PRX to iTunes FAQ

PRX is excited to offer yet another way of getting your work heard (and compensating you for it, too). We're placing the work of select producers in the iTunes Music Store. There, it's available just like a music album: anyone can buy and download it. When they do, you get recognition and revenue.

We are currently offering this service only for the iTunes Store, which is far and away the leading online music vendor right now. However, we're keeping up with the latest developments in the industry, and will consider other vendors such as Amazon or eMusic as those services develop.

Here's a list of albums already on iTunes.

How does it work?
PRX occasionally invites a small number of PRX members to participate in this unique opportunity. Paid PRX membership is required. Once you give us the materials and the metadata (album and track titles, artist names, copyright, etc.), we take care of submitting your work to iTunes. We also acquire and assign UPC and ISRC codes free of charge. We'll send you royalty checks twice a year.

How do I get my work on these services?
Participation is by invitation only. (We'd love to distribute everyone who wants it, but we're too small a team.) We'll contact you, advise you on what to send, and walk you through the process. Please note: We will not send your work without contacting you directly in advance, regardless of the Outside Purchaser preferences you set in My PRX.

What is the length of the agreement?
Beginning from the time you officially opt in, the agreement is for one year and will renew automatically for an additional one-year term unless we receive written notification of the termination from you.

Once my work appears on iTunes, how do people know it's there?
That depends largely on you. iTunes has a huge catalog and limited options for browsing. Your work will likely be placed under Music >> Spoken Word. The album, and the individual tracks, might show up in relevant searches, too. But albums easily get buried in such a huge store. That's where promotion comes in. PRX will provide you with links to your work when possible. We encourage you to circulate them via email, blogs, social networking sites, sidewalk chalk, skywriting, however you choose. Ask friends and fans to write detailed reviews, and remind everyone that spoken word albums make great gifts. We've prepared a guide to promoting your work to give you some ideas. We'll also do our part in getting the word out; for example, by asking our iTunes contacts to feature certain works.

What's in it for me?

  1. Money. You will get 70% of all net royalties earned through the sale of your content. For a 99-cent track, iTunes pays 70 cents. PRX retains 30% of that to cover our own costs.
  2. Fans. You will also be expanding your network of listeners... always a good thing. Many of the people who use iTunes and other music services are not public radio listeners, so you're reaching a new audience.
  3. Hipster-ness. "I have an album for sale on iTunes." Try saying that out loud. Sounds good, no?

Do I have to be a paid member of PRX to participate?
Paid PRX membership is required for us to send your work to iTunes. Royalties are paid on a semi-annual basis, with your regular PRX royalties, and are taxable.

Sounds cool, but aren't these services just for musicians and record labels?
While digital audio distribution typically involves music, iTunes has welcomed PRX producers' content into their Store. If you dig around, you'll see there's plenty of room for more and better content. We talk regularly with iTunes about the special considerations of spoken word albums, such as thorough descriptions and longer track lengths. We're not only learning new ground, we're breaking it, too.

What's the story with rights?
You retain all the rights to your work and are granting us certain rights to distribute and promote it. Also, you should make sure you've cleared all necessary rights to third-party material included in your pieces, including music. Some uses of music might be considered fair use, while others would require permission from the copyright holder. PRX cannot advise you on legal matters and cannot clear these rights for you. For more on fair use visit

I have more questions.
Ask away. Please feel free to contact us.