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How to make Money selling your contents on iTunes: 3 ways to get your music on iTunes and earn

How to make Money selling your contents on iTunes: 3 ways to get your music on iTunes and earn

3 ways to get your music on iTunes


Since this blog is really about how you can make a living on the Internet, we have stretched our nets wide and high to discuss every areas and niche of Business, Career and revenue generation, be it in the Oil and Gas industry, the Music Industry, the Medical and Health Industry or the Educational sector, we want to have you all covered and give you an insight into the gold mines of your niche. Back in the days, Music distribution was more of a hardware distribution or a semi-digital distribution being that it was packaged and distributed in a CD which will incur additional cost like the CD, the CD pack and the label for each CD, today things has changed and the iTunes store has become our favorable digital distribution channel.

Today after getting this question from a client who is an Indie artists, I decided to write about it, so in a nutshell we will consider three ways that you could get your music on iTunes and Apple Music and the reasons why and when you should use either of them.

There are other Digital Music Distribution channels apart from iTunes, why iTunes store?

Good Question to ask, iTunes store is a key player in this niche just as Google dominates the search engine market, that is how iTunes dominates the paid Digital Music distribution channel leaving Amazon and others with a chunk of the market share, at a point, Amazon slashed its download price of hits songs to 69% and introduced a cloud based locker system but that didn't really affect the status quo of the iTunes store dominance of this niche. So with that being said you know that you have more exposure waiting for you out there as compared to other platforms, but does that mean you shouldn't also distribute your contents to other stores? Absolutely NO, that doesn't imply that you shouldn't, as a matter of fact I will be writing on how to distribute your music on Spotify, Amazon MP3, Google Play, Soundcloud, Reverbnation and more...

3 ways to get your music on iTunes

1. Distribute your Music to iTunes directly if you are Qualified: 

Distributing music to the iTunes store directly could have been a better way and the easiest among all but due to the tedious and rigorous requirements to qualify and be able to list your Music on iTunes Store and earn big time, it has become the hardest and the least option to choose as an Indie artiste who have just a single track to distribute, statistics shows that most unsigned Independent artiste do not always meet these requirements, so below are the prerequisites to qualify you to get your music content on the iTunes store;

3 ways to get your music on iTunes


A. Minimum 20 Albums: You must have at least 20 Music Albums in your Catalog of musics, NOTE: 20 Albums not Tracks

B. UPCs/EANs/JANs Compliance: All your music album must be UPCs/EANs/JANs compliance or accredited in other to be qualify for distribution.

What is UPCs/EANs/JANs?

According to Amazon Sellers Central, UPCs, EANs, and JANS are physical, scan-able bar-codes, just like bar-codes used for Inventory tracking and management in supermarkets. It is used to Identify your music tracks or Album. You can read more about UPCs/EANs/JANs on Amazon Sellers Central

How can you get UPCs/EANs/JANs?

First, the UPCs is an acronyms or abbreviation for Universal Products Code (UPC) and there are always 12 digits codes, you can find them in so many Products in the United States under the Barcodes of this products, this codes are assigned by a non-profit Organization known as GS1, an Organization that sets standards for International commerce, you can visit GS1 USA Official Website to learn more.


What does it cost to get UPCs/EANs/JANs?

The GS1 Capacity based membership begins at $250 with a yearly renewal fee of $50, though these prices depends on the number or quantity of your unique products. You can apply for a UPC using the GS1 USA Official Website and for other options, BuyABarCode also resells the UPC codes for a fraction of the cost that UPC itself offers, at times less than $100, this I believe makes it easier for startups to get the UPC codes without joining GS1 directly.

C. ISRCs Compliance: You must have an ISRCs for all the music tracks you consider distributing.

What is ISRCs?

ISRCs is an Abbreviation or an acronyms for the International Standard Recording Code System (ISRCs) which is an international system used for the purpose of identifying recorded music and music videos. PLEASE NOTE: That all ISRCs is unique and can be permanently encoded into any recording or music video.

3 ways to get your music on iTunes

How much does it cost to get an ISRCs?

Getting an ISRCs will cost you $95 per registrant per year, once this payment is made, you will be assigned an ISRC Registrant Code which gives you the capability to assign up to 100,000 ISRCs per year, so no matter the size of your record label, you are rest assured that you are fully covered except you sing for aliens with millions of tracks. ISRCs can be obtained from the International Standard Recording Code System Official Website directly or through its designated Agencies.

How long does it take for my ISRCs to be processed?

It takes basically a full working day, so in a matter of a day after applying and your application is approved, you will receive an email with your login credentials, with that you will have access to your Registrant Code and all the resources and how to's to begin your ISRCs assigning process.


Oh that process is so tedious and the requirements to sell my Music on iTunes directly are difficult and Expensive to achieve easily, so what do I do now?


Don't give up yet, not just yet because Aggregators like TuneCore and CDBay are at your disposal, so let's assume that TuneCore will be our second Option.

2. Distribute your Music to iTunes indirectly using TuneCore Digital Music Distribution Aggregator: 

There are so many ways to catch a rat so they say and for our case we would admit that there are so many ways to get my Music content on iTunes and earn.


TuneCore is an Apple approved Aggregator who has already met all those rigorous and tedious requirements and processes of listing your Music content directly on the iTunes store, they now created a system for you to be able to distribute your music content through them without much hassle. Apart from TuneCore and CDBay, there are other Apple approved Aggregator but for this post, we are only going to talk about TuneCore and CDBay probably because we feel they are the most dominant and preferred Aggregator. To learn more about  content types and the list of Aggregators, kindly visit the iTunes Connect Application page.

According to TuneCore Official website, you can distribute your music content across an estimated 150 Digital stores across 200 countries and territories across the globe. With TuneCore you can also get daily Sales trends for iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and Apple Music. Since you are going to pay a one off Payment before getting your music content listed on iTunes and other Marketplace, you won't be charged from your sales, you will retain full revenue of all your earnings across all the stores. NOTE: Even though TuneCore does not take from your Revenue, iTunes store itself will take about 30% of every sales you make, so on a single sale of $1, you will be taking home $0.70 and for that of an Album, you will make $7 instead of the stipulated $10. Your Earnings can be paid to you through PayPal, ETF - Electronic Funds Transfer to the United States and other US territory Banks.


Listing Durations:

1. iTunes - After submitting your music content, it will take 24 to 72 hours for iTunes

2. While Amazon MP3 usually takes 3 to 7 Business days

3. MediaNet, Spotify and Amazon on Demand takes about 6 to 8 weeks

4. All other stores could to between 1 to 3 Weeks

TuneCore Distribution Pricing

A. TuneCore Album price - $29.99 in the First year and $49.99 in the subsequent year

B. TineCore Single Track price - $9.99 per year

C. TuneCore Ringtone price - $19.99 per year

Features of TuneCore


Retain 100% Revenue from your Sales: Using the TuneCore Distribution platform, you are rest assured of 100% revenue retention as they will not take a dime from your Sales Revenue but pay you every dime you make.

Single Platform, multiple Distribution: Once your Music content is on the TuneCore platform, you do not need to bother about redistributing your content to other platforms as TuneCore distribution gives your content a wide distribution reach to up to 150 stores with a Global reach and presence.

TuneCore also have Other Services like the Distribution Credit which allows you to publish your Content on the go, their Credit never expires and a credit is worth $9.99

1. TuneCore Publishing price - $75 One Time Fee

2. TuneCore YouTube price - $10 One Time Fee

3. TuneCore Social price - $7,99 Per Month

3. Distribute your Music to iTunes indirectly using CDBay Digital Music Distribution Aggregator: 

What if the pricing model, the duration and the revenue from TuneCore is not sufficient for your needs or the features available are not meeting your needs, maybe a particular thing you need is not present on the TuneCore platform, you have the option to go with CDBay.

3 ways to get your music on iTunes

As at today when I did a background check on the two platforms using Similarweb, I realized that CDBay has an estimated 3.2 - 3.6 Million monthly traffic WHILE TuneCore is within 1.5 Million monthly estimated visitors, does this mean that CDBay is really getting more piece of the pie as opposed to its counterpart TuneCore? Maybe, that we can't really tell for sure because it is one thing to get traffic to your site and it is another thing to convert that traffic to sales and ultimately generate revenue (Monetization). Another thing is about Business model, some people deploys a FREEMium Business model which allows people to start with a Free Version and then upgrade as their usage increases while some out-rightly implores you to pay from the first day, people tend to like platforms they could grow with, testing and using a free version and upgrade as their usage resource increases.


With CDBay you can Sell and stream your Music everywhere, CDBay dupe itself as a Global music distribution platform that pays music creators weekly with no annual fees with an Artiste site and a Music Store.



Being in the industry for 20 years is not child's play, with the 20th year Anniversary sales notification showed on CDBay's website, it means that they have been around for a while in the Business of music distribution. With CDBay you can stream music in 100+ digital stores and outlet. CDBay distributes your music contents to places that matters with additional distribution to new stores and platforms without any additional cost. To get a discounted price for CDBay, use the code: 20YEARS for the Standard plan and 20YEARSPRO for a PRO Publishing account.

Features of CDBay

1. Digital distribution of your music contents

2. CD and Vinyl Sales and Distribution

3. Direct Social Media distribution to fans and Followers

4. In direct sync with YouTube and other platforms

5. Royalty Collection

According to statistics, CDBay creates more revenue source to content owners than any other platform, with YouTube monetization, sync licensing, Social connection and promotional tools to aid easy promotion with constant strategies to devices new revenue opportunities for Indie Artiste.

Another unique feature of the CDBay platform is its PRO Publishing capabilities, it is a fact that for all your music contents streamed globally or purchased in any territory, you are entitled to an additional royalty that might be impossible to receive without a publishing administrator. Visit the CDBay Official website to learn more.

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