Apple Music Best Practices

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We have taken the time to go through the sleek new design and come up with a revamped Apple Music Best Practices guide.

Last month, the highly anticipated iOS 10 was released by Apple. With it, came the new version of Apple Music.

Images

If you want a fully optimized profile, make sure your artist images are up to date. Any image that has not been updated will appear as a microphone. Here are the image specs:

  • 2400×2400 pixels minimum size (Do not upscale)
  • 72 dpi minimum
  • 1:1 aspect ratio (square)
  • JPG or PNG file type
  • RGB colorspace
Artist Gallery Images
  • 2400 pixels on the shortest side (Do not upscale)
  • 72 dpi minimum
  • No restrictions to aspect ratio
  • JPG or PNG file type
  • RGB colorspace

It’s a no brainer that all images should high quality. Do not advertise any content, pricing, or website. Be sure not to include any iTunes or Apple logos.

After you’ve uploaded your image(s), notify your client manager and send them this completed iTunes Image Submission Form. This step is very important because it’s the only way they’ll know if you updated your images.

You also have the option of sharing your images through an FTP, please contact us if you’d like to do this.

Social Media Images

For any and all images:

Use large, engaging images that inspire emotion and connection with fans
Aim to spark conversation, and sharing with your content
Be creative. Consider the mood or feeling you are attempting to evoke
Keep it short and sweet with a clear call to action
Say it in your (the artists’ voice)

Facebook

Single image posts: 1300×650 or 650×340

Photo Albums: 1300×650 any additional photos should be 600×600 minimum (1200×1200 recommended)

Twitter

  • Single and multiple image tweets available (up to 4 per tweet)
  • 140 character limit for for photos that include a link
Connect

Connect is now more integrated into artist pages and the “For You” section of the service. This is a great way for artists to communicate directly with their fans right in the service. Sharing snippets of new tracks, candid backstage or tour bus shots, behind-the-scenes videos, cool playlists, are all engaging pieces of content that your fans will love.

Videos

If you’ve created a video, consider sending it to Apple Music too! Finding videos is much more easier on the updated Apple Music. Here are a few quick tips for quality uploads:

Recording
If recording on a phone, shoot horizontally.
No visible branding in the background
Keep the camera steady
Artist’s face should be at least 25% of the screen
Dark backgrounds typically work better
Angle the artist or camera so that the shot isn’t flat like a mugshot

Lighting
Record in a well lit environment
Avoid dramatic shadows or backlighting

Volume
Ensure artist speaks clearly and loudly
Eliminate noise that interferes with the dialog

Content
Address the fans (not Apple Music)
Introduce the music/video/playlist in a natural manner
Think in terms of the beginning middle and end of the clip (intro artist, station, cool story, thanks and close)

Video Spec Guidelines (FB and TW)
Aspect ratio: 16:9 recommended
Video should be 1080p (1920×1080)
File type (s): .mov or .mp4
Size: 100MB or less is preferred

Linking

Driving traffic to both iTunes and Apple Music can be done through linking. The links used in iTunes now open in Apple Music by default. If you want to link to the iTunes store, the easiest way to obtain the correct link is by searching for the artist, album or song in Link Maker. Be sure to use the drop-down “Media Type” menu under the search bar to indicate the service to which you want to link. If you’re linking to Apple Music (not iTunes) in your Facebook, a cool playlist widget is automatically embedded.

Apple’s affiliate program members can also use their affiliate token by accessing the  Link Maker through your PHG Console instead. Click on Tools, scroll down to General Tools and click on Link Maker. This will ensure the links you create include your affiliate token.

Social Media

If you’re linking to iTunes and Apple Music, be sure to tag their social media handles. The correct Apple Music social media handles are below:

Apple Music on Twitter: @AppleMusic
Apple Music on Facebook: AppleMusic
Apple Music on Instagram: @AppleMusic

Don’t forget that Apple no longer uses “iTunes” social handles for any music social activity, so be sure to tag the handles above and specify “Apple Music” or use #AppleMusic in social media copy.

Listen on Apple Music, Buy on iTunes

Although the service has a new look, the marketing badges are still the same. The “Listen on Apple Music” and “Buy on iTunes” badges may be used in your marketing communications promoting content on either of the services, including email, digital advertising, apps, websites, etc.

Messaging

Using clear messaging when promoting your music on Apple Music or iTunes is always a great way to drive fans. Opt for words such as “listen,” “hear” or “playing” rather than “stream” or “streaming.” When driving fans to iTunes, be sure to use clear wording that you are driving to the download store such as “Buy on iTunes.”

Sample Messages:

“My latest single is out. Listen to it now on @AppleMusic [link]”
“Get my new single @AppleMusic! [link] “Listen to my new album on @AppleMusic now! [link]”

Widgets

Any music on Apple Music can be turned into a preview player that can be embedded on any website. To use this feature, simply copy and paste your playlist URL into this playlist widget generator; it will create an embeddable widget with simple options to adjust the size to provide a good fit on any site, desktop or mobile.

We hope our Apple Music Best Practices guide has helped! Leave your feedback below.

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