iTunes Store Music Links Open in Apple Music, and This is Bad for People Selling Music

Many record labels and artists who sell music on the iTunes Store direct their fans and customers to Apple’s store through links on their websites. However, since Apple Music went live, these links no longer work correctly.

Instead of sending someone to the iTunes Store, where they can buy an album, these links redirect to the Apple Music section of iTunes, or of the Music app on iOS (if the user has Apple Music turned on.)

The same thing occurs if you copy a link from the iTunes Store and use that link, or share it with someone; that link sends people not to the store, but to Apple Music. And, if the album in question isn’t available for streaming, then this link just goes to the New page in Apple Music.

As such, artists and labels may find that, instead of nudging people to buy their music on the iTunes Store, they are instead only offering an option for people to stream it.

There are two ways you can fix this. The first is to use Apple’s Link Maker tool. Search for a song or album, and you’ll see a series of links.

Link maker1

As you can see, the first button available is Listen on ?Music. The embed code below has the link to Apple Music; the Text Link you see is also for Apple Music. If you hover over the line of links, you’ll see arrows to scroll through to more links, including an iTunes Text Link. You can also see the iTunes Badge, and scrolling shows you a small iTunes Badge as well. Select the iTunes link or badge that you want to use.

The second method is to manually change your links, adding the following code at their ends: &app=itunes. Again, you can see in the screenshot above that the code at the end of the link is &app=music, which redirects to Apple Music. But even without that specific code, links redirect to Apple Music, if the user has that turned on in iTunes or an their iOS device.

So if you do want to sell your music, and not direct people to Apple Music where they can stream it, you’ll need to change, and then check, all your links. For small labels, this isn’t a big deal, but for larger labels, this is quite a job. It’s a bit unfair that Apple has done this, without, apparently, alerting labels.