How An Unsigned Artist Used iTunes Instant Gratification To Get A Top 10 Hit On iTunes

Itunes_image2(UPDATED) By Mike Townsend of Ditto Music.

Nashville singer songwriter Louisa Wendorff reached number 9 on iTunes this week by using iTunes new 'Instant Gratification' feature.

What is iTunes instant gratification?

For a long time now, iTunes’ pre-order facility has been used by artists as a way of driving first weeks 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?

Nashville singer/songwriter Louisa is currently utilizing the itunes instant gratification strategy during the campaign for her new EP ‘Arrow’. The release has been 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 has been using this alongside a focused Facebook campaign, where she posts daily updates counting down the days towards the official release date, making sure the content keeps flowing and making sure fans are always directed to the release on iTunes.

With this strategy Louisa Wendorff who was previously unknown has been able to grab number 9 on the iTunes Singer Songwriter charts on the first week of 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 as easy as possible for your fans to get hold of your music. 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’.

You can check out distributors like Ditto Music who are currently offering this feature through their website, along with help setting up your campaign.

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