Apple has finally announced its new music streaming service, Apple Music

CD Baby has covered the news about Apple Music’s launch from a few angles already, including:

* a basic description of Apple Music’s streaming service,

* some thoughts on what effect Apple Music may have on the music industry at large,

* and how you can claim and customize your Apple Music artist page in order to promote your music and control your branding on the streaming service.

But there are a few other important things you should know about Apple Music

1. Apple Music is NOT iTunes

Apple Music is a music streaming service. iTunes is a music download service (plus podcasts, TV shows, movies, etc.).

So if you want to use Apple Music, you’ll have to download the Apple Music app and start a subscription account (though that should be easy since Apple probably already has your payment info on file).

2. Your music will be available on Apple Music at launch

If you’re including streaming services in your distribution through CD Baby, your music will already be at Apple Music and available as soon as the service goes live on XX/XX/XXXX.

3. Apple Music payments will be similar to other music streaming payouts

You will see a detailed report of all Apple Music streaming activity for your tracks inside your CD Baby members account. We receive these reports roughly 1.5 months after the close of the month in which the activity occurred. So if your song was streamed on July 1st, you’d receive payment in mid-September.

4. Songwriters are owed a mechanical royalty for streams on Apple Music

Whenever music you have written is streamed on demand, the streaming service is essentially creating a virtual mechanical reproduction of your song for the user. Though mechanical royalty rates for streams are much lower than for album manufacturing or downloads, this money can add up — especially as adoption of streaming increases worldwide — and it’s YOUR money.

However, unlike mechanical royalties for downloads within the United States, mechanical royalties for streams are NOT paid directly to the label, distributor, or artist as part of the fee for the streaming license. Those mechanicals are paid by the streaming services to a collection society, and must be claimed by a publishing rights administrator on the songwriter’s behalf.

With the help of CD Baby Pro, we’ll make sure you get paid all the publishing royalties your music is generating worldwide — including on Apple Music.

5. Your plays on iTunes Radio are generating a non-interactive streaming royalty

As part of the Apple Music launch, Apple has decided to offer an ad-free version of iTunes Radio to Apple Music subscribers. Remember, when your music gets played on internet radio (such as iTunes Radio and Pandora), you are owed a digital performance royalty for the usage of that recording. This is NOT a publishing royalty. It’s different from performance royalties paid to songwriters and publishers for the usage of the underlying composition. This non-interactive streaming royalty gets paid to those who helped create the actual track — including the artist, the players, and the label. To make sure you’re collecting these royalties, register directly with SoundExchange.

6. Want to get your music on Apple Music?

If you’re not already distributing your music through CD Baby, sign up today! If you ARE distributing through CD Baby but haven’t made your music available via streaming services, just change your distribution settings within your CD Baby account.

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