How to Do an iTunes Pre-Sale for Your Music

March 20, 2013{ 38 Comments }

itunes logo1 300x300 How to Do an iTunes Pre Sale for Your MusiciTunes Pre-Sales Now Available for CD Baby Artists

With over 28 million tracks in their catalog, 25 billion songs sold, and billions in annual revenue, it’s no secret that iTunes is still the major player in the digital music game. And we’ve got good news: CD Baby artists will now be able to make their music available for pre-sale on iTunes.

What’s an iTunes pre-sale?

An iTunes pre-sale allows your fans to order your music from iTunes in advance of its release. Then, on the official release date, your pre-sale customers will receive an automatic download of your music into their iTunes player. All pre-sales will be credited on the official release date, so the more pre-sale purchases you get, the higher your sales ranking on the day of the official release.

Artists who have albums with 11 or more tracks are also eligible to choose an “instant gratification” track.  iTunes will make that track available for preview and purchase on the date your pre-sale begins. The instant gratification track will be available for purchase as part of the pre-sale album, which means any iTunes customer can purchase this track by itself, or have it instantly downloaded when they purchase your complete album during the pre-sale period!

A pre-sale must run 1-4 weeks before the Current Release Date (the actual release date you set in your CD Baby member account). In order to be eligible for pre-sale, your Current Release Date must also be at least 30 days in the future.

Why would you want to make your music available for pre-sale on iTunes?

Well, if Justin Timberlake’s latest promo campaign tells you anything, a pre-sale on iTunes is a great way to build hype, giving you an extra 4 weeks to create buzz before the full album actually drops. And iTunes is prime real-estate for music retail — so those 4 weeks can have a big impact.

To make your music available for iTunes pre-sale, sign it up with CD Baby!

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  • http://loopmasters.vbfpmedia.com/ John

    Great information. A lot of artist think that all they have to do is put their song on iTunes. And as a result never sell anything. The concept of the pre-sell is so important in promoting music to fans. To be a successful music artist requires a lot of work and promotion.

  • http://www.teenjazz.com/ Shannon Kennedy

    This is a great new feature! I'm so glad you guys offer it now! I'm as exciting about this as I was when you started offering singles as a release option!

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Thanks. We're happy to excite.

      @ChrisRobley

  • jimmymp

    Been waiting for this feature ever since I noticed Katy Perry started doing presale on iTunes. Something i am not sure about is, Does it make sense to release a lyric video on YouTube at that start of the presale? Will it defeat the purpose of the presale, which is build anticipation. Thoughts anyone ?

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    It's been discussed, but no concrete plans yet.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Yeah, we're excited too. Glad to help.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Nothing like that available now, but we'll look into it.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://twitter.com/SinSirWali SinSir-GTFM

    cd baby's saving my life :) can we set up something ?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Glad to hear it. If you've got a new album or single you want to set up for pre-sale, just sign it up at CD Baby and there will be a page in the submission process that asks you for your target digital release date AND the pre-sale date.

      @ChrisRobley

  • polysix

    Definitely needed!

  • cec

    Does CD Baby charge an extra fee for the presale service?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Nope. No additional charge.

      @ChrisRobley

  • Julz

    Awesome! Really looking forward to this feature. Was wondering how we activate this option and choose the pre-sale date; can't seem to find it while editing release.

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      When you're signing up a brand new title, you can now select the digital release date and a separate pre-sale date during the submission process.

      @ChrisRobley

  • http://www.facebook.com/adaywithoutlove Brian Walker

    you dont have any real information about HOW to put your records on itunes presale, just info about the fact that is available, what do I do? I already have an account.

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      When you're signing up a new release, it's now part of our submission process. You just tell us the physical release date, the digital release date, and the pre-sale date.

      @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Yes. We must have all audio in order to process the album. This is to ensure iTunes doesn't start collecting money from customers for an album or single they may never get.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Sorry. Just albums at this point.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    If your album meets the conditions for pre-sale eligibility, the "Pre-Sale" section will appear in the "Digital Distribution" part of the sidebar. Right under "DD Options."

    @ChrisRobley

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  • Jeff

    Once I upload an album to CD Baby for presale, does it automatically send it to iTunes or do I have to send it to them myself? Is there a time period I have to wait to sell my content or for an example, can I upload it tonight have have it ready to sell tomorrow on iTunes?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      You don't send it yourself; we'll handle all the distribution for you. We can generally get music to them within 2 business days (assuming all your info is completely filled out and there are no snags with publisher/songwriter information being complete and accurate).

      @ChrisRobley

  • Dylan Kusch

    How do I do a pre-sale?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      You can specify the details of your iTunes pre-sale during the signup process for a new release on CD Baby.

      @ChrisRobley

  • ian_STR

    What are the requirements for PreSale? I'm trying to do a 5 track album, no label, release date is 3 weeks away, even tried a month away but the presale option is disappearing after the first sign up section…

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Sorry. In order to set up a pre-sale, your actual release date must be at least 30 days in the future. So with a date that's 3 weeks out, it won't work. You'd have to move your whole release schedule back.

      @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Yes. You can set the digital release date for iTunes in your CD Baby members account.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Jesus Worshiper

    I am looking to start presale of our new album ASAP, but was wondering if CDbaby needs the physical copies in hand before getting the ball rolling. Or can I simply upload to CD baby digitally and start the process? Reason being, our physical copies are more than a week away from completion. Tracks are all mastered and finalized. Your answers are appreciated sir.

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      You can get everything set up early by uploading audio and art. Then send the CDs to us when they’re ready.

      @ Chris Robley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Sure thing. Have a great album launch.

    @ Chris Robley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Unfortunately, we haven’t set up a variable pricing thing with iTunes, so CD Baby artists can’t do a pre and post price adjustment. Hopefully we’ll enable that sometime soon.

    @ Chris Robley

  • http://www.marycarrick.com Mary Carrick

    Hi, Chris. Quick question re: pre-sale on iTunes. My album is out there now for pre-order, which is great. Do I need to set anything else up within iTunes as far as an account in order to be paid? I’m concerned that I missed a step. How does this work?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      I assume your distribution is through CD Baby? If so, no — you don’t need to do anything else. iTunes will pay us for all sales and we pay you. Though their reporting/payments come about 40 days after the close of the month in which the sale took place; so if someone buys your track today, you’d get paid in mid-June.

      @ Chris Robley

  • http://kobekzere.wix.com/k0b3 K0B3

    thats a great idea!!!!

  • http://kobekzere.wix.com/k0b3 K0B3

    thats a great idea!!!!

  • The Matador

    How can we track how many pre-sales we’ve sold before the launch of the album? Is there a way to download this reporting at all?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Pre-orders don’t show up in the trending reports, so there’s no way to see them until that glorious release date when all the credit cards get charged at once.

      @ChrisRobley

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Pre-orders don’t show up in the trending reports, so there’s no way to see them until that glorious release date when all the credit cards get charged at once.

      @ChrisRobley