How to become an Apple Music artist

Image Credit: Apple Music

Find out how to upload your tracks to Apple Music for free, as well as access great free promotional tools.

Ready to release your music into the world? Apple Music is one of the biggest music streaming services out there, and a great platform to get your music heard.

But how do you upload songs to Apple Music? It’s simple once you know how.

Find a digital music distributor

To get your tracks onto Apple Music and other online streaming services and stores, you need a digital distributor. RouteNote specialises in free music distribution – we’ve been helping independent artists get their music online since 2007.

We guide you through the simple process as you upload unlimited tracks, all for free. To get your songs on Apple Music for free just upload your tracks and select Apple Music, along with whichever other platforms you’d like your music on.

With free music distribution from RouteNote you keep 85% of revenue once people start streaming your music. There’s also the option of RouteNote Premium – for a small fee, earn 100% of revenue, great if you’ve already got a big fanbase.

Promote your music

Once your music is sitting pretty on Apple Music, available for listeners across the world to stream, it’s important that you promote your release to start gaining traction and further fans. Time to start marketing your music, pushing your song and artist name across social media to drive up streams.

Stay active on a range of social platforms to maximise fan engagement with your music. An easy way to do that is to create a simple shareable page with all your social media accounts in one place. That’s something that, one of our partners, can help with.

Through you can create Fan Links, free fully customisable landing pages with links to your socials, your tracks on streaming platforms, and to any other important media, all in one handy place. Check out here – you get 30 Fan Links for free, as well as other goodies such as Pre-Saves and promotional content for your release.

Keep an eye on your analytics using the Apple Music app

Make sure you check out Apple Music for Artists. It’s a platform for artists who have tracks on Apple Music that lets you customise your release and keep track of how your music is performing.

See how many plays your Apple Music tracks are racking up as well as which playlists they are featured on. Insight shows you when you hit big play-count milestones, so you’re always in the know and can shout about it on social media. You can also customise your artist image, so your music brand is consistent across the web.

Ready to become an Apple Music artist? Head to to sign up for free. We can’t wait to get your music out there.

Top 10 viewed playlists on YouTube Music in 2021

Here are the ten most popular playlists around the world on YouTube Music as of June 2021.

These are the playlists with the most total playlist views on YouTube Music around the world.

2. Popular Music Videos


1.04 billion total playlist views

6. Top 100 Music Videos Global

YouTube Music

396 million total playlist views

7. New This Week


318 million total playlist views

8. Top 100 Songs South Korea

YouTube Music

232 million total playlist views

Top 10 followed playlists on Deezer in 2021

Here are the ten most popular playlists around the world on Deezer as of June 2021.

These are the playlists with the most fans on Deezer around the world.

1. Les titres du moment

Alexandre -Deezer Editeur France

Plus besoin de chercher, tous les sons du moment sont ici.

10.1 million fans

2. Las favoritas del editor

Ernesto – Deezer Editor Americas

Las recomendaciones semanales de Ernesto, editor de México y Centroamérica

6.6 million fans

3. Brand New UK

Adam – Deezer UK & Ireland Editor

Hear the best new releases this week. Updated every Friday.

5.9 million fans

4. Neue Hits

Simone – Deezer Deutschland Editor

Die Hits von morgen findest du schon heute hier bei uns!

5.6 million fans

5. Top Brazil

Deezer Charts

The most-listened-to songs on Deezer every day.

5.5 million fans

6. Orange Select

Orange musique

La sélection éclectique signée Orange musique. Ici, la compil des 120 derniers titres, chaque playlist numérotée # est également accessible via le moteur de recherche Deezer

5.2 million fans

7. Explosão Brasil

Romar – Editor Deezer Brasil

Os hits do momento e as músicas que vão explodir! Foto: IZA

5.1 million fans

8. Radar Editorial

Diego – Deezer Editor Americas

Cada semana, nuevas recomendaciones fuera de lo común.

4.8 million fans

9. Top France

Deezer Charts

The most-listened-to songs on Deezer every day.

4.3 million fans

10. Hits del momento

Fran – Deezer Editor Italia

I brani più ascoltati del momento. Cover: Fred De Palma

3.0 million fans

Top 10 followed playlists on Spotify in 2021

Here are the ten most popular playlists around the world on Spotify as of June 2021.

These are the most liked playlists on Spotify around the world. All of the playlists are curated by Spotify’s editors.

1. Today’s Top Hits

Rauw Alejandro is on top of the Hottest 50!

28.5 million likes

2. Top 50 – Global

Your daily update of the most played tracks right now – Global.

16.1 million likes

3. RapCaviar

Music from Polo G, Migos and Nicki Minaj.

13.8 million likes

4. ¡Viva Latino!

Today’s top Latin hits are right here, on ¡Viva Latino! Cover: Bad Bunny

10.9 million likes

5. Baila Reggaeton

Today’s hottest reggaeton hits! Cover: Arcangel

10.2 million likes

6. Songs to Sing in the Car

Sing along and enjoy the drive…

9.7 million likes

7. All Out 00s

The biggest songs of the 2000s.

9.3 million likes

8. Rock Classics

Rock legends and epic songs that continue to inspire generations.

9.0 million likes

9. All Out 80s

The biggest songs of the 1980s.

8.6 million likes

10. Beast Mode

Get your beast mode on!

8.0 million likes

Top 10 followed playlists on Apple Music in 2021

Here are the ten most popular playlists around the world on Apple Music as of June 2021.

This data comes from the rank assigned to each playlist given by Chartmetric. Note, Apple Music do not share how many users follow or listen to a particular playlist.

8. New Music Daily

Apple Music

9. Dale Reggaetón

Apple Music

Top 10 followed playlists on Amazon Music in 2021

Here are the ten most popular playlists around the world on Amazon Music as of June 2021.

These playlists are all ranked number one by Amazon Music in the countries listed below the title. Note, Amazon Music do not share how many users follow or listen to a particular playlist. All of the playlists are curated by Amazon’s editors. Click the country to see all of the top playlists in that region.

Country Heat

🇺🇸 United States

Fire tracks from the hottest acts in country music. Cover: Brett Young

Balada Sertaneja

🇧🇷 Brazil

As músicas em alta no Sertanejo estão aqui! Capa: Maiara & Maraisa

100 MÁS: Reggaetón

🇲🇽 Mexico

Las 100 más del reggaetón. Cover: Sebastián Yatra y Myke Towers

Hot In Japan

🇯🇵 Japan

ジャンルレスに今Amazon Musicでリアルに聴かれているホットな楽曲をセレクト。


🇩🇪 Germany

Die angesagtesten Dance-, House- und EDM-Hits. Cover: Glockenbach.

Les hits du moment

🇫🇷 France

Pop, Rock, Rap, Electro, tous les titres qui font le paysage musical actuel.

Most Played in Prime

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

The most played tracks on Amazon Music Prime. Updated every Monday. Follow for updates.

Hits estate 2021

🇮🇹 Italy

Tutte le hit dell’estate 2021. Cover: Fred De Palma.

Hits de hoy

🇪🇸 Spain

Las canciones más escuchadas en nuestro país. En portada: TINI, Maria Becerra.

All Hits

🇨🇦 Canada

The biggest songs in the world. Cover: P!nk

Apple launch spatial audio and lossless audio on Apple Music – how to upgrade today for free

How to upgrade your audio quality for free now that spatial audio and lossless audio are available on Apple Music.

Last month, Apple announced they would be rolling out spatial audio and lossless audio to Apple Music at no extra cost.

What are spatial audio and lossless audio?
Spatial audio

According to Apple, spatial audio with Dolby Atmos is set to “transform music” as we know it today. Until now, music has traditionally been limited to stereo, while surround sound has largely been reserved for TV and films. By mixing music in surround sound, spatial audio adds a whole new dimention to music, giving the listener an immersive experience.

The launch of AirPods Pro introduced spatial audio with dynamic head tracking. This adjusts the virtual positioning of audio based on the physical positioning of your head and your iPhone or iPad. The feature is still available for films watched on iPhone or iPad with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Apple Music will introduce spatial audio with dynamic head tracking on more Apple devices in the fall.

For more information on spatial audio, watch the roundtable discussion on the future of sound with Apple Music 1 presenter Zane Lowe, producer & Atmos ambassador No I.D., producer, mixer and engineer Sylvia Massy, and producer Manny Marroquin.

Artists and producers interest in experimenting with mixing spatial audio will find tools in Logic Pro later this year.

Lossless audio

The majority of streamed audio online is sent to our devices as MP3 files, or on Apple Music as AAC files. These files are usually compressed to a maximum of 320 kbps for MP3s or 256 kbps for AACs. This is generally considered to be enough for most day-to-day use on a lot of consumer grade gear, however it is far from what the artist or producer hears in the studio when playing the original uncompressed audio files on higher end gear. Lossless audio on Apple Music is streamed to your phone, tablet, computer or TV as ALAC files (Apple Lossless Audio Codec). These files are available as 16-bit/44.1 kHz, which is CD quality and roughly translates to 1411 kbps, and goes up to 24-bit/192 kHz for Hi-Res Lossless audio, which roughly translates to 9216 kbps.

What I need to enjoy spatial audio and lossless audio?

Spatial audio and lossless audio are available to all Apple Music subscribers.

Operating system

You’ll need an Apple device running the operating system below or later:

  • iOS 14.6
  • iPadOS 14.6
  • macOS 11.4
  • tvOS 14.6

Dolby Atmos is coming soon to Android.


Spatial audio

Spatial audio is available to enjoy on many speakers and headphones such as Dolby Atmos compatible sound bars, Dolby Atmos enabled AV Receivers and TVs that support Dolby Atmos audio. Most new Apple and Beats devices also support spatial audio, including:

  • AirPods
  • AirPods Pro
  • AirPods Max
  • BeatsX
  • Beats Solo3 Wireless
  • Beats Studio3
  • Powerbeats3 Wireless
  • Beats Flex
  • Powerbeats Pro
  • Beats Solo Pro
  • Built-in speakers on:
  • iPhone XR or later (except iPhone SE)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch
  • iPad (6th generation or later)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation or later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • MacBook Pro (2018 model or later)
  • MacBook Air (2018 model or later)
  • iMac (2021 model)

Spatial audio is supported on HomePod speakers, but only when connected to an Apple TV 4K.

Lossless audio

While the built-in speakers on your iPhone, iPad and Mac support lossless audio, the speakers (particularly on iPhone) are so small, the difference will be negligible. To make the most of lossless audio, you’ll want some external speakers or headphones. Unfortunately Apple and Beats headphones use Apple’s AAC Bluetooth Codec, which is not lossless. HomePod and HomePod mini also currently use AAC, but support for lossless audio on HomePods is coming in a future software update. To stream lossless music you’ll need to hook up your device to headphones, receivers or powered speakers with a wire. Apple’s Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter used to connect your phone to headphones/speakers and Apple’s Lightning to 3.5mm Audio Cable for AirPods Max, both contain a digital-to-analogue converter that supports up to 24-bit/48 kHz lossless audio. For audio quality higher than 48 kHz, you’ll need an external digital-to-analogue converter.

On the Apple TV 4K, just hook up the box to an AV receiver using an HDMI cable.

How to enable spatial audio and lossless audio?
Spatial audio

By default, iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TV 4K will be set to Automatic. Automatic will play Dolby Atmos content when you are playing content on a recognised supported devices, such as those listed above. If you want to force Dolby Atmos because you’re playing music on a third party Dolby Atmos supported device:

iPhone and iPad

  • Head to Settings – Music
  • Then switch Dolby Atmos to Always On.


  • Open Apple Music
  • Head to the menu bar, click MusicPreferences
  • Click the Playback tab
  • Choose Always On

Lossless audio

iPhone and iPad

  • Head to SettingsMusicAudio Quality
  • Switch on Lossless Audio
  • Here you can choose the quality of cellular streamed music, Wi-Fi streamed music and downloads
    • Choose Lossless for a maximum of 24-bit/48 kHz
    • Choose Hi-Res Lossless for a maximum of 24-bit/192 kHz

Note Lossless Audio consumes a lot more data that regular audio files, so be aware of your data limits and storage size. To upgrade any existing downloaded music, you’ll need to remove the downloads and then redownload once you’ve switched on Lossless for downloads.


  • Open Apple Music
  • Head to the menu bar, click MusicPreferences
  • Click the Playback tab
  • Under Audio Quality, select Lossless
  • Here you can choose the quality of streamed music and downloads
    • Choose Lossless for a maximum of 24-bit/48 kHz
    • Choose Hi-Res Lossless for a maximum of 24-bit/192 kHz

To upgrade any existing downloaded music, you’ll need to remove the downloads and then redownload once you’ve switched on Lossless for downloads.

Apple TV 4K

  • Head to SettingsMusicAudio Quality
  • Select Lossless

Apple TV does not support Hi-Res Lossless (higher than 48 kHz).

Where to find spatial audio and lossless audio content?

When you’re streaming spatial audio or lossless audio, you’ll see a Dolby Atmos or Lossless badge on the Now Playing screen. If every track on an album is available in spatial audio or lossless audio, you’ll see the badge on the album’s detail page. Apple’s radio stations and music videos aren’t available in lossless audio.

Apple have said that over 20 million lossless songs are available for streaming today. The entire Apple Music catalogue will be available by the end of the year.

As music has been consumed in stereo for so many years, the need for mixing audio in surround sound has been largely unnecessary. For this reason a lot of the over 75 million songs on Apple Music aren’t available in spatial audio. Luckily Apple Music have collated all of the information, songs, albums and playlists available in their Spatial Audio hub. Here’ll you’ll find the best new songs and albums with spatial audio, as well as pop, hip-hop, rock and more playlists, solely featuring spatial audio. Check out Made for Spatial Audio to get started, with 100 songs including a demo showing the difference of mono, stereo and spatial with Zane Lowe and Marvin Gaye.

If you want to experience spatial audio and lossless audio for yourself on Apple Music but you aren’t yet subscribed, Apple Music costs $9.99 per month, with Apple currently offering a three month free trial for new customers.

To distribute your own lossless music to Apple Music for free, click here.

Instagram Reels Music not available? Here’s how to fix it

Image Credit: Alexander Shatov

Instagram Reels Music not showing for you? Here we’ll walk you through the top tips to ensure you can find the perfect soundtrack for your short videos on Instagram.

So you want to record a short video and share it with the world through Instagram Reels? Half of the fun is gaining access to the millions of tracks in Instagram’s music library – including many RouteNote tracks – and putting a soundtrack to your moments, taking part in trends, and having fun with thousands of others.

If you’re having trouble getting to Reels or finding your music then here are some tips to get you sharing your clips and dancing to music in no time.

How To Record Instagram Reels

The first problem might be finding the place that you can record and publish your Reels from. To record a Reel simply find the + button or swipe right on the feed. At the bottom you’ll be able to scroll to the Reels button.

Tap and hold the play button to begin recording or you can simply tap it to start and tap it to end it. It should be as simple as that!

No Instagram Reels Option Available

If you can’t find the option to record Instagram Reels on your device then the first thing to do is check that your app is up to date with the latest version.

If your app is updated and Reels still isn’t showing then it may not be available in your location. Reels isn’t available everywhere that the Instagram app is. Even if you can see Reels recorded by others, you may not be able to record them yourself yet.

Instagram Reels is available in over 50 countries, including the U.S., India, France, Germany, Japan, Australia and the U.K currently.

How To Add Music To My Instagram Reels

When you’re recording your Reel you can tap the musical note to open Instagram’s library. From there you can browse the top songs that other users are recording with or search for a specific track if you have one in mind.

If you upload a Reel with custom audio using someone else’s music (not added through the Reels option) then Instagram will detect the song to provide the appropriate link.

How To Combine Music and Original Audio

Once your Reel is recorded, in the editing screen there is a slider button which you can use to adjust the audio levels. Add music by tapping ‘Add’ and then select the song snippet you want to play. Drag the sliders to adjust the levels of your original video audio and the music you’ve added.

How To Get Your Own Music On Instagram Reels’ Library

You can add your own music into the Reels catalogue making it available to millions of creators around the world. At RouteNote we offer free distribution to Instagram Reels and you make money every time someone uses your tracks in their videos.

Simply create a free account at and then select ‘Create New Release’ to upload your music. Select Facebook from the stores section and then send it to us to look over. Once we’ve approved your release it will be added to Instagram within a few weeks and will be available to users around the world for Instagram Stories and Reels.

Still Having Issues With Instagram Reels?

Facebook have a full and detailed support centre covering all of the most common issues and questions regarding Instagram Reels.

How to know if your music distributor is a good price

Want to know how to get your music on streaming services? First you need a digital music distributor. But which distributor is the best value for money?

Can’t wait for listeners all over the world to hear the music you’ve been cooking up? Whether you’re an EDM producer, in an indie-pop band, or run an independent record label, you need a digital music distributor to get your tracks onto streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music.

Choosing an online distributor for your songs can be overwhelming. After all, this is your music we’re talking about – you’ve sweated over it, put your heart into it, and you want it to be in good hands. Start Googling and lists of companies appear, all seeming to offer the same thing – and usually asking you to part with cash.

So which distributor is best for your music? There are several things to consider. How much do they charge upfront per release? Look into which stores they’ve partnered with – is it a truly worldwide reach, or are some territories missing? How many releases are you allowed, and are there hidden fees? You’re trusting them with your music – transparency is key.

Let’s look at some of the different digital music distributors and how they measure up in terms of price.

First up: RouteNote. That’s us, by the way. We offer free music distribution that keeps you in total control of your music – you can upload unlimited tracks while keeping 85% of all revenue you earn.

Because you’re always in control of your music, you can come and go as you please and switch plans at any time with each new release. For established artists who know for certain they’re going to get a high volume of streams and downloads from their fans, RouteNote also offers Premium distribution, letting you keep 100% of your earnings for upfront with yearly recurring costs that beat all competitors on price – but we’ll get to them in a moment.

Free music distribution from RouteNote also gets you extra goodies like access to our YouTube Network to earn revenue for content on your channel, and SoundCloud monetisation with a free unlimited uploads account.

Of course, RouteNote isn’t the only option. You’ll probably have come across other major music distributors such as CD Baby, DistroKid and TuneCore. Check out a price comparison table here, then let’s explore a bit deeper into what they have to offer.

RouteNote’s Free distribution flattens the competition in terms of getting your money’s worth. For bigger artists who might not even be considering a free option, RouteNote Premium’s first year payment is $30 for an album release, TuneCore edges under at $29.99 and CD Baby is way above at $49.

DistroKid are partnered with fewer services, and ask for $19.99 upfront before you have a chance to see the hidden fees that become apparent once signed up, such as charging $0.99 a year for Shazam and iPhone Siri discovery per song.

All good music distributors should offer extra features. TuneCore has promotional feature LinkShare, which lets you share all your stores with a single link, as part of their Social Pro subscription. Social Pro costs $7.99 a month – meanwhile, RouteNote offers Fanlinks through our brilliant partners, priced at $4.99 a month and letting artists create 30 Fanlinks for free to promote new releases.

CD Baby meanwhile offer YouTube monetisation, but unlike RouteNote don’t offer SoundCloud monetisation – and neither do TuneCore or DistroKid.

Championing smaller artists and offering professional features for established artists, RouteNote’s huge range of partners and unlimited free music distribution makes it a competitive option for musicians, producers and labels looking to get their music online and make some money while they’re at it.

Find out more and sign up to RouteNote for free here.

RouteNote takes an ‘artist-first’ approach to music distribution

RouteNote puts the full control of where and how music is shared around the world firmly in the hands of the artist.

Separate from any major labels, RouteNote offers simple pricing that’s affordable for beginning and established musicians alike. In a matter of days, we can get your music published to all of the top stores and streaming services around the world such as Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, TIDAL, as well as monetization across social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud and TikTok.

You as an artist or label have full say in how your music is displayed with metadata, where your music goes with stores and territory selections, and whether Free Distribution or Premium Distribution is the right choice for you. Free Distribution doesn’t cost a penny while you keep 85% of the revenue generated. Premium Distribution costs a small fee while you keep 100% of the revenue generated. Features and stores are the same across models. If you change your mind, you can switch models for each release at any time, or have the release pulled entirely. We believe 100% of the rights should always remain with the artist.

Now that your music is live across stores around the world, statistics and royalties will head straight to your RouteNote account, before being transferred to a connected PayPal or bank account. Earning reports break down exactly how much each track has earned on each store, helping you inform future campaigns.

On the topic of campaigns, check out our partner site Push helps thousands of artists spread their music far and wide with free promotional tools, plus RouteNote artists get special bonuses.

Head to RouteNote today to discover artist-first music distribution.