Charting the Un-Charted

The New TuneCore Charts by Jeff Price

Today TuneCore launched two TuneCore charts

The TuneCore Top 20 Artist Chart

The TuneCore Top 20 Songs Chart

The charts are compiled from the iTunes daily trend reports. As we get more daily sales information from additional stores, we will include these sales numbers in the charts.

The TuneCore Top 20 Artist Chart adds together the number of albums, ringtones and singles sold to come up with the ranking

The TuneCore Top 20 Song Chart lists the best selling individual songs.

These charts will be updated weekly

In addition, over the next few weeks we will be adding additional features to the charts – for example, on the Top 20 Artist Chart, when the Artist name is clicked on it will show the titles and release date of each album, single or ringtone. When the release title is clicked on, it will provide a track listing. Next to each release title will be a link to buy at iTunes

With the launch of these charts, I also wanted to provide the world a perspective on the legitimacy and importance of TuneCore Artists (and by extension all Artists). There is more music selling by more artists now than at any time in history. Music sales by unit are up, not down (RIAA, IFPI and Nielsen data also state this)

Many TuneCore Artists are outselling and/or are making more money than “signed” Artists. This is a testament to their music. When you add access to digital stores and media outlets (like YouTube) and combine it with social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and mass communication social networking technologies like Twitter, Artists can, and are, selling hundreds of thousands, and in some cases, millions, of songs across their catalog of work.

Here is some hard data just from TuneCore Artists

In 2009, TuneCore Artists were paid for the download or stream of over 65 million songs and albums over all stores TuneCore works with generating over $35 million in gross music sales

    From these 65 million units, TuneCore Artists sold:
  • 26,230,308 songs, or about 40% all sales
  • 1,470,502 albums, or about 2.3% of all sales
  • 37,475,907 streams, or about 57% of all sales

By Genre, Rock was king for paid album downloads selling 16% of all digital album sales, followed by Alternative (13.5%) and then HipHop (12.2%)

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Rock dominated even more for paid song downloads selling 23% of all digital song sales, followed by Alternative (18%) and then Pop (12.5%)

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However, 23% of all paid streams were HipHop followed by Alternative (13%) and then Rock (12%)

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We also began collecting detailed information in a new way starting November 1st, 2009 and compiled some results through the end of April, 2010

From November 1st, 2009 to April 30th, 2010 TuneCore Artists were paid from JUST iTUNES for the download of 17 million songs and albums generating over $24 million in gross music sales

To the very pressing question of:

What Day of the Week Does iTunes Sell the Most Music?

We can state for TuneCore Artists 16% of all weekly sales from November 1st through April 30th occurred on a Sunday. Most interesting is that Tuesday, the traditional day of the week for new releases and highest one day sales, came in fourth

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To the other pressing question that keeps you you awake at night as to what the Top 20 Music Buying States on iTunes are, California leads the pack with 9.5% followed by Texas and New York.

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Which of course leads us to what are the Top 25 Cities for Music Sales for TuneCore Artists between November 1st, 2009 to April 30th, 2010

New York City (defined as just Manhattan) was #1 with $145,000 in music sales, followed by Chicago and Houston. (Yes, we know Brooklyn is a borough, not a city, but the post office database does segregate it out as a city, and all the TuneCore employees from Brooklyn lobbied me hard to make certain I left it as one)

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Finally, we thought it would be interesting to identify the Top 10 Days of the Year That Sold the Most Music from November 1st – April 30th

Santa must have given a lot of iPods, iTunes gift certificates and iPhones as Christmas Day was the #1 best selling music day of the past six months for TuneCore Artists with over $250,000 worth of music selling.  Next up, no surprise here, is December 26th, the day after Christmas, with over $160,000 worth of music. After that, I could not for the life of me tell you whey Febuary 7th etc sold so much

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Download all the charts

  • kirk turnbull

    Very useful info well done everyone at tunecore but what about music sales country by country as we don’t all live over the pond.;)

  • George Ziemann

    “Music sales by unit are up, not down (RIAA, IFPI and Nielsen data also state this)”
    This is the most misleading statement you can make about the music industry right now, which is exactly why the RIAA, IFPI and Nielsen all like to lead their PR with it.
    By this metric, two singles are worth more than an album.
    If you sold 500 CDs last year ($5000 in sales at iTunes) but this year you only sold 200 CDs and 400 individual songs ($2,400 in sales), your “music sales by unit are up,” even though your income was cut in half.

  • Justin Boland

    Why stop at a top 20? Just drop a top 200 so it’s at least useful. Feed the net some serious data, a top 20 is something the USA Today would do.

  • Billwagner3

    This top 20 chart is completely and utterly useless. If you are going to do this, you need all the same genres Billboard uses and the top 200 if not more. Otherwise, forgedduaboutit!

  • Pamela Royal

    How do I send you my music? Also, do you play and or accept INSTRUMENTAL music? TX

  • Jeff

    You hit the nail on the head. More music is being bought and the cost to consumers to buy it is lower.
    However, by going direct via TuneCore, an artist makes more money off the sale than it would via a sale by a label
    For example, a $17.98 CD bought in Best Buy distributed by a label earns the artist about $1.40 off that sale. A $9.99 album sold via iTunes distributed via a label also earns the artist about $1.40 a unit sold
    An artist selling an album for $9.99 via iTunes using TuneCore earns $7 off the sale of the album
    More music is selling for less but with the middlemen gone, the artist earns more per sale

  • Bob Ryszkiewicz

    Hi TuneCore: I just added Thumbplay to my stores list, and the possibilities of the “Digital Revolution” intrigue me as I used to work for PolyGram.
    Charts? sure, good idea. Might be better expanded to Top 100 or more. Lotsa Artist’s in Cyberland..
    Kudos to Jeff & Crew for TuneCore. AMAZING what you have accomplished…THANK YOU!
    Peace…bob ryszkiewicz

  • Peter Kirn

    I can see the Brooklyn thing. I mean, it’s not as if it’s been over a hundred years since New York become one city, right?
    Oh, wait. Yes it has.
    You might as well call this a survey of music in the English colonies. Come on. We’re one city, New York. We have, like, bridges and tunnels and a single fare that gets us anywhere. And put Brooklyn together with Manhattan (and Queens, and the Bronx, and Staten Island), and the place is even more dominant.

  • Buckminster Darwin

    “More music is selling for less but with the middlemen gone, the artist earns more per sale/”
    Yes, but that middleman may put $100,000+ into marketing that makes sales actually happen in the first place.
    The challenge is still how do you get in front of people? And now everyone fancies themselves a world class artist, so it’s a sea of artists trying to get in front of the same amount of people that only a few 100 had access to 40 years ago. Soooo, adjust your expectations artists!

  • Jeff

    @ Buckminster
    98% of what the majors have released failed despite the billions of dollars put into marketing. Just having the marketing spend does not mean sales or fame
    Sales come via media exposure allowing someone to hear the music – the music then has to cause reaction. To generate revenue the artist must monetize the fame they have created.
    All artists have access to the media outlets now – that’s my point.
    Look at these TuneCore Artists
    Boyce Avenue sold over 1.2 million songs in the past 12 months with no label. Nershoutnever sold over 1 million songs with no label. Kelly sold over 2.2 million songs with no label. Nickasaur has sold over 250,000 songs with no label. Drake sold over 300,000 singles in 11 days with no label. Ron Pope sold over 250,000 songs with no label, Chase Coy sold over 300,000 songs with no label, William Fitzsimmons sold over 500,000 songs with no label, Jesus Culture has sold over 750,000 songs, ALL OF THE BELOW SOLD over 200,000 songs (and this list goes on and on and on)
    Please note – all of the artists above and below sold this much music BEFORE signed to any label. Some have since chosen to do marketing deals with labels, others have not.
    A Rocket to the Moon
    Stephen Jerzak
    Lloyd Banks
    Jaron and the Long Road to Love
    Sky Eats Airplane
    116 Clique
    Jeffree Star
    Trip Lee
    DJ Laz Feat. Flo Rida & Casely
    Secondhand Serenade
    Jason Reeves
    The Boxer Rebellion
    Eric Hutchinson
    Zac Brown Band
    Halloween Scream Themes
    Colt Ford
    Jon Lajoie
    Relaxing Piano Music
    Ron Pope
    Brett Dennen
    Stereo Skyline
    Hyper Crush
    Ahanu Music for Spa
    Katt Williams
    Dr. Horrible’s Sing along Blog
    Josh Kelley

  • Tom F

    Congrats to Jeff for providing a great service and to Erin for being very helpful in getting many of us started.
    I would agree that Tunecore should attempt to employ the same music genre charts as Billboard uses with perhaps a top 20, 25 or top-40 for each of their genres, instead of one large top-100 chart. Remember that Billboard combines stats via Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) which monitors radio signals so programmers cannot fudge the number of times a song is played on both internet and local radio stations for higher accuracy. Plus, Billboard also uses SoundScan in their chart stats which monitors retail sales. Tunecore should be able to obtain access to most of this type of information
    Thus, Tunecore could lead the way online for multi-genre charts which would effectively cover just about all recorded music as to both airplay and sales–placing the company at the pinnacle of online chart reliability. This would also attract much more media attention on all levels.

  • jim

    Does anyone know anything about Sam Adams?
    Did he buy some of the these songs?

  • Gerald Brusaschi

    Whole new respect for Tunecore in publishing the this data even if they are blowing the trumpet! Cheers Gerry


    Love the stats !!! Chicago is #2 on the charts!!! Very nice!!!

  • Jblack728

    how can i get distrubution for my dvd?
    can i put my dvd on tunecore?

  • Bruce Kaplan

    I forget. What is alternative alternative too? Who can tell the difference between alternative and not alternative.
    Time to consolidate the two, or break out rock into even more sub-genres.

  • klaus cornfield

    the “uncharted”, what a great bandname!

  • Jacob A

    PLEEZ tell me how to advertise my song!

  • Saif Rifs77

    Help me,please.
    I loaded only one track–song in mp-3.I didn’t read attentionly about WAW. My song is in ITunes now.How can I change it?

    • Anonymous

      Hi there,

      Since iTunes did accept your single as is you wouldn’t need to change the file type. But if you are still interested in changing it to a .wav, please check out this information about changes following distribution:


    • Anonymous

      i will ask Artist Support to get back to you


  • Dave Heimann

    Dear TuneCore,

    I read through your Terms & Conditions and the only part that was not clear was the “recurring subscription fees.”  What are these fees, how large they can be, and how often do they occur?  Thanks.

    • tunecore


      there is a flat rate of $49.99 per year per album and $14.99 per year per single
      That’s it