The Easiest Way to Sell Your Music on iTunes

Hi fellow musicians, you must be thinking of selling your music online and by online we get iTunes in mind, and why not? 70-80% of the online music distribution is in Apple iTunes pocket. They have devices that make it easy for people to purchase music on the go. iPod, iPhone, iPad and Macbooks –millions of devices that can access the iTunes music store and that means your music can be distributed internationally. Now you must be thinking what is the easiest way to sell my music on iTunes?

Sell Your Music on iTunes

If you are signed up by a major record company, say you are Justin Bieber –hey go and chill! Your music is already in the iTunes music store, you have to do nothing! But majority of musicians are not signed with a record company and what about indie musicians? Can they sell their music on iTunes? Let’s see what are the requirements of Apple iTunes:

Music Requirements:

  1. At least 20 albums in your music catalog.
  2. UPCs/EANs/JANs for all songs/albums you intend to distribute.
  3. ISRCs for all tracks you intend to distribute.

The Easiest Way to Sell Your Music on iTunes

Duh! Most probably you don’t have 20 albums and what the heck is an UPC/EAN and ISRC? And how do I get one? Good news for you, there is an alternative way to deal with this and sell your music on iTunes. Use a listed music aggregator. One of the original music distributors is CDBaby. They put your album for sale online, you can also sell your single songs and they will put it on iTunes within 48 hours. What they do is, they will upload your music and assign UPC (barcode) number for each of your singles/albums.

The pricing structure is a onetime fee of $59 per album, $14.95 per single. I like CD baby because this is a company founded by Derek Sivers my business role model, they are one of the first in this business and it’s a onetime fee. Some distributors charge a monthly or yearly fee which is not recommended for new artists.

Within CDBaby you set your own price for your album and they charge a flat fee for each product you sell. In iTunes you get to sell your singles for 99 cents a song and you get roughly 91% net of per song. That’s about 60 cents per song and $6.50 per album.

The Benefits of Selling Your Song on iTunes

Access millions of mobile devices: Millions (if not billions) of iDevices have iTunes on it and they can access your music on the go. Since they cover 70-80% of digital music, you are reaching the mass audience here.

Selling on iTunes is cool: Just think how cool it will be when you will tell your friends that your music is available at iTunes? They will get excited to hear this. It’s a standard in selling your indie music.

Earn royalties: Not to mention with each song you sell you will make a small percentage and that will add up to the bottom line. It won’t be something to make you rich but it is something to keep you going.

Reach international audience: Using iTunes you can reach audience throughout the world. Sell your music to the global listeners of your music. By selling on apple store you will have this chance, you won’t get it from anywhere else.

Alternative Digital Music Distributors You Can Use:

  1. TuneCore
  2. MusicAdium
  3. NimBit
  4. ReverbNation
  5. SongCast
  6. The Orchard

PS: Don’t use multiple distributors. Such as if you use both CDBaby and TuneCore. You will have the same song/album with 2 different barcode numbers. They will both submit to iTunes and other similar stores. As a matter of fact both versions of the same content will be removed. So this is why when you decide to distribute your song, use any one of the above mentioned 7 providers.

So that was the easiest way to sell your music on iTunes. Get it going, submit your song and get your music up on iTunes. Do let me know if you have any more ideas/ways to sell song on iTunes, did I miss anything? Please leave it on the comments.



  1. says

    I think you’ve covered the most important digital distributors. Obviously, CD Baby and TuneCore are the most well-know, but both have a different pricing structure. That’s why its good to mention not to use multiple distributors at once, because I think some people tend to try out both. In my opinion, it’s probably better to maximize your potential income and start off with CD Baby. A few years down the road, if you’re selling tracks by the bucket load, you can always review your decision.
    Thanks for this great article!

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