Blogger Criticizes Artists for Making Money; TuneCore Disagrees

By Jeff Price

Before I say another word, yes, I know I’m rising to the bait. I know this response means more eyeballs for Digital Music News – a semi legitimate music industry blog that tends to be sensational to drive eyeballs. I know that Paul Resnikoff’s constant personal attacks on TuneCore and me are a goad and good for his web traffic. Okay, sometimes the only way to refute a gambit is to accept it. If this means more people paying attention to Paul’s site and generating revenue for his ad-supported business model, I guess he wins that round.

But when you paint a picture of hopelessness for artists, suggest they are failures and attempt to discourage them based on a nonsensical math equation and incomplete data, then you’ve lashed out at the wrong target. They deserve the truth.

Paul, why do you put down artists for making money?

Read the entire post at Hypebot

  • http://www.collinmarrero.com Collin Marrero

    This was awesome. And a confidence booster! THANKS! Fight on artists!

  • gaetano

    Thanks again for this Jeff,

    I don’t think any of us thought that excel sheet would attract the vultures…

  • DROWSER

    FUCK TUNECORE! these cock suckers burned me for 20 bucks. they took my payment but gave me no credits at all. i still cant destribute shit. i used a mastercard debit card to pay. n there was an “error” well these lying 2face dirty bitches still havent fixed the error. they still havent paid me back or distrubuted my album. fuck these fools n fuck their site. get the shit right. or make a vicious enemy. u putos cant fuck with me. n u will regret not fixing this. 

    -Drowser

    • Anonymous

      Hi Drowser,

      We’re sorry to hear you’re upset. We can assure you that TuneCore does not engage in any fraudulent behavior.  We do all we can to help our customers.  We’ve already looked into your account and our Director of Customer Experience has contacted you via email to get your music online.  Thank you.

    • Choculaterbiyatch

      Sir, eat a fat one.

    • Choculaterbiyatch

      Sir, eat a fat one.

      • MikeMusic

        isn’t freedom of speech marvelous? Even dweebs like @Choculaterbiyatch get to say dumb shit!!

    • David Cedeno

      You need to be more professional in your approach with TuneCore. Seek the right people in the billing department first. Also, debit cards not linked to your bank account has been shown to have many issues like these. You must be 100% accurate on your name and address. I had a similar problem and it turned out that I put Suite # 2 instead of 2nd Floor which was what my debit card company (Green Dot) had on file. Please keep trying. I would love to hear your music. 

    • David Cedeno

      You need to be more professional in your approach with TuneCore. Seek the right people in the billing department first. Also, debit cards not linked to your bank account has been shown to have many issues like these. You must be 100% accurate on your name and address. I had a similar problem and it turned out that I put Suite # 2 instead of 2nd Floor which was what my debit card company (Green Dot) had on file. Please keep trying. I would love to hear your music. 

    • http://twitter.com/RangerRick Benjamin Reed

      In other words, if the first thing you do is scream in a public forum without talking to customer support, TuneCore *still* treats you like a customer, and not a jerk.  :)

      I’ve had a couple of things go weird or confusing (mostly to do with 3rd-party services they referred me to through “Special Artist Offers”) and they’ve been nothing but helpful. Just because most customer service in The Real World sucks nowadays doesn’t mean they all do.

      • Anonymous

        to make matters worse, it turns out his credit card was not charged in the first place
        jeff

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexandrews1981 Alex Andrews

    I use TuneCore and the numbers the way I figure them, is if one makes $500 a month, and they put less than part-time into it, then they are making great money. If one is making $1k-$2k per month that is a decent respectable living.

    That pays the bills, rent/mortgage, food, and some extras too. Just because marketers tell you you’re entitled to more, doesn’t mean you are. Be grateful for what you have. For my investment in what I sell, I’ve made it back a few times now, and I’m happy. I’m grateful tune core provides affordable means to post toe the iTMS. It takes out all those PICK-POCKET label analysts, and consultants who don’t know what they are talking about, and I get MY money for MY work. 

    • http://twitter.com/daveowensmusic Dave Owens

      “I use TuneCore and the numbers the way I figure them, is if one makes
      $500 a month, and they put less than part-time into it, then they are
      making great money. If one is making $1k-$2k per month that is a decent
      respectable living.”

      You make a great point! So many people just put the music out there and kick back, waiting for everyone to hear it, love it, buy it, and share it. If you have the music down, it’s all about what you’re willing to put into it.

  • http://www.mymusicbymebystevefitch.com Me

    Frankly, I found the “controversy” confusing; I couldn’t tell what was “spin” nor who was spinning it.
    Since musicians should (?) be able to make a living from their music, please go to mymusicbymebystevefitch.com, listen to my music, and then let me know what I should be doing to generate more lucrative returns from it. (Since I am unable to play live, that should narrow it down a bit.)Thanks for the $0.01 from streaming-audio play. It’s something.

  • http://deltadreams.com Quang Ly

    Everybody knows that you should only make money doing stuff you hate like it’s a job. C’mon now. Why would you want to earn a living doing something you enjoy? Ugh!

    DISCLAIMER: That was sarcasm…

  • Anonymous

    Most weekends I play music for 4 hours a night for about $150, if I have a decent gig, I might come away with $300. It is great part time money for me, but here is the deal… I would still do it if I was only getting $20.00 and maybe a free burger and beer. More than likely I would, and have done it for free.  I love to play, and it is not always about making money.

    It would be awesome to be like U2 or Ozzy or Godsmack, but in my world I am happy. I am doing what I love to do AND I get paid something for doing it. The band Tesla wrote a line in one of their songs and it says… “Music means a lot to me, like love I make it when I can!” Nobody is paying me to make love and yet I would never miss the chance! 8)  This bitter blogger, is probably just a frustrated and failed musician. He should be happy if he is making money blogging, whatever the amount, I am certain it makes him happy. Should he stop because he is not the highest paid blogger?

    I want to define what success means to me, If I could make $50,000 a year playing music I would be happy as hell!!!! Yeah maybe I would not be rocking areas opening for Disturbed, but I would be freaking over joyed… If this blogger has never played music, then he will never understand why we do what we do. I admit I am like a junkie I have got to have more and I can’t stop and I am going to play music every chance I get, whether I make zero or make $1,000.

    Never Surrender, and keep the music flowing!

  • Wilson

    “You know you are achieving success when you start taking flak…  Its a good thing, it means you are right over the target, embrace it…” Robert Lunte

  • http://cdmusicmastering.com Big Label Sound

    The guy is only stating the facts, regardless if it seems to be a knock against tunecore. Take any of the “help you sell your music sites” tunecore, cd baby, etc. and divide “total sales” divided by number of artists and you come up with $300-$500 each.  Which is crap, compared to the owners of the website who make MILLIONS!!!

    I think it’s good to let the general public know that there’s a 98% chance you won’t make anything.  This doesn’t mean to give up on your dream.  It means, if you’re an indie, be smart with your money.  Don’t spend $30,000 to get a cd recorded, mixed and mastered and buy $10,000 worth of cds.  Spend under a G and make a single.  If you can’t sell the single, you won;t sell the entire cd either!

    • Anonymous

      hes actually not telling the truth – he’s going for sensational headlines to drive web traffic and does not care if he delegitimizes or hurts artists along the way.
      Net revenue into an artist’s pocket from recorded music is way way way up – higher now than it has ever been in the history of this industry.
      Revenue from music sales never made it back to the artist, it was gross revenue that went to the label.
      Advances were unrecouped, and of those released via a label 98% failed with their “one shot” (post failed release they were damaged goods and done for).
      Revenue from music sales might be down, but sales by unit are up. In addition, more consumers are buying more music from a wider cohort of artists now than at any point in history.
      Music might be cheaper to “buy” (stream), but the end result is more artists making more money (or making any money at all) off the sale and use of their recordings than at any point in history.
      (compare this to the past when over 98% of signed artists made nothing (and almost 100% of unsigned made nothing) vs. today where they all make something).
      I know this as I have the data. TuneCore is the largest music distribution company by volume in the world – larger than EMI, Warner, Sony, Universal. It releases more music in one month than they do combined in 100 years.
      Its customers have sold over 500,000,000 units in the past 3.5 years earning over a quarter billion dollars. All this money made it back into their hands, not the label. This is new money for the artist which is therefore an increase, not a decrease in revenue.
      In regards to live gigs, in the traditional industry, even fewer artists made revenue from live gigs then they did from master sales, so there is no decrease in revenue for them from this income stream (but also possibly no upside for the 1/100th of a % that could have become The Who)
      Now add to this, these artists are not only the record labels (meaning the make the revenue from ALL exploitation of their masters (interactive and non-interactive) but also the songwriter/publishers (and the above numbers I included do NOT include revenue from non-interactive use which is up over 1,000% in the US in the past few years)
      Which means off of each an every exploitation of the recording or composition (reproduction, public performance, license etc) they earn money. The master money is making it back to them.
      Now add merch, sponsorship, advertising and the other 29 or so income streams.

      The issue for me is not gig income, its that there is a false and inaccurate representation of the current market in regards to artists.

      and second, (soap box coming out) that the songwriter/publisher money is not making it back to them.

      As you may be aware, with mechanicals there are no reciprocating rights. With Public Performances/New media Transmissions, the PROs dip and double dip before some portion of it reaches the administrator of the copyright ~18 months post it being generated with no transparency (just look at SGAE in Spain)

      As a hard example, TuneCore Artists have earned an additional $63 million in revenue as songwriters/publishers but did not get their money – black box.

      A large % of this money was illegally given to un-authorized global PROs and collection agencies as our songwriters/publishers are NOT members of any PRO.

      In addition, over 99% of our customers have no publishing deal and therefore could not get their mechanical royalties which should not have been paid to an unauthorized third party in the first place

      Further, if they are US based, they only assign the right to Public Performance to ASCAP/BMI/SESAC which means that despite a pass along of rights, PRS etc have no right to collect nor issue licenses for the right of Reproduction (mechanical royalties) for these songwriters/publishers

      In addition, the global pros arbitrarily decide how to split the income between Performance and Reproduction allowing them to take even more money from the songwriter/publisher – in regards to a songwriter/publisher affiliated with ASCAP/BMI/SESAC, this means PRS etc have no legal right to split this money between Public Performance and Reproduction.

      Then we move into the second level of splitting of the Performance revenue between publisher/songwriter

      Our hundreds of thousands of customers are both – so when GEMA does a 2/3 – 1/3 split on the performance (of which there is no legal basis) they dig further into our customers pockets

      This is why I launched TuneCore’s global publishing administration infrastructure while simultaneously requiring the digital music services to get licenses and pay TuneCore directly for the composition rights.

      For the compositions we represent, if they are affiliated with ASCAP/BMI/SESAC, these entities no longer have the right to represent the New Media Transmissions and by extension neither does any other PRO.

      In this same scenario, in regards to Reproduction, no PRO ex-US (or US) has this right therefore the digital music services have not paid our customers their mechanicals.

      But the bottom line is yes, the labels revenue is down, the revenue is shifting. The old model is becoming something else

      But the end result is artists revenue is up, way up, across the board.

      And this Billboard news item is woefully negligent in providing an accurate picture of what is actually happening in the market.

      Ok, off soap box