entire process with several tips and details on what is required on your end and what to expect from the various streaming services, including Apple Music. There’s a handy four step checklist you can use to ensure your music video is ready to go as well as some important specifics regarding VEVO and videos featuring content in another language. You can browse through all of these details right here before you lay any cash down and you can review the Symphonic royalty schedule here.
More Apple Music distribution options
Sure, there are loads of options on Apple’s list that will get the job done, but most of them aren’t entirely open services. Popular distributor CD Baby, for example, is listed as supporting music videos but they don’t appear to offer or advertise that service anywhere. Does anyone have any experience paying for distribution with CD Baby and/or the music video situation?
Of the five services on the Partners list denoted as being a “Preferred Plus” option by Apple, CD Baby is the only one that doesn’t look like some kind of music label that has to want to distribute your creations to get your content out to the world or at least require some kind of private communication and submission process that feels like you’re trying to get a record deal or something. The others fall into the label-like side of things or aren’t even in english when you hit the home page.
While there are certainly other ways beyond Symphonic for getting your music video on Apple Music, when it comes to the officially supported options, it does appear to be the easiest way to make it happen at this point.