Bottom line – Apple is being very careful about allowing the creation of indie artist profiles on Ping, just as they do with evaluating apps, but I think I am on a pathway to success.
[Update December 13, 2010 - I was asked to condense all my tribulations with Apple and Ping into one long article that is now posted on Michael Brandvold’s great Music Marketing site, here.]
–Update– we have received some clarification via a comment from Jeff Price, one of the founders of TuneCore (see below)
As soon as I upgraded iTunes earlier this week, it became my mission to get his profile on Ping and was very, very frustrated to begin with – like everyone else. No clues on the Apple website.
My first call was to CD Baby and they told me they did not have any solutions as yet.
I started writing Apple iTunes Support early Thursday morning, essentially asking how an independent artist who had his music on iTunes could get a profile created. I got a reply quickly. This person was an ‘iTunes Store Adviser’ who termed me an ‘iTunes Store Content Partner’ and he suggested I contact my label representative.
When I replied that I had no label representative and CD Baby was the entity that arranged the digital distribution, we went back and forth for a few rounds of emails before my request was escalated.
I finally got a reply Saturday morning from someone who understood the situation and what CD Baby was. They are treating CD Baby, TuneCore, Reverbnation, et al, just as they do major labels – which does make sense – sort of – since faux-profiles have already appeared and going through the label ensures authenticity.
He asked for some basic information from me and about Jimmy Z and assured me that “this will be in our first CD baby batch” without giving a time-line.
I also mentioned that I had many friends who were independent musicians and asked what they should do.
The reply was that they should “contact their person at CD Baby to get going…” Well, there is no specific contact at CD Baby. We don’t have an assigned rep and I told him that.
He then replied that…
For now, you can give them the address:
We’re manning that one for inquiries now.
I await more replies and, of course, my ability to create a Ping profile for Jimmy Z.
–Update– on Monday morning, September 13, I sent an email asking Apple for a time-frame for when we might approved. I got an email back an hour later, “Congratulations, you’ve been approved to create your artist profile on Ping.” So it only took 12 days & about dozen emails. I hope other people have a smoother experience going forward.
I have now completed the profile and detailed the step-by-step process.
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