The broken state of content creation on Apple's platforms

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Mar 12, 2013
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Apple is known for making available various platforms for creators to create
and sell their creations. Apple has 5 content options for anyone looking to create and sell:

1. Apps on the App store
2. News on the Apple news app

3. Books on the Apple Book store

4. Podcasts in the Podcasts app

5. Media (Music, TV Shows, and Movies) on the iTunes store and Apple Music

Apple is also known for making surprisingly easy to use user interfaces for its products and websites. But in this specific case, it is not so easy to start selling your stuff on Apple's platforms.

It turns out that, each platform has a different way to get you started. Plus there are different requirements for each kind of content, apart from the legal requirements. I will try to summarise and highlight the processes involved in each of the platforms, and also point out my view on how things could be much more simplified.

1. Apps on the App Store:

To start selling apps, you are first required to register your Apple ID as a developer on To register, you are required to enroll for the Developer Program which costs $99 a year.

Once you register you can download multiple resources and get access to a wide range of documentation, support and communities and can proceed to distribute your apps on the App Store. 
An Apple developer program is required to distribute apps to the general public, even if it is free.

However, if you're just looking to create your own personal app which won't be used by more than 10,000 people on a private basis, you are not required to pay for the developer program.

Further, the app used to create apps on apple's platforms is usually Xcode, which is free to download on your Mac. You are not required to pay anything to start coding.

Apple also provides a website, known as 'App Store Connect', at, with which you can view your analytics, reviews, change pricing, etc. of your apps. 

2. News on the Apple news app.

If you're looking to write articles or you own an existing website/blog where you post often, you can also publish your write-ups on the Apple News app. Apple News is currently available only in the USA, Australia, Canada and the UK.

Apple News also offers a paid consumer service known as 'Apple News+', where readers can subscribe to read exclusive articles, newspapers and magazines. 

To learn about how everything will work, one can visit

On Apple news, you can sell ads for the articles you write, so that you earn money. This would require a paid developer account. 
To start, you need to visit on safari or Google chrome. You don't require a Mac for this. From there, you can navigate to news publisher and apply for your publishing channel. Once approved you may write and post as much as you like. Analytics is also available for each article. You also can post your news automatically by linking an RSS to your blog so that you don't need to manually post on Apple News each time you write something.

You can have multiple channels as a person, and can also add people who can manage your channel from their accounts.

3. Books on the Apple Book Store:

To publish a book on the iBook Store, you can do so using your Mac. You can create a book using the Pages app, or import your book to the Pages app. From there you can directly publish to the Apple Book store. You can also download the iBooks Author app from the Mac App Store to create your book and then publish.

However, things get complicated between creating and publishing.

The go-to website to learn and understand how this all works is This is a one-stop-shop for guides and resources for publishing on Apple books and selling Media (including podcasts) for the Podcast app, iTunes Store and Apple Music.

From there you will be taken to the iTunes connect page at for your agreements, etc. and then you can get started for publishing. This page also works as analytics, view and update your books and any other changes to your agreements.

The above 2 websites are interlinked and are accessed for stuff relating to selling media and publish books. iTunes Connect is the analytical page, agreement page, etc, and iTunes Partners is the guides and resources page.

Once you have completed your formalities on the iTunes Connect Page, you will have to download the iTunes producer app, which is available from the iTunes partner page above. This app lets you publish books. Using the iBooks author or the Pages app you will be requested to use the iTunes producer app, from where you can proceed to publish your books on Apple Books, either free or paid.

4. Podcasts on the Podcasts app.

You can create podcasts using any application you want. There is no special app designed by Apple specifically for creating podcasts.
Podcasts are currently free to listen on Apple's Podcast app, so no tax agreements are required to be signed. All resources and guides on how to create and submit a podcast are available on the iTunes Partner page above.

However, instead of going to the iTunes connect page, you need to visit a specially designed iTunes connect page, known as Podcast connect, at This page will let you upload your Podcast, see your uploaded podcasts, analytics, and resources and guides.

It is a fairly simple process from Apple's end.

5. Media on the iTunes Store:

Apple iTunes has always been a popular way to search and purchase music, movies and tv shows for consumers. But for creators, it has been a source of their income. Apple Music is an additional way for creators to earn.

To start selling your media, you will need to complete specific requirements. 

Songs: It is very difficult for a new music band/artist to sell on the iTunes store directly, since the requirements are many. Hence new artists should Preferably approach the Authorised partners known as Apple-approved aggregator.

You cannot create an iTunes Connect account for music with the same Apple ID used for books or apps and you’ll need to set up a new Apple ID and use it to complete a separate music application.

iTunes producer is used to sell music to the iTunes store.

Apple also has an 'Apple music for artists' page, at, where artists can get analytics for each song, album, etc.

Movies and TV Shows: I do not know the internal process of uploading and selling movies, however, it is fairly similar to music and books since all of them use the iTunes connect page and iTunes producer to upload and track their content.

iTunes Partners is available for resources and guides.

My views on how to make content creation better:

The above 5 contents require 5 different methods to create, upload and manage. It can get very confusing for a person to understand where everything is.

The only thing common between all of them is that you only need an Apple ID to get you running.In the case of music, you need more than

The Problem: iTunes Producer is used in creating everything except News. iTunes Connect is used for Books and Media. Podcast Connect is used for podcasts. For some reason, is used to publish news. Selling ads on Apple news requires paying for the developer program but selling books doesn't. Resources for publishing news is on and not iTunes Connect.

Apple needs to streamline it.

Apple should start by creating only 3 categories:

a. Books, Podcasts and News.

b. Music, Movies and TV.

c. Apps.

1. For resources, iTunes Partners is a great website. It's a one-stop-shop to understand the how-to's. News publishing should also be included in this and should be removed from

I know for a fact that resources for Apps would require a very intensive website, and hence if Apple is of the view that it should remain separate, then it should. If they merge it with iTunes Partners, there is nothing better.

The name should also be changed to something on the lines of 'Apple Content Partners'.

2. iTunes Connect has always been there for a long time. However, it should be integrated in a similar way as iTunes Partners. iTunes Connect should be a single sign-in stop for Books, podcasts and News. As these can be made by anyone and does not necessarily require any paid element from the producer end.

The name should be changed to something other than iTunes, as they do not relate to iTunes, and Apple has already rebranded them using 'Apple books/podcasts/news'.

3. For music, Apple already uses Apple music for Artists as a great way to get analytics. Apple could integrate it with movies and TV and rename it as 'Apple Music and TV' which could replace the existing iTunes Connect and thus could be the go-to place for uploading and viewing analytics.

4. For Support services: Apple can opt for a single 'Apple Partner Support' website, or include the support options in each of the analytics pages.

With Apple increasing it's subscription options for each and every product and service, and also growing them day by day, it is even more important to create a stronger backend to make this process streamlined. Currently, there is no visible way to be a part of Apple News+ service, or the newly launched Apple Arcade, other than contacting Apple on email, call or chat. I couldn't find any kind of Application form that lets me be a part of it.

I believe Apple needs to streamline their processes for getting more creators on board. It will be an important step, to fix the broken mess. 

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