7 Tips For Getting Featured On iTunes

By Chris Mooney
TuneCore Artist Promotions

Looking at the iTunes store, most artists think, “I want my album to be featured there.” Here’s some good news: all TuneCore releases distributed to iTunes can be considered for this placement. Albums spotlighted on iTunes are there based on editorial decisions made by iTunes—these are not paid placements.

For example, TuneCore artist Chris Wallace had a banner placement on iTunes’ Pop page and his album Push Rewind was featured alongside major label acts No Doubt, One Direction, Owl City (TuneCore alumnus) and Alicia Keys on the ‘New and Noteworthy’ slider.

Featured On iTunes

 

SafetySuit and Stephen Jerzak & Romance on a Rocketship, also distributed by TuneCore, were in the same feature.

How do you increase your chance of getting featured on iTunes? Here are seven tips that should help. (Friendly reminder: it’s completely up to iTunes staff to decide what gets featured.)

1. Plan Ahead
Lead-time is a key element in feature consideration. The iTunes store is a planned out effort, not put together last minute. In general, featured releases are picked with at least three weeks lead-time. It’s a good idea, when possible, to select a release date three weeks from the time you hit ‘distribute’ in your TuneCore account, to give iTunes (and other stores) enough time to consider your music.

2. Pre-Orders build momentum!
iTunes album, single and EP pre-orders—when setup two to three weeks ahead—are available for sale in advance of your official release date. Pre-order sales count towards your iTunes chart position both during the pre-order period, as well as on your release date. So driving fans to purchase your pre-order can help you rise on iTunes charts and start a buzz. Learn more about the benefits of pre-orders.

3. Albums good, Singles not as much
Singles are a great way to gain popularity and set up your album; they can also help you establish a sales history to include in feature submissions. The fact is, though, if you look through iTunes and other stores, you’ll notice that there are a lot more placement opportunities for albums than singles.  iTunes has specific sections for singles only on their R&B, Hip Hop, Reggae, Dance and Electronic genre pages.

4. Spell-check, please!
Creative spelling is okay, BUT we often see releases with typos and misspellings. Editors will notice this, so make sure to proofread your release before distribution.

5. Who’s on first?
Unless you can get a bunch of really well known artists to guest on your songs, it doesn’t look professional when you have a looooooong list of featured artists.

6. Prepare to be asked
Beyond the music, there are some important facts and figures stores consider:

  • How much have your other releases sold? Especially your most recent releases…
  • How many potential fans can you reach and direct to purchase your new release on iTunes? In other words, how many people like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, are on your email list, etc.
  • Do you have a press and/or marketing plan in place with commitments? For example: Do you have a major magazine feature commitment? Do you have ad dollars allotted to the release?
  • Will there be TV or film sync placements of your music at the time of release?
  • What are your realistic expectations of overall first week digital sales for your new release?

7. How low will you go?
Although sale pricing is not required for features, it is one additional factor that can increase your chance of securing a store placement. You can contact TuneCore’s artist support team for price adjustments.

Though I’ve focused on iTunes, these tips apply across all stores. Again, editors make the decisions on what is featured, but if you can follow our recommendations you’ll have a better shot at getting some form of placement. Check out past digital store features of TuneCore Artists.

Due to the volume of submissions, we will not be able to respond to your requests, but we will do our best to submit all qualifying releases. iTunes and other stores do not send us notifications about the releases they select for features, so we suggest you review the various pages of iTunes on release week to see if your release was selected.

I’m Ready!
Want to submit your release for consideration? Take me to the submission form.

[Editor’s Note: Click here to learn more about selling your music on iTunes. You can set up a Pre-Order when you distribute with TuneCore, click here.]


  • Steven Cravis

    Are the iTunes ‘single of the week’ usually songs intentionally distributed as singles, or picked (by iTunes staff) as one song from a full album?

    • tunecore

      Hey Steven, the singles selected for ‘single of the week’ in iTunes U.S. are always tracks from an album, not stand alone singles.

      • http://twitter.com/brianbotkiller brian botkiller

        Not true, sorry.

        • Chris Mooney

          We should have said, “almost always.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/aristoworks Jon Walker

    Great article! I believe there’s a typo under #5 – “Will there be TV or film synch placements of your music at the time of release?” – where “synch” should be “sync”.

    • tunecore

      Oops! Good catch, fixed!

  • somegal

    oh please. its about how about how big of a name you are and more importantly, who you know.

  • Otto von Ruggins

    In your email you seem to have violated rule #3 – 3. Spell-check, please!
    Creative spelling is okay, BUT we often see releases with typos and misspellings. Editors will notice this, so make sure to proofread your release before distribution.
    In fact, you have TWO errors in one sentence – Hi there,We wanted to share some of our latest blog posts with you. We’ve have learned at lot over the years…I can’t help it – I’m an English Teacher in my spare time!

  • Tracey Dey

    Are the features for new releases only? I have an EP that I released earlier this year would they consider this?

    • Chris Mooney

      All releases can be considered for features by stores, but all TuneCore submissions for features require lead time in advance of release date.

  • http://www.facebook.com/earnestl.hines Earnest L. Hines

    There’s nothing wrong with the sentence in question – bullet # 4 – in tip number five.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEpiSLPQzUk Natalac

    Yo..I’m Natalac BET Uncuts Pimp of the City and I got a New album coming out…entitled “A Pimp named Slickback, That’s Natalac” I got a Budget, a single receiving current air play, in 5 cities so far… and im lookin at every opp. to promo my 6th album…any in put will be appreciated…CEO of Natalac Records…

  • http://twitter.com/S_BLING_records rahsaan benjamin

    we got beats at s bling records we on google world wide http://soundcloud.com/sblingrecords

  • James plant rock

    James Plant Rock” GOING OFF”@itunes. Catch the sound wave!

  • http://www.daoneradio.com/ DaOne Radio

    Daoneradio.com is also a good place to help you
    expose your music to 300, 000 miami hip-hop music fans.

    • http://twitter.com/TEEJAE419 Cash Up Records LLC.

      CASH UP RECORDS LLC SELL RECORDS @TEEJAE419 “I AINT TRYIN TA BRAG” FT FAITH COMING SOON over 360,000 and going http://retwedia.com/user/TEEJAE419 follow me @teejae419

  • Sean Summerlin

    Take me to the submission form. link is not working

    • tunecore

      Sorry about that! The link is working now!

  • Dominik

    submission link still down. can you fix this please?

    • tunecore

      Sorry about that! We’re working on fixing this ASAP so you can continue to submit your releases for feature consideration. Thanks for your patience!

    • tunecore

      all fixed!

  • http://twitter.com/karimtheilgaard Karim Theilgaard

    Thanks for the info guys! Keep a look out for my debut release as as solo artist, coming soon! :)

  • hardy

    is it possble, to get a feature focus on one land?

  • hardy

    sorry country … now some may know where i’m from ….

    • tunecore

      Yup, you can absolutely get a feature in one iTunes territory, like iTunes Japan, or iTunes Mexico. If there’s a specific territory you would like to be featured in, you can indicate that in your notes before submitting the information.

      • soundchaser

        That’s really good because I’m interested on spread my music around Europe

  • OV

    Dam, so no rap projects haven’t been featured yet.. Sucks (Follow on Twitter @MajorWilliams )

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEpiSLPQzUk Natalac

      Well thats a thought…

    • tunecore

      Hey there- we’ve actually had many hip-hop/rap artists featured. Currently these artists are featured in iTunes: Dom Kennedy, Canon, Lecrae, SneakerBox Chock, Schoolboy Q, and Chief Keef. You can see more features of TuneCore Artists here: http://on.fb.me/Py4LxN

      • bobbyredd

        DO TUNECORE TAKE CARIBEAN ARTIST UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR FEATURE ARTIST , FOR I AM A CARIBEAN ARTIST AND CONFIDENT THAT I AM GOING TO SELL ALOT OF MUSIC WHEN MY CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF MEMORIAL WEEKEND AFTER MY PERFORMANCE AT ATLANTA”S CARIBEAN FESTIVAL THEN OFF TO WES PALM IN JUNE!

        • tunecore

          Hey Bobby,

          All artists are eligible for the feature! Just fill out the form with your information and submit.

        • 2facedavillin

          any gender of music so go for it

  • Soundchaser

    Go to: Soundchaser. net and tell me what do you think

    • Helge Sverre

      Your page is slow as shit, its hosted on sucky lunarpages.
      Let me manage your online ventures, I own my own hosting site, Email me: helge.sverre@gmail.com

  • tunecore

    Hey there – No sale going on right now but we do often have promotions running, and we send emails when we do! So keep your eyes open!

  • Fronz Arp

    Great post, something i need to put into practice

  • jk

    can an artist be on cd baby and also on tunecore?

    • tunecore

      Yup! We’re not exclusive. You just may want to be careful that you’re not distributing the same music to the same stores through both companies, so there’s no overlap!

  • Steven Cravis

    I like that Tunecore put details into the album admin area noting release date ranges that have the possibility of being considered for featured music on iTunes.

  • http://twitter.com/Coonscious Coonscious

    Long live Jeff Price, only reason I used Tunecore. No longer use it though.

  • susan mickler-griffith

    I have 2 songs on itunes how can I get them noticed??? and on the front page, while I am working on my album? I would like to be selling these two and having people hear my music…

  • zander ran

    The sloppy stuff from Tunecore in this exchange highlights the truly amateur way these kids are running such an important bridge…it’s sloppy, unprofessional and lots of times the links don’t work in the Tunecore site itself, underlined by the fact they even posted a link here that didn’t work..Time to get a grip as you are obviously treading water and counting the money as you provide lip service…that’s how the big guys went under…

  • abbaka

    Alumna – is a female graduate. As fas as I know, the Owl City lead is male and therefore should be “alumnus”.

    • tunecore

      Oops! It’s corrected now, thanks for letting us know!

  • http://www.onyxministry.org/ Uche

    Good information. I thought this spot was paid for. Thanks for sharing!

  • Yudi Wu

    I bet you guys wont believe this but I just received a free iTunes Card Code and it was valid! You can get one too from freeitunesforever♣ com

  • Kyrho

    well this is cool I got this free iTunes Card Code and it redeemed just fine! Awesomeness!!!! Got it at freeitunesforever★ com

  • Ian Roberts

    OK, so if my release date is 5 weeks away can people pre-order just as I can for major label artists? And to be fair on another level, you strongly hint on introduction that artists like myself will be sold in places like iTunes within 72 hours, now that I’ve signed up to you I seem to be getting emails that tell me that I might not actually be able to be sold in iTunes, even more so if it’s my debut single? Why do you do this?

    • tunecore

      Hi Ian,

      You can definitely set up a pre-order through TuneCore so that it shows up in stores before your release date. Here’s some info on how to set that up: http://ow.ly/mdFtX

      As far as the time it takes for music to go live on iTunes, most releases do go live on iTunes 24-72 hours after distribution. However, a random percentage of releases do go through an internal store review process, and that can take up to 16 BUSINESS days from the day they’re received by the store.

      • Ian Roberts

        Thanks for coming back to me. So you’re saying most go live on iTunes 24-72 hours after distribution (when I clicked distribute)? But what if the release date I have chosen isn’t until 29th July? Will I still see if iTunes have accepted me on iTunes (either 24-72 hours after you distributed it to iTunes, or after the 16 Business days?) Or do I have to wait to see if they have accepted me on iTunes until my release date of 29th July?
        Please help, i’m so confused about it all..
        When will I know if iTunes have accepted my song? When will I get a link to put onto my website and YouTube video that we have coming out?
        Thanks for all your help

        • tunecore

          Hi Ian,

          Most releases go live on iTunes 24-72 hours after you click complete distribution payment in your TuneCore account, BUT if you selected a specific release date, your music will not go live until that date.

          Here’s some info on selecting a release date: http://ow.ly/mdIv3

          We recommend you distribute your music at least 4 weeks before your release date (if you’re setting a specific date), and you can contact our customer support team a few days after you complete payment so we can check on the status of your release.

          Your iTunes link will appear in your account, as soon as you see ‘copy your iTunes link” under the checklist in the album page in your TuneCore account.

          We’ve got lots of answers to distribution questions on our help section: help.tunecore.com

          If you don’t find the answers you need, you can contact our customer care team here: http://help.tunecore.com/app/ask

          • Ian Roberts

            Thank you once again. So can I change my release date? And if so could you please point me to the place on your site that explains how to do this? Just one more thing though; how would i know if I’ve been accepted by iTunes and gone live after 24-72 hours? Would I have to wait until the release date even though I have done as you say and distributed more than 4 weeks in advance? And if that’s the case when do artists see when they have gone live in just 24-72 hours after distribution? Have they asked for a release date of 24-72 hours away and not 4 weeks away? Or do they just not put a release date?
            Thank you..

          • tunecore

            Yes, you can set a release date for your album or single before you complete distribution. The info about setting that up is here: http://ow.ly/mdTjs

            When music goes live 24-72 hours after distribution, it’s because the artist has not selected a specific future release date. If you select a release date the stores will not release your music for sale until that date. When your music is live in the store you’ll be able to search by album, artist, or track name, and you’ll have that link in your TuneCore account. Our customer support team can check on the status of your release to make sure everything’s ok after you distribute.

            Please reach out to our support team with your distribution questions, as they can help you through the process! http://help.tunecore.com/app/ask

        • beisshproductions

          Hi, Lan
          I just purchased $9.99 to get on itunes store but it seems takes 24-72 hours until your music go live but that random percentage is more important, now that i’ve got the itunes link it shows me that is still not avalilable on itunes store that means I must wait 16 days more until my single is done publishing completely on itunes. That’s an original information today with 9/9/2016 my single was accepted and i wasn’t able to check or see for it. now as I see, i should wait for next 16 days to see if my album is avalilable on us stores !!!

  • Bob

    Wow… I got a iTunes Card Code and it redeemed just fine! If you want one go to freeitunesforever► com

  • andy

    sweet! I got a free iTunes Card Code and it redeemed just fine! I got it from freeitunesforever. com

  • Helge Sverre

    Do you want marketing services? You suck at it, let me promote yer shit.

  • Jackson
  • Alvain

    Tx for the keeping us informed Tunecore! Appreciated.

  • Courtney Spence

    Music is life for me Gospel that is, pop, hip hop,reggae, country,bluegrass, different flavors are like looking at rainbow.

  • John Donahue

    Honestly, I’m just pleased to have a tunecore account. When I was looking around to find a digital distributor, all of them wanted a percentage. On top of what iTunes takes, that didn’t seem like an option for me. I’ll gladly pay the tunecore fee because you make your money back pretty quickly. You can’t blame a distributor like this if your sales aren’t going as planned. One thing we should all know in the business it that they will buy it, or they won’t. I’ve found that if you treat it like any other sales job, you can do just fine. You just have to be willing to put in the time and grind it out. Message, post, and replying on sites your a link has worked out for me! I’m really excited and thankful for a site like this. It must have been so difficult for bands before websites like this were an option.

    • tunecore

      Great to hear from you, John! We’re happy you’re part of the TuneCore community!

  • pennyparty

    I have a question no one seems to be able to answer (I have had three emails back and forth your your customer support over a 5 day period about the issue and have gotten different answers every time. How does this work when you do a pre-sale??? I have a pre-sale going live on June 3 with my album to officially release on Aug 5 and was told that I could submit for a feature as long as it was 3 weeks prior to the ACTUAL release date. Now I have been told that I would have had to submit for a feature before I even set up the pre-sale, and in one other place on tune core it says you have to set it up before you hit “distribute” even if your scheduled release date is months in advance! What is the real answer to this question?? Do you have to submit for the feature before you hit “distribute” no matter how much lead time you have before your release (as long as it’s at least 3 weeks)? I set up my pre-sale and release in advance and paid for it all and now I’m being told it’s too late for me to submit for a feature (but only by the last and fourth guy that has vaguely responded to my question via email) even though my album doesn’t come out for two and a half months.

    • tunecore

      Hi there,

      I apologize for all the confusion! In order to be considered for a feature in the stores, the stores prefer you submit the submission sheet 3 weeks before your release date, not 3 weeks before your pre-order release date. So you can get your music available in iTunes for pre-order, and then submit the form if it’s at least 3 weeks before the date the release goes live. You must have distributed the release through TuneCore BEFORE submitting the form. So in your case, you’d want to make sure you submit the feature consideration form at least 3 weeks before August 5th to be considered. Worth noting in your submission that your album is available for pre-order on iTunes!

  • BrittMarie

    Can someone tell me if you can submit to be featured if you’ve already released your single??

    • tunecore

      Hey Britt,

      The releases we send to stores for feature consideration have not yet gone live (though they can be live in iTunes as a pre-order). The stores request that we give them a heads up about new releases, 3 weeks before their street dates.

      • Haze

        Hello tune core, I have a question… Is there anything I can do even if I’m just not finish recording? Like fill out any form or whatever…

        • tunecore

          Hi Haze, you can sign up for TuneCore before distributing with us, but in order to be considered for feature consideration by iTunes, you’ll need to have distributed. Also, as mentioned in the blog article, it’s advised that you set the release date 3-weeks out.

          Also, if you’re interested in instant mastering, check out LANDR before you distribute with us! http://tunecore.com/index/landr_instant_mastering

          Cheers!
          TuneCore

  • http://www.tuneupmedia.com Tuneupmedia

    Thank you,
    These tips helps me so much.

  • http://www.tuneupmedia.com Tuneupmedia

    These tips are informative. Thanks for sharing.
    I recently visited a website, providing a software on removing the copied itunes. Are you using such software ??

  • Ella Bell

    Incredible article, I personally found help with VX Media, they were really helpful and gave me over 1500 top and key industry contacts , 2000 sites for me to promote my music an online exposure pack and even promotion on their network which worked great. Check them out here: http://vxmed.net 😛

  • juel rahman

    Above the 7 tips are essential getting features on iTunes. Thanks for sharing a good idea

  • http://4saleusa.com/ Mark Owen

    All TuneCore releases can be considered for this placement. Albums
    spotlighted on iTunes are there based on editorial decisions made by iTunes Music—these are not paid placements.

  • Dr Jamoo

    I am pleased already going through the content on your site, tune core. However, as a Reggae artist, and ONE WHO LIVES IN NIGERIA, do you offer same services? If yes, can I make payment using my MasterCard?

  • John Mayo

    If you the money you can skip all that BS..

  • GeorgeM

    Great article…. loads of good info I think. I’m not a musician but have released (via tunecore) a number of my hypnosis scripts and I can honestly say without tunecore it simply would not have happened.
    It’s already pretty straight forward to process and the extra info these blogs give out actually makes it feel like we can compete alongside the bigger companies and artists
    so thank you

  • May McDonough & Co.

    What about editors’ notes? I’ve released plenty on itunes through tunecore, but I’ve noticed other artists sometimes have editor’s notes on their itunes album store. How do you get those?

    • tunecore

      Hey there! Much like the overall process of features on iTunes, those are also chosen and written at the behest of iTunes’ Editorial Staff.

  • Allen Price

    Hello. My name is Allen Price I’m work with my son Bayley he is a music producer if anyone looking for a producer look me up. And this is Bayley music website http://www.reverbnation.com/Bayleythebaker. Thank you

  • janet-jstar no1

    i am singer/songwriter, my songs on youtube, i wrote a song war child, that was played on radio, wm Brett Birks new music, and love is a drug.
    i just want my songs on itunes, nothing more then that jstar.

  • http://www.thesingingfireman.com Brian Benedict

    Thanks for the article. Great information!
    TheSingingFireman.com

  • The Mclellan Girls

    Please share this Christmas song!

  • 2murda

    Twitter@BillyGwilliams_ Instagram @Billygwilliams We love tunecore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsCQa4sWcF8