The Launch of TuneCore 2.0: The 34 Improvements, Three Years in the Making

  • Share

On March 22nd, 2011, we quietly rolled out the last of the 34 new TuneCore customer-requested feature sets, improvements and upgrades. It took three years to get them all done, but at last it’s time to blog about them and announce TuneCore 2.0

Here’s the list:

  • • distribution into unlimited stores for every release (as opposed to a per-store charge)
  • • unlimited songs on an album (as opposed to a per-song charge)
  • • faster live times
  • • marketing and promotion of releases to the stores for placement
  • • marketing and promotion of artists and their music to brands
  • • Apple Artist Ping pages
  • • streaming media players which tie into YouTube/Twitter/Flickr, and much more
  • • faster takedowns
  • • faster accounting periods
  • • changes to album art, song titles, genres, and so on, after a release was already live in a store
  • • more digital stores
  • • faster (and simultaneous) uploads
  • • the ability to playback a song after it’s uploaded
  • • accepting different lossless codecs on the songs (.wav, .flac, and so on)
  • • moving iTunes trending reports to daily from weekly
  • • a mobile app that can display iTunes trending data
  • • educational information on copyright/publishing
  • • faster response times from Artist Support
  • • without paying for distribution, the ability to upload music and art and have us store it
  • • the ability to download assets or send them around in a SoundCloud-type way
  • • the ability to give away a song for free in exchange for an email address
  • • tracking streams from the TuneCore streaming media player
  • • delivery of a .PDF booklet bundled with a release
  • • an automated system that pre-IDs any entry errors which might have Apple reject the release
  • • an artist MySpace Music ID finder that auto-connects the release to your TuneCore distribution so you get paid on streams
  • • huge increases in clarity and organization of sales data display, showing up to 14 places to the right of the decimal with custom reports
  • • TuneCore-branded compilation albums made available for free download via Amazon and other places
  • • TuneCore charts
  • • direct deposit of revenue into bank accounts
  • • for those that want it, data feeds to label A&R staff
  • • master/synch placement
  • • volume discount packages
  • • Twitter customer support (a late addition)

Of the above list, all have been deployed/built/launched and/or staff have been hired to implement, except for

  • • mobile sales app
  • • daily iTunes reports (its currently a manual process but we should be able to automate shortly)

These two are coming soon.

We then looked at the pricing: there were a lot of internal arguments (never coming to blows but it sure got loud!). We wanted to try to bring costs down while giving TuneCore customers what they wanted. We all agreed it would be wrong to nickel-and-dime for each feature. We also noticed that in the per song/store pricing model some TuneCore customers were spending between $65 – $90 for distribution of an album–that had to come down. We never want anyone to worry about how many songs are on a release or how many stores their music gets distributed to.

So we just said screw it, simpler is better. Let’s try to lower prices for the first year and give TuneCore customer all the things they asked for and not charge them for each and every new feature

  • 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, everything else stays the same.

And that brings us to March 22, 2011, three years since we began the TuneCore 2.0 initiative, and more than five years after we launched, when the final project–the complete overhaul of our accounting system–was launched.

So here’s to the next five years of taking pride in how we help artists. You keep telling us what you want, we’ll keep building it.

  • http://twitter.com/mojosarmy Mojo

    Nice. Thanks team.

    • Laura

      My main concern is that I only release EPs so I think it’d be fair for Tunecore to have a set price for say 4 track EPs? Price them between a single and an album and job done you’ll have a lot more happy customers (including me)!

      When releasing EPs, artists have more releases coming out every year than if they were releasing LPs which can amount to super high renewal fees for perhas only 16 tracks!

      The new business model doesn’t serve albums well (people tend to chose the tracks they like and download only these) so it makes no sense to base economics on the album format.

  • Ken

    I understand that you have made some improvements, but I think the price point is too high for independent artists in today’s market. The price highly overshadows the improvements. I’ve been an avid TuneCore user (and advocate) for quite a while and have opted to NOT pay for the additional reporting and other services in order to save money. Now you are forcing me to pay a flat fee 150% higher than I’ve been paying to receive the additional services… I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I’ll definitely not be renewing.

    • Anonymous

      @Ken

      I hear you. This is your music and its important you feel good about who you choose to work with.

      From my side, we do one thing and we honestly do it better than anyone else – TuneCore is the best distribution company in the world for artists that lets them keep their rights and get 100% of the revenue from the sale of their music. It is my intention to continue being the best by investing in and improving TuneCore each and every day.

      The improvements made are based on what I believe are import needs that impact every single one of our customers. For example, the newly hired marketing and promotion people work for all of you, not just a select few. Same with improved upload speeds, storage, playback of music. live times, self financial audits and the media player improvements. These to me are basics that must be there for all customers.

      I also understand there is no way for you to have the information on what TuneCore customers have asked for over the past three years. For three years prices remained static as we invested and built what was demanded.

      In doing so I changed pricing – with these price changes, for many it has lowered, for others it remains the same and for some it has risen. For all three I want the value be there for you.

      For example, there is no more a-la-cart song or store charge. Prices lowered significantly for many customers, albums that used to cost $60 to $90 now cost $49.99.

      In addition, TuneCore customers no longer need to pay for extra streaming media players or iTunes trend reports – both are now free. We also made a decision not to charge for storage or bandwidth for the streaming media players and, frankly, I do not want to slap advertisements in them as it ruins the purity of what they are.

      We also created a system that allows TuneCore customers to store their music and art with no charge.

      As mentioned earlier, over the past year, there was an in-house marketing and promotion staff hired. The results are thousands of artists and releases getting placement and promotion within the digital stores that would not have otherwise causing a huge spike in their sales. I choose not to trumpet this as I feel it can be construed as “snake oil” – not all artists or releases will get promotion. But nevertheless, we hired people to do it.

      In addition, there is the in-house business development and integrated marketing team cutting deals with brands on behalf of our customers – also a hire done by listening to customer feedback.

      Despite TuneCore not making money off the sale of the music, we were also able to negotiate higher pay-out rates from some digital stores as compared to other companies – this came from the collective power of you and talented, connected and educated people hired to work at TuneCore.

      In regards to al-la-carte pricing, the number one complaint we received from customers over the years was there were too many nickel and dime charges, they wanted simple flat rate across the board. So we built to accommodate that.

      There was also high demand for discounted prices on volume deals – i.e. multiple releases. We dropped prices on these across the board.

      We invested heavily in the accounting system to provide more transparency as well as assure we do not round down and trim off fractions of pennies from customers as some other services do – I do understand that this is not of great value to you, but nevertheless, I thought it important to create a system of this transparency and quality that most others do not match.

      Then there is Ping – customers stated they wanted Artist Ping pages, so we built a system to give them a way to do this when no one else was providing it. We actually have dedicated staff to do this as it has to be a manual process.

      And live times – for over three months TuneCore had the fastest live times out of any company on the planet. This came from investing a huge amount of money and resources into a system that could deliver the cleanest meta-data to the digital stores etc.

      Some of the digital stores are now beginning to grade distributors into four categories: Perfect, no so great, bad, and suspend. Based on how well you meet their new technical style guides dictates how quickly music goes live. With changes from them means changes we need to build to assure your music goes live as fast as possible. I intend on making certain we always do it better than anyone else.

      We also undertook self imposed financial audits and hired KPMG to audit TuneCore every year to assure every penny earned by TuneCore artists was making it to our customers. This is a voluntary hire of an independent third party company to audit our books to look for security breaches and to make sure our numbers all added up.

      But ignoring all of this, there is also one other major point – it costs money to create improvements, new features and upgrades. We can be an old, stale and out of date service and operate as we did three years ago, or we can invest and improve and create more value. I chose to create more value. The cost for a single is $0.83 a month. The cost for an album is $4.16 a month.

      I do not want to lose you, nor any customer, and will work tirelessly to continue to be the best in the world at what we do so one day you will feel we are worth the value to represent and work for you

      Jeff

      • Darrell Heath

        We have recieved a song  contract in Nashville due to the release of our  songs on Reverb nation and tune core I belive the prices are fair at this point small increases   per year  would be more tolerable though …….. HEATHandMILLER 

      • Ron Perovich

        Please consider some changes to this plan!  Either grandfather in existing albums, come up with an EP rate, offer a flat per account fee so I don’t get punished for having more than 1 album, there’s plenty of more reasonable options than making everyone pay more just so a small handful of artists who actually wanted all these new features can have less complicated billing.  They were getting these things before as ala carte items before, correct?  Except for the “promotion team” which I’m pretty sure is something else only a tiny minority will benefit from.  I just don’t see how logistically you can possibly provide that promised a level of marketing attention to a big enough proportion of your clients to justify charging all of them for it.  It just sounds like a reverse Robin Hood situation.

        • Princemelonrecords

          I completely agree well put.

    • Haliima_haliima

      This is like on the radio when the programmers only play the “accepted fold” of already established big time mainstream artists on the air. So Tunecore is now only for the big time artist who has oodles of sales and doesn’t probably even notice the fee hike in mixed of their millions in sales revenue. This is no longer a service that is “indie friendly!”

      • Anonymous

        Just to make certain you understand the change in our pricing – It used to be $49.99 year one and $19.98 each additional year. There were al la carte charges on top

        The cost to distribute an album now is a flat $49.99 a year – This is an increase of $2.50 a month starting in year two.

        However, we removed the $7.98 a month charge for iTunes trend reports and the $1.98 per month charge for streaming media players – these are now included in the $49.99

        We lowered prices on pre-buys of 5 and up (discounts of up to 14%)

        We removed a per song and per store charge on initial distribution lowering costs on albums with more songs going to more stores

        And then there are the improvements listed above

        • http://twitter.com/summertimesend Summertime’s End

          THAT’s what you should be replying with to everyone! The numbers that show that you’re actually making things cheaper.

          • Anonymous

            @summertime’s End

            We have. Its just others attempt to distort the truth in an attempt to make us look bad.

            jeff

          • Maxx

            nah man. it’s the yearly fees.

            since TC seems to be an honest entreprise, why not offer an alternative for atists who don’t like the yearly fees for those of who would rather pay MORE, at once – but never again.

            If this is definitely non-negotiable for Tunecore, it’s really a shame.

            And I can only deduce that TC’s plan is exactly this – earning money – forever…………..

            And yeah, I’m quite aware that things are better for musicians now, but only just. This is 2012, not 1992! That’s a lame excuse, c’mon.

            Indeed, you are the best at this business right now, but I think this will scare potential new users away and eventually, this model is not going to work in the long term.

            It’s sad and telling that loyal users are feeling ripped off.

            With all due respect, but it seems this is really all about the monies.

            Please offer an alternative for artists who don’t want to pay yearly fees, and I’m in. Oherwise, I’m going to have to look somewhere else, which is a shame.

          • Anonymous

            @Maxx

            I see two postings here by you sort of saying the same thing

            I apologize for posting the same answer:

            Before TuneCore launched, their was one option in the world for artists – give up rights and % of your sales money in order to gain access to distribution.
            When TuneCore launched it create a new choiche for artists:

            For the first time, any artist can pay a simple flat up front fee, keep all their rights and get all the money from the sale of their music.
            All artists can now know their exact costs up front while keeping control of all their copyrights.
            (Side note – About two days ago we launched a new option, the $4.99 a month plan)
            I would love for TuneCore to be a fit for you, but if its not, there are certainly others that will take an unlimited amount of revenue from your sales
            Their pitch to you:

            “It’s better to use us if you are going to fail.”

            If we are not a fit for you, I understand – what I don’t understand is why anyone would have a problem with TuneCore creating a choiche for artists that did not previously exist.
            If that choiche is not a fit, you do have other options – but we will be here for you in the event you choose to give us a shot.

            Jeff

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1641510139 David van Ramshorst

    Great !!!.. keep up the good work, i’ll be launching my single soon with TuneCore !! :))

  • Princemelonrecords

    so to clarify, the price for renewing has also increased to 49.95 [from 19.95] per year ?

    • Anonymous

      yes, it is all flat rate – $49.99 per year for an album, $9.99 for a single and $9.99 for a ringtone

      The per track/per store on initial distribution is gone, a charge for trend reports is gone, a charge for media players is gone, volume discounts have also been added

      jeff

      • Princemelonrecords

        Jeff tunecore,  when you say unlimited songs on an album, are there overall time restrictions that haven’t been announced yet?
         We uploaded a number of albums with you based on the old pricing structure
         that have 6 or 7 tracks but these tracks can be more the 8 or 9 minutes each.
         For example can we now do an album that has 70 tracks and a playing time of 7 hours ?

        • Anonymous

          @princemelonrecords

          the time and/or song limit usually happens at the store side, not with TuneCore

          I will ask someone with Artist Support to reach out to you directly

          Jeff

  • PabloEskimobar

    How can we change to a new digital distributor and maintain our reviews and comments on Itunes?

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately if you choose to switch to a different distributor the stores will takedown the music and that removes all reviews and comments. This is not a TuneCore policy. The stores themselves have no mechanism for transfer. Feel free to follow up with support@tunecore.com if you have any other questions about distribution or your account. Our artist support team will be able to help you out!

    • Anonymous

      unfortunately, the digital stores set this policy and do not provide this service. I wish they did!

  • Poetsdatabase

    How long will it take to get a upc barcode? Does anyone know?

  • Milk

    $50 a year per album. Time to leave Tunecore. Disappointing, I really liked tunecore until $50 a year per album.

    • Haliima_haliima

      don’t worry Milk you are not alone!

    • Haliima_haliima

      don’t worry Milk you are not alone!

    • Haliima_haliima

      don’t worry Milk you are not alone!

  • Milk

    For the record, under the old pricing scheme my yearly costs for 4 albums would be
    $57.96. It is now $200. A ridiculous amount to increase costs for small time musicians.

    • Haliima_haliima

      all internet startups eventually get greedy it’s part of the unwritten law of the online business non-ethics of ethics. they also forced artists to agree to give away there rights even though when they signed up they were told 20 per year maintainance and keep all your rights. Perhaps tunecore should hire some musicians and make their own music. Everyone knows how to try to exploit artists and musicians, but not everyone knows how to make music and songs!

      • Anonymous

        That’s just a ridiculous statement.

        If we wanted to be greedy we would not have hired people to work for you, we would have pocketed the money and maintained a sub-par system

        i would rather invest and improve and continue to be the best in the world at what we do

        As an example, we make no money when the music sells but hired in-house lawyers to negotiate better deal terms with the stores for payouts

        As another we hired in-house people to market and promote your music for placements

        I suppose we could have not improved the system, not hired more people to work for you and been a stale old company that just sorta of got the job done. I chose to improve.

        • http://profiles.google.com/tomachinz Tom Atkinson

          Maybe what they need is a system whereby if you don’t sell enough to cover it in a year, the fee is still free or very low say $5/year/album? that would do it right? Then when your sales pick up, it kicks in again at $50.

  • Pingback: Tunecore 2.0 has new features, costs more | Eric Beverly and the Sunday Best

  • Joel

    Total Rip off

    • Anonymous

      Odd thing to say…

      What is “rip off” about it?

  • Joel

    Total Rip off

  • Fogdan

    I can not afford the 50.00 a year. I do not sell that much.

    • Anonymous

      I hear what you are saying, and I respect it. I am in no way going to tell you that your needs, wants and opinions are wrong, they are yours, and therefore by default they are right. It is absolutely your choiche and decision to work with the people and entities that are the best fit for you.

    • projectX

      Come on, is your music that bad that no one buys it and you cant get $50? Funny.

      • Jim Swan

        I guess mine is too.  Very discouraging, this survival of the fittest thing.

  • http://profiles.google.com/aaronlieber77 Aaron L.

    I’m not saying I’m outta here, but $50 is about the point where I would think long and hard before renewing my album for another year. I could go either way …

  • Brandon

    are you guys serious? if you’re complaining, try having a major or independent distributor get your stuff to itunes for you for a while. they do the same exact thing as tunecore but take 20-30% of gross sales. $50 per year is NOTHING. if you are selling records, it doesn’t matter. I’ll gladly pay $50 per year over paying a “distributor” thousands of dollars for doing nothing

  • Brandon

    are you guys serious? if you’re complaining, try having a major or independent distributor get your stuff to itunes for you for a while. they do the same exact thing as tunecore but take 20-30% of gross sales. $50 per year is NOTHING. if you are selling records, it doesn’t matter. I’ll gladly pay $50 per year over paying a “distributor” thousands of dollars for doing nothing

  • Brandon

    are you guys serious? if you’re complaining, try having a major or independent distributor get your stuff to itunes for you for a while. they do the same exact thing as tunecore but take 20-30% of gross sales. $50 per year is NOTHING. if you are selling records, it doesn’t matter. I’ll gladly pay $50 per year over paying a “distributor” thousands of dollars for doing nothing

  • http://twitter.com/UkuleleJim Jim Clark

    I don’t think these prices are particularly good nor competitive. There are similar services out there that will provide digital distribution of an album for a ONE-TIME charge rather than this yearly fee (which is too high, frankly).

    I’d rather pay TuneCore a one-time fee for setting up the album in online stores, then pay TuneCore a small percentage of sales thereafter. It makes more sense to me to have my fees based on how much I actually sell rather than some arbitrary (and high) yearly fixed fee.

    • Maxx

      “I’d rather pay TuneCore a one-time fee for setting up the album in
      online stores, then pay TuneCore a small percentage of sales thereafter.
      It makes more sense to me to have my fees based on how much I actually
      sell rather than some arbitrary (and high) yearly fixed fee”

      Yeah, that’s my my main “beef” with Tunecore. That yearly fee. I’d rather pay Tunecore 200 bucks at once and never have to worry about it it again. Or even 500 bucks right now instead of the “hidden costs” as well, BTW. (I don’t mean this in a bad way, but you do have to pay extra if you want the goodies that only Tunecore seems to offer).

      I’m recording my first “pro” EP and frankly, as an insignificant newcomer to this new model (which is something I like a lot), I am not going to earn any money unless I get into the self-promotion thing, which I have to thank Tunecore for their excellent blog tips for maximizing your “popularity”.

      Anyway. Can’t Tunecore offer something like that for people like us? No yearly fees guys, come on! I really want to join ya… but this is not the best way for everyone. Perhaps TC could offer a model like that for people like us who don’t want to pay an yearly fee?

      If you did that I promise you won’t have any more serious competitors in this field (although, in my view, competition is a good thing since other companies do not have that yearly fee – perhaps they don’t offer all the goodies, but they are not that big a deal for folks like me.

      • Anonymous

        @Maxx

        Before TuneCore launched, their was one option in the world for artists – give up rights and % of your sales money in order to gain access to distribution.
        When TuneCore launched it create a new choiche for artists:

        For the first time, any artist can pay a simple flat up front fee, keep all their rights and get all the money from the sale of their music.
        All artists can now know their exact costs up front while keeping control of all their copyrights.
        (Side note – About two days ago we launched a new option, the $4.99 a month plan)
        I would love for TuneCore to be a fit for you, but if its not, there are certainly others that will take an unlimited amount of revenue from your sales
        Their pitch to you:

        “It’s better to use us if you are going to fail.”

        If we are not a fit for you, I understand – what I don’t understand is why anyone would have a problem with TuneCore creating a choiche for artists that did not previously exist.
        If that choiche is not a fit, you do have other options – but we will be here for you in the event you choose to give us a shot.
        Jeff

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eugene-Neal/1000242823 Eugene Neal

    I’m still using them this is what they do and they excel at it. I am looking forward to developing a great resume with their service. Independent Labels Rock!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Looks like i’ll be sticking with dittomusic then.

  • kc

    tune core… you are so overpriced… this per year thing is total b.s. and i didn’t fully understand it when i signed up… one flat rate should be all

  • Joe Henson

    I think the pricing is okay. Many other distributors got so much hidden costs. Tunecore has a very well transparency, which lets the artist have the full control of his works.

    the thing i wish is to get the physical CD-service available in other countries outside the U.S.

    tunecore is a worldwide distributor, but in fact supports more the U.S. countries with their additional services.

    The CD’s of Amazon on Demand should be available on the european Amazon sites, not only amazon.com, because the import taxes from the U.S. to europe decreases the number of sells for the artist. it’s just to expensive. if a fan from i.e. Poland wants to buy my CD on Demand, he pays about 24 €uros, just to get a CD with 12 tracks. Not a good start!

    Further on, i wish to have more possibilities to design the CD-labels and backside of the artwork.

    So try to work on the Artwork-assistent. let us design all our artwork ourself. not only the front cover.

    thx a lot

  • Caleb

    If you can’t sell enough records to afford $50 bucks a year you need to rethink your business strategy.

    • Jason

      Nice, glib, condescending reply.  It’s $50 a year if one only has one album.  If one has many albums, the price gets really high really fast.  Most tunecore customers are small-time independent artists.  This hike is going to hurt, and it’s going to cause most of us to seek alternative means to get our music online, regardless of “the  34 Improvements.”

      • Anonymous

        @Jason

        TuneCore has to work for you. It cannot be what I think should work for you. You are the customer, I am here to serve you. Your opinions are, by default, right, as they are your opinions. As you can imagine, I could not disagree with you more.
        As you have been extremely honest and open with me, I hope you dont mind me being honest back.
        When I started TuneCore 5 1/2 years ago, it was the first time any artist could gain access to distribution, keep all their rights, get all their money. I made the pricing up while I was taking a shower. It used to be $7.98 per release per year + $0.99 a song + $0.99 for each store you wanted to the release to go to. As I added more stores, the price started to climb. It did not feel like it to people as it was a-la-carte, but they were paying more than we charge now. Over the years I fiddled with other pricing trying to keep costs down while improving the system. I added more al-la-carte, and then people were paying over $65 on average. It just felt wrong to me. So I did what I could to lower pricing while adding more.
        That being said, this is the part I think you are not going to like. Sometimes, I don’t get it. That is, I ran a label for 20 years. My entire life from college though now life I have been surrounded by musicians. When they gig, they blow more than $50 in one night on beer. Many will Fed Ex masters and art for over $50 and think nothing of it. Than there are the fuzz pedals, Pro Tools, guitars and all the other gear costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
        Then there are all the other things paid for from time to time – pizza, beer, movies, Berklee school of music, pot, video games and so on.
        And somehow many of those things are OK to spend money on, but $49 ($4 or so dollars a month) for worldwide distribution of an album, collection of all the money, storage, new stores, new technology, protection of your copyrights, having a team – your own record label with a staff there to help and support you – is too high?
        Im sorry, I truly am. I want this to work for you. I want you to think of it the way I do but I can see you do not value it the same way. The TuneCore staff is your staff, they work for you. They yell at retail stores on your behalf, they chase people down and get your money, they fight for you to get better payout rates, they will go to the matt for you to fix any problem, provide information, make changes or take on someone or something that is trying to take advantage of you.
        For about $4 a month for an album.

        We are the best in the world at what we do and we work for you. Every day, in and out. Your music, your art, deserves it. I owe it to you.
        I wish I could make it free, I truly do, I can’t. All of this stuff costs money. But what I can do is improve, provide more outlets, more value and services. Launch new things to get more of your money (click here for more info – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/how-they-legally-steal-your-money.html )
        Hire new people to market and promote your music – click here to see the results http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/tunecore-artists-featured-in-digital-stores-july-2011.html
        Hire people to create deals with brands on your behalf – click here to learn about what our EVP Business Development/Integrated Brand Marketing does for you (starts at about 26 minutes) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wldRBmNGMj8

        Robbery to me is when someone lies or steals from you – click here to see how they do that – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/how-they-legally-steal-your-money.html

        and here – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/using-complex-copyright-law-to-take-advantage-of-artists.html

        Robbery is not when you are clear, open and transparent, provide information and give the artist the information to make the decisions they believe are best for them.

        There are so many things I see musicians spend $50 on a year – sometimes I am stunned at how they value three beers and a large pepperoni pizza more than what we do.

        But its moot, as I am here to serve you. You have to agree with me, and you dont. There are other things you think are worth $50 a year, having worldwide distribution, keeping your rights, getting all the money from the sale of your music, have a full team working to market and promote your music while protecting your copyrights and more is not worth it to you.

        I wish to god I could change your mind, I understand I can’t.

        All I can say is we are here if you want us to be there for you if you would like to stay with us.

        jeff

      • Anonymous

        @Jason

        Going to post the same reply again

        TuneCore has to work for you. It cannot be what I think should work for you. You are the customer, I am here to serve you. Your opinions are, by default, right, as they are your opinions. As you can imagine, I could not disagree with you more.
        As you have been extremely honest and open with me, I hope you dont mind me being honest back.
        When I started TuneCore 5 1/2 years ago, it was the first time any artist could gain access to distribution, keep all their rights, get all their money. I made the pricing up while I was taking a shower. It used to be $7.98 per release per year + $0.99 a song + $0.99 for each store you wanted to the release to go to. As I added more stores, the price started to climb. It did not feel like it to people as it was a-la-carte, but they were paying more than we charge now. Over the years I fiddled with other pricing trying to keep costs down while improving the system. I added more al-la-carte, and then people were paying over $65 on average. It just felt wrong to me. So I did what I could to lower pricing while adding more.
        That being said, this is the part I think you are not going to like. Sometimes, I don’t get it. That is, I ran a label for 20 years. My entire life from college though now life I have been surrounded by musicians. When they gig, they blow more than $50 in one night on beer. Many will Fed Ex masters and art for over $50 and think nothing of it. Than there are the fuzz pedals, Pro Tools, guitars and all the other gear costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
        Then there are all the other things paid for from time to time – pizza, beer, movies, Berklee school of music, pot, video games and so on.
        And somehow many of those things are OK to spend money on, but $49 ($4 or so dollars a month) for worldwide distribution of an album, collection of all the money, storage, new stores, new technology, protection of your copyrights, having a team – your own record label with a staff there to help and support you – is too high?
        Im sorry, I truly am. I want this to work for you. I want you to think of it the way I do but I can see you do not value it the same way. The TuneCore staff is your staff, they work for you. They yell at retail stores on your behalf, they chase people down and get your money, they fight for you to get better payout rates, they will go to the matt for you to fix any problem, provide information, make changes or take on someone or something that is trying to take advantage of you.
        For about $4 a month for an album.

        We are the best in the world at what we do and we work for you. Every day, in and out. Your music, your art, deserves it. I owe it to you.
        I wish I could make it free, I truly do, I can’t. All of this stuff costs money. But what I can do is improve, provide more outlets, more value and services. Launch new things to get more of your money (click here for more info – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/how-they-legally-steal-your-money.html )
        Hire new people to market and promote your music – click here to see the results http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/tunecore-artists-featured-in-digital-stores-july-2011.html

        Hire people to create deals with brands on your behalf – click here to learn about what our EVP Business Development/Integrated Brand Marketing does for you (starts at about 26 minutes) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wldRBmNGMj8

        Robbery to me is when someone lies or steals from you – click here to see how they do that – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/how-they-legally-steal-your-money.html

        and here – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/using-complex-copyright-law-to-take-advantage-of-artists.html

        Robbery is not when you are clear, open and transparent, provide information and give the artist the information to make the decisions they believe are best for them.

        There are so many things I see musicians spend $50 on a year – sometimes I am stunned at how they value three beers and a large pepperoni pizza more than what we do.

        But its moot, as I am here to serve you. You have to agree with me, and you dont. There are other things you think are worth $50 a year, having worldwide distribution, keeping your rights, getting all the money from the sale of your music, have a full team working to market and promote your music while protecting your copyrights and more is not worth it to you.

        I wish to god I could change your mind, I understand I can’t.

        All I can say is we are here if you want us to be there for you if you would like to stay with us.

        jeff

  • Jahmanifest

    TuneCore does NOT let you keep 100% of your money. That is false advertising. You guys take $50 per year from artist album sales AND you charge artists to get their money from you, which I feel is horrible. You charge on both ends. Artists should NOT be charged to get their money from you. You should cut checks, do auto deposit to our bank accounts, etc without charging extra fees. Otherwise, change your “we let artists keep 100%” slogan and get real.

    • Anonymous

      @jahmenigest

      The banks charge the fees for money withdrawal, not TuneCore. We incur the bank fee just as you would

      PayPal does not charge any fee – you can withdraw via PayPal from TuneCore

    • Anonymous

      @jahmenigest

      The banks charge the fees for money withdrawal, not TuneCore. We incur the bank fee just as you would

      PayPal does not charge any fee – you can withdraw via PayPal from TuneCore

  • http://twitter.com/JayAuraPop Jay Aura

    What’s the news with the Island Def Jam distribution version? Any improvements specific for that?

  • http://twitter.com/JayAuraPop Jay Aura

    What’s the news with the Island Def Jam distribution version? Any improvements specific for that?

    • Anonymous

      all the updates etc will apply to all the sites including Island Def Jam distribution

  • http://www.facebook.com/stjamesiii James A. Lumpkin III

    Pricing seems reasonable to me. I don’t get what the fuss is about.

  • electronic-boy records

    This is awesome. I didn’t like having to pay for reports when I was just selling small quantities of songs. It was costing more to find out what I sold. So the price point is now more than fair for all I will get. Renewing is a pinch for some, only because they are not making money on their release. They may have to take it down, try harder? You would pay more than that to have to get someone’s attention. Kids want their album displayed for life, to tell people to look them up. But not wanting to pay? If they even experienced success, they would be more than willing to pay. Next they will blame Tunecore for poor sales. You made a poor product, don’t complain, this is a business. If it does not sell, then you need to pay to clog the databases with crap. No one wants to store and distribute your songs for free. As no one should. If you made your own website and pushed it from their, it would cost you more than 50 per year. Let’s ignore the people saying the price is unfair and shopping around? I find nothing close to Tunecore.

    Thank you TuneCore!

  • Jonas

    Caleb,
    don’t blame tunecore for people not buying YOUR music. Price point is fair in my opinion.

  • http://www.youtube.com/dfmediainc Triny D

    Are previous releases grandfathered in?

  • Tony

    I got Tunecore to distribute all my releases from my label and now i will not be renewing these releases and i will also leave Tunecore to go elsewhere, infact i have already joined up with someone better. There are better and cheaper distributors out there that can do so much more. Plus, Tunecore how many stores do you deliver to now, not many, less than 20. When there are other places that distribute to over 120 places. And you don’t even distribute to specialize places like Boomkat, Bleep Juno, Beatport, or bigger stores like 7Digital, HMV Digital, and more.. With the distributor i’m with you don’t even have to pay to join or renew and they do great promotion and marketing and much more.. I can honestly see Tunecore losing most of their customers.

    • Anonymous

      @ Merrillsworld

      Beatport etc decide what gets on their shelf editorially, they will not allow all music in. I feel it would be wrong to charge a flat fee and state your music will be on Beatport etc and then have Beatport etc decide not to make it available.

      We have a strict criteria list that stores must follow in order for us to work with them

      1) They have to be able to handle the volume of music we send them
      2) they have to be able to display things properly
      3) they have to be able to send the accounting information as required in the contract
      4) they have to be able to send the money owed for music sales
      5) they have to have a process to take down music or make changes to the release that sit on their shelf
      6) they have to be able to stay in business for at least two years
      7) they have to have customers
      8) they have to provide contractual deal terms that are fair and appropriate for TuneCore customers – there is no way I am going to do a deal with a store that does not treat TuneCore customers properly.

      There may be cheaper models, and there may be models where you work for others and give up your money from the sale of the music, but there are none better than TuneCore

  • Thefoolfunnel

    Pricing is totally fair. These guys got me on iTunes, I’m in the big store, now it’s all about promotion. No biggie. Thanks Tunecore! You Rock!

  • Docwatson

    If you think paying 50 dollars is a lot for an album..then you may not understand the whole idea of releasing records. Tunecore gives a lot of other things up that help out quite a bit like the trending reports which help you on your cash flow out looks…if 50 a year is killing you on your albums then maybe you may need to take a step back and rethink your online presence. 50 dollars should not be killing you.

  • http://amandashelby.com Mark Shelby

    We here at Amsea Group, Inc. Records have been waiting for an integrated promotion and marketing
    program to bring our music to new fans everywhere. Thank you Tunecore!

  • Cuinva

    Wow, after reading many of these posts it would seem that a lot of Tunecore’s customers are truly “struggling” artists. One need only do a little homework to determine if Tunecore is the best value for their purposes. Overall, there are other companies that offer less, the same or more services, at lower or higher prices. So, there is choice available to all artists. $50 per year is not unreasonable, though it may not be the lowest cost available. I will always be looking for better service at lower cost. This is business and business is a dynamic environment based on customer needs and satisfaction, but that doesn’t mean every customer’s needs and satisfaction will be met all of the time. I spend more than $50 a year on guitar strings so $50 a year to have my album in a number of digital outlets is a relative bargain that I can live with.

  • Cuinva

    Wow, after reading many of these posts it would seem that a lot of Tunecore’s customers are truly “struggling” artists. One need only do a little homework to determine if Tunecore is the best value for their purposes. Overall, there are other companies that offer less, the same or more services, at lower or higher prices. So, there is choice available to all artists. $50 per year is not unreasonable, though it may not be the lowest cost available. I will always be looking for better service at lower cost. This is business and business is a dynamic environment based on customer needs and satisfaction, but that doesn’t mean every customer’s needs and satisfaction will be met all of the time. I spend more than $50 a year on guitar strings so $50 a year to have my album in a number of digital outlets is a relative bargain that I can live with.

  • Cuinva

    Wow, after reading many of these posts it would seem that a lot of Tunecore’s customers are truly “struggling” artists. One need only do a little homework to determine if Tunecore is the best value for their purposes. Overall, there are other companies that offer less, the same or more services, at lower or higher prices. So, there is choice available to all artists. $50 per year is not unreasonable, though it may not be the lowest cost available. I will always be looking for better service at lower cost. This is business and business is a dynamic environment based on customer needs and satisfaction, but that doesn’t mean every customer’s needs and satisfaction will be met all of the time. I spend more than $50 a year on guitar strings so $50 a year to have my album in a number of digital outlets is a relative bargain that I can live with.

  • G.W.U.N Ent

    I may try this TuneCore thing again. I left and went with CD Baby and we did a very good job by selling about 8k. Without all of the functions that TuneCore has so I hope we can do better with the new features so I will see how this works now.

  • David

    You guys talk about how you value your artists’ input, but so far all you’ve done is just tell your commenters that they’re wrong.

    It would have been better if you had just kept the old payment system, but put a cap on it. $19.95 for basic, or $49.99 for the advanced features. Although cutting the upper end without raising the lower end would cut in to your profits, I guess.

    Of course you can still pay $9.99 for a single, but you are removing some of the flexibility that makes TuneCore great. With the new prices, it’s now really only economical to go with either a single or a full-length album. This is of course the model that the rest of the industry uses, and as “the only way to go” is a dying concept.

    Did you guys forget about EPs? Personally speaking, I do my releases in 2-4 song EPs, and with the new model it just isn’t feasible to do this anymore. I can either pay for one song at $9.99, or three for $49.99? I don’t have a lot of time to record, and I don’t have a lot of money to throw around either. So now you’ve set my next release back about 6 months, because I have to either record more songs, or just take the hit.

    The other features are great, of course.

    It’s just that some of us don’t need them. Some of us use TuneCore because we are small time, and can’t take the associated financial risks of being a musician. Now that you’ve unified the pricing, there’s no discrepancy between us and the major label musicians that also use TuneCore, and make millions.

    I’ll probably renew, but I’m definitely turning off automatic payments. It’s anyone’s guess if my bank account can take the $50 when that comes around.

    Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      @david

      I would never say you’re wrong about if we are a fit for you. I will say what we have done and why we have done and hope the services we provide combined with being the best in the world at what we do will be reason you choose to have TuneCore work for you.

  • Pingback: Tunecore – wow, really? | Cover Bands Suck

  • http://oblik.blogspot.com Kevin Kuphal

    If there is a flat rate of $49.99 per album, why, if I only chose 2 or 3 stores at release, am I charged a fee per store to add them after release? If the $49.99 covers unlimited stores upon release, it should cover me for adding stores down the road as well, especially if you are charging $49.99 per year.

  • Thefoolfunnel

    Look I remember the days of copying cassette tapes and handing those out at shows, in which we had to go around a staple flyers to telephone poles to get people to come to see us. The only way to get distribute was get signed to a record contract, which was an act of God. We would play and get beers while we were playing.

    Now we can just electronically distribute the music, and put it on Jango and have fans in Costa Rica and France? And if you are smart you don’t even have a band and you just use DAW software. Anybody complaining about $50 to get an album on iTunes probably wasn’t alive back when there was no internet. This puts the power of music back in the musicians hands. It is totally powerful and totally worth it.

  • Thefoolfunnel

    Look I remember the days of copying cassette tapes and handing those out at shows, in which we had to go around a staple flyers to telephone poles to get people to come to see us. The only way to get distribute was get signed to a record contract, which was an act of God. We would play and get beers while we were playing.

    Now we can just electronically distribute the music, and put it on Jango and have fans in Costa Rica and France? And if you are smart you don’t even have a band and you just use DAW software. Anybody complaining about $50 to get an album on iTunes probably wasn’t alive back when there was no internet. This puts the power of music back in the musicians hands. It is totally powerful and totally worth it.

    • http://profiles.google.com/tomachinz Tom Atkinson

      I’m thoroughly behind it, but one thing really spooks me… paying $49.99/year, each year…. year after year… for how long? 5, 10, 20, 50? lets say it works out as a good deal in the first 5 or 10 years, and then noone seems to be buying the album any more. You either have to cancel the subscription and go into “unsupported” mode where the money stops being paid (although it keeps being collected), or do a full take down. That’s the only thing that spooks me. They should have a long term maintenance thing – like if your album hasn’t made more then $50/year for 3 years the fee drops. I dunno.

      • Thefoolfunnel

        Tom,

        I hear you and that is a valid point.  But let’s look at it from a growth standpoint.  If you are half way decent you will get fans. Cmon’ FEAR had fans, TINY TIM had fans, ect.  And let’s say you build your music catalog over 5-10 years and put out 5 or 6 albums. Each album you promote you gain fans, and it compounds the fan base each year.  So your albums will continue to sell residuals as the fans pick up the complete catalog or songs from it. I seriously have not played in 20 years since I was 18-19 in a punk rock band singing in bars.  And we dreamed of putting out an album.  Now you can sit in your room and have a complete band and put out solid music based on the automation and DAW software.  This allows us old guys to pick up our guitars again, since we don’t really have to go back on the road to build a fan base.

        It’s a dream come true TUNECORE gets my music on the shelf in the biggest online music sellers catalogs!  And all I have to do is promote it, now that is the hard part.  But again, you can send MP3′s to college radio stations, contact music critics and email them your music, put a couple hundred bucks in a Jango account and have people hear your music.  Just think of the social networking and drive fans to your site to build and email list, like setting up your amps and mike stand at a new bar every night.  Thats what we were doing then right?  Exposing people to our music to build a fan base.  If you build your fan base, what is $50 bucks a year to keep your music on the shelves?  The thing here that people are confused by is the internet marketing, and seriously I think I may start a service to help bands expose the music.  TUNECORE gets it on the shelves, you gotta get fans to the iTunes site to buy it.  And if you are creative enough to write music you can get fans. I read that an indie band called DEERHUNTER made an old fashion flyer of their new album, and pdf’d it and said that any fan that prints it out and hangs it up in their city and takes a cell phone pic and emails it to them will get a free album.  That’s awesome, their own viral street team,

      • Thefoolfunnel

        Tom,

        I hear you and that is a valid point.  But let’s look at it from a growth standpoint.  If you are half way decent you will get fans. Cmon’ FEAR had fans, TINY TIM had fans, ect.  And let’s say you build your music catalog over 5-10 years and put out 5 or 6 albums. Each album you promote you gain fans, and it compounds the fan base each year.  So your albums will continue to sell residuals as the fans pick up the complete catalog or songs from it. I seriously have not played in 20 years since I was 18-19 in a punk rock band singing in bars.  And we dreamed of putting out an album.  Now you can sit in your room and have a complete band and put out solid music based on the automation and DAW software.  This allows us old guys to pick up our guitars again, since we don’t really have to go back on the road to build a fan base.

        It’s a dream come true TUNECORE gets my music on the shelf in the biggest online music sellers catalogs!  And all I have to do is promote it, now that is the hard part.  But again, you can send MP3′s to college radio stations, contact music critics and email them your music, put a couple hundred bucks in a Jango account and have people hear your music.  Just think of the social networking and drive fans to your site to build and email list, like setting up your amps and mike stand at a new bar every night.  Thats what we were doing then right?  Exposing people to our music to build a fan base.  If you build your fan base, what is $50 bucks a year to keep your music on the shelves?  The thing here that people are confused by is the internet marketing, and seriously I think I may start a service to help bands expose the music.  TUNECORE gets it on the shelves, you gotta get fans to the iTunes site to buy it.  And if you are creative enough to write music you can get fans. I read that an indie band called DEERHUNTER made an old fashion flyer of their new album, and pdf’d it and said that any fan that prints it out and hangs it up in their city and takes a cell phone pic and emails it to them will get a free album.  That’s awesome, their own viral street team,

  • Amitos

    I have invested years of work in my music ! $50.00 bucks is Peanuts for the Service Tunecore Provides ! I am a Greatfull Customer !

  • Killateral

    I am very impressed with Tunecore results. Since joining my artist fan base has increase do to tunecore’s radio play, as compared to another distributor my company was dealing with the fee was $9.99 a month regardless of how well your album sold. So if you were a independent artist with an average of $-10 dollars a month. The distributor was making money and not the artist. For all of the artist out here, you have to draw the interest from fans to your music. If you are promoting and marketing right, these changes will not affect you. Bottom line is go with a distributor that best suits you as an artist. Far as Tunecore continue to make improvements and continue to be a leader in online distribution. This is Jay McClary , CEO of Killateral Entertainment and Jammin INC Management.

  • Tony

    Tunecore goes on about it being the best digital distributor in the world. Sorry, that is just utter nonsense!!! Some people might benefit from Tunecore and some people will not benefit from it, simple as that. There are better distributors out there, i should know. Tunecore is not for everyone and it lacks on certain things.

    • Degicank

      Tell me about the better deal… degicank@gmail.com

      • Tony

        Are you an artist/band or a music label? Because it depends. I use to use Tunecore for my label but it’s no longer suitable for that as i’m better off with a different, better and cheaper distributor. Tunecore should of stuck with the $19.95 price deal.

        • http://profiles.google.com/tomachinz Tom Atkinson

          Which one are you using? ReverbNation? CDBaby? 

      • Tony

        Let me know if your an artist or label and then i’ll get back to you and let you know by email which distributors are best. 

  • GhostWriter

    I guess it all depends how you look at it. As long as the price is reasonable ( and the new pricing is at the verge of becoming unreasonable ) , yes i’d rather pay a flat fee than give up another 10% on top of the 30% we give to iTunes and co..
    Of course it depends on what Tunecore gives in exchange of a 150% price augmentation. If it offers additional services that helps you get more revenue or helps with promo etc, then the additional revenue makes up for the 150% fee increase.

    Now you mentionned “marketing and promotion of releases to the stores for placement” . What is this service ? I can’t find anything related to it on my account page , nor on the Special Artists Offer page . Can you give more info on this ?

    And a last point : Someone mentionned how the new pricing hurts EP’s releases. I agree. The trend right now is to release multiple EP’s thru the year rather than just one album every year or two, as this helps with keeping your social media always filled with fresh news. With this new Tunecore price , multiple 3 or 4 songs EP’s thru the year will just add-up to absurd renewal prices…

    • Anonymous

      @ghostwriter

      I do not place the information on the homepage or within the website as I feel it would be disingenuous. There are no guarantees as to what gets placed or what has the opportunity, and that’s why I do not tout it, it feels wrong to me to use this a reason to use TuneCore when I cannot guarantee it.

      That being said, I did hire people specifically to do this. Each week they market and promote TuneCore artists directly to the digital stores for placements and features – just like all the other “distributors” out there.

      They do this with phone calls, instant messaging and emails that list titles/artists and songs. They also call out things based on what the stores are looking for. We also program the amazon.com/tunecore site with TuneCore releases.

      To date there have been over 30 artists featured as the iTunes Free Single of the week and over 2,000 featured in the digital stores we work with

      We also hired an in-house EVP Business Development and Integrated Marketing to create opportunities between artists and brands. he started about a month ago.

      To date we have also tied TuneCore Artists into marketing programs with Guitar Center, PayPal, Yamaha, Gucci, Hard Rock Hotel, Old Navy and many more.

  • TB Young

    All we need now is some kind of promotion so people know who we are,where our tunes are,what we are, and what kind of music we are making ? If you are not a well known band or writer ( Artist ) how will you get played or found ?

  • Ega

    50.00 a year. If you sell albums for 10 you make it back after 5. Who plans on selling less than 5 albums???

    • Jim Swan

      Since 2006 I’ve sold two copies of mine.

      • amysfunkybeads

        PROMOTE yourself.  I do agree that Tunecore’s price increase will not benefit all artists.  But, as a msall business owner, (musicain trying to sell their music) it is YOUR job to promote. Use Facebook, use twitter, use something…they are all great tools to use for righteous self promotion.

  • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

    To be honest with you, I think the tradeoff is fair. No incidental fees throughout the year, higher renewal cost – makes sense. Personally I would have preferred a higher initial cost and lower renewal as it is often easier to make back the initial fee in the first year.

  • Doc Holliday

    I actually think there are legal issues here. We as musicians (small business owners) did our research to find a company that best suited our business model. We knew that we would be entering into a long business partnership with that company due to the nature of the business of self distribution.That is to say, we knew that to leave Tunecore after our album had gone through release would mean pulling it from itunes and amazon and therefore a loss of our assets (itunes and amazon rankings and reviews). These are huge assets for us. We signed up under a certain price tag with certain services offered in return. These services have not changed radically, but the price has gone up 150%. Yes we have the option to not renew our contract, but again we lose very valuable assets in the process. This forces us into a very bad position. If I have 5 albums, my fees are now $250 a yr vs $100. Now, CD and Nimbit or whoever start looking better… The thing is, we can’t switch because we are taking a huge loss for our business if we do (rankings and reviews).
    The reason we chose Tunecore was they offered the greatest value. Now they do or don’t depending on how much music you release. The issue is that we are locked into the deal because our business takes a big loss if we leave. I’m not sure if it is legal or not, but it doesn’t seem like it.. My suggestion would be to grandfather in albums made before “Tunecore 2.0″ arrived under their original $20.00 per year maintenance fee and to make all new fall under the new terms of service contract. Otherwise what was the point of even advertising it was $20.00 a year? What was the point of agreeing to the Terms of service? Now, you have changed the terms of service and what we agreed to is false since those future years of $20.00 maintenance fees are now $50.00. I believe the rational will be that Tunecore 2.0 offers us so much more. If so, you should give people who released under the old contract the option to not implement “Tunecore 2.0″ for previous releases that should be protected under the terms of service contract we signed. Legal issues indeed. If not, a bad way to do business IMHO.

  • Anonymous

    Nope. They’re there.

    Thank You

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

  • http://profiles.google.com/tomachinz Tom Atkinson

    This is exactly what I was worried about. I checked out ReverbNation too, but they are the same. So now I am wondering which global aggrator is the best one that charges a % or maybe a combination of the two.

  • http://twitter.com/ryangielen ryangielen

    I love the new pricing, and I have no problem paying $50 flat for a wide release because now it comes with the trending reports, so I can finally measure the efficiency of promos that I do without having to pay for it every time (analytics should always come with distribution). Also, I’m happy about the acknowledgment of (AND action on) the notion that we need advocates at TuneCore, not just a vessel to the digital outlets.

    My only beef is video. It was a nightmare trying to get my movie on iTunes, and my music video just got lost in the ether. There were no clear instructions, no useful help section, just a series of unconfirmable steps and little help/service. This was surprising, because it was the exact opposite of my experience with the soundtrack albums we released.

    I’m thrilled at the changes for the music side of TuneCore, and I know they reflect a genuine desire to support indie bands, I just hope changes on the video side of TuneCore are close behind.

  • Tony

    I totally agree! ;D 

  • Craigbrumby

     I was shocked by the new price increase, but understand it’s part of doing business.  I write and record music because i LOVE doing it.  My band no longer exists, but it is still slowly selling without any marketing or promotion.  I love the fact that people are enjoying the music that I have made.  I don’t really care if i lose $10 – $20 a year for having my music available to the WORLD without really doing anything!!!!  If my sales contribute to having my songs out there I’m happy!

    The one thing that does bug me about the new price implementation is that of the 34 new improvements, i’m not seeing the ones that I think warrant the price increase now. ie –
    • Apple Artist Ping pages• changes to album art, song titles, genres, and so on, after a release was already live in a store• accepting different lossless codecs on the songs (.wav, .flac, and so on)• the ability to download assets or send them around in a SoundCloud-type way• tracking streams from the TuneCore streaming media player• delivery of a .PDF booklet bundled with a release

    My only other gripe is, when creating you album you can’t automatically select all stores.  Now if all stores are included, why should I have to select them all manually.  They should all be pre-selected and have the option to de-select. (maybe)

    Major HAPPY – album live in 24-72 hours!!!!  Much better than the 6-8 weeks most other services offer.

  • Thefoolfunnel

     It’s all about promotion of your music, look at who’s a featured artist on the worlds largest and highest traffic indie music critic website:

    http://www.musicemissions.com

    I saw THE FOOL FUNNEL did you?

    Get your music out there and it will get noticed, don’t whine and complain that Tunecore got it on the selves at iTunes for next to nothing.  Now drive buyers to it by promotion!  

  • Princemelonrecords

    A 150% price hike is hefty in anyone’s language. Whether you
    think this represents good value is not the point. A flat fee service like
    Tunecore is dependent upon the aspirant small time artists for the bulk of its income.
    These acts will probably never sell enough to even recoup their annual
    maintenance fee but without them there is no way a flat fee operation like
    Tunecore could operate. In reality the old user pays model was far more
    equitable. [If you’re not selling much you probably don’t need daily sales
    reports, and you’ll probably also find that 99% of your sales come from three
    stores-iTunes, eMusic and Amazon]

    It’s clear that Tunecore should honor the price its early
    clients signed up for pre the new model.
     

  • Les Hewitt

    If I only had one album it wouldn’t be so bad.
    I don’t really want to put all the tracks on one massive album that’s just ridiculous.

    $50 this year $100 next year?

  • Tony

    they deleted my comments too.. 

    • Anonymous

      @tony

      actually, Doc’s comments were not deleted, he sent a follow up posting to apologize

      any comments removed are done so because they are spam or soliciting for customers

  • jordan

     Although I still haven’t decided if i am going to go with tunecore over Cd some of the arguments below are completly insane.

    Tom you are saying you would rather they take a percentage of sales and charge less!  How many albums/songs do you sell per year to justify this statement because I would much rather pay flat fee of $50 a year then have thousands taken out from percentages.

  • Marty

    It would be nice to get some help loading photos and songs and see the result on itunes.  My first song account shows it all complete but no photo shows up on itunes.  What gives?  You are losing a lot of business here.

    No offense, but we are musicians playing clubs, etc., not computer experts.  I have spent 30+ hours trying to figure out why my photos won’t show up on itunes and I can’t get any help. 

    It is a little insulting to get no real help when I’m TRYING TO GIVE YOU MORE MONEY!!!!!!!!  I’m trying to HELP YOU MAKE MONEY!!!!!!

    I can’t use your comment line for help because which of these people knows anything?  Do any of them know anything?  I could screw up my computer if I’m not careful.

    We can make money together but not seperately.

    Marty

     

    • Anonymous

      @Marty

      Unfortunately, iTunes does not display band photos, just the cover art to a release

      They will, from time to time,editorially decide to make an artist page that has come additional art and photos, but they make those decisions out of the Apple offices.

      However, you can create an artist ping page via TuneCore and upload your photos there

  • Tony

    A bad way of doing business – YES! Legal issues – YES!
    Infact i’m already on the case and currently looking into this issue with my lawyer and we plan to sue Tunecore. I will let you know what happens. 

  • Pingback: The Digital Distro Health Club » The Cynical Musician

  • http://www.andygullahorn.com AndyGullahorn

    I realize this is probably old news by now, but I am just getting around to figuring out what is happening here.
    I believe my first few records with Tunecore had a yearly renewal fee of $7.98. The next couple had the $20 renewal. The last one is at the new $50 level.
    I understand from your blog post that you have added a bunch of extra features – but the truth is that for me (and many other artists) the features I use haven’t changed from the days of $7.98.
    I have been a big supporter of Tunecore since the beginning, but I wanted to voice the reason why I might leave Tunecore (other than just for the STEEP price increase).
    I understand how businesses work and that it costs money to make improvements and that you want to be on the front edge of what folks have to offer in this business. But when I read the post above, I felt more than once that I was being half-lied to – taking me back to the days of working under big record labels. What they would say would be true (to a point) but not always applicable. For example, the folks you hired for placements/promotion/marketing. It is true that that is an “improvement” that you made. It is true that that improvement would bring about more expenses. But what percentage of all of the Tunecore users are being served by that particular service? I didn’t ask for that service and wouldn’t expect it from you guys – but I get the feeling that if I wanted to use it, I would have to be a VERY squeaky wheel – and it still wouldn’t happen. I am not saying that I want you guys to start promoting my music in that way – I never really saw that as your job. But i am saying that using it as a justification to raise prices for EVERYONE when only a few people might benefit from it sure seems like a tricky record label thing to do.
    That being said, I realize that most of the things I subscribe to have services that I don’t take advantage of. The biggest “fear” for me about this is the classic fall of the start-up web business. You find a way to make more money – and find ways to actually justify charging that much – but you somehow lose the independent mojo that made you so popular to start with. I have seen it hundreds of times in the past 15 years. I am afraid you will find that the small-time indies were actually supporting your business more than you thought – and now that you have made it more sensible for them to go elsewhere, you could be left with great services but many less people to service. As a business model, you might be able to absorb that loss with the higher prices for the customers that stay – but just look at the history of sites and businesses that decide to cash in when they can – thinking that business will stay the same. I am just afraid that you have convinced yourself that this was a “good move for everyone”. I am not sure if you actually believe it or not, but I feel like at some level, there is deception happening. Either you deceiving the indie folks on here, or you being deceived by what additional features you think people are going to get with the “Tunecore 2.0″.
    To me, the thought of paying $500/year for all of the records I have on here – just to have a bunch of services that I never opted to use and some that honestly aren’t even available to me – seems like a different world from the $7.98/year I first signed up for.

    • Anaste

      Excellent arguments. Do you Tunecore realize that you are going to become self-distructive? Yahoo has taught us that new versions may be worse than the previous ones. Hire better analysts.

  • Pingback: HOW TO: Get Your Music on iTunes | NexGen SEM

  • Unhappy

    RE “distribution into unlimited stores for every release (as opposed to a per-store charge)”

    This is only for new albums and new users

    if TuneCore adds a store, and you want to get that store added to a current album
    you still have to pay.

    I think it’s wrong
     

    • Anonymous

      @unhappy

      Beware? If you are a customer, please reach out to us so we can help you. We are not able to find you in our system. It seems like you might not be a customer.

      When you come to TuneCore you get unlimited songs to unlimited stores regardless of if you are a new customer or a returning customer

      if you want to add a store in the future to an existing release it costs $1.98 – this is the price it has been for years.

      the reason for the charge is each store has its own set of specifications that are different from every other store.

      To get your music to the stores you add in the future, TuneCore must:

      - activate virtual instances via its Amazon virtual server.

      - the virtual instances then must go to the Amazon Simple Storage Solution storage bucket where we back up your music and transcode it to the format of the new store.

      - In addition, we get your artwork (which we also backup) out the Amazon storage bucket, auto-check it to see if it meets the requirements of the new store and, if not, re-size it to the correct size.

      - Once this is done, the virtual instance then needs to take information you provided (name of the song, artist, album, release date, genre etc) and reformat it to the meet the specific metadata spec of that store.

      – Once the music, art and metadata have been pre-formatted and converted to the stores specifications we must then send it to the store via the Internet to an authenticated FTP drop site for that store.

      Unfortunately, this incurs costs. We certainly hope $1.98 is low enough to allow you to add stores that you might want to add in the future

      • Unhappy

         I am sorry that I got mad and said beware, I just am frustrated that you just increased
        the price by 150% and say “unlimited stores for every release”
        and you still charge for adding a store. It just seems disingenuous.

  • Mauro De Santis

     OK and cheers for all your business, but I hope to go on more stores, i.e. Beatport…

  • Pingback: HOW TO: Get Your Music on iTunes | CashKlick

  • Spritesuper3

    Nice post!!! The audio clarity is a must. The clearer is the more likely people will pay attention. A clean audio track will take any music to the next level. Thanks for sharing this.
    noleggio audio

  • Pingback: HOW TO: Get Your Music on iTunes | Stu Haugen

  • Korben

    How about adding in the yearly renewal for singles. Let’s use Milk’s example below, he/she now has to pay $200/year for 4 albums. Let’s say Milk also put out 4 singles per year and now has 16 singles that need to be renewed each year, that is an additional $160/year.

    Now it’s $360/year. And guess what year number 5 comes along and Milk releases a 5th album and 4 new singles. Add another $49.99 and $39.96 to the yearly cost which is now $450.

    If Milk can’t pay the $450, the albums are removed from all stores and all of the work (and marketing/promoting money) for the past 5 years to get comments/ratings/fans is now gone forever.  This business model is wrong, customers should get discounts for being faithful/loyal. Like the “vanishing deductible” from a currently running insurance commercial.

    I was truly considering Tunecore until I wrote this, now it is obvious why anyone who is in this for even just a few years has some serious thinking to do – ESPECIALLY if you are releasing singles.

    Each new album/single MUST sell extra in order to cover the previous albums/singles which probably aren’t selling nearly as much.  Some might argue that if you can’t make that little amount then you shouldn’t be in the business. Then I’d say, what if you have extenuating circumstances like children, loss of job, health issues or whatever and $450+ needs to be spent elsewhere when the bill comes in.

    Lastly, who is to say that this yearly fee won’t go to $69.99 per year for an album and $19.99 for a single — with no notice and nothing you can do about it. Re-run those numbers, $750/year with 5 albums and 20 singles .. wow.

    My 2 cents.

    • Anonymous

      @korben

      I’m going to go against convention here.

      Firs let me say, I ran a label for 17 years and released over 240 releases in that time.

      Every single artist I released started by selling nothing. I would have KILLED to have my distribution costs be a fixed set cost at the start of the year. Instead I gave up hundreds of thousands of dollars a year as a % of the sale. $49.99 a year for an album to be distributed, would have been an unbelievable god send.

      With this flat rate I would have known my costs up front and planned my business around it. A little over $4 a month to distribute an album worldwide, non-exclusive, keep my rights, get all the revenue. If anyone would have told me that would have been possible I would have laughed at them

      And yet here we are.

      Next, I used to hire a bookkeeper to do our royalty accounting. On the low end, $50 an hour. I spent thousands a year just to get the statements done. The system we built does it all for you at no extra cost. Think its trivial? Try to build it yourself, see how much time and investment it takes. Still don’t believe me? Get the raw accounting files, each in a different format, from over 20 stores and go ahead and do the manual accounting for each song, artist and release. Now add on top of this that you can click a button, export your custom report, email it to someone and have the TuneCore system send out a check, PayPal payment and/or do a direct deposit into a bank account.

      How about six months from now when you want to run a custom report by song, release, store etc to get some idea of how things sold after a marketing campaign, it does that too. And we also built a system to ingest and display the reports that iTunes serves out -it’s not automated by Apple, we actually have to do that by hand.

      How about the in-house marketing and business development staff we have working for you. Don’t think we get placements and features? You’re wrong – click here to view http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/tunecore-artists-featured-in-digital-stores-july-2011.html

      Click here to view what Malcolm does in regards to Brand Marketing deals on behalf of you

      http://www.youtube.com/user/tunecore#p/u/3/wldRBmNGMj8

      Now lets move onto the fact that TuneCore staff is YOUR staff. You have a problem with a store, you call us and we get it fixed – pricing, song title, album title, album art, pull a title down and so on. I suppose you could to this too, on top of everything else you are already doing or hire someone to do it for you. How about copyright infringement? We actually check each and every title to assure that someone else is not trying to claim they control your masters.

      Next, you can sit and run math all day around any price point. Make it $20 an album and do math, make it $45 and do math. Make up any scenario you want and from a cost benefit analysis you can make it work or not work.

      But let me cut to another point, TuneCore has to work for you. It cannot be what I think should work for you. You are the customer, I am here to serve you. Your opinions are, by default, right, as they are your opinions.

      But as you have come to my blog and have been extremely honest and open with me, I hope you dont mind me being honest back. When I started TuneCore 5 1/2 years ago, it was the first time any artist could gain access to distribution, keep all their rights, get all their money. I made the pricing up while I was taking a shower. It used to be $7.98 per release per year + $0.99 a song + $0.99 for each store you wanted to the release to go to. As I added more stores, the price started to climb. It did not feel like it to people as it was a-la-carte, but they were paying more than we charge now. Over the years I fiddled with other pricing trying to keep costs down while improving the system. I added more al-la-carte, and then people were paying over $65 on average. It just felt wrong to me. So I did what I could to lower pricing while adding more.

      That being said, this is the part I think you are not going to like. Sometimes, I don’t get it. That is, I ran a label for 20 years. My entire life from college though now life I have been surrounded by musicians and label owners. Most blow more than $50 in one night on beer. Many will Fed Ex masters and art for over $50 and think nothing of it. Than there are the fuzz pedals, Pro Tools, guitars and all the other gear costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

      Then there are all the other things paid for from time to time – pizza, beer, movies, Berklee school of music, pot, video games and so on.

      And somehow many of those things are OK to spend money on, but $49.99 ($4 or so dollars a month) for worldwide distribution of an album, collection of all the money, storage, new stores, new technology, protection of your copyrights, having a team – your own record label with a staff there to help and support you – is too high?

      Im sorry, I truly am. I want this to work for you. I want you to think of it the way I do. The TuneCore staff, this is your staff, they work for you. They yell at retail stores on your behalf, they chase people down and get your money, they fight for you to get better payout rates, they will go to the matt for you to fix any problem, provide information, make changes or take on someone or something that is trying to take advantage of you.

      For about $4 a month for an album.

      We are the best in the world at what we do and we work for you. Every day, in and out. Your music, your art, deserves it. I owe it to you.

      I wish I could make it free, I truly do, I can’t. All of this stuff costs money. But what I can do is improve, provide more outlets, more value and services. Launch new things to get more of your money (click here for more info – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/07/how-they-legally-steal-your-money.html )

      There are so many things I see musicians, managers and labels spend $50 on a year – sometimes I am stunned at how they value three beers and a large pepperoni pizza more than what we do.

      But its moot, as I am here to serve you. You have to agree with me, and you dont. There are other things you think are worth $49.99 a year, this is not one of them. And if you choose a service to work for you solely on a simple cost benefit analysis and see zero value in having the best in the world work for you and provide a myriad of other services, I cannot change your mind. You should choose a service that meets your needs of selling less than $4 a month of music.

      I wish to god I could change your mind, I understand I can’t.

      All I can say is we are here if you want us to be there for you

      Jeff

  • Bob Ryszkiewicz

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I just sent a money order for $49.99USD to TuneCore. And, I’ve read most of the “TuneCore scam” posts on Google. I started this relationship after hearing about TuneCore at a local music store about 4 years ago. So, I gave it a try. So far, only pennies have been made from my humble 2 song EP, The Ghost of Elvis, but my dream of getting my music to the world has come true. Faith. And $49.99. Joke is, I used to work for PolyGram back in the days of Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Donna Summer, etc. But every time I’ve contacted TuneCore over the past 4 years, customer support has always helped. So Jeff, this is all coming to you with Faith that your heart is in the right place. Please get the promo happening. Keep the prices low for us Indies. Thanks…bob http://www.myspace.com/bobryszkiewicz

  • Francisco Campoverde

    Does TuneCore work with beatport?
     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L4RXF6S7B7U3IG4J76DSMWYWR4 anon

    I will probably re-up once at the new rate, but will look elsewhere for the future.  But, and here is where TC may lose in the long run, I will no longer be an advocate for TC.  I realize that my advocacy alone will not have a huge impact, but if many of the TC users feel as I do, that could most certainly affect the bottom line.  I have one word for TC…. NETFLIX.  The “new” features do not justify the increase.  For me, it’s like someone adding a whole bunch of “extras” I don’t want or need to an item I am buying just to up the cost.  Not my idea of of something I want to buy.