An email sent to iTunes users this morning touted its Ping music social network which "lets you follow your favorite artists and friends to discover the music they're talking about, listening to, and downloading." Unfortunately many independent artists are still left out of the conversation. That same email from Apple stated that just over 2000 artists were on Ping. This low level of artist participation is not, however, usually by choice.
Ping claims millions of user and is growing, but despite the best efforts of digital distributors including Tunecore and CD Baby who serve indie and d.i.y. musicians, PING's required manual approval process appears to have slowed the growth of the artist community.
At launch am Apple spokesperson told Hyepbot that "artist profiles were by invitation only, "but we'll keep adding more and more." But bands do have another, if less attractive option. "Any iTunes user can create a profile on Ping, artist or otherwise," reminded Apple.