Ever visit Beatport, iTunes or any of the other digital stores out there and wonder how an artist got a profile page? Until recently I thought only the high profile artists could obtain one. The truth is any artist can obtain one, but it’s still up to the discretion of the store. The stores also don’t make it easy to find out how to submit your profile either and in some cases, the process can have a LOT of hoops to jump through.
There are three sites I want to focus on: Beatport, iTunes and Spotify. Beatport can make up about two-thirds of your sales. iTunes usually makes up the other third. Spotify has become my favorite streaming service over the last year despite complaints about the small royalty payouts. I suspect Spotify has the greatest opportunity for growth and social discovery which will up its importance in finding new fans as an artist. I may do a follow-up article later to cover some of the other stores, but for now these three should cover the most territory.
It is important to note before we go any further that your artist bio may the first contact you make with a potential fan. So PLEASE triple check everything in your bio before hitting the submit button. Typos will not help your cause and neither will bad grammar. In fact, take some time to read about how artist bios should be written before writing your own.
Beatport is by far the easiest of the stores to deal with. It’s also a mystery as to how this even works. I think I found their artists profile form on some distributor’s website. I tried it out with a few of my buddies at MK837 and well, BAM! It worked. All you need to do is complete the Beatport Artist Profile form and wait a few weeks for the profile changes to show.
This is probably the hardest to get a profile on. At the same time though, it could also turn out to be the best option in the long run. iTunes will not deal with you directly like Beatport (even though Beatport is just a form). They only accept bios from the All Music Guide (www.allmusic.com). All Music is actually edited by its parent company, Rovi. The plus side to their process is that Rovi may also edit your artist bio to their standards before it is placed on All Music and then iTunes and hopefully a few other stores will pick it up from there. The downside is that due to the number of requests, Rovi may never get to yours. You can find more detailed information about the submission process on Allmusic.com.
Now that said, there may be a backdoor solution to this as well. I HIGHLY doubt this is legitimate, but it is worth mentioning. This is “use at your own risk”, ok? La Cupula Music is another self-distribution service similar to Tunecore and others. They sell various services to artists and labels ala cart so to speak. One of those services is iTunes bio submissions for 11€ each. Keep in mind that Tunecore says you have to go through Allmusic.com and not them to get your artist bio on iTunes. So if you’re willing to take the risk, La Cupula says they can submit to iTunes.
Now Spotify is actually a different animal all together and as I mentioned before there seems to be a greater opportunity here to expand your fan base. Everything I have read about Spotify and their artists profiles says that they are pulled from All Music just like iTunes. Tunecore however pointed out this summer that they also have VERIFIED artist accounts. A verified account connects your Spotify account to your artist bio. This in return means that people can follow you like they would a Facebook artist page or Twitter profile. It basically enables your followers to know exactly when you have new music out. It also allows you to make playlists to share with your followers. This can be a quick way to do a “mix tape” rather than a “Dj mix” and push out a broader range of music than you might in a mix. You can get the full instructions on how to obtain a verified account on Tunecore’s site.
And that’s it for now. I hope this is useful to you. Again, Spotify’s verified account can open up a world of possibilities for you as an artist or label. Please, please, please take advantage of that and when you do, share your playlists with us.