Getting A Gold Record By Selling Nothing

By Jeff Price

Some time ago, we had a TuneCore Artist sell thousands of copies of his single every week.  The song and sales caught the attention of a major label, the two met and a marketing/distribution deal was struck directly between them. The single went on to break into the commercial radio charts and sold over a million copies within a year.

Recently, the label reached out to TuneCore asking for sales info on the single prior to the artist working with the label – they are trying to get an RIAA platinum sales award for the single.

There is something very wrong with this picture

Before the digital world, Gold Records (500,000 units), Platinum Records (1,000,000 units) and, for a short time, Diamond Records (10,000,000 units) were based on the number of physical units shipped, not sold. If the label/distributor could ship a certain number of copies of a release into the market, it was eligible to buy a sales award “certified” by the RIAA, a trade organization created to represent the interest of its label members. However, everything that was shipped to record stores could be returned back to the distributor for a refund.  A label could literally ship out a million CDS, sell a lot less than they shipped but still be eligible to buy a plaque. This was sort of a “who watches the watchman” situation, but it made sense as distribution was consolidated and controlled by the RIAA members.

As absurd as this may sound, this system actually worked pretty well.  Most labels did not want to spend huge amounts of money manufacturing inventory that they knew they would not sell just so they could ship it.  Nor did they want to pay additional money to force inventory onto shelves of record stores so they could get the opportunity to spend even more money to buy a RIAA certified shipment plaque to hang on the wall (although it did happen).  And finally, the majority of music being released and distributed was going through the RIAA member’s pipelines.

All that changed with the shift to digital music sales.  First, as noted at the start of this article, the RIAA no longer has a handle on what is being distributed as the majority of releases in the music stores are being placed there by entities outside of the four major music distribution companies.  With the loss of control comes the loss of knowledge and information. Next, consumers are now predominantly buying individual songs across an artist’s catalog as opposed to albums.  The concept of a gold record is sort of out the window, in its place is the gold artist.  In addition, the concept of what counts towards being eligible to get one of these awards is in doubt. Does a sale or download count if it sells for $0.05?  How about $0.10 or $0.25 or another price point?  How about a twelve song album priced at $2.99?  Does a stream count?  If not, why not?  What if the stream generated more revenue than the download?  What qualifies the consumption of music as “eligible” to be counted? Which brings us to the ridiculous situation of asking a non-qualified trade organization to verify something it is no longer qualified to verify. To be blunt, who cares if the RIAA does or does not believe you have sold a certain number of copies.  The truth is the truth whether they say it is or not.

The concern I have is the perpetuation of a myth that discredits those achieving “success” by claiming they are not eligible for a coveted award.  Let’s face it, having a gold record hanging on your wall is freakin’ cool – they look great.  But what exactly do they now represent?

And herein lies the challenge: having an entity issue these awards should mean there is either a non-partial governmental agency issuing them (not going to happen) or there is a consolidation of power and information into an institution (like the RIAA) giving them the knowledge, information and control to be qualified to issue these sorts of awards – and that’s just a bad idea.

With more music being distributed globally by non-RIAA members, hard empirical data showing what has sold or streamed (as opposed to shipped), the shift from buying/downloading albums to buying/downloading singles and the forthcoming “cloud” services, we really need a new definition of what counts, who gets to say it counts and what the awards represent.  If not, we will have a great looking bunch of eye candy on the wall that may as well just be fool’s gold.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.cravis Steven Cravis

    It’s incredibly refreshing to know that I can put my new recordings and album art out there instantly for sale, without impacting the environment with more plastic and chemicals.

    • http://www.hammyhavoc.com Hammy Havoc

      My thoughts exactly.

  • http://www.tablazines.com Tablazines

    Great article. I know you gave me permission before to reprint articles as long as proper credit is given… does that still hold.. because I would definitely like to reprint this article.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marvin-T-Jackson/100000088867538 Marvin T. Jackson

      Its about time dont you think ! and oh yes 3rd Realms release is out now !!

      • http://www.tablazines.com Tablazines

        fucking spammers!

    • admin

      Glad you enjoyed the article. Please go ahead and share the article, and link back to us!

    • Anonymous

      Glad you enjoyed the article. Please go ahead and print the article with appropriate credit, and link back to us!

  • http://www.soundinthehall.com Soundinthehall

    Hi,
    I’m going through this right now with the RIAA. We developed a selling method that helped us sell 300,000 in 3 days and 677,000 in just 46 days. They were all digital downloads. I love this article. We should be certified gold but, well the battle continues so I don’t want to go into details yet. If and when we are certified we will let every indie artist know how to do it as well. For details go to soundinthehall.com.
    Mike
    Sound in the Hall

    • Soundinthehall

      Didn’t work. Selling a song for 1 cent does not count as ‘money’ according to the RIAA. They just changed the law to a must sell for minimum of 37 cents. We tried.

      • tunecore

        and do we care what the RIAA has to say?

        Your success counts regardless of it the RIAA etc recognize it
        jeff

  • HANNIBAL THE BEAT ANIMAL

    This is such a great article.

    I have a story I always tell about a friend of a friend that works for a major label (I can’t say who) but there’s a big female singer on this label. Anyways, the label wanted her single to be the number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 & he told me that the label made the single available to her fans online for a penny! The song was downloaded around 400,000 times & sure enough, she got that number 1 spot. A week or so later, the single went gold & I was confounded at how they had tricked the system.

    Loved this article.

    HANNIBAL the BEAT ANIMAL
    1/3 of Team MF’N
    http://www.myspace.com/Gaimezworld
    http://www.youtube.com/user/mfntertainment
    http://www.twitter.com/mfnhannibal
    http://www.facebook.com/ILLGaimezIsHANNIBAL

  • Pretty Williw

    Nice article. God Bless Ya! http://www.theyfs.com

  • Dulcet Jones

    I would have read this but there’s a window that says “Share” right in the middle at all times and I can’t get rid of it, soooo, goodbye.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry about that! We’re working out some issues with the new blog design. Should be working now, please let us know if it’s not!

      • Ben-J.A.H

        It’s not….

  • Kylestone2

    Most so called independent labels are not that at all. If a record is being sold in a store (not a mom and pop store) like bestbuy or fye. 9 times out of 10 they are being distributed by an “independent” division of one of the big four ie sony/red. You better believe the riaa knows whos selling and whos not. If your a true independent artist there is pretty much know way to get your music in one of these stores unless you can prove your selling in that region and the only way to do that is to have neilsen authenticate your sales. This however is nearly impossible. Despite this constant argument that says labels are out of date and mean nothing in todays digital market unless your on a ligit label or “independent” you will be fighting an uphill battle.

  • Sparky271

    Each individual digital music seller should decide what a gold record is, for instance 250,000 copies etc. When a release reaches that amount, the seller should award the artist a gold record.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nadir.omowale Nadir Omowale

      Or a gold-plated mp3?

      • Anon

        Bronzed Ethernet cable.

  • Tansahthomas

    with the RIAA. We developed a selling method that helped us sell 300,000 in 3 days and 677,000 in just 46 days. They were all digital downloads. I love this article. We should be certified gold but, well

  • MaxxsteelTheGOD

    Well put, being simply an artist outside of the business-scope of the industry, I’ve been seeing and saying this for more than a decade. Smoke and mirrors have been around since the inception,and a stubborn business model like that will die before submit and/or deal honestly wit the artists and fans alike. Its a brave new day though and I thank Jeff,Tunecore and DefJam for making it possible for little old me to actually live off my art in my own terms. We either run from or embrace the future and I’m huggging the clock ( ill let olympians do the running ) oh and by the way, MY ALBUM’S OUT!
    Tell the riaa I just shipped a gazillion units digitally, I want my plaque! lol
    Enjoy! < -thank me later "Re-Evolution" by MaxxSteeltheGOD
    http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/re-evolution/id429004393

  • Labyrd

    Lose the share button!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • admin

      Sorry about that, and thanks for pointing it out! We’ve removed the sharebar as we’re fixing the problem…

  • Robbielacombe

    You would think that making great money and playing shows would be enough of a reward itself. Who needs a record on the wall to know if they are great or not? Most of the artist getting those now, I wouldn’t listen to if it were the last recording on earth. Most popular music is garbage and sounds like the song played before it on the radio.:)

  • Toydoc

    Are you gold if you put your song on You tube for free and 500,000 people watch it or listen to it?

    • Matth

      I think YouTube is the net equivalent of radio play in the old model, so I’d say no. Money changing hands is where all the gold comes in. :)

      • Anonymous

        each time a song is streamed via YouTube, under the law, the songwriter is to be paid for the public performance, the publisher is to be paid for the “reproduction” and the “label” is to be paid for use of the recording

        there is not much money from places like YouTube yet, but give it time.

        they said there was no money in cable TV for songwriters when cable TV first launched.

        jeff

        • Matth

          Oh yeah. I completely forgot the fact that there is a fee expected for radio play.
          That’s actually good news. I suppose. Unless YouTube’s stance is “have it removed if you are the copyright owner” so they don’t owe you any $$.

          But when I see those “VEVO” channels on YouTube – clearly that’s a major label effort and money is changing hands. Right? Commercials at the beginning. Example:
          http://www.youtube.com/user/SloanVEVO

          I wonder if Tunecore members could get a cut of their plays through some kind of deal like this. Especially if you have an unexpected viral runaway hit.

          • Anonymous

            yup, you can

            coming soon… the deal with YouTube

            jeff

          • Matth

            Jeff

              (you guys fucking rule.)

  • http://dstructo.blogspot.com Subbbace

    great post :)

  • http://twitter.com/ProProducerJC JC

    The system works so fast now. Once a song is finished, it can be intellectually protected and put online with minutes; depending on how fast the internet connection is. Being a music creator definitely seems to have a new meaning in today’s industry.

    • Indikator

      That is does.

    • Indikator

      That it does.

  • http://www.myspace.com/rmazurek Rob Mazurek

    Well Personally I think Apple should introduce their own “Gold,Platinum and Diamond” sales awards artists for Digital downloads since they are the number 1 Digital music store most recognized Globally.
    I also think this should be done in Two Seperate Catagories- Major Label Sales, and Independant Artist Sales. I believe these such awards if adopted by Apple, would be even more universally accepted by both artists and the public. (and just think of the publicity if Apple hosted an annual TV awards show- Revenue they could generate from TV advertising alone would pay for airtime ! )

    • http://www.facebook.com/LilTexof20Bloccent Tremain Tex Wilson

      i agree, to add to that i think that every digital distribution company should have their own separate award considering they only keep count of their digital distributes

      • Mr.Pato

        I think thats one hell of a  great idea,bnp records would be getting a AWARD for sure!!!!!!!
        lol, anyway  good thinking.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MRQUICKTRACKZ Alex De La Espriella

      i concur!

    • LockChainPres

      That is an amazing point Rob…frankly, I can’t believe (given my experience with marketing and entertainment) that you thought of that before I did. I hope the eyes of Apple (Mainly Mr. Jobs himself) have read this posting of yours and is waiting to put this plan into action. Good Job

    • Rich

      Sounds like something that would make me puke. It’s like Boxing or Film Awards. How many freaking categories, organizations, awards and governing bodies do you need?
      Furthermore, they’ve been doing the same thing with books forever. New York Times Bestseller isn’t necessarily based on accurate to-consumer sales numbers either, and you can actually buy your own books in bulk just to get the “label.” It’s all just marketing B.S.
      We don’t need to be told that Appetite For Destruction or Thriller have sold a butt ton of copies. We know they’ve sold a butt ton. Giving a Blue Ribbon to the artist is great for P.R. and cocktail parties, but does little for the consumer, other than validate his sense that his favorite album is REALLY awesome — because it is REALLY popular.
      Don’t get me wrong. I would get a thrill out of having a Platinum Album, but does my album get better to listen to when I find out it’s gone Platinum? Does the music get better? Does the new Star Wars film become easier to watch because it wins a Nebraska Film Critics Award? Do I become a better boxer when I win one of the 47 Heavyweight Titles? In other words, once it gets super convoluted, who fuckin’ cares anymore?

  • Anonymous

    It seems the best way to measure is by sales and streams as shipping music is becoming a thing of the past. I’d like to see improvements in the content which comes with the music I download, e.g. lyrics, credits, artists notes, but that’s another topic.

    • Marzguitarz

      Oddly enough our physical sales are double our download sales…shrug I totally agree about making art & Lyrics part of the download but for these companies they just view it as more server usage which costs them $$. Maybe if people had the choice to pay an extra 25cents for the art & Lyric package?

  • BillyJames5376

    well said Brother

  • http://twitter.com/solyot solyot

    Thus ends the monopoly for truth and quality. This may save our planet from disaster The material power loses battle to the intellectual charge. The consciousness is the only and the most effective weapon of freedom. Here is the song I’m working on:
    WHO IS ON MY SIDE?
    I discovered we’re not covered
    Situation’s getting worse, Is this a curse?
    May be a choice? There comes a voice
    From an ancient red wood “
    Yo dud? Would you like to stay alive if you could?
    Realize? They are cutting down a size
    Like a football field per minute and they mean it!
    You wouldn’t have a single tree, just an in-dust-tree
    That’s the god you trust! Fumes and dust!
    Disaster became my master
    I changed Ocean into toxic potion
    The streets became my exhaust pipe
    I got rotten before ripe
    Is this my world without any tree?
    The entire world one chemical fuck-tree
    That’s how my greed is going to bleed
    The bigger Success the bigger the mess
    The more birds are soaked in a tar
    The more I score the darker the shore
    What actually are we cuttin’?
    Cuttin’ a branch we’re sittin’ on
    Cutting our own throat I rather warship a goat!
    Nature under slaughter feels like a slaughter of my daughter
    I am calling the cops! The cop is telling me: “Shut up!
    Eat your beagle! That’s all legal!”
    I’m talking to a judge: There is a homicide!
    Killing the planet Everything on it
    Destruction of Nature It’s our suicide
    I decided to stop that, are you on my side?
    The judge is giving me a smudge:
    “Sure you need attention, I’ll put you in a detention
    It’s better then a prison for no reason
    In few years zour case disappears
    Together with you nody has a clue
    My case! What is my case? I’m on a run with my suitcase!
    In a hopeless situation I start to see the correlation
    I have to talk with an Eagle: What legal is and what’s illegal
    Destruction of Nature it’s our suicide
    I decided to stop that who is on my side?
    Advanced technology University, diploma,
    The great scientists, presidents, popes
    Like in a coma
    Giving themselves Nobel disaster turns global
    They need more meat
    Frequency of pregnancy
    Profit out of your coffin
    Mutilate manipulate
    Giving you a head of state
    Chemical testicle
    A moron for tomorrow
    For an ego trip the life is taken
    The cop is telling me: Shut up and eat your bacon
    I listen to my inner voice:
    Destruction of Nature is our suicide
    I decided to stop that! Who is on my side?
    Destruction of Nature is legal, our extinction is legal
    The Eagle says: Stop whining. Make it illegal

    Karol Harven Shamanic Drive
    http://bit.ly/fxwUyG

  • Karol Harven

    Thus ends the monopoly for truth and quality. This may save our planet from disaster The material power loses battle to the intellectual charge. The consciousness is the only and the most effective weapon of freedom. Here is the song I’m working on:
    WHO IS ON MY SIDE?
    I discovered we’re not covered
    Situation’s getting worse Is this a curse?
    May be a choice? There comes a voice
    From an ancient red wood “
    Yo dud? Would you like to stay alive if you could?
    Realize? They are cutting down a size
    Like a football field per minute and they mean it!
    You wouldn’t have a single tree, just an in-dust-tree
    That’s the god you trust! Fumes and dust!
    Disaster became my master
    I changed Ocean into toxic potion
    The streets became my exhaust pipe
    I got rotten before ripe
    Is this my world without any tree?
    The entire world one chemical fuck-tree
    That’s how my greed is going to bleed
    The bigger Success the bigger the mess
    The more birds are soaked in a tar
    The more I score the darker the shore
    What actually are we cuttin’?
    Cuttin’ a branch we’re sittin’ on
    Cutting our own throat I rather warship a goat!
    Nature under slaughter feels like a slaughter of my daughter
    I am calling the cops! The cop is telling me: “Shut up!
    Eat your beagle! That’s all legal!”
    I’m talking to a judge: There is a homicide!
    Killing the planet Everything on it
    Destruction of Nature It’s our suicide
    I decided to stop that, are you on my side?
    The judge is giving me a smudge:
    “Sure you need attention, I’ll put you in a detention
    It’s better then a prison for no reason
    In few years zour case disappears
    Together with you nody has a clue
    My case! What is my case? I’m on a run with my suitcase!
    In a hopeless situation I start to see the correlation
    I have to talk with an Eagle: What legal is and what’s illegal
    Destruction of Nature it’s our suicide
    I decided to stop that who is on my side?
    Advanced technology University, diploma,
    The great scientists, presidents, popes
    Like in a coma
    Giving themselves Nobel disaster turns global
    They need more meat
    Frequency of pregnancy
    Profit out of your coffin
    Mutilate manipulate
    Giving you a head of state
    Chemical testicle
    A moron for tomorrow
    For an ego trip the life is taken
    The cop is telling me: Shut up and eat your bacon
    I listen to my inner voice:
    Destruction of Nature is our suicide
    I decided to stop that! Who is on my side?
    Destruction of Nature is legal, our extinction is legal
    The Eagle says: Stop whining. Make it illegal

    Karol Harven Shamanic Drive
    http://bit.ly/fxwUyG

  • Buddy Mix

    True Itunes is the biggest, but there are other services around the world that deserve recognition for their part. Would an impartial group that monitors all services to create an accurate accounting of downloads be a way to go?

    Apple being one, could sponsor a TV award cermony and share the limelight with others. Also, distributors like TuneCore and CDBaby could participate as on-line distributors.

    Depending on the various categories, Airplaydirect.com could highlight streamed music to radio stations. Independents could send in their results, which would be confirmed by various entities.

    The envelope please……..And the winner is………..these results were kept under lock and key until tonights ceremony and are warranted to be true by Deloit and Touche accounting firm……….Here to present the album of the year…….

    …………………. 😉

    What should it be called?

  • Marzguitarz

    I think Silver and bronze status should be added to the mix as it would give many indie artists something to shoot for. As an example using the “Old” system Silver = 250,000 units and Bronze = 100,000 units.

    Now as for a new system that would include streams and the wide margin of digital pricing. I think it should be based on the amount of revenue generated by a song and/or album. This includes streams, digital and physical sales. I think there is an opportunity hear for a company to step in and monitor all of these sales similar to Nelson SoundScan. So if a band only releases a single, then the song could go gold, if they release the song within an album the sales of a song go towards the album’s merit.

  • Directdistributor1

    For those who are experiencing that problem with the share buttom,open your window up to full view
    the button will move to the left.

  • http://itunes.apple.com/nz/artist/lj-siete/id360404788 OpperTune

    Sometimes that status helps people recognize. Not every artist can start off showcasing and booking. It’s a combination of 2 things, practically giving your music away and cheating the system. Both have allowed my artist to gain more momentum as we gear up for his second album this summer.

    LJ Siete
    http://itunes.apple.com/nz/artist/lj-siete/id360404788

  • http://brentalfloss.com brentalfloss

    This is one of my favorite blogs.

  • Acearl

    Dear Sir/ Madam,
    I have an album on itunes and Amazon but I never seem to know what are the correct sales.
    What should I do.?????
    Best regards.
    Alfred Earl.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Alfred- shoot us an email at support@tunecore.com and our artist support team will help explain how sales work!

  • byron

    im Happy. for this .i am so happy. .thank you Guy. any one who reading for this company.

  • Jamie X

    This article is good, but it is not entirely accurate. I do not agree that the old system of judging a gold or platinum record was good, because the record companies did order albums and pay for the stock, because it would not just get them a gold or platinum record, it would also get them up the charts, which would enforce them getting played on the radio, which then would equal sales, which would then equal money back.

    • Jeff

      That’s actually a really good point – spend enough money to create a self fulfilling prophecy

      • Jamie Xenophontos

        Thanks Jeff! Yeah that was how so many Major record company artists got big in Australia (especially bad acts). But even back to Jimi Hendrix with Hey Joe, they did things like that, they bought enough copies, that it got him the charts! I guess with Hendrix, that was a great thing! haha.

        I think they should probably just do charts and gold and platinum sales on the downloads across the board, and sales of CD’s, and possibly DVD’s too.

        • Cjpnh

          Making radio commercial offline charts (trade publications) use to be Radio & Records Magazine, Gavin Magzine, Cashbox Magazine, & Billboard Trade Magazine which were in print media. Digital media & business absorption deals lost a few of these charts down to Billboard & Cashbox Magazines. There are some smaller newer online charts that have a presence today but some are making the mistake of charging for airplay placement on charts. This is not legal nor ethical.
          We all know that airplay commercially is based on each stations in the the USA in the format (Rap, Adult, Pop, Country, etc.) that gives airtime to the song and plays it from low rotation to highest rotation. This is reported to the trade publication which tally those airplay points to make the chart in that trade.
          Someone years ago also figured out that the stations can be sold “clear channel’ pre programming of songs on a disc tape which cuts costs for the radio stations having a music program director who listens and adds the songs to his stations chart. It’s a process which once took weeks to generate maybe a #1 but today can be in one day when stations are tied into the publication.
          There is a service that can be paid for a songwriter / publisher to send the finished product for distribution to commercial radio and then a radio promoter calls / contacts with email etc. the station to play the song. This is done daily / weekly so that the success continues upwards for the song. Make sure the promoter has worked for the major labels in the recent past and they will have a lot of contacts throughout the USA for commercial airplay too. Otherwise verification of successes in the recent past is the key to any service that is paid. You wouldn’t add a room to your home if the contractor or carpenter would not have proof of his prior work still standing, would you?
          It’s not hard anywhere in the world to chart songs if you are dealing with a solidly produced product equal to any others played on the radio but remember not everyone likes pizza or steak…and your songs are not going to be liked by everyone either.
          Fact is still there IS room for everyone though and this is the key. Charting is a good meter to judge a product but the sales of the MP3 files or CD solid product is the bottom line as long as the tally isn’t from buy backs.
          Be polite,.be persistent, be honest, and work hard….then success will come to stay and not here one day and gone the next!
          Our company is consulting exclusive to the music recording industry since 1989. Charted songs nationally & internationally commercial radio plus TV, movies, etc. The founder has helped many through the years but you can read the story on CJP-NHRecords.com anytime

    • Cjpnh

      There was a standard record label business distribution practice like most companies that sell product that may be dated they buy back which counts as sales. Then re issue at a lower price the same product and so on until it hits the Mom&Pop Binds of certain stores w/o compensation. Distribution business of any manufactured product including music needs to be studied by songwriters & musicians. Awards are cool for promotion but there are many which some have purchased w/o good proven consumer sales. Remember things often are not as they seem but then when the truth can be validated then there is merit in the product beyond the production.

  • Jamie Xenophontos

    Why was my post deleted? I’m a gold and platinum selling producer, (and a Tunecore artist( I would of thought my viewpoint was worth reading?

  • Jamie Xenophontos

    Sorry my post was not deleted, mibad!

  • Sab Money Records
  • Fronz Arp

    Aside from the cool factor (and oh it would be cool) aren’t these type of awards just publicity stunts in essence? Because general public like jumping on board with something thats popular, if you represent sales to an easy to understand way they’ll leap onto the trend wagon – I’ve heard lots of Joe Publics being impressed by Gold and Platinum sales without even knowing how many units that means

    So anyway, the more companies there are handing out awards (digital distributors etc) the less and less the awards mean to anyone outside the music industry. In the above story, I’m sure said record company wouldn’t bother trawling through sales of another company unless the ‘platinum sales’ status meant more money for them in the long run. Their certainly not doing it for the cool factor

  • Fronz Arp

    Oh and thanks Jeff, this is a really interesting discussion topic. How does an old value system work with the new digital distribution system… perhaps it doesn’t

  • Joett

    Great article. Unimaginable though that shipment was all it took. Looks kinda stupid too.

  • WOOD

    Obviously the music industry has changed significantly with the technology.  Although so many of the benefits of digital downloads are clear, there may be some down side from the destruction of the “music industry.”  In the past the few artists who were able to make it to the top of the pack (and had fair contracts) were able to become very wealthy making music and many more were able to at least earn a decent living.  I hope the most talented current and future artists are able to financially benefit from their talents as they deserve. 

    Also, much of what anyone over 30 remembers as radio, MTV, and concerts were all promotional tools of the industry to promote record/tape/CD sales.  Although the industry was most concerned with profits, fans of many popular artists were able to enjoy much of what we were presented with.  And although we did not have the ability to download music from anyone with a computer and protools, we were able to cast our vote for our favorites by purchasing records.  Certainly the industry picked many of the winners and losers purely by what bands were signed, and what genres of music would be promoted (or shunned), the greatest artists were still able to connect with their audience.  Now many of these legendary artists can distribute their own records, promote their own concerts, and have creative control of their music, their partnership with the record industry helped them achieve that status.  Now, it seems only “Nashville” is following the old path.  Country music (which is now a very broad pop-music style, not just hillbilly twang) is driven by traditional record (CD) sales and promoted across the country by country radio, CMT, and concert tours paid for by the record companies.

    Only the future will tell if the the next century’s greatest artists will rise to fame and fortune without the recording industry behind them, or if they will toil relentlessly for relatively no money as the popular artists did before the record industry had it’s heyday.

  • DinoSinger

    I think I’d rather be in TuneCore’s top 100 artists based on sales than any color album. Awards are for egos and marketing. Maybe TuneCore will come up with their own awards.

  • Joker Baker

    IT’S ‘GREAT’ TO KNOW THAT I ALONE (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF?) AM PRODUCING MUSIC WHICH CANNOT BE EQUALLED. (MULTI INSTRUMENTALIST) AND NO HELP FROM ANYONE.
    TALENT IS ONLY FOR THE SELECT FEW.  THOSE WHO LACK SELF ESTEEM WILL THINK THAT THESE STATEMENTS ARE CONCEITED, BUT WHEN THEY SYSTEMATICALLY LOWER THE STANDARD OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, AND THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE VERY LITTLE TO FEEL HAPPY ABOUT, THEY DON’T HAVE TO WORK VERY HARD AND THUS COME UP WITH CRAP.
    THE PROOF IS IN THE ‘MUSIC.’
    I THOUGHT THAT WAS OBVIOUS??
    AS OPPOSED TO A GREAT DEAL OF ‘OUTDATED’ MODERN STUFF, WHICH ALWAYS SEEMS TO SOUND LIKE THEY ARE MAKING IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG? –  EMPTY??
    LITTLE FEELING IN A PERSON – LITTLE FEELING IN THE MUSIC!!
    THAT’S THE WAY IT WORKS!!
    IF THIS COMES ACROSS AS BEING OUTSPOKEN, GOOD!!  AND IT’S ONLY BECAUSE THE STANDARD HASN’T YET BEEN ‘ALLOWED TO BE RAISED’, AND WHEN IT HAS, YOU WILL FORGET THAT YOU EVER READ THIS!!
    YOU WILL BE TOO BUSY FEELING JOYOUS,  INSTEAD OF FRUSTRATED!!
    MIND YOU, THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS OF A NEW CENTURY ARE ALWAYS LIKE THIS!!
    GOOD DAY!!

    • Anon

      Why are you yelling?

  • http://www.hotfrog.com/Companies/Atlanta-Gold-and-Coin-Buyers Atlanta Gold and Coin Buyers

    Oh its a gold band record first I’ve read the title ans I was like, what?? getting gold without selling anything how this can be possible but anyways its a good deal if you people are providing Gold record I like the music.. thanks for the information

  • Radioeris

    replace “shipped” with “downloaded for a price.”  Problem solved.

  • Amercer

    Personally i think the digital music world has literally saved music. It’s not so easy to pirate our music and hustle it on the corners although rappers of my stature are only concerned with just being heard. Somehow we must pull more consumers into the digital music world to totally get rid of this disease called bootlegging. I’ve checked out alot of artists that come through tunecore and i have the faith that those great individuals along with myself can bring all genres of music to the worl and get our royalties like we deserve…….,Ps check out Wyked G feat. Yung Kool Supreme (Take Me Alive). May God Bless U All!!!!!!!!!

  • http://plagiarismchecker.us/ Ravi Kumar

    Thanks for sharing Great article. I know you gave me permission before to reprint articles
    as long as proper credit is given… does that still hold.. because I
    would definitely like to reprint this article.

    http://www.onlinerockstore.com/

    • tunecore

      Hey Ravi! Thanks for reading. You’re welcome to share our articles as long as you are giving proper credit to our author and linking back to the original article.