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How you can use iTunes’ Instant Gratification to help get your release into the charts – A case study on Ditto Artist Louisa Wendorff

December 5, 2014 by Sarah Hamilton
Article Series: The Digital World with Ditto Music
Filed Under: Artist Content

Navigating the digital space - from distribution, to release campaigns, to online marketing. How to get featured on iTunes, into the charts, an explanation of royalties and revenue. Anything digital we've got you covered.

Ditto Artist Louisa Wendorff  reached number 9 on iTunes using its ‘Instant Gratification’ feature. The following article was written by Ditto Music and featured on Hypebot, and we are bringing it to the melting pot community to explain this feature, and show how you can make it work for you.

What is iTunes Instant Gratification?

For a while now, iTunes’ pre-order facility has been used by artists as a way of driving first week sales in search of that elusive chart position. Whilst the notion of pre-ordering a digital music product that, by nature, will never run out of stock might seem unusual; used alongside the correct promotion and fan interaction, that sense of anticipation and hype can translate into an effective pre-order campaign and in turn, an effective Single, EP or Album release.

Even when a chart placement is unattainable or just not in your interest, pre-order campaigns are a fantastic way of giving focus and spearheading your promotional efforts. You can attach the iTunes link to things like press releases and Mail-outs, giving your fans a call to action instead of aimlessly feeding them information. It is essential to try and incentivise those pre-order clicks and drive fans’ attention to your new release.
How is iTunes Instant Gratification different from a regular pre-order?

iTunes recently rolled out the Instant Gratification service, at first to major artist and label contracts, and then to the independents and eventually, everyone else.

Here is what you need to know:

iTunes Instant Gratification allows you to select one or more tracks from a pre-order release to be available to download instantly, before the general release date.

During the pre-order period, fans will be able to download the specified track(s) instantly individually, or get them automatically if they pre-order the whole release.

The rules sate that a maximum of 50% of the tracks on a release can be designated as Instant Gratification.

How can this help independent artists reach the iTunes charts?

Ditto’s very own Louisa utilied the iTunes Instant Gratification strategy during the campaign for her EP ‘Arrow’. The release was made available to pre-order for some weeks, with fans able to purchase the lead single, and first track, from the EP straight away. Similarly, fans will also receive it automatically should they decide to pre-order the EP. Louisa used this alongside our focused Facebook campaign, where she posts daily updates counting down the days towards the official release date, making sure the content is consistent, keeps flowing and making sure fans are always directed to the release on iTunes.

With this strategy Louisa Wendorff who was previously unknown was able to grab number 9 on the iTunes Singer Songwriter charts, the first week of her release. A huge achievement for an unsigned artist.

We’ve all had that experience of waiting patiently for our favourite bands new album, as the weeks leading up to the release seem to drag on almost endlessly. By giving a track away instantly, perhaps one that still isn’t available to stream anywhere else and is therefore unheard, you are buying yourself more time to really extend that promotion campaign preceding the release, as well as thanking your fans for their patience.

How should I get started with iTunes Instant Gratification?

Managing your promotion campaign around one platform, whether it be iTunes or even just your Facebook page, keeps it focused and keeps it simple, making it your music easilly accessible for your fans and audience. With this Instant Gratification service alongside the existing Pre-Order facility, you can direct everyone to the same place and keep the message clear: ‘Pre-Order my new release’.

Most digital aggregators will now be offering this feature, and at Ditto Music we welcome any questions you may have about how it all works, and how you can use it for your release.

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.

Author Details

Sarah Hamilton

Sarah is Ditto Music's Client Manager for Australia. Ditto are a digital music and music video aggregator with offices in Melbourne, London, Liverpool and Nashville. With over 60 000 bands signed to us worldwide, Ditto assists with distribution to stores such as iTunes, Spotify and many more, marketing, promotion, chart registration, Vevo channel creation and other services that allow independent artists to make the most out of their careers while still remaining independent and in control.

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