A Love Letter From The Back End Distribution Model

The back end distribution model is simple: we distribute your music and take a percentage of your money each and every time it sells. Some of us even charge an upfront fee on top of taking a percentage of your money each time your music sells.

As a “back end” model we work on the principle that all musicians are going to fail, or at best, only sell a little.  If you sell too much, it would not make financial sense to use us.  And if by some chance you do happen to do well, we get to rake in a ton of money off of your  hard work and talent. We believe this is how the music industry has always worked and should continue to work.

We understand we say we are your “partner,” but that’s not really what we are; you invest all the money and time.  Besides, we believe you will achieve mediocrity at best. If we’re wrong, and you actually succeed, it just proves our business model is wrong.  But no big deal, we get to rake it in off your hard work.   For us it’s a perfect model – you work, succeed and then pay us.

Some might call that an exploitive relationship, we call it love.

Please try not to think about that as you write and record songs, build a website, promote yourself through FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace and your blog, tour like crazy, hire a manager or pay for PR or an ad campaign, hand out demos, make CDs and dropcards, print up posters or apparel, hang up fliers, drum up word-of-mouth, sleep on the floor of your van as you tour around the country, max out your credit cards, and eat off the Taco Bell Value Menu.

We know that when you succeed our model doesn’t make sense for you.

We also know we make it look like our back end percentage gives us an incentive to help you earn a lot, but that doesn’t really work—how can we possibly promote everyone?  We certainly can’t treat everyone equally, but who knows, maybe we’re wrong and you’ll succeed from your own hard work and get to have more of your money go into our bank account.  Don’t get mad at us, it’s your own damn fault for writing great songs and investing and believing in yourself. Taking your money and having artists give their money to others is the way the music industry has operated for decades, why change it? What’s most important is that we distract you with promises we can’t keep and math formulas that show you how to save money by not being successful.

I suppose you could just pay a flat, upfront fee – but that just makes too much sense.  Why serve artists when you can simply exploit them?

We just see nothing wrong with: “Gimmie a piece of your soul, and then pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us and pay us…”?

Since when did respecting an artist matter?

Love,

The Back End Distribution Model

  • KINGJULEUS

    RE:your sarcastic(funny) letter ” we work on the principle that all musicians are going
    to fail, or at best, only sell a little”

    You guys work the same way “The Average TuneCore Artist Makes $179 a Year..”
    quote from this site:
    http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/stories/042511tunecore

    You want people to make it. but you don’t care, your $$$ comes from
    the number of artists you get involved in your program.
    You just increased your price renewal by 150% (AND ADDED MORE FEATURES)
    because you make money by getting more artists(and renewals), and really don’t
    care if they make it or not(I’m sure you hope some make it). You have no monetary incentive
    for your artists to make it, or not. You sell the dream. I want the dream
    but I know if the average is $179, then a very small % make a lot of money,
    and most make almost nothing.

    Amazon loves you becauset hey know most artists will at least buy their
    own CD(maybe a few of them), and if 500,000 bands/artists
    buy one or two of their own CD’s(to see what they look like)
    it’s a money maker for them.

    You guys are good, but not that good.

    This will not stop me from using tunecore because I’m
    one of those want to be artists, that thinks they have something
    worth listing to, and you have the best deal.

    ……..but don’t be holy-er than thou

    King

  • Anonymous

     I do not believe artist should have to give up a % of the money they make from the sale of their music. I dont believe they should work for someone else.

    And as far as the average amount of money statement – This “average income” conversation is the strangest I think I have come across in quite some time.  We are sitting in the middle of a transformation of a sector and the conversation is about a silly useless statistic around dividing Lady Gaga’s income into other people’s bottom line?

    You can read more about that here – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/04/average-artist-income-1-bajillion-dollars-cure-cancer-bring-peace-to-the-middleast-and-end-world-hunger.html

    • KINGJULEUS

      “TuneCore, or other DIY distributors, is not a guarantee of financial
      success (however defined). It’s about the extension of fairly price
      digital distribution to all artists — including hobbyists as well as
      stars. And it represents the ability of music consumers to buy music
      from each and every one of them.”

      This is the real answer

      King

      • Anonymous

        @b15c04286421bea7ad702286530c31b0:disqus 

        There is no guarantee of financial success for musicians.  Music has to cause reaction and  be available to be bought, heard and shared.  If marketing alone was the key, the majors would not have had a 98% failure rate

        In this day and age, no artist should be denied access to distribution and have to give up money each and every time their music sells

        There is now choiche

        the percentage of sales model is consistent with the historic record label model of indentured servitude; look where that got everyone!?

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  • Burntpeanuts

    Kingjuleus is right.  Sounds like Tunecore is trying to distract artists from their recent fee increases by attacking another distribution model, one which actually incentivizes the distributor to do whatever they can to make the artist more successful.

    • Anonymous

      I have a very different perspective. Artist have been screwed for decades by being indentured servants for others. This needs to stop.

      While some break out a slide ruler and protractor to convince them to remain as indentured servants, we will continue to working on setting them free and helping them succeed.

      • Ron Perovich

        You know what would help me succeed?  Not having to pay 150% more money to you for exactly the same service I was getting from you a year ago.  Not having to pay for services I don’t want, didn’t need and that weren’t part of the deal when I first signed on with you.

        I don’t care how morally superior you believe you are to CDBaby and the like.  The anger with your company that a lot of us are now feeling isn’t about comparing you to them, it’s about comparing you to the company you were last year.  The pat yourself on the back for saving music posts are really just that much more infuriating.  It’s not helping.

        • Anonymous

          @Ron

          First, I will make certain TuneCore Artist Support reach out to speak directly with you. That’s our job. If you heard about things from anywhere except from TuneCore, that’s not right. You should have heard it from us. I will make certain Artist Support reaches out to you.

          Second, to make certain you have the right info, here are the changes

          • no more $7.98 extra a month for weekly iTunes trend reports (moving to daily shortly)
          • no more $1.98 per month for additional TuneCore media players (get 25 for free now)
          • no more $1.98 for al-la-carte trend reports
          • no more charges per song or per store when initially distributing your release
          • no additional charge for marketing and promotion
          • Lower prices on pre-buys of 5 and up (discounts of up to 14%)

          On year two and forward, keep all the new things free and change the price by $2.50 a month for an album, everything else stays the same. That’s it.

          Third, I absolutely do not want to be the company we were last year. I want to be better, and next year I want us to be even better.

          We work for you and I view it as our to not only get your music where you want it to go, but to provide better accounting, faster live times, more transparency and as the market changes, we must change with it.

          As an example, when MySpace Music first launched, TuneCore Artists wanted the option. I flew to Los Angeles a number of times to get the deal, negotiate the contract and TuneCore became the first distributor outside of labels that entered into an agreement to get music into the service. Unfortunately, the MySpace Music service needed every artist to supply their MySpace Friend ID – a series of numbers that shows in the URL when you are at your MySpace page. Not easy to find. So we built technology that allows us to auto find it and associate it with you account.

          This is what you hired us to do, so we did it.

          We then invested in hiring more people and six months to re-do the entire accounting system that recently launched. More transparency, faster accounting, your money to you more quickly.

          We view it as our job to always work for you. To that end we also:

          – store your music and art

          – make certain you are getting you money and accounting (and chase up anyone who is not paying – and believe me we have to for some stores)

          – do a daily manual ingest of iTunes trending reports to compile and the have them go into each account,

          – review every release going through our system to assure no one else is stealing your songs and/or recording of your song (we have a whole team whose soul job it is is to protect your copyrights)

          – negotiate with and set the technology and infrastructure up with new stores so you can have your music delivered to them

          – deal with the stores that are shutting down (it can be messy and we want to make certain you get your money)

          – re-deliver your songs and music to the stores you are already being distributed to as they change what they need (sadly, happens more often then we would like)

          – add new opt ins within TuneCore to accommodate the stores new features,

          – modify/update the art creation tool (we provide free album and full CD art along with free UPCs and Free Barcodes)

          – modify and update the streaming media players

          – modify and update the accounting system and display of your info

          – set up streams and information collection on the streams through the TuneCore media player,

          – answer any questions you have via email or phone and now Twitter

          – make any changes to your metadata (i.e. album title, song title, artwork etc),

          – set up requested Artist Ping pages or any new types of things that the stores launch in the future,

          – hire staff and create a system and process to send out weekly marketing and promotion tip sheets in an attempt to get TuneCore artists places and features,

          – reach out to customers with the marketing opportunities and pre-clear songs for inclusion on free download albums

          – and a lot more

          As another example, we recently closed a deal that will allow you to make money off the advertising if your recording or song is in videos.

          We now have to build a new customer experience to collect and provide the information required as well as create a FAQ and educate the artist support staff on all the nuances so we can answer all questions

          We also have to build tech to tie into an API so we can pull out marketing info and then build a way for that display for you within your TuneCore account.

          Next up I am suspecting will be Apple/iTunes – the rumor mills are out there as to a possible streaming model

          If this happens, we then need to see what changes will be made to the accounting side – that is, we need an automated way to ingest and display the accounting and if they make any changes to the way they report we need to build or modify existing systems to allow this to happen

          Then there are the incremental staff hires – for example, the new Executive Vice President Of Brand & Business Development we hired (your can read more on him here -http://www.shorefire.com/index.php?a=pressrelease&o=4990) – He works for you. His sole purpose at TuneCore is to get our artists deals with brands.

          Then there are the new technical style guides from the digital stores – some are changing how they want information sent to them which means we need to change the way things are delivered – rebuild what we already built as they changed they way they want to do business.

          This list can go on and on – but that’s the gist.

          You can more about here if you like – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/05/behind-the-digital-music.html

          This is a never ending tireless mission to always protect and serve the artist.

          In regards to the back-end vs. front end model, I ran a label for almost 20 years. As a label owner, I made money if the music sold (we did 50/50 net profit splits and did not own the masters.). Each and every day of my life I would wake up, go to the office and fight, market, promote, push, beg, borrow, pay advances, provide tour support, front money for manufacturing, posters, mailings etc and do anything I could on behalf of the artists that chose to work with me.

          For two decades I slugged it out for these artists – doing anything and everything I could to help them succeed. These “new” companies show up and sink their claws into artists and make money when they music sell doing nothing close to what my label did. They take little to no risk, mail nothing, advance nothing, provide no tour support, front no money for manufacturing, stickers or posters. They do not get the phone call at 3AM when the tour van breaks down and the band is stuck in the middle of nowhere and needs help, or when another band literally sues for trademark infringement (same name) to try to stop them from playing a gig (we hired them a lawyer in Los Angeles to go to court to have the injunction over turned), or have a band member move in with them when he becomes homeless, or have the band stay at their house when they are touring, or book their gigs and so on.

          This is the perspective I come from. If these other companies want to sink their hooks into you and make money each and every time the music sells, the very least they could do is earn it and/or take some risk.

          In any event, I do appreciate you taking the time to comment and I will absolutely make certain Artist Support reaches out to you.

          I also want to congratulate on your music sales. Well done!

          Jeff

          • Ron Perovich

            Thanks for the thorough response, I really appreciate your time and your company’s efforts on behalf of your clients.  Sorry if I let my frustration get the better of me!  I have a quick question because there is a detail listed above that may have been the bone I’ve been looking for among this discussion since I found out about it:  So let me know if I’m  understanding this correctly:

            If I have 2 albums that were released in 2009 then their renewal fee in 2011 (and forward) will only be $22.50 each.  And my one album that was released in 2010 will have a 2011 renewal fee of $50 but a 2012 renewal fee of $22.50.  Is this correct?

          • Anonymous

            Hey Ron- I’ve followed with TuneCore Artist Support and they will be reaching out to you today to go over everything and answer any questions that you have. Sorry for the delay!

  • http://colortheory.com Brian Hazard

    Quick question – once you’ve submitted an album to iTunes, how much does it cost for you to keep it there, on an annual basis?

    • Anonymous

      @brian

      our job is to serve you – to that end, store your music and art, make certain you are getting you money and accounting (and chase up anyone who is not paying), do a daily manual ingest of iTunes trending reports to compile and the have them go into each account, review every release going through our system to assure no one else is stealing your songs and/or recording of your song, set up new stores for you to deliver to, deal with the stores that are shutting down, re-deliver your songs and music to the stores you are already being distributed to as they change what they need, add new opt ins within TuneCore to accommodate the stores new features, set up streams and information collection on the streams through the TuneCore media player, answer any questions you have via email or phone, make any changes to your metadata (i.e. album title, song title, artwork etc), set up requested Artist Ping pages, send out weekly marketing and promotion tip sheets for placement, reach out to customers with the opportunities and pre-clear songs for inclusion on free download albums and so on…

      • Ernesto Cortazar

        Brian The answer is 49.99 a year for having your Cd on iTunes…Tunecore Rep… concrete answers are better .

  • The Last Band

    Don’t take this the wrong way Tunecore I like your serviceI don’t think anyone is saying Tunecore is not doing a good job, I thinkwhat people are saying is that we also know why you are in thisbusiness, so don’t come off like you are a non profit business, and thatevery other business plan is absurd. I’ve heard over, and over recently that the new business model is to get clients,fans, patients, customers, to pay an annual or monthly fee, andtry to get it to be paid automatically from one of their accounts.This smoothes out fluctuations in cash flow. If you have500,000 to 600,000 artists paying 100 per year(or more)you have a nice business model. So when you say, “our job is to serve you” that may be true, but you guys are gong to make millions doing it. I have no problemwith that, it’s capitalism.People also don’t want to wake up one morning and find that the service fee has been increased 150%. Sometimes it’s the way you do something to your loyal customers, not what you have done. If you don’t understand why you have alienated some people, than maybe you need to read these comments more carefully.I hate to say it, but if next year you want to charge $100.00 per albumnothing is stopping you. You have golden handcuffs on us as theysay in the sales industry. You offer a very unique service, and you don’t carewhat anyone’s music sounds like, you will let anyone sell anythingthey create no matter what it is. I could take an old cassette recorder and tape my dog barking, and if I’m willing to pay 49 dollarsit will be on Amazon and iTunes. To me thats what’s so specialabout your service, it’s great news for the independent artist…..and for you.The difference between Tunecore and the old model, is that you makea small amount per artist off a much much larger group of musicians(and want to be artists), and the old model, they made a big percentage off a few mega stars.You just monetized the system in a different way.

    • Anonymous

      i just don’t want bands to be indentured servants any longer.

      They deserve the choice

      the backend model has been the way it has been, and see where it got us.

      • The Last Band

        ……………………That’s really your answer to my entire diatribe??????

        • Anonymous

          somewhere along the way the point has been lost.

          TuneCore was founded on the principle that artists should no longer be exploited, they should be served. They should no longer be indentured servants working for someone else.

          With the launch of TuneCore, for the first time in the history of the music industry every artist now has access to distribution under a model that allows them to keep their rights and get all the money from the sale of their music.

          We are here to serve the artist, not exploit them.

          This is as it should be.

          No amount of slide rulers and calculators will convince me that artists should be forced to go back to the days of being exploited and screwed.

          TuneCore is for everyone, and it will continue to be the best in the world at what it does under its founding and guiding principles.

          If its not a fit for you now, we understand. We will be here to serve you when or if you choose to have us work for you.

          • James Dier

            Tunecore,

            You act like artists never had access to distribution before Tunecore. You are simply liars.

            An artist does not sign to a label or manager for distribution – an artist does so for marketing, expertise, etc.

            Distribution has always been easy to get and cheap. Tunecore should stop telling people there used to be gatekeepers holding them back. It’s bullshit.

             

          • Anonymous

            @James

            Wow are you just dead wrong.

            For example, its 2001, you have an album recorded. Please tell all of us how you would get every Tower Records to carry it and pay you for it when you sell. Now add Virgin Megastore, Walmart, Borders and so on.

            What would you have done to get your record onto the shelves of all these stores without getting signed to a record label and giving up your rights and money from the sale. This of course assumes the record label would choose to sign you.

            iTunes is the new Tower Records. Now you can click a few buttons and its on their shelf while you keep all your rights and get all the money from the sale.

            Before TuneCore launched artists had to be editorially picked and get signed to a traditional label and give up rights and revenue for access to distribution

            With the launch of TuneCore, for the first time, an artists could just sign themselves with no gatekeeper, get all the money from the sale of their music and keep all their rights

            No more being indentured servants, no more people telling them they were not good enough, no more working your butt off and then paying someone else when you succeed

            You are just absolutely dead wrong.

          • James Dier

            There have always been indie distributors way before Tunecore and these distributors got the music in ALL stores.  

          • Anonymous

            @james

            Again – its 2001, you have an album recorded. Please explain to us how ANY artist could get national distribution into Tower, Virgin, Walmart, Borders, Barnes & Noble just because they wanted it.

            Explain to us how, without being signed to a record label, these stores would agree to take in your album and place them on the shelf of each and every one of their stores across the country. And then, when your album sold, each store would pay you.

            Explain to all of us how WEA, Sony, Universal, EMI, ADA, Caroline etc etc would just agree to distribute your album with no record label involved

            Explain to me how the unsigned 99.9% of all musicians in the world had this magical access to national distribution into record stores and could just do it if they wanted

            I ran a label for 17 years, I had to beg, borrow, plead and pay just to get the albums I released by The Pixies, Clem Snide, Apples In Stereo, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Dears, Frank Black, Michael Penn, Richard Thompson etc etc onto their shelves, and even then I could not get the releases into all the retail stores I wanted.

            So tell me James, how was it that before TuneCore any artist could just do this when even labels like Sub Pop, Matador, spinART, Alias, Merge, Atlantic, Warner Bros, Kill Rock Stars, Columbia etc could not

            Please, I want to hear this, because if it existed before TuneCore, it sure was one hell of a secret

          • James Dier

            So, you are saying your label Spinart was a scam?

            Are you saying any company who takes a % of income is a scam? Distributors, managers, etc. are all scams?

            Ryko, Koch, Red, etc. all did direct deals with artists.

          • Anonymous

            @james

            You still have not answered the question.

            You called us “liars” for stating that with the launch of TuneCore for the first time in the history of the music industry all artists had access to distribution while keeping all their rights and getting all the money from the sale of the music

            Explain it to us. You have a large forum here.

            I’ll set the stage for you: It’s 2001 – explain to us how any artist could have gotten national distribution into Tower, Virgin, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Borders and so on

            As you have thrown out some big accusations:

            Explain to us how, without being signed to a record label, these stores would agree to take in your album and place them on the shelf of each and every one of their stores across the country. And then, when your album sold, each store would pay you.

            Explain to all of us how WEA, Sony, Universal, EMI, ADA, Caroline etc etc would just agree to distribute your album with no record label involved

            Explain to me how the unsigned 99.9% of all musicians in the world had this magical access to national distribution into record stores and could just do it if they wanted

            How was it that before TuneCore any artist could just do this when even labels like Sub Pop, Matador, spinART, Alias, Merge, Atlantic, Warner Bros, Kill Rock Stars, Columbia etc could not

            Please, I want to hear this, because if it existed before TuneCore, it sure was one hell of a secret

            We await your concise clear description of how this was possible

          • James Dier

             I just told you: Koch, Ryko, Burnside, RED, and many more distributors all did direct deals.

            My advice to all artists: Get a great team behind you.

          • Anonymous

            @james

            I have to call you on this one

            You are wrong. Any artist could not just go to Koch, Ryko etc and get distribution.

            As a matter of fact, until about 2000, the larger distributors (indie or major) did not do deals directly with artists, they did them with labels.

            And in addition, to that, of the less than 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of ALL artists in the world that have ever had distribution, most could not even get into the major national chains like Walmart

            Before digital, Walmart was over 50% of all CD sales and yet the artists music was still not on the shelf

            And then on top of that, the distributor still took between 20 – 30% of the money from the sale of the music

            So again, please explain to us how any artist could have access to distribution keep all their rights and get 100% of the revenue from the sale of their music

            Because with TuneCore they can…..

            And before TuneCore launched, they could not

            WIth the launch of TuneCore “No” is no longer a possibility

          • James Dier

             Distribution is not the answer, promotion is. Always has been. That has not changed and never will.

            If you hate other distributors philosphy of taking a % then why do you give you data to Universal?

          • Anonymous

            @James

            I understand you would like to shift attention from the topic you brought up.

            However, you chose to come to our blog and post some strong accusations – back them up

            When TuneCore launched it was the first time any artist could have access to distribution while keeping all their rights and getting 100% of the revenue from the sale of the music.

            With the launch of TuneCore, for the first time, no artist would ever be denied access to distribution.

            Before TuneCore existed, explain to us how any artist, without being signed to a record label, could get Walmart, Tower, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Virgin etc to agree to take in your album and place them on the shelf of each and every one of their stores across the country. And then, when your album sold, each store would pay you.

            Explain to all of us how WEA, Sony, Universal, EMI, ADA, Caroline etc etc would just agree to distribute your album with no record label involved

            Explain to me how the unsigned 99.9% of all musicians in the world had this magical access to national distribution into record stores and could just do it if they wanted

            How was it that before TuneCore any artist could just do this when even labels like Sub Pop, Matador, spinART, Alias, Merge, Atlantic, Warner Bros, Kill Rock Stars, Columbia etc could not

            Please, I want to hear this, because if it existed before TuneCore, it sure was one hell of a secret

            Explain to me how any artist could just call up all retail stores and have them stock the album nationally or walk into a distributors or record label’s office and have them agree to distribute – no questions asked – and allow the artist to keep all their rights and get all the money from the sale of the music

            We await your concise clear description of how this was possible

          • The last band

            i know you know much morethan i do about the music business,but iTunes and Amazon are not likeTower Records, or an old cd/record store.I used to spend hours looking at cd’sand records in the shops and itsa much different experience than scanning 1,000,000,000 artists/songson iTunes on a computer or iPadi think it’s like apples oranges.I do know it was almost imposible for independent artists to get our music in those storesAgain, having my music available on iTunesis not the same as if my cd was ona rack in every record/cd store.or given to every radio station.if the old record/cd stores had 1,000,000,000cd’s in them then it wouldn’tmatter if a label got your cd in thereit would be a needle in a haystack.YES it’s easier to sell our music now,but it’s just as hard, or harderto be successful. Being on iTunes andAmazon is good but not the same.btw Richard Thompson{you mention above} is great

          • Anonymous

            you know, i agree, i love my vinyl

          • Sjoidnor

            How did TuneCore was the first in history to provide access to distribution for artists. Didn’t CD Baby launched their iTunes distribution service in 2003? 2 years before TuneCore was founded?

            http://www.musicbizacademy.com/internet/cdbabydigital.htm

          • Anonymous

            There were pick pack and ship companies (meaning physical CDs) that pre-dated us

            But when TuneCore launched, it was the first time an artist could get access to distribution, keep all their rights, go non-exclusive and get 100% of the revenue from the sale of the music.

            Every other company on the planet took money when the music sold and required the artist to grant exclusive digital distribution rights – we did not, and do not.

            It is this model, combined with a passion to help an artist succeed but never take the money they make off their success that has allowed us to become the largest and best distribution company in the world

            We got to change the world…

          • Sjoidnor

            That’s not the point. The point in question is that you bluntly stated that TuneCore was first to provide artist access to digital distribution. When CD Baby launched iTunes in 2003 they were already non-exclusive to artists and have already opened doors at that time.

            The only real valid point I do see about TuneCore is that you were indeed the first to offer 100% royalties earned for musicians. But as far as TuneCore being the first in history to provide access to distribution is obviously a false statement.

          • Anonymous

            @sjoidnor

            It’s interesting, from time to time we get non TuneCore Artists coming to our blog or posting elsewhere with either inaccurate or just downright false postings.

            I’m sorry, but you’re just wrong.

            On January 26th, 2006 TuneCore changed the music industry – and did so for the better.

            For the first time in the history of the music industry, any artist had access to the worldwide distribution of their music into iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic and more under a new model where they kept all their rights and all the revenue from the sale of their music via a non-exclusive agreement that they could cancel at any time.

            For the first time in the history of the music industry artists were able to get distribution at their discretion and not enter into an exploitive agreement that demanded exclusivity and took their money each time it sold. They simply went to a website, uploaded their tracks and that was it. No more needing to make physical CDs.

            It is way things should be and I am pleased to say that due to TuneCore’s launch other distributors were forced to change their exclusivity Terms to be competitive.

            I remember the day the back-end model distributor you mention sent out an email changing their exclusivity Terms to non-exlclusive. I was proud to have influenced them.

            I had also hoped TuneCore giving away UPC and Bar Codes for free, giving away song identifiers for free providing customized album cover art as well as full-on art designs for Amazon’s Disc On Demand store, free media players, Ping pages, iTunes trending reports, and in-house marketing and promotion would have influenced them as well, but it did not.

            The TuneCore business model also spawned a number of new competitors under our same business model, all without the full suite of digital distribution products and services.

            This is a good thing as competition in the market causes things to get better for artists.

            The foundation of TuneCore remains the same – we are here to serve the artist not exploit them.

            You can claim we did not do this, but you would be wrong.

            And once again, please explain to us how any artist could have access to distribution keep all their rights and get 100% of the revenue from the sale of their music

            Because with TuneCore they can…..

            And before TuneCore launched, they could not

            WIth the launch of TuneCore “No” is no longer a possibility

          • Sjoidnor

            How am I wrong?

            You honestly can’t sit here and tell me that since the launch of TuneCore, all of a sudden, artist just happen to gain access into iTunes. How is that true when I’ve just shown otherwise, one of your leading competitors beat you to the punch two years before you existed?

            The only thing I can truthfully say is that TuneCore was the first to come up with a new business model (hence triumphing the 100% return of royalties). I will also give you the benefit of the doubt and say that it did change the industry in a big way. However, once again, you have to provide further explanation of how TuneCore was indeed the FIRST to offer digital distribution to the artists. Clearly, it wasn’t.

            Quote: “I remember the day the back-end model distributor you mention sent out
            an email changing their exclusivity Terms to non-exlclusive. I was proud
            to have influenced them.

            Can you show me proof that CD Baby was exclusive prior to the launch of TuneCore? Because as far as I can remember, CD Baby was founded (in 1997) on the premise of helping independent musicians sell their music (originally CDs). Thus, CD Baby was already non-exclusive. In 2003 they struck a deal with iTunes, way before TuneCore came into play. This is factual, accurate information my friend.

            I’m not saying that what TuneCore did or is about isn’t true. TuneCore’s business model shows good promise (particularly for mainstream artists and acts). However, I am not fully convinced that TuneCore was the first to give artist access to distribution. I am only convinced that TuneCore was the first to provide artist 100% of all sales made from their music in a non-exclusive environment. (i.e. being game changing).

          • Anonymous

            @sjoidnor

            I honestly dont know you personally, and I have no grudge

            And I very much appreciate your measured approached to the conversation – its odd, sometimes I turn to Peter (who helped me start TuneCore) and honestly ask why in the world is there so much anger towards a company that truly provided a new choiche to artists to pursue their goals and aspirations under a new model that took no rights or money from the sale of the music.

            For years we heard the drum beat of how the labels screwed artists because they took money from the artist when the music sold – a back-end model. And finally, finally after 150 years the model changed, and yet for some they decided to attack the new model as well.

            Yes, I can state with no uncertainty that on January 26th, 2006, the day TuneCore launched the music industry changed.

            For the first time in the history of the music industry all artists had access to worldwide distribution under a new model that took none of their rights or revenue via a non-exlcusive agreement that they could cancel at any time.

            Yes, this model made a huge difference in the world, it changed things and I am proud of how we provided choiche and opportunity to musicians.

            Its amazing to me the amount of vitriol out there – what have these artists ever done to any of you to warrant such animosity? Why would a business model that allowed this freedom from being tied to paying someone else be so upsetting?

            This conversation is not about me – and it should not be. It should be about how the world has changed for musicians. About how more musicians and songwriters are selling more music at this point than at any point in history. About how music sales are up and how with no back-end being taken more money is going into the artist and songwriters pocket

            it should be about how the entire music industry is about to change again with the switch to a streaming model and the explosive growth of connectivity.

            No one ever said everyone is going to be right, thats ridiculous, but more artists are selling now than at any point in history. More are getting heard now than ever.

            Somehow, these important points get missed. Why it that. What is it you are trying to prove that is more important for artists than this?

            I truly and sincerely disagree with you – your facts are wrong. But honestly, if I could harness your passion towards more important issues – like how a songwriters money is left uncollected at performing rights organizations around the world and is given to the majors if not collected, about how the US Performing Rights Organizations are not transparent about how they collect their money and how they pay it out, about how direct licensing for public performances should happen to allow more money going into the pockets of artists, how RIAA members try to devalue and delegitimize artists in an attempt to deny them opportunity and so on, I suspect we could change things further.

            Instead, I have emails asking me to reproduce an email from CD Baby from five years ago. You have to be kidding. I suppose you could check with Moses Avalon, he kept pretty good track of CD Baby before it was sold for $20 million to DiscMakers.

            I will gladly concede whatever point you would like me to in return for having you help us change things for the better.

            Its more important that the world continue to change for the better for musicians

          • Sjoidnor

            Firstly Jeff,

            I have no grudge against you as well and I’m not saying that your business model hasn’t changed the game. Its very evident that it did. That being said, I have merely demonstrated that TuneCore wasn’t the first to provide artists access to digital distribution. This was what James was also trying to point out. That was my main point (in which you’ve now conceded). It is concrete that CD Baby was the first to provide a “open”, non-exclusive access to iTunes, two years before TuneCore launched.

            Secondly, although I am in full support of the percentage model, I’m not in anyway upset about your business model. Its strictly genius. A very brilliant idea. Like you said, TuneCore has created more choices, thus more options for artists and I do support that. However, you shouldn’t say and write an article to blatantly ridicule other distribution models. Because what may not be working for you may be working well for others. Calling a percentage model (or back-end as you call it) a cause to make artists mere “indenture servants” in my opinion is entirely inaccurate. For if that was truly the case, then one could call a flat fee model “indenture” due to high increase in annual prices (especially if it was quietly deployed).

            Finally, while I agree that more music is being sold than ever before by independent musicians, you can’t fully hold TuneCore solely accountable for that. I do agree that TuneCore played a big role in that, however, I disagree that TuneCore was the sole cause of independent music being sold more now than anytime in history. Because you would have to control 100% of the market share (in which I know without a doubt TuneCore doesn’t).

            Overall, I’m just saying that you shouldn’t tout your business model insomuch that it is the greatest thing since the internet. Otherwise, you’ll only come across to many as “arrogant”. Though, I fully respect and admire your philosophy. Should you decide to debate on that, I will accept.

          • Anonymous

            @sjoidnor

            I think we adamantly agree.

            The only thing that is responsible for more music selling is the music. Geffen did not sell Nirvana, Nirvana sold Nirvana.

            It’s the art itself that must cause reaction. Art is culture, and it is valued. Musicians make culture, TuneCore simply provides a way for it to be bought by placing it on digital shelf to be discovered

            But unlike the old days, it can all be there to be found, bought, shared and streamed.

            And also unlike the old days, artists can now market directly to their fans and social media can amplify that voice.

            The concern I have is the devaluing of artists denying them access to opportunity or those attempting to deny an artist choice

            Although I disagree with a back-end model, I respect your decision to choose it. It is important that artists get armed with the information and knowledge needed to allow them to make the right decisions for them.

            This is where misrepresentations by pseudo music blogs run by former VCs come in – they attempt to create sensational headlines to drive eyeballs so they can make money off advertising. In their attempt to reach a financial “exit” they could potentially cause damage.

            Bullies need to be stopped, and so do those that will stop at nothing for a selfish pursuit. This is not about TuneCore. I have been very fortunate to be able to offer an opinion and have it get picked up by the media. I intend to use the attention I am getting to bring a voice to the millions of unrepresented artists.

            The music industry is changing as I type this, I want to influence this change as much as possible in a positive way on behalf of the musicians.

            I strongly suspect you have much to bring to the discussion and I truly value you being part of the discussion.

          • Sjoidnor

            Hi Jeff,

            Alrighty then. Let’s get a good discussion going. I’m going to answer to your notes:

            Quote: “The only thing that is responsible for more music selling is the music. Geffen did not sell Nirvana, Nirvana sold Nirvana.

            It’s the art itself that must cause reaction. Art is culture, and
            it is valued. Musicians make culture, TuneCore simply provides a way
            for it to be bought by placing it on digital shelf to be discovered

            You’re only half-right on this one. While the art itself can cause reaction, it is not the full by product into selling more music. This is very evident because an average musician may not sell very well. Could one assume because of their art doesn’t cause enough reaction? I don’t think so.

            Its very clear that music can’t just sell itself. If that was true, then anyone can simply put up music and make a killing. It takes marketing and brand awareness to sell. Think of it as a business perspective: An artist is a brand. Once that brand gets put into the shelves, how do people find it? Do they stumble upon it? Or are they aware of the brand because of its popularity due to marketing?

            The answer? Both. However, the brand is more exposed due to marketing. I’m not going to say that Nirvana sold Nirvana because that is only half the battle. Due to their backing by Geffen (cash advances, re-investing into albums, prints, tours, etc.) in conjunction with their art (their product & sound) and their own format of marketing? That’s how they truly got out. In fact, it wasn’t until they was signed to DGC Records (Geffen) where they received success from their single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and became a mainstream sound for Alternative Rock. The reason why I say that it wasn’t just Geffen that pushed their music to success because as you’ve pointed out, it was their sound (their art) that drew them to be signed.

            Quote: “But unlike the old days, it can all be there to be found, bought, shared and streamed.

            And also unlike the old days, artists can now market directly to their fans and social media can amplify that voice.”

            You are absolutely right. Through today’s technology, artists can now brand themselves with easy to use marketing tools (internet radio play, graphs, press distribution, social networks, etc.). While they’re very cost-effective ways to market the music, at the end of the day it all comes down to the boiling point. That would be: money.

            And right now, as an average musician, that can be very difficult to come by. Reasons being is that either: 1.) They may not have the know how 2.) They don’t have the resources. 3.) They aren’t generating enough sales to re-invest back into their marketing plan.

            This is why I agree with you Jeff, that we should provide them those resources. Provide them the know-how on marketing and exposing their brand. Because in today’s music business, the artist IS the brand, and their art IS the product. Labels are merely investors who are willing to back their money into the brand and its products in return for investments. You being in charge of SpinART years ago, I’m sure you are aware of this to be true.

            Quote: “Although I disagree with a back-end model, I respect your decision to
            choose it. It is important that artists get armed with the information
            and knowledge needed to allow them to make the right decisions for them.”

            And this is exactly why I don’t have to bash your flat fee model. Because now everyone has a choice. And its up to them to decide what’s best for their business needs. As I’ve stated above, the artist is now the business owner. They have to choose which model best works for them (whether they like to pay a flat fee or pay a percentage off the back-end). At the end of the day, its about supporting them and helping them succeed. Am I right?

            Quote: “The music industry is changing as I type this, I want to influence this
            change as much as possible in a positive way on behalf of the musicians.”

            And you’re not alone. Many people are now stepping in to make a change in the industry for the better. The choice is now up to the artist to decide the factor of their own success.

          • Anonymous

            I disagree. You need the song. You can spend millions on production, but without the song, nothing happens

            Sure production can help, but it does not cause the reaction. Thus the reason why there is a 98% failure rate at the labels

            Or why Michelle Shocked’s Texas campfire tapes – zero production – sold so well

            It’s always about the song.

            And the back-end model means you work for someone else or you are doing a cost benefit analysis banking on failure.

            More later when I don’t need to type on this tiny iPhone keypad

            Thank You

            Jeff Price
            Jeff@TuneCore.com
            http://www.TuneCore.com

      • CoffeeCrackbaby

        You keep repeating this mantra about indentured servants.. and how musicians deserve a choice.
        Well how ’bout it then..? Why don’t you have the option of a flat fee or a percentage model..?

        • Anonymous

          @coffeeCrackbaby

          Because a backend model to me is morally wrong. I will not put myself or my company in a position to sink its meat hooks into you and make an unlimited amount of money off your work. I am not going to change my morals to make a buck.

          If you want to work for someone else, give them your money, that’s your choiche. I will do everything I can to provide information and education so the decisions made are done so with all the knowledge. A cost benefit analysis equation based on failure does not even to begin to address the morality of the situation.

          Why would I ever do something I believe is wrong even if it made my business more money?

  • The Last Band

    I don’t believe supply creates demand, so just pure distribution(Tunecore)is obviously just part of the equation. We already know that 98% of theArtists that attempt a career from their music will not make it.Why do successful actors, musicians, sports figures, etc have AgentsWho work for them? The answer is, that these actors, musicians, sports figuresare willing to give up a % of what they make, to make 10 times whatthey would have made on their own(net after paying their agent).Will a successful Agent take anyone on as a client? No, they take actors, musicians, sports figures that theyfeel they can make money from. It’s a win win situation.Will this exclude people? Yes, and Tunecore is greatfor these excluded artists. Will these excluded artists make money from selling their Music? Probably not(99% will not), but at least they will have an outletfor their music, and a chance. Just like the lottery 25,000,000 people buy a ticket, but only a handful will win.There is a group of people that will make a lot of money fromTunecore, and this Model. These are Artists that already have Name recognition, and a catalogue of music. Artists who have been successfulselling their music in the past. These artists, if they break away from theSystem(who helped make(create) them), will make a bigger cut than before.

  • The Last Band

     I don’t believe supply creates demand, so just pure distribution(Tunecore)is obviously just part of the equation. We already know that 98% of theArtists that attempt a career from their music will not make it.Why do successful actors, musicians, sports figures, etc have AgentsWho work for them? The answer is, that these actors, musicians, sports figuresare willing to give up a % of what they make, to make 10 times whatthey would have made on their own(net after paying their agent).Will a successful Agent take anyone on as a client? No, they take actors, musicians, sports figures that theyfeel they can make money from. It’s a win win situation.Will this exclude people? Yes, and Tunecore is greatfor these excluded artists. Will these excluded artists make money from selling their Music? Probably not(99% will not), but at least they will have an outletfor their music, and a chance. Just like the lottery 25,000,000 people buy a ticket, but only a handful will win.There is a group of people that will make a lot of money fromTunecore, and this Model. These are Artists that already have Name recognition, and a catalogue of music. Artists who have been successfulselling their music in the past. These artists, if they break away from theSystem(how helped make them), will make a bigger cut than before.

  • Thelastband

    I think everyone in the industry wants to take credit for this change in distributuion
    I think that once digital music was avaialble on the net
    things were altready changing,(evolving) by themselvs
    it wasn’t one person or company.

    My music first appeared on the internet on IUMA
    I don’t know if anyone here has heard of it, and maybe
    it makes me look old.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Underground_Music_Archive
    but it’s very similar to the current model,. it had many Independent artists
    who weren’t(or couldn’t get) included in the music industry model at the time.

    We had our music there for download(and for sale) 
    We came before the Napster craze, and almost at the
    beginoing of the MP3 music sharing deal.
     
    At that time mp3’s were relitivly new to the general public.
    We made a conscious decision (before iTunes existed!!!!!!!!)
    that we were going to offer our music on line for
    distribution.

    I know that many Majors, and labels hated us, but in
    the end they had to embrace us.

    Once Napster happened(maybe they saw us sharing legal music)
     everone in the industy knew that
    the old distribution model would need to be changed
    or there would be total kaos in the music industry.

    During that same time 100’s of sites poped up
    claiming to help distribute promote independent artists music
    for FREE.

    I never paid any money to have my music aailable to
    people on the internet and it was one of the
    greatest times in the independent music artists history

  • Sjoidnor

    It seems the posts gets thinner and thinner so I will start a new thread Jeff.

    Quote: ” I disagree. You need the song. You can spend millions on production, but without the song, nothing happens

    Sure production can help, but it does not cause the reaction. Thus the reason why there is a 98% failure rate at the labels”

    ^ That’s not entirely true. In fact despite of the label’s 98% failure rate, they have experimented with numerous acts in terms of spending millions on a song they know its not going to sell. Perfect example: Soulja Boy. Its not just the product (song) that counts, its the brand (artist) and its resources (i.e. labels or other  D.I.Y. resources).

    An artist can have a one-hit song but without the right resources, nothing happens. A product can’t market itself. It takes money, resources and the know-how to make it become more appealing and popular to the consumers.

    Quote: “And the back-end model means you work for someone else or you are doing a cost benefit analysis banking on failure.

    This is where I have to strongly disagree. You can’t assume that an artist is working for someone else (or being an indenture servant) because they are giving up a % of their sales. For one, you would have to also assume that the distributor or label is doing absolutely nothing to promote and market their music.

    I can’t imagine that there is any percentage-based distributor that is simply opening access to distribution for their customers just so they can take a percentage. In fact, almost every percentage base distributor works closely with their artists (providing the tools they need, the resources, and the know-how) to increase their sales earnings. Why? Because if the artist doesn’t sell, neither does the distributor. The fact that they do take a percentage means that they are more than willing to invest time, money, and resources into their customers.

    Let’s take your label SpinART as an example. Surely, your label wasn’t a flat fee label at that time. You had artists in your roster that you distributed to various brick and mortar retailers. Now as a label, were you not more incline to invest time, money, and resources into your artists? Of course! Because you were their label. You wanted to see them succeed, you believe in their “brand” and most importantly their “product”. You also knew that your investments would be returned should they become successful (and they did).

    Now my next question is that do you believe that a SpinART artist like “Apollo Sunshine” really felt that they was working for you (being an indenture servant to SpinART)? I’m sure at that time they didn’t.

    • Guest

      This is why this Tunecore model is perfect, they can make money(not a %) and not have to promote anything.Not have to believe in their “brand” or  their “product”, and  most importantly it doesn’t matter of they make it or not. It’s a numbers game now. I’m not an indentured servant any longer.

      • Anonymous

        @guest

        Wow, you just read these comments and wonder what in the world happened to you before TuneCore existed

        The world is honestly not out to get you. I swear.

        For the entire history of the music industry, whenever an artist was chosen and got signed to a label they had to transfer their rights to the recording search and every time his/her music sold they had to give up a large % of the money

        And so the world rightfully complained about the injustice of the indentured servant system.

        Then up comes digital distribution, and finally, finally someone said this is wrong and Im going to do something about it. A way was offered for anyone to have their music placed onto the shelves on iTunes etc for a simple flat fee, keep all their rights and get all the money from the sale of the music and now you are complaining about that?

        Are you going to complain about music schools, Berklee School Of Music, Gibson and so on?

        I meant his with all sincerity, I understand that for the past 100 years or more artist have been screwed over. Times have changed and not everyone is out to get you.

        Ignore TuneCore – distribution used to be an editorial privilege, it is now a right.

        And as far as your ridiculous statement about not believing in artists – are you nuts? What in the world happened to you to believe no one would want to right a wrong?

        The foundation of this company is built on believing in artists.

        I know the cynical might find this hard to believe, but we should market and promote our customers because its simply the right thing to do.

        Not to mention, it’s what our customers and digital stores expect of us. It would be wrong not to.

        But even if one is so cynical and jaded that you cannot accept for a moment that anyone would choose and want to do this, on a business side, marketing and promoting and believing and helping our customers provides us a competitive edge. It creates good will with artists. It increases our market share allowing us to negotiate even better deal terms and pay out rates for our artists thereby getting more of them to choose to use TuneCore.

        We have had over 30 artists featured as the iTunes free single of the week and over 2,000 featured or placed both with brands and with digital stores. We have in-house dedicated staff whose sole job is to get features and placements.

        I do not tout this on the homepage as I believe it would be wrong to do so – we cannot market and promote everyone (just as the others cannot) Therefore I will not use it as a way to get customers.

        As far as the back-end model, that’s where you get screwed. You see, its no secret that not all artists are going to sell a million copies, and far fewer will make a lot than those that make little – so let me ask you, how do you think the back-end models stay in business. They expect almost of you to fail, but they know if they can get lucky and just have a few take off they can stick their meat hooks into you and take tens of thousand of your dollars.

        They have no incentive to improve their systems, to be better for you, they have an incentive to get as much in as they can and hope to god something really takes so the can screw the hell out of them. Just get it on the shelf and be done with it.

        And as we sit here and invest in our company and your future, and fight for your rights and revenue and get feature placements and better pay out rates and faster live times and hire more people to provide support and market and promote and do integrated brand marketing deals, they just sit there and hope to god something hits so they can re-direct that money into their bank account

        You want to work with them its your choiche, but we will be here for you if or when you choose we are the right fit

        • Ernesto Cortazar

          So you are saying Tunecore came and save us?? You are telling me you know the music history and how independent artists worked on the past before online stores? Did you know there have always existed independent Distribution Companies that worked without labels and even the Mayor Distribution Companies worked with Independent record projects?

          Did you live the real start of online distribution? The real beginning of this new selling platform? IUMA.. MP3.com… did you know how they worked and how music industry changed because of them… How Tunecore depends on their legacy?

          Ok now… the key here is to have a distribution deal with iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody  emusic, etc… Opening a company, making connection with all these companies and show you are a distributor is all that matters…. guess what… if distribution companies start abusing of artists a new business platform will come and take your business away.. Don’t think you have won the battle, even Rome came to an end and believe me, you are not Rome in any way.

          Hope Tunecore will reconsider the great error has made with an unannounced and arbitrary 150% increase on the renewal fee. The services you offer now “Free” does not worth the price you decided to give.

          Again…

          Free Trend Reports… ok for a 1 CD artists this is good but why a multi-album artists has to pay 49.99 each album because this feature became Free.. it was 2.98 a week and now?? This is an abuse

          Free Artist Ping Page on iTunes… that is a free page iTunes give to artists and now you charge for this service for each CD renewed, does each CD has a different Ping Page?? no. It is just one artists with multiple albums and each one is paying for this feature too.

          There are others like the 25 Free Players… they don’t even work in all browsers! they are also now included on the renewal increase, amny of us do not use them.

          Best accounting stats.. they are fine, maybe the only feature tat worth it.

          If I skip any other feature it is because it is as obsolete as for reminding it.

          So, again… can I ask for a REAL ANSWER and not for one just avoiding us? If you are sending these messages and are open to comment at least have the respect to us to answer our questions directly, not by telling us how we now are LIBERATED!!

          Ernesto Cortazar (Not a guest)

          • Anonymous

            @ Ernesto

            Well, the best I could do was to completely change the entire music industry; for the first time allow every artist to have access to distribution, remove all gatekeepers, have you get every penny from the sale of your music via a non-exclusive agreement that you can cancel at anytime.

            In some ways I am proud of you posting what you did. It means that within the short five years TuneCore has been in business we so radically changed things for the better that the past obstacles, challenges and exploitation of artists is being forgotten.

            In regards to IUMA, I actually worked with the founderJeff. he sat in the office down the hall from me at eMusic. eMusic acquired it in 1997 or so. What in the world is wrong with building on the IUMA legacy?

            And in regards to TuneCore, I will always make certain it is the best in the world at what it does. We owe it to artists.

            And the 150% increase – lets set the record straight

            Year one, costs are down with the removal of all the al la carte charges. Service is improved and better for artists.. Year two , the al la carte charges are still gone and the annual fee went up $2.50 a month

            You do realize your comment is about lowering costs, removing al la carte charges and then in the second year $2.50 a month more.

            And you are absolutely right Ernesto, if you do not value what we do, and you believe the things we offer are not worth paying for then we are not the right fit for you. If you change your mind, we will absolutely be here to support you

            Jeff – not a guest either

          • Ernesto Cortazar

            Jeff,  Thank you for your reply.

            I am glad you are aware of how music industry started with this online distribution, Jeff and Rod (for IUMA) and Michael Robertson (MP3.com) set the precedent for many of us. There is nothing wrong about building on the IUMA/MP3.com legacy on the contrary, the goal is to evolve and become a better platform. I am not against your business, do not get me wrong, what I am not happy about is the way you manage it, I know, if I don’t like it, just leave, meanwhile I want to say my opinion and hopefully you will see that the way Tunecore is doing business now does not give any trust to clients like me and is not working for multi-album clients, again as me.

            Definitely Tunecore did not thought about their clients, the way to honor their prices to old releases, they only thought about making more money taking as an excuse the “new features” that in my honest opinion are ridiculous compared to the “150% increase”

            “Free iTunes Trends Reports” They are free in many other distribution services and here the cost was 2.98 each trend report each week, now with 40 releases it has a cost of 119.2 for me each week.

            “New Music Uploader” How can a music uploader can be a feature considered for this 150% increase?

            “Free Exclusive Artist iTunes Ping Page” iTunes do not charge for any Ping Artist Page and other distribution companies give it for free… how can this would be considered for increasing 150% a renewal fee?

            “25 Free Tunecore Media Players”: I don’t use them!! I never used them when they were not considered for this increase and now they will cost me?? This is ridiculous! On the administration platform Tuncore just changed the number of Players we can have, clicked save and that is now a 150% increase factor.

            “Free Upgraded Sales Reports” Do you really think this upgrade is factor for a 150% increase? and I have to pay 40 times this fee for the same Sale report list?? ridiculous!! (40 times because I have 40 CDs released)

            Ok now the way I think Tunecore thought before they made this increase..

            We have x amount of artists, if they do not pay, they will lose their release and will have to start all over, many of them will pay just because of this, if we lose some clients in the way, no problem they are expendable..

            No honor to clients, no trust left after this.. I really advise Tunecore to re-think this step you made as greedy most of the time brings decadency.

            In my case Tunecore lost a new project with 30+ CDs I am about to release and in a near future will lose all my business I had released, these are 70+ CDs lost with just one client, I know I will not be the only one, how many clients Tunecore is willing to lose in a near future? How many distribution companies will take advantage of this situation? I have been contacted by 3 already, they are making their move….

            I just want you to answer me this, just this please…. Please explain me which are the extra benefits I get being a 40 CDs Client against a 1 CD client? Please make me understand why I have to pay 40 times for the same benefits a 1 CD artist has? Why I pay 1999.6 for the same Ping Artist Page, same Trend report list, same 25 Players, same Sales reports, same Uploader than a 1 CD client paying 49.99?

            Thank you

            Ernesto Cortazar

          • Anonymous

            @ernesto

            I will make certain the artist support team reaches out to you directly to answer your questions and help in any way they can

          • Ernesto Cortazar

            Jeff, I really appreciate this and please take my words as the point of view of a multi-album client that before this renewal increase was more than happy distributing his music through your company.

            Ernesto Cortazar

      • Anonymous

        @guest

        Wow, you just read these comments and wonder what in the world happened to you before TuneCore existed

        The world is honestly not out to get you. I swear.

        For the entire history of the music industry, whenever an artist was chosen and got signed to a label they had to transfer their rights to the recording search and every time his/her music sold they had to give up a large % of the money

        And so the world rightfully complained about the injustice of the indentured servant system.

        Then up comes digital distribution, and finally, finally someone said this is wrong and Im going to do something about it. A way was offered for anyone to have their music placed onto the shelves on iTunes etc for a simple flat fee, keep all their rights and get all the money from the sale of the music and now you are complaining about that?

        Are you going to complain about music schools, Berklee School Of Music, Gibson and so on?

        I meant his with all sincerity, I understand that for the past 100 years or more artist have been screwed over. Times have changed and not everyone is out to get you.

        Ignore TuneCore – distribution used to be an editorial privilege, it is now a right.

        And as far as your ridiculous statement about not believing in artists – are you nuts? What in the world happened to you to believe no one would want to right a wrong?

        The foundation of this company is built on believing in artists.

        I know the cynical might find this hard to believe, but we should market and promote our customers because its simply the right thing to do.

        Not to mention, it’s what our customers and digital stores expect of us. It would be wrong not to.

        But even if one is so cynical and jaded that you cannot accept for a moment that anyone would choose and want to do this, on a business side, marketing and promoting and believing and helping our customers provides us a competitive edge. It creates good will with artists. It increases our market share allowing us to negotiate even better deal terms and pay out rates for our artists thereby getting more of them to choose to use TuneCore.

        We have had over 30 artists featured as the iTunes free single of the week and over 2,000 featured or placed both with brands and with digital stores. We have in-house dedicated staff whose sole job is to get features and placements.

        I do not tout this on the homepage as I believe it would be wrong to do so – we cannot market and promote everyone (just as the others cannot) Therefore I will not use it as a way to get customers.

        As far as the back-end model, that’s where you get screwed. You see, its no secret that not all artists are going to sell a million copies, and far fewer will make a lot than those that make little – so let me ask you, how do you think the back-end models stay in business. They expect almost of you to fail, but they know if they can get lucky and just have a few take off they can stick their meat hooks into you and take tens of thousand of your dollars.

        They have no incentive to improve their systems, to be better for you, they have an incentive to get as much in as they can and hope to god something really takes so the can screw the hell out of them. Just get it on the shelf and be done with it.

        And as we sit here and invest in our company and your future, and fight for your rights and revenue and get feature placements and better pay out rates and faster live times and hire more people to provide support and market and promote and do integrated brand marketing deals, they just sit there and hope to god something hits so they can re-direct that money into their bank account

        You want to work with them its your choiche, but we will be here for you if or when you choose we are the right fit

      • Ernesto Cortazar

        jajaja name please and email… guests always are happy with the service… coincidence??

  • http://www.KoToNTeeJ.com cybearDJM

    Hi,
    I really like this letter. Trying to fight myself against all unnecessary middlemen and/or backend vampires through my “unLabel” model, I’m so sad I’m not able to have your service offered in Europe (I meen with European-centric distribution points, e.g. not iTunes, nor Amazon) to have an alternative to the few backend integrators we have around here…

    PS : I read a few comments posted prior to mine. Most of these guys probably don’t know the difference between fixed and variable costs and how it can change the way your balance at the end of the year can look so different… Limiting of the middlemen as much as possible, except when there’s real value in the deal, and favoriting fixed costs, so that you know exactly where you go, should be the basis of the approach for as many “independent” artists/labels.

    Sincerely
    DJM

  • http://www.KoToNTeeJ.com cybearDJM

    If you agree, I’ll translate your sarcastic letter to French on one of my blogs/sites, with a link to the original post, o’course.
    DJM