They say one year on the Net is like five years in the “real world,” in regards to the music industry, one year sure feels like 15.
When we launched TuneCore half a decade ago (sounds more impressive than five years) we built a system to change the music industry and empower and serve artists. Since then, the industry has changed and evolved: new stores have popped up, others have shut down; more music is being released, bought, streamed and shared as major labels downsize, release less music, consolidate, put themselves up for sale or get taken over by banks. Music sales by unit are up another 1.5% in 2010 (around 1.6 billion units). With the rumored forthcoming “cloud“ services from Google, Apple and Amazon and Spotify entering the US, the concept of over a trillion units being streamed or bought per year is no longer fantasy. Over the past 28 months alone, TuneCore Artists have sold over 300 million units generating over $150 million in gross music sales. Most of these TuneCore Artists are also the songwriter, the publishing company, and the performer, earning them over $100 million more in additional revenue from each of these additional income streams (more on the six legal copyrights that drive the music business can be found here).
Based on the market changes, it was time to invest, build and launch new upgrades, improvements and feature sets.
First up the accounting system – we looked at the old music industry royalty system and did the exact opposite. Artists deserve transparent, timely and clear sales information with instant access to every single dollar, dime, penny or fraction of penny.
The new upgraded accounting system lets you filter your sales information by release, song, store, as well as by best selling release or single, all in whatever timeframe you choose.
At the click of a few buttons, you can easily view the results of any promotion, tour dates, email campaign or video upload to YouTube.
You can also easily create and download custom reports around collaborated songs or releases to see how much money is owed to you and to the other artist or producer for just that one track or release.
In addition, we upgraded the system to display up to 14 places to the right of the decimal point. Unlike some other services, we will never ever round down and trim off any percentage of the money made from the sale or paid stream of your music. You deserve a clear and transparent lens into how your music is selling, how much you made and a way to get the money from those sales as soon as possible.
iTunes TREND REPORTS
There will be no more monthly or one-time charges for iTunes trend reports; they are now free. Each iTunes trend report shows detailed information about the person who bought your music in iTunes–this can include the US city, state, zip code (in the US) or postal code (outside of the US)–while providing information on how much music you sold and how much money you should expect.
To help you get your music out and collect more fan emails, each TuneCore account now gets up to 25 streaming media players at no additional cost. Your custom-made media player can be placed on Facebook, MySpace, your website, and other social networks. Each player allows you to stream your songs, have iTunes buy links as well as plug into your YouTube channel, Twitter account, list tour dates and link to any other website. You can also give away a song for free in exchange for an email address.
As more artists are creating and releasing music more quickly, we overhauled the entire upload system, allowing faster and up to 100 simultaneous song uploads at a time. When your song upload is complete, you can now playback each song to assure it is the right track.
EXCLUSIVE ARTIST PING ACCOUNTS
We are also working directly with Apple to help set up your own exclusive Artist Ping Account allowing you to connect directly with iTunes customers and show them videos, tour dates, playlist of music and more. (You can click here to download the registration form and click here to read more about Ping on our blog page.)
There are additional stores and new services being launched as we move through the year – as always, these will be opt in at your discretion.
We built this system because the industry needs it and artists deserve it. Please keep your suggestions coming! We view it as our job to serve you, not the other way around.