Apple Music Best Practices for App Developers
We are excited to announce that the Apple Music API is now part of MusicKit.
With MusicKit adding music to your app has never been so easy.
MusicKit on iOS lets users play Apple Music and their local music library natively from your apps and games. When a user provides permission to their Apple Music account, your app can create playlists, add songs to their library, and play any of the millions of songs in the Apple Music catalog. If your app detects that the user is not yet an Apple Music member, you can offer a trial from within your app.
Getting Started with MusicKit
Download the sample code and access the documentation to see how easy it is to add Apple Music features in your iOS app at the MusicKit Developer Resources.
You can also watch “Introducing MusicKit” from WWDC 2017
We encourage developers to use MusicKit to provide a superior user experience by integrating these features in your app. Please refer to our Apple Music API FAQ here for commonly asked questions regarding integration.
App Store Review Guidelines — Apple Music
There are limitations on use of MusicKit. Please carefully review the developer App Store Review guidelines. Below are some of the guidelines specifically related to Apple Music. If you have questions, consult with the Apple Developer Relations team.
4.5.2 Apple Music
(i) The MusicKit APIs let customers access their subscription while using your app. They are intended for simple music playback by Apple Music subscribers. Users must initiate the playback of an Apple Music stream and be able to navigate using standard media controls such as “play,” “pause,” and “skip.” Moreover, your app may not require payment or indirectly monetize access to the Apple Music service (e.g. in-app purchase, advertising, requesting user info, etc.). Do not download, upload, or enable sharing of music files sourced from the MusicKit APIs, except as explicitly permitted in MusicKit documentation.
(ii) Using the MusicKit APIs is not a replacement for securing the licenses you might need for a deeper or more complex music integration. For example, if you want your app to play a specific song at a particular moment, or to create audio or video files that can be shared to social media, you’ll need to contact rights-holders directly to get their permission (e.g. synchronization or adaptation rights) and assets. Cover art and other metadata may only be used in connection with music playback or playlists (including App Store screenshots displaying your app’s functionality), and should not be used in any marketing or advertising without getting specific authorization from rights-holders. Make sure to follow the Apple Music Identity Guidelines when integrating Apple Music services in your app.
(iii) Apps that access Apple Music user data, such as playlists and favorites, must clearly disclose this access in the purpose string. Any data collected may not be shared with third parties for any purpose other than supporting or improving the app experience. This data may not be used to identify users or devices, or to target advertising.
For detailed information regarding the new Apple Music APIs please reference:
Referring to Apple Music
- Always typeset Apple Music as two words with an uppercase A and an uppercase M followed by lowercase letters.
- Always use the name Apple Music in English, even when it appears within text in a language other than English. Do not translate the word Music within the name Apple Music. Do not transliterate Apple Music or Music.
- Always use the complete name Apple Music. Don’t use Apple alone. Don’t use Music alone.
- Never replace the name Apple with the Apple logo, . Spell out the full name Apple Music.
- Use Listen on MUSIC and Apple Music badges made available by Apple. Do not create your own.
- Do not use the Apple logo to represent Apple Music.
- You may use the Apple Music icon assets, made available by Apple, to represent Apple Music.
Visit the Apple Music Identity Guidelines site for a comprehensive set of information and to download Apple Music related assets.
Apple Music is currently available in 113 countries including China, Japan and Russia. With the ability to determine if a user of your app is an Apple Music member developers now have a unique opportunity to participate in the affiliate program.
If a user is not a member of Apple Music you can provide them the option to sign up for Apple Music. Affiliate partners can earn a one-time commission when referrals result in a conversion from a members trial period to the first paid month for Apple Music. Apply now or learn more about the affiliate program.
Linking to Apple Music
Apple Music Toolbox
The best place to find links for all things Apple Music is the Apple Music Toolbox. You can also find embeddable widgets for albums, songs and playlists. All toolbox links are optimized to be geo aware and to automatically launch the Apple Music client on your user’s device.
Apple Music Toolbox provides ready-made, geo-aware links, meaning users around the world will always be directed to the correct content in their home storefront, even when the link they click is specific to a different storefront. Continue reading to learn more about region specific content and the importance of geo aware links.
Region Specific Content
Did you know that the same albums and songs in different regions will have different IDs? For example the ID for Drake’s If You’re Reading This Its Too Late in the US is 966997496. In the UK the ID is 966984970. Make sure you check the user’s storefront in order to provide the right content ID for playback. See the Search API or EPF for more information on getting content metadata including region specific IDs.
If you are just linking to music you can prepend a “geo” prefix to any link and we will route the user to the right content in their region so you do not have to worry about finding the right ID. As mentioned above, all links provided by the Apple Music Toolbox automatically include the geo prefix.
Example geo aware link structure: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/album/if-youre-reading-this-its/id966997496
By default, links for music content take users into Apple Music and no additional parameters are needed. For the affiliate program however, proper attribution requires the use of the following parameter: app=music. So be sure to add the app=music parameter to all music links to earn affiliate commission for Apple Music.
Example link: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/album/if-youre-reading-this-its/id966997496?app=music
Similarly, if you’d prefer to send a user to the iTunes Store (bypassing the Apple Music default), you may add the following parameter: app=itunes
Example link: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/album/if-youre-reading-this-its/id966997496?app=itunes
Note: All links provided by the Apple Music Toolbox automatically include the app=music parameter.