Spending 4 Billion Dollars To Accomplish Nothing

By Jeff Price

The world of making physical CDs or vinyl albums and shipping them on pallets to Walmart, is coming to an end.

The world of needing third parties to track how many times a song is played on analog AM/FM radio and analog television is just about over.

The world of having gatekeepers deciding who gets let in, is gone.

It’s over.  It changed, it’s a new game. The traditional music industry is on its last breath. Soon it will be completely and utterly dead. It’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.”

And yet, the old music industry seems not to care.  Universal and Sony are about to spend four billion dollars to buy EMI, a catalog of music and songs that loses value each and every day.  Performing rights organizations like ASCAP are using their own songwriters’ money to sue, litigate and lobby to assure that their members get less so they can make more.

Is this really what it has all come down to with the old industry: Screw them all, I’m going to milk as much out of this at the expense of the artists, the consumers, and the songwriters before we go down?

They could have taken that same four billion dollars and used it to innovate, invest, change business models and educate.  They could have used it to accelerate ideas and strategies that the world has never seen.  They could test new models, see what works, push the failures to the side and move forward.

But they chose not to build the future of this industry.  Instead, as they fly their private planes to their islands (bought off of the music created by the artist), they choose to milk the last few dollars out of what was leaving behind a smoldering pile of ruin.

The good news is, they can’t stop what’s coming. No amount of lawsuits, consolidation or lobbying can stop progress.  For the first time we will have generations of artists and musicians that will not be required to give up their copyrights and control to have access.  The only thing stopping success will now be the music itself, as it should be.

  • Driven Madness

    That is why I’m non profit, and give away over 80 of my songs for free.

  • Driven Madness

    That is why I’m non profit, and give away over 80 of my songs for free.

    • http://www.a-lyric.com/ Anonymous

      If it brings you gigs that pay, why not?

      • Steven Vachon

        Because it devalues you as a professional. People will respect you less. But, that is just my opinion and why I choose against this.

  • Aaron Poehler

    You kind of made their argument for them at the end there: this is one of the last large accumulations of music for which they can own the rights free and clear, and continue to profit off the publishing and licensing for years to come. New music isn’t going to be similarly unattached because new artists don’t need to sign away all their rights anymore.

  • Aaron Poehler

    You kind of made their argument for them at the end there: this is one of the last large accumulations of music for which they can own the rights free and clear, and continue to profit off the publishing and licensing for years to come. New music isn’t going to be similarly unattached because new artists don’t need to sign away all their rights anymore.

  • Chuck Hughes

    Hmm, and to think I just subscribed to the third party Tunesat last month so in 9 months I could compare my ASCAP and Pumpaudio reports to the Tunesat detections to see if my TV plays were being reported. tunesat found a lot of plays for me this first month. Am I wasting my money?

  • Chuck Hughes

    Hmm, and to think I just subscribed to the third party Tunesat last month so in 9 months I could compare my ASCAP and Pumpaudio reports to the Tunesat detections to see if my TV plays were being reported. tunesat found a lot of plays for me this first month. Am I wasting my money?

    • Anonymous

      i dont think so, it keeps them honest

      TuneSat provides you verifiable proof that they are or are not doing their job
      if only ASCAP/BMI would tell you the royalty rate you would be all set!
      jeff

  • Durden964

    might want to rethink that, in 2011 75% of music sold in the US was CDs at Big Box Retailers, and sales are up 1.4% in the USA in 2011… Jeeeesh.
    http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/120104twothirds#fmIvQWprR2eWu2tlUPGMUw

    • Brett

      But what percentage of music acquired by consumers was actually purchased?

      • Durden964

        why does it matter? than that’s piracy and no one makes any money, not even tunecore…

        • burningfields

          Durden964 – EXACTLY, no one makes any money. Mcc04 is correct. Spotify and this streaming business pays next to nothing. Why does it matter you ask? Because according to Tunecore this is the future of music. Streaming.

      • Anonymous

        no idea

        but i do know the new industry is less about the purchase of music and more about the use of music (that is copyright holders get paid each time as song is played as opposed to only when its bought)
        think Spotify, Rhapsody, iMatch, Mog, Deezer, Simfy etc

        jeff

        • mcc04

          my non-constructive comment: spotify — which pays users next to NOTHING. they pay $1.30 per 1,000 plays. (and Lady Gaga reportedly was paid $167 for 1 million plays.)

          • gaetano

            There are couple of things to consider, especially since that Lady Gaga number is old, and actually not relevant by todays spotify numbers (which are still weak compared to an actual sale).

            Spotify works by calculating roughly 3 different sets of data. Ad based users, Paid Users, and actual plays you get.  So, and I know you’ve heard it all before (and trust me, I’m still skeptical about many facets of the service), it’s about getting the paid users to scale, and generating volume overall.  

            By the nature of that, Spotify is a bit of a volatile system overall in a few ways but there of course pros and cons that are subjective for every different user, and artists that is on it.  

            The reality is that Spotify is an incredibly, dare I say undeniably slick and enjoyable interface to use for the consumer/fan/listener.  I’d say that 10 out of 10 people I speak to say they prefer it to Itunes, and 9 out of 10 artists say regardless of that it’s bullshit regarding the overall devaluing of recorded medium and the royalty rate (regardless if they own all the rights or not). 

            Here’s the thing, If in the next year Spotify got 10 million new paid users, it would be a different conversation. My beef is the lack of overall transparency in how they work. If you sell something on Itunes, the rights holder makes 70% and Itunes makes 30%, very straight forward. 

            Since Spotify’s numbers fluctuate, and therefore the value of music as a commodity on it varies, it would really help to have a sense of where the “ticker” is at regarding their revenue and how that effects at least payouts overall. 

            Maybe Jeff can shed some more light on this, but from what I’ve gathered Spotify has been a bit cagey and evasive when it comes to specifics. 

            Obviously, like any tech startup, they need to make money not only to pay back early investors, but also have to MAKE money…something things like twitter haven’t even been able to do…

            In the end, things to consider: Streaming on Spotify and Streaming on something like Pandora are two different beasts….and shouldn’t be compared in many ways. Time will tell if and how we make the shift into streaming exclusively, and how that effects the entire system. 

            It’s a bit gutwrenching right now for artists, but again, compared to what we were dealing with before and know as basic operating procedure. However, it’s early, and  there’s still potential to get heard, and get paid.  

          • Anonymous

            The challenge with Spotify and how much money it makes for artists/songwriters is a bit challenging to figure out, and not because of Spotify
            For every song streamed on Spotify there are TWO royalties owed

            one for the owner of the recording of the song (i.e. the label)
            and a second separate one owed to the person(s) that wrote the song

            If you own the recording and are the songwriter – like 99% of TuneCore customers – you are owed both royalties
            The one for the owner of the recording is calculated as follows

            Every 90 days Spotify calculates how much money is in the “pot” – this money comes from entities that paid it for advertising and people that paid it for subscriptions
            It then takes “expenses” off the top – credit card fees etc.

            What’s left over is the Net.

            It then determines how many streams there were over the same 90 days. it divides the amount of money by the number of streams and that provides the per stream rate for the recording of the song
            All TuneCore customers have this detailed information in their accounts and can, if they choose, publicly post this information

            The second separate royalty is owed to the songwriter. The amount paid to the songwriter is a combination of the mechanical royalty rate and public performance rate
            The mechanical royalty rate is set by the governments around the world in each country. In the US, the mechanical royalty rate is about 10.5% of Gross Revenue minus the expense of public performance

            Public Performance is negotiated between the entity representing the right of public performance (like a songwriter, publisher or performing rights organization like BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, PRS, APRA, SOCAN, SACEM, GEMA, JASRAC etc etc)

            Problem is, the performing rights organizations refuse to tell you the rate they negotiated and what % of it they take. In addition, they (maybe?) pay you the money owed to you anywhere from 9 months to two years after you earn it

            so the truth is, no one really knows how much you make off Spotify as the performing rights organizations refuse to be transparent and for all we no steal and/or skim your money

            (this is why we started the TuneCore songwriter publishing administration service. We have struck a deal with Spotify to pay TuneCore the money owed to songwriters that sign up for our service bypassing the performing rights organizations. this means, within the next 120 or so, we will finally have the exact rates paid by Spotify, you can just log into your account and see them)

            And you will most likely get paid much closer to real time as opposed to two years after it happens.

            Jeff

          • gaetano

            Jeff, 

            Thank you so much for this.  The clarification with the Performance Rights issues are huge, I guess their just attempting to retain some type of relevancy in a quickly shifting landscape, really happy to hear the Tunecore is in the game now!

            I know there have always been many factors to consider in one’s physical/digital revenue stream, it was never as simple as just selling a unit and getting paid an amount. But when I read that how long it took you to initially figure out how their system worked, well, that didn’t inspire that much hope in things…but it’s making more sense now.  

            I think it’s just hard for a lot of artists to embrace the thing when it’s a bit convoluted compared to simple sales stats…we fear what we don’t understand, and well, it just doesn’t pay yet regardless. 

            I’m seeing how it’s not as volatile, and a bit more consolidated than I thought. That said, it would be nice to see “the pot” or just something that gave us an idea of where that needs to be for rights holders to see a more signifiant per payout.  

            Without transparency of that type of info (even a basic set of numbers that help illustrate things) a lot of times the rates almost seem arbitrary…

            Of course, as you mentioned it’s a few numbers to crunch and very subjective by artist and country, but even a ballpark to get an idea of how far away it is potentially….but of course there’s a lot of reasons why they wouldn’t provide this data, the speculation/hype machine could work for or against them at this point…

            Also, I read somewhere that ISP rates also effect rates by area, is that something you would see broken down in a statement or is that just taken out before it even hits that?

            Thanks again

        • Alienxfb14

          From what I hear, popular streaming sites (like Spotify and Grooveshark, etc.) are not paying these owed royalties whether they are to major labels and their artists or to indie acts.

          • Anonymous

            Grooveshark is not

            Spotify is

    • Daniel
    • Mr-christie

      Just to clarify I’m posting the actual article that Durden refers to:

      “The flat, clunky, physical CD isn’t going anywhere, at least not in
      2012. According to year-2011 breakdowns just shared by Nielsen
      Soundscan, more than two-thirds of all albums purchased in the US were
      physical CDs.  Out of a total of 330.6 million albums sold during the
      year – across all configurations – a healthy 223.5 million were discs,
      or 67.6 percent.   

      That follows an even more extreme breakdown from the UK.  Just a few days ago, label group BPI revealed that 76.1 percent of all albums purchased last year were CDs.

      Back in the US, album unit sales edged slightly upward on the year,
      specifically by 1.3 percent.  CDs themselves slumped 5.7 percent, while
      digital albums gained a healthy 19.5 percent to reach a record 103.1
      million units.  Vinyl gained 36.3 percent to nearly 4 million units, and
      cassette sales were negligible.”

      Some key points from the article. In the States it is 67% of all albums (all albums, not all music). In the UK it was 76.1%. Also album sales where up by 1.3% but CD’s themselves where down by 5.7% (as compared to digital albums being up 19.5% & Vinyl being up 36.3%).

      So as you clearly see Durden’s interpretation of the article was not entirely accurate.

    • Anonymous

      i’ll take that bet any day

      the new music industry is digital, not physical

      the old physical industry is on its last breath – its over and done

      its just a matter of time.

      Borders – gone
      Tower – gone
      Virgin Megastore – gone
      Best Buy – cut way way back on CD inventory
      Walmart – cut way way back on CD inventory
      Barnes & Noble – cut way back on CD inventory

      Digital sales – up up up up

      invest in the future or you get left by the side of the road

      jeff

      • burningfields

        You act like the elimination of all these stores is a GOOD thing. Maybe for Tunecore, but geeze, do we really have to praise the elimination of record stores and all these stores? Some people still really like CDs. You can still have both. Yes, we can live in a world with both. Please.

        • mcc04

          he’s making the best of the inevitable 

        • Angel E

          He wasn’t insinuating that at all. I think in many ways we all miss being able to go to a shop read the labels, hold it in our hand and make a choice but the personal mp3 player destroyed it and its just the way it is.
          And for the non-savvy its just way easier to download already made mp3s than buying disks and ripping them yourself.

      • 247EnterpriseMusic

        Church!

      • Anonymous

        The demise of physical is not something to celebrate. It is contributing to the elimination of the art form. Show us that spreadsheet again Jeff (the one listing payouts for July 2011). It shows that only a small handful of Tunecore customers are making anything close to rent. This is not a knock on Tunecore’s service. My point is that the art itself has no value without marketing support. It’s the classic “if a tree falls in the woods” story. If no one knows about your masterpiece, does it really exist?

        Spotify (owned mostly by majors) is nothing more than legal piracy. Apple too – not sure why they deserve a 30% cut for providing little more than file hosting. Back in the old days at least you got an advance so someone had a stake in your success. Sure artists got ripped off by The Man but at least you had a chance. Now it’s music fans (i.e. the customers) who are screwing us.

        To assume that Universal and Sony are stupid for spending $4B on EMI is wrongheaded. They would never have been able to put together the financing in today’s world if it didn’t make sense. The catalog has value and will generate enough cash to make the $4Billion work and make money for them. Furthermore, it gives them leverage with Apple/Amazon/other digital because without content you have nothing. Content only has value if you are aware of it. The majors can still put millions behind bands and those are the acts that you hear of. Nothing has changed except the fact that money to fund your creativity has left the industry.

        In today’s world the only way to make money is to start a service like Tunecore. (Again, not a knock on Tunecore). But … we are artists right? We don’t care about money right?

        • Anonymous

          i never said Universal/Sony were stupid for buying EMI, I stated it is a short term move to make cash that does nothing for growth of the new industry – quite the opposite, it hinders the growth of the new industry
          correct, very few artists make a lot of money. but more do now than did in the major system
          correct, artists need marketing support – this is what social networking is and how all the artists you see in the July sales info sold music.
          marketing is not the key to success, the song is the key to success, this is way the Majors fail over 98% of the time despite putting millions behind acts
          And you hit the nail on the head about Spotify being owned by the majors. This is part of my point. With the consolidation of music ownership into just a handful of companies, these companies will not allow new services to operate without an ownership position in them.
          jeff

        • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

          Hi Rathi, I am assuming that you are being facetious in your last comment there….

          Because, I sure as hell care about money, and I will be the first in line to say so. In every other industry, pursuing financial success is an expected goal to have, and one that one never questions.  What that hell is this nonsense that artists don’t care about money?  It is just moronic. 

          It costs $$$$$$ to produce high quality product – I need to look a certain way in addition to everything else.  It is part of my product.  That, along with everything else costs $$$$.  Promo pictures, materials, flyers, biz cards, posters, EVERYTHING costs $$$$$.  When  I get those things for free, in addition to my rent and living expenses, I’ll work for free.

          I don’t know how Apple’s 30% is justified either.

          • Anonymous

            @evaeva
            did you have a problem when Tower Records bought a CD for $10 and sold it for $16?
            This is what Apple does, it buys music at $.70 and sells it for $0.99

            jeff

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Apple is not “buying” my work.  As Rathi accurately states, they are a glorified server, doing nothing other than providing a download portal.  In no way does that entitle them to the giant 30% cut. 

            But I don’t need to convince you or make you agree with me.  It sounds like you don’t have an issue with that, and you have every right to have whatever opinion you wish.

          • Anonymous

            opinions are one thing and facts are another

            let me start with a factual statement. the agreement with Apple is a wholesale agreement not a % agreement
            that is, it states how much Apple must pay per unit, it does not say Apple pays a % of the sale.
            Explain to me how Walmart selling a CD for $17.98 and paying you $11 is different than Apple selling your album for $10 and paying you $7
            like best buy – anyone can buy your music for $xand sell it for whatever price they want. As long as they pay you $x per unit, they can do what they want. You can not contorl what they sell it for. this is called price fixing and is illegal.
            this is how, in some cases, Amazon sells music so cheaply They still pay the full wholesale price and sell it for a loss, just like Best Buy used to do.
            jeff

          • Anonymous

            opinions are one thing and facts are another

            let me start with a factual statement. the agreement with Apple is a wholesale agreement not a % agreement
            that is, it states how much Apple must pay per unit, it does not say Apple pays a % of the sale.
            Explain to me how Walmart selling a CD for $17.98 and paying you $11 is different than Apple selling your album for $10 and paying you $7
            like best buy – anyone can buy your music for $xand sell it for whatever price they want. As long as they pay you $x per unit, they can do what they want. You can not contorl what they sell it for. this is called price fixing and is illegal.
            this is how, in some cases, Amazon sells music so cheaply They still pay the full wholesale price and sell it for a loss, just like Best Buy used to do.
            jeff

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            As I said before, I do not see that the gargantuan 30% is a justified hunk to take off of my sales for their glorified server.
             
            Why should my opinion matter to you you on this in any case – are you invested in Apple ?

            I do not think that they deserve to take 30%.  Period.  I do not think that they are providing the value that merits such a fee.

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            As I said before, I do not see that the gargantuan 30% is a justified hunk to take off of my sales for their glorified server.
             
            Why should my opinion matter to you you on this in any case – are you invested in Apple ?

            I do not think that they deserve to take 30%.  Period.  I do not think that they are providing the value that merits such a fee.

          • gaetano

            Hey Eva, 

            (hope you’re not sick of me yet!)

            I had a similar sentiment, Errol Kolosine (former GM of astralwerks) set me straight on this recently. 

            Basically, Apple sets the rate because it can, it’s not the only game in town, just generally the most popular and we can take it or leave it.  It created superior and one of the first products of it’s kind (ipod), and that server (itunes) to integrate with it. Once upon a time Victrola and HMV did a similar thing, and took a huge market share as well. 

            Where the issue gets more substantial is the fact that all the majors use this format for their catalogs. 

            If they left Itunes for Emusic tomorrow, Apple wouldn’t have the same leverage as it wouldn’t have the same catalog to bolster it’s worth. 

            Errol explained it as a fish market, and the majors are in control of all the Cod and All the Mackerel, you can’t have a market without those staples, therefore they set the market price. 

            As indies, we can use topspin or bandcamp and they take 10 to 15%, however the interface is just not as ubiquitous and integrated into the consumer brain and buying habits as Itunes. Google music is a bit better as we can set the price, but they still take 30%. 

            As of late, we could be seeing that shift to Spotify, again the whole Major catalog swinging it’s weight into another arena, and taking the lions share. 

            As long as those catalogs exist, and people want them, we’re fighting for a smaller piece of the pie, but in the end it’s still access we wouldn’t have had a decade ago…

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Hey Gaetano,

            No, not sick of you.  Not sick of anyone here at all.

            I understand all of the reasons why.  They are holding the keys to the bag.

            I’m just saying that the truth of it is, it is bullshit, and they are not providing the value for that massive sized chunk.

            Everyone here can tell me I am batty, but it doesn’t change my mind on it.

            Do I still have my work there? Yes.  Do I still feel that I am being ripped off?  Yes. 

            Do I think that Apple and Google are gargantuan over-consumptive conglomerates whose ever-increasing appetites can never satisfied?  A resounding YES.

            I know THEY don’t care that I think that.  I don’t expect them to.  They’ll just keep glomming more and more.

          • gaetano

            I totally agree. I see things everyday that blow my mind in regards to success stories. Your Rebecca Blacks of the world, or Alex Day selling 100k (through Tunecore mind you!)

            But as of late I also see people like Louis CK, or the Pixies who’s transparency, integrity, and honesty push them to do things differently, and they are showing that it can be done differently. I’m not saying we can all do it that way, or will see the same response, but it shows that others in higher places are just as sick of it, and working hard to show it can be done differently.

            I’m in it with you for the long haul, and I know there are other artists and fans that feel the same way. 

            I guess I keep reminding myself this is “Raison D’etat”. This is where we are in time, it’s a real test, especially for those who have been at it for a while and seen it other ways. 

            PS, I checked your site, you do great work!

          • Anonymous

            Frank Black/Black Francis (his real name is Charles Thompson) – lead singer/founder The Pixies should get more of a footnote in history
            He was the first “known” artist to have his music made available for paid downloads as MP3s. He was the first artist/label to sign a deal with eMusic in 1996 for the exclusive rights to his album “Frank Black & The Catholics”
            At that time, I had been calling his manager to allow a band I was releasing called Lotion to open for him. On those calls, I ended up getting the right to release his new album.
            I struck up a relationship with him and his manager and went on to release the next seven Frank Black & The Catholics albums as well as two Pixies releases (old recordings)
            He was my first phone call when I launched TuneCore. The first albums to be distributed by TuneCore were Frank Black albums
            He got to do it twice….

            Im lucky to have met/worked for him

            years prior (1989), when I was at college, I got to meet him for the fist time. the Pixies were playing The Chameleon in Lancaster, PA. I got permission to interview him for my college radio show.
            Almost a decade later I was releasing his music on my label.

            I played him back the cassette of my spastic interview – it was a surreal moment for me…
            jeff

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Well, thanks Gaetano.  I am glad to hear that you think so. 

            …Now tell all your friends and colleagues to buy my tracks and make my video viral!!

            *wink* :)

          • Anonymous

            your opinon matters to me as TuneCore’s purpose is to serve the artist
            in addition, artists should be empowered by being given information and facts
            with this knowledge they than can make decisions that work for them

            its important that you know that Apple is a wholesale model that works like Walmart or Tower as this will then allow you assess the situation with the right information
            For example, you now know that Apple, Amazon etc can choose to sell your music for $.01 but still have to pay you $0.70 for each unit sold
            You also have a reference point as to how the old industry worked and how there are similarities in the new industry
            If, for example, you are against the % model (meaning an entity takes a % of your money after it sells) you can then choose to work with those stores that are wholesale (like Apple and Amazon) as opposed to % based (like Spotify).
            jeff

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Agreed Jeff, we should certainly at least be informed.  

            My modus operanda is that I work with everyone I can tolerate.  Some I prefer over others, but until I’ve managed to get the clout to call my own shots, I’m just a dumb lemming fighting for my piece.

            We’ll see how it all turns out.  I can only hope I see the dreams happen while I’m still young enough to care.

          • Anonymous

            im hungry to help.. let me know how I can do that

            jeff

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            I don’t know, Jeff, but your question is a very pleasant surprise. 

            I know what I need, and I do believe that my work and my artistic sensibilities are actually worth investing in.

            If you think that a conversation would be worthwhile, I am available.  Are you located in the NYC area?  If not, I am happy with the phone or videoconference on Skype.

            Let me know your preference. preference
             we can 

          • Hitman1

            Hello Jeff,

            I’m a newbie and I have some great music. I suck at computers, and I’m to busy raising grandkids for this marketing. Are there some sharp young computer peole I could hire to manage my marketing on TuneCore. Maybe they would get a percentage of each sell. Thanks for all your info, Roger.

          • Anonymous

            there are indeed – a lot of marketing companies out there.

            so many, its hard to pick one

            may i suggest you try a few things on your own first to get a sense of what you would like done?
            this might be a good roadmap to start with – http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/12/7-ways-to-increase-your-odds-of-success-in-the-music-business-in-2012.html

          • Anonymous

            Yes, EvaEva I was being ironic. My involvement in the music industry is as an Executive Producer (i.e Investor and Business responsibilities). Trust me, I’m aware of the cost of developing, marketing and packaging a band. It’s apparent to me that sales of music itself will never amount to anything. This is especially true of digital. There may be 20 artists (out of tens of thousands) who make some money from digital but largely it’s the Tunecores, Apples, Amazons and pirate sites that will make money from digital. Our income is going to come from licensing and touring. It’s a sad reality but we have to accept it and move on. Our customers will never stop stealing unless they are compelled to do so (Go SOPA !!) and the days of getting an advance from a label are over. Fork over a small amount to Tunecore and just take it on the chin like everyone else. You want to make a living? Do something else on the side.

          • Anonymous

            pls explain to me how things used to be better for artists

            not following….

            explain to me how it was better when less had the opportunity to succeed and those that were let in had to give up their copyrights and make no money when their music sold?
            no one said this was going to be easy, but I truly dont follow how you are not cheering and excited about the changes in this industry
            sure its hard, but things got better. and anything that can make things better, no matter how small is a good thing…
            your income is going to come from your fame – and now you can monetize it ways never possible while maintaing control
            will you have to work, yes you will.

            are you all going to make it? No.

            but at least for those that want to pursue their passion they can do so at their discretion, not at the discretion of someone else.
            you want to talk costs? how about the efficiency that now exists. Old days, make CDs, pay for it, hope to god they sold and if they did not, eat the costs of making them. Also eat the costs of the extra print you had to make
            Also add to that the $2 – $3 extra per unit you had to pay the retail store to get your CD on its shelf.
            Now add to that storage costs, breakage, shrinkage, returns, return processing, shipping, destruction of damaged goods etc – all costs that existed that hit your bottom line. these were the hard costs of they physical world.
            all of this is gone. all of it.

            now you have no up front costs for unlimited inventory that replicates on demand.

            your margins are better, your risk is lower, your costs are down and if you fail the impact is minimal to non existent

            and you have the sole power to to decide if you are going to be let in.. no one else can stop you

            jeff

          • Anonymous

            Sure gross margins per unit are better. But bottom line still sucks ass. The three figures most of us are making from digital are barely enough to pay for business cards. One CD sold at a show is equal to zillions of streams. The $4 that Apple gets from us for an album sold? How much did we spend promoting that digital album?

            Sure barriers are down. Anyone can sell their album via Tunecore. Anyone. That’s part of the problem. Who benefits from oversupply? No one.

            There is no doubt that Tunecore has value. The problem is that the underlying economics of digital is so messed up that there is no hope of making money. My advice? The artist really shouldn’t bother. If you are generating momentum but are not yet big time (meaning not so big as to make your product easy to find on pirate sites), make  the product unavailable digitally. Make it scarce and hard to find. Sell only directly. That will support a higher merchandise price. You will do better overall.  

          • Anonymous

            here is my disconnect with you

            it used to be that 1/1,000,000th of all artists ever got the opportunity to be “let in”
            when they were “let in” they had to transfer ownership of their copyrights to another entity.
            the artists was paid an advance to record the music that it then had to assign ownership of over to the label.
            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).
            TuneCore 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.
            the 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.
            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 public is buying music, artists are getting paid for it

            jeff

          • Anonymous

            Jeff

            I think the disconnect is that you are looking at numbers in aggregate. I have no doubt that Tunecore has generated $250M in 3.5 years, However, your own numbers prove that very very few of your customers are seeing substantive income from digital. Judging by the July 2011 numbers that I’ve seen, the median income per month for most customers is probably around $25.  This is not Tunecore’s fault. There are other reasons. Most of the artists released through Tunecore probably suffering from one or more of the following: a) Amateur Marketing b) Amateur Business Skills or c) Low Quality.

            Tunecore is an excellent tool. But it’s not a career builder.

            Digital might mean plays but it does not mean money for artists. 

          • Anonymous

            you’re right, most are not going to make a lot of money

            but more are making money now then they were before TuneCore and the digital music industry existed
            no matter how small, this is an improvement, and thats a good thing

            one small semantic thing, TuneCore did not make $250,000,000, its customers did
            these are the ones that used to make nothing..

            you cannot look at the success of another band as a predictor of your success – each artist has to stand on his/her own.
            jeff

          • Anonymous

            pls explain to me how things used to be better for artists

            not following….

            explain to me how it was better when less had the opportunity to succeed and those that were let in had to give up their copyrights and make no money when their music sold?
            no one said this was going to be easy, but I truly dont follow how you are not cheering and excited about the changes in this industry
            sure its hard, but things got better. and anything that can make things better, no matter how small is a good thing…
            your income is going to come from your fame – and now you can monetize it ways never possible while maintaing control
            will you have to work, yes you will.

            are you all going to make it? No.

            but at least for those that want to pursue their passion they can do so at their discretion, not at the discretion of someone else.
            you want to talk costs? how about the efficiency that now exists. Old days, make CDs, pay for it, hope to god they sold and if they did not, eat the costs of making them. Also eat the costs of the extra print you had to make
            Also add to that the $2 – $3 extra per unit you had to pay the retail store to get your CD on its shelf.
            Now add to that storage costs, breakage, shrinkage, returns, return processing, shipping, destruction of damaged goods etc – all costs that existed that hit your bottom line. these were the hard costs of they physical world.
            all of this is gone. all of it.

            now you have no up front costs for unlimited inventory that replicates on demand.

            your margins are better, your risk is lower, your costs are down and if you fail the impact is minimal to non existent

            and you have the sole power to to decide if you are going to be let in.. no one else can stop you

            jeff

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Hi Rathi,

            I won’t re-type it here because I actually had commented at length above – – that – – While I am working 8-14 per day serving someone ELSE’S business, I am NOT serving my own.  Really makes the entire endeavour stupid.  The point is to make the money from MY business that allows me to spend those 8-14 hours – or 24 if I feel like it, on MY business. I need the $$$$ to do that.

            Working for everyone else to survive to eke out a few unsatisfactory minutes here and there for my business is nonsense.  There is no point.  That isn’t a goal, that is resignation.

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Hi Rathi,

            I won’t re-type it here because I actually had commented at length above – – that – – While I am working 8-14 per day serving someone ELSE’S business, I am NOT serving my own.  Really makes the entire endeavour stupid.  The point is to make the money from MY business that allows me to spend those 8-14 hours – or 24 if I feel like it, on MY business. I need the $$$$ to do that.

            Working for everyone else to survive to eke out a few unsatisfactory minutes here and there for my business is nonsense.  There is no point.  That isn’t a goal, that is resignation.

  • Me

    The new “gatekeepers” are online publicity/promotion; they are being insidiously controlled by music-industry forces, which, in this “new” era or environment, is all about promotion. In other words: promotional companies are “the” music industry, now; they engender as much of the vestiges of convention and conformity as they can, to better exploit, and control, the Market. A lot is being said of the progressive extinction of the Dinosaurs, but not of the new species evolving in their stead.

    • Jason Christ

      I think you are spot on, ME.
      I checked out the work of “Sonicbids” tonight. Seems that some venues/gigs/festivals don’t accept applications unless it’s through Sonicbids.
      A new elite emerging?…

      • Ahearnaudio

        Sonicbids is a total rip off. They should be occupy and destroyed.

      • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

        Absolutely, Jason.  Has been for a while now.  No change in dynamics, just new faces and names.

    • gaetano

      I don’t agree. I’ve been in, and am friends with bands that are/have been on majors, and large indies with substantial PR and Marketing budgets that never get off the ground. In the end when you’re not backed by a major , and literally being made UNAVOIDABLE, you just have to look at it differently, and adjust your expectations accordingly. You can go to a promo/marketing/pr company tomorrow, and they’ll take your money. They’ll put a campaign together, and you could very likely go nowhere, they have nothing invested in you. 

      Are there media gatekeepers? Sure. Things like blogs, online magazines etc help curate a hugely saturated music market. That field is what makes things tougher to crack, as the amount of “trusted” sources are not many. At this point, terrestrial radio is still huge in regards to breaking music, let’s just take that off the table because it’s a racket owned by the majors. You have other outlets that start getting people pointed towards new stuff, and then social networking creates a critical mass that helps spread the music out there. 

      Everyday you can find about 30 bands you’ve never heard of being pushed out you by some type of promotion (whether it be paid for or by themselves). That’s the nature of things right now, it may never change. I’ve had a similar feeling that you have here in the past, but in the end I decided to focus on the music, because that makes me happy…and most of the time it pays my rent. 

      To me that’s more successful than most, and though I can’t buy a house or a new car anytime soon, it beats swinging a hammer. 

  • Willeandthebandits

    music should be at his most developed form now with the access
    of so much world music and  dance music which was unaccessable back in
    the day. and now with the ability to have a great sounding record for
    cheap everyone has the opportunity… however the problem is production
    anyone can sound good now and be marked whereas your live sound was your
    recorded sound in say the 60,70’s so because of this the music had soul
    and the real players shone through….its all about live and sifting
    through the tripe trown at us by the media and listening to the heart of
    the music the message and the creativity behind it because what most
    people seem to forget is for and formost MUSIC IS ART… and should be
    written to be creative not to market.

    • http://www.a-lyric.com/ Anonymous

      Whether we like it or not, the idea of quality control as played by labels has gone out the window, as anyone who has A&R’d can tell you. There really is a phenomenal amount of “stuff” out there now.

      Saying “music is art” is only true of a very small percentage (and don’t ask me how I could determine which percentage). The Beatles had no overt artistic ambitions when they were writing “Love Love Me Do”.

      • Luanne Hunt

        So true!  I agree wholeheartedly!

  • http://twitter.com/doctor_nu Alex Neuhausen

    Jeff, you seem to have muddled a few different arguments together here. As Aaron points out, buying the EMI catalog is a simple business decision, and Universal and Sony expect to get a net return off licensing that music. I don’t know that they were trying to accomplish anything, so much as they have the connections and distribution network to profit from licensing that catalog, and with the > 4 billion they make in revenue (assuming they turn a profit), they probably will try to do something forward-looking with their business model. 

    You’re right that continually lobbying to extend copyrights and suing music fans are unproductive measures. The traditional music industry no doubt contains a lot of short-sighted jerks, but probably no more so than many other industries. It also contains a lot of well-meaning people who love music, but they’re scared as hell, watching more and more of their friends lose their jobs every year. Talking to them about creative destruction and the new regime doesn’t make them feel any better.

    I personally see the traditional labels becoming massive PR firms to manage superstars. NPR recently had a great segment on how it costs about 100K to produce a Rihanna song and 10x that to do the marketing. Some big firm is needed to take that risk and manage the marketing campaign, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    On a bit of a tangent, does TuneCore have a stance on the current SOPA legislation? I personally hate it both for 1st Amendment reasons and because I personally (and you could argue immorally) take advantage of file sharing sites. TuneCore seems to be very pro-indie artists, who in general probably benefit from file sharing because the exposure is worth more than any lost revenue from people downloading your music. I’d love to see a post on this.

    facebook.com/lillywolfmusic

    • http://www.a-lyric.com/ Anonymous

      I “liked” your comment inasmuch as I agree with it, not that I liked what it implies. The majors are indeed very much marketing operations for most of their catalogue, with a banking service for a few. But some projects really do need the firepower.

    • Anonymous

      correct, its a business decision to wring out the last few bucks before it dies
      the acquisition of EMI is a short term move that makes some quick bucks, it does not help the new music industry.
      In regards to the current SOPA and PIPA legislation, Im against it

      I have called a variety of Senators and been doing my best to let them know that this bill is a mistake
      jeff

  • http://www.kingdomcomeforever.com/ Loubarreto

    They will still be around…It still takes money to promote and record and t hey got it…..they will more than likely be more involved with the internet via their own websites……and setting up shop on the internet as the small  independents are doing……  or partying with the small  independents or working with CD ON DEMAND providers……..it’s the brick  stores that will be taking a big  hit……but they will still be around, too…………………Lou    (  KingdomComeForever.com  )

    Lou…KingdomComeForever.com

  • http://www.kingdomcomeforever.com/ Loubarreto

    They will still be around…It still takes money to promote and record and t hey got it…..they will more than likely be more involved with the internet via their own websites……and setting up shop on the internet as the small  independents are doing……  or partying with the small  independents or working with CD ON DEMAND providers……..it’s the brick  stores that will be taking a big  hit……but they will still be around, too…………………Lou    (  KingdomComeForever.com  )

    Lou…KingdomComeForever.com

    • Anonymous

      yes, they will still be around

      downsizing, releasing less and less and less music becoming a pale shadow of what they were as the world passes them by
      no longer the leaders

      jeff

  • Soot

    All corporations are psycophathic in there actions and detrimental effect on our society….music corporations are no different.

  • Soot

    All corporations are psycophathic in there actions and detrimental effect on our society….music corporations are no different.

    • Guest

      Don’t use big words if you can’t spell small words.

      • Stephan

        Are you suggesting that his spelling mistake negates the point of his comment?

    • Brian

      Sadly, I agree Soot, hopefully one day it will change……

    • Versus

      That’s quite a generalization. Proof?

    • http://twitter.com/gah650 George Howard

      what do you recommend?

    • MJC

      “All corporations are psycophathic”

      Hum ?  Really?  Including mine?  My family corp grows food for a hungry world . . .

  • Rocknrollaction

    Jeff, I like your blog and read every post. But you can’t keep waving your “indie” flag saying that the music industry is in a better place than ever for independent artists just because you don’t like what the major labels are doing. The reality is that the music industry for both major label artists AND independent artists was much better 10-20 years ago than it is now. Yes, the majors labels, iTunes, etc., are all screwing the artists, but it doesn’t mean that the future is brighter for us independent artists (I’m an TuneCore artist myself).

    The truth is that the public isn’t buying records because of this “progress” that the internet has brought us and that is affecting everyone’s bottom line, especially the indie artists.

  • Rocknrollaction

    Jeff, I like your blog and read every post. But you can’t keep waving your “indie” flag saying that the music industry is in a better place than ever for independent artists just because you don’t like what the major labels are doing. The reality is that the music industry for both major label artists AND independent artists was much better 10-20 years ago than it is now. Yes, the majors labels, iTunes, etc., are all screwing the artists, but it doesn’t mean that the future is brighter for us independent artists (I’m an TuneCore artist myself).

    The truth is that the public isn’t buying records because of this “progress” that the internet has brought us and that is affecting everyone’s bottom line, especially the indie artists.

    • Archie

      Couldn’t agree more. Independent artists are not in any better position because of the shortcomings of majors.

      • Anonymous

        i need you to explain this more

        that is:

        old days – only a few artists let in. those that were, transferred rights and control and made no money when their music sold, 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).
        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.
        the 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.
        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.

        • Rocknrollaction

          See my reply below in George Howards thread.

    • Chuck Hughes

      I remember trying to get distributors and stores to stock my independent CDs in the 90’s and I can say that the “progress” of digital distribution has been wonderful for me.

      • http://twitter.com/gah650 George Howard

        exactly.

        Thanks,George

    • http://twitter.com/gah650 George Howard

      How can you possibly say it was better for artists 10-20 years ago? Both Jeff and I were running labels back then, and – not speaking for Jeff – but all I saw was a VAST pool of aspiring artists who had no hope of ever getting their music heard unless I or some other gatekeeper managed to pluck them from obscurity.

      We had ALL the power, and it sucked.  It was depressing. Every Friday I would take literally two or three trash bags (the big hefty ones) full of demos home for the weekend to try to listen to the unsolicited music that was sent to me.

      I did this not because i thought i’d find something great, but because i felt that if someone had taken the time to make and send me music it deserved a listen.

      the overwhelming feeling i was left with was that there were so many people out there who had something to say with their music, but there was no system in place to allow it to happen.

      fast forward to today: make a great song, get it on itunes (etc), play great live, build a following, work really hard, have some luck, and you have a shot. no guarantees, not easy, but YOU HAVE A SHOT.

      10-20 years ago, most people never ever had a shot.

      Best,George

      • Gringo Jet

        Right on the money.  In ’68 the “best” I was offered was 2-3% of album sales !!  I was told to I’d make “my” money “on the road” (touring).  Hum . . I burned the oil for years . . . made the label rich with record sales . . . as for me & the band . . . Not much left after expenses.

      • http://twitter.com/vandal54 Vandal

        Very True! You have alot of winers on here.

      • http://twitter.com/vandal54 Vandal

        Very True! You have alot of winers on here.

      • Rocknrollaction

        That’s just not true. Most the things that indie artists can do online today were possible 10-20 years ago – there was just a different analog method of doing them. DIY marketing, low-budget videos on VCR tapes, touring, government funding, networking, etc., were all alive and well and there was a strong support system for indie bands through indie distro channels, indie labels, zines, CD compilations, etc. I had CDs for sale in every HMV and many department stores across Canada (like Future Shop) by working hard, playing great shows, and a tiny bit of industry networking and having a few knowledgable “gatekeepers” believe in my band. There’s no way that would happen now because the stores like Future Shop barely have a music departments at all and music stores are shutting down everywhere. Yes, I only made $3 when a CD sold, but compared to the $0.015 I earn from an album stream, I’d much rather have the $3. The filtering system was in place because there’s lots of terrible bands out there – the fact that you trashed lots of unsolicted CDs is irrelevant – imagine how many bands you would skip over if you listened to every independent artist on the internet (it’s the same analogy).

        Most of these independent channels and businesses have dried up because no one is making money anymore because MUSIC ITSELF IS DEVALUED BECAUSE IT’S TOO EASY TO GET IT FREE and the market supplying the music (indie artists) is WAY OVERSATURATED, there’s just too many bands. And why do I need iTunes? Why is that a neccessary step in your “easy 5 step process” to success? It’s easy for any band to set up an online store or streaming service and keep 100% of their revenue. In fact, it was just as easy 10 years ago to sell online as it is today, plus you didn’t have to compete with the marketing giant created by the Apple empire. Sorry to say it, but iTunes and therefore TuneCore itself is a blemish on a core promise of the internet: free distributed access to the masses without a central processing system.

        Also, BECAUSE it’s so easy to promote yourself online, independent artists have to spend way too much time learning about all this industry stuff instead of focusing on what counts: making great music and playing great live shows.

        Labels now use this new “digital” filtering system instead, waiting for bands to put up all the risk themselves: time, money, recording, videos, etc., and then pounce on the few that have a bit of success. There’s no label money left for artist development, marketing (which drives originality when used correctly), .

        What’s the ratio of independent bands in all existence to bands making a living today versus 10 or 20 years ago? That’s the real stat to finish this argument once and for all.

        And Rathi_GreatWhiteCaps has it right.

        • Anonymous

          more bands make money today then 10 -15 years ago

          jeff

          • Rocknrollaction

            You missed the point completely. It’s NOT a good thing that the total count of bands that earn revenue is larger today than before. That stat is a large part of the PROBLEM: there are way MORE BANDS sharing the pie and therefore those bands have to invest a lot more time and money on non-creative tasks than ever before to compete and rise to the top.

            The ratio of bands actually making a PROFIT matters and those ratios are WAY down. In Canada, I know for a fact that in 2010, less than 2% of ALL artists sold more than 2,000 albums, leaving 98% of us making basically NOTHING (even if you take into account other revenue streams) and even the most of the top 2% still don’t make enough to live. Those numbers don’t account for all the money spent/invested by indie artists on their own dime upfront, because as I’ve stated above, that responsibility now falls on the artist more than ever and we are therefore PROFITING much less than before.

          • Anonymous

            i dont agree that the world was better when less than a % of a the worlds artists were let in. And of those less than 1%, 98% of those released failed – and once they failed they were tossed to the side of the road as damaged goods never again allowed to take another shot
            i also dont agree that the wealth of music sales was better off in 2% of those that were signed
            what about the other millions that were never given the chance in the first place, why should their music not be made available for people to search for and buy if they like
            so what if they make a small amount of money, this just means some people liked them but they were not a mass appeal
            and the problem with this is what? The list of bands I love goes on for pages and none of them ever had mass appeal.
            In regards to time/money invested. The investment needed to record music is down, its cheaper
            the time put in is still needed, but instead of mailing cassettes and CDs to countless labels for years while trying to get a gig so an A&R person could see you, you can now click a button and have your music available around the world and then put your time into on-line marketing (less expensive and more impactful in reaching the fan). The old school model was damn expensive, more so than it is now.
            There is nothing prohibiting you from going the old route – spend your time making demos, mail them in, get gigs so A&R people can see you play and maybe two years after you first wrote the songs, and you transferred ownership of them, you will get a label to distribute and promote you.
            I would choose a different route…but to each their own

            jeff

          • Fit For Rivals

            Jeff, no point in trying to lead a dead horse to water.  You obviously are on the right track, and have provided a invaluable service to the artist.  We’d be SO fucked without tunecore.  Tunecore has proved us with a van, a trailer, and a place for our 4 million youtube viewers to buy our unsigned band’s first album.  Sign my band.  Hahaha. : )

            Thomas

          • Anonymous

            you have no idea how deeply what you have written impacts me

            the fact that I could play any part in your success is what makes me tick. its what drives me
            The truth is its your work and your music that has causes the success you have.
            The “haters” that post here, I just dont get

            If they dont believe in artists, fine, go live in a goddamn cave and pursue nothing as it will all be too hard. But who the hell are they to tell you, me, Picasso, David Bowie, Israel Horovitz, the hundreds of thousands of waiters/actors, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, John Lennon, Ansel Adams, Willie Dixon, Charlie Chaplin, Les Paul, the millions of artists and every other inventor, entrepreneur, artist, writer, painter, sculpture, photographer to give it up, its too hard. Dont dream, dont believe in yourself, dont pursue your passion. Throw in the towel son, it cant be done.
            If you dont want to pursue your dreams, fine, but how dare you tear down others that do. Who the hell are you to come to my door, or any artists door, look them in the face and tell them dont believe, dont care, dont try. The odds are against you, you will fail
            In some ways I feel sorry for them, they are broken, bitter and never truly believed in themselves. Given the opportunity to pursue something they feel passionately while knowing the odds are against them they would choose not to try at all.
            Their dreams become nightmares, things they hate as they are reminders of possibilities they can never achieve as they will never try
            We need art, we need culture, its part of what makes us human. Its a common global thread. If we listened to these people, there would be no artists, no books, no film, no culture.
            Thank god you don’t. If all of you did, there would be no art and my life would not be as rich and joyful as it is
            Jeff

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Jeff,

            Not at all to diminish the validity of your statements here…. I would only add, and I am sure that you know, that for many of us who have had to swallow decades of cruel (and unjustified) rejection of not only our art, but of our very souls, our very raison d’etre, there comes a day when we just can’t do it anymore. 

            Shabby is not chic, and I do NOT have some ridiculous melodramatic vision of myself being the starving, tragically unrecognized Artiste.  Screw that.  I want to enjoy it to the fullest and explode my potential while I am alive, and can still care about it.

            HOWEVER, no matter how much I know that what I have to offer and create deserves the rewards of fabulous success, one cannot withstand doors slammed in one’s face forever.  It is like being in love with someone who despises you. 
            One chases, and woos, and woos, and woos, and then one day, one finally just gives up.  That is the cold hard truth.  I KNOW that I should be flying high, but I have had to have the fateful conversation with myself over many years’ time.  It is more likely than not, that I will never get anything I want from this, and I will end my days having failed completely in my endeavour.  It is horrid and unfair, but it is the ugly truth.  There is still a small hope in me that fortune may still deign to grace me with a smile.  We’ll see.  I’m running out of time.

          • Anonymous

            i hear you. But I suspect you would not tell someone who had a passion not to pursue that passion
            you may tell them it will be hard, you tried, you did not get there

            but somehow, i think there is a difference between those that try and those that never try
            i would bang my head against the wall day in and out for the bands on my label spinART. Its part of the reason it went under, I failed. I tried and tried and tried but I just could not get the world to believe and love in the artists and music I believed in.
            Passion does not pay the rent but to me its part of the human spirit. To deny it, is to deny breathing…
            jeff

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Hey Jeff,

            You had written to me a couple of days ago asking how you could help, and I replied, but then I did not hear from you again…. Did you ever get that post from me?

    • Anonymous

      ill leave the conclusion to the reader – here are the facts

      1/1,000,000 of all artists ever got the opportunity to be “let in”

      when they were “let in” they had to transfer ownership of their copyrights to another entity.
      the artists was paid an advance to record the music that it then had to assign ownership of over to the label.
      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).
      TuneCore 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.
      the 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.
      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 public is buying music, artists are getting paid for it

      jeff

      • Cali

        Hey Jeff,
        Apparently some artist are afraid of change and hard work. Personally speaking, resources such as Tunecore has opened other doors for me. Artist who put the effort in promoting their own music have always gained more attention by fans and industry. By doing so, I am currently working with publishers pushing my material for tv replacement, making management connections and booking shows backing other artist for shows in Los Angeles such as Jan 20, 2012 with the McGrath Project at the Roxy. 
        These opportunities were made possible by promoting my own music. It demonstrates that I have drive and ambition. Its a great way to network and attract listeners by sending them to Itunes, Rhapsody, etc. instead of handing them a CD and hoping they will actually listening to a track. 
        I have friends who had label deals in the late 1990s which were horrendous.  One  said he was doing better on his own. Now he lost his deal and the rights to his own music. 

        Cali

        • Anonymous

          the opportunities and success you are having are a credit to both your talent and drive
          you’re right, this is a tough business, success does not come easy (with rare exception).
          this, combined with the last 80 years of the music business treating artists so poorly, has created a lot of frustrated and pissed off people/artists
          but as you point out, it can be done

          thank you for taking the time to write this posting

          Jeff

    • Cantgetright

      I’m an indie artist.  One that was passed on by a handful of majors, even after 7 showcases at the one of the same labels.  We aren’t the next Miley Cyrus or Lady gaga.  Recently, our music and merch sales have put us in the position to quit our jobs and write music, even without heavy touring.   Youtube and tunecore have provided checks…. and even doing a kickstarter, our fans opted to finance over $10k towards our next album.  When we began seeing checks over $1k a month, we opted to buy our own screen printing shop piece by piece.  Now we make our own music AND merch.  More bands can make more money now than ever before.  Instead of starting off touring your ass off in shitty bars to 30 kids a night sleeping in a van, your video or song can reach millions without spending a dime on gas. In the early 2000’s I was very worried, and skeptical of what change was going to bring.  I was afraid for my industry.  Now, I’m a believer.  Without tons of major label marketing dollars, sure, the grow isn’t super fast.  But I’m watching organic genuine growth coming from true fans that weren’t force fed.  Write good songs, and “the internet” will pay you. 

    • Rafferty

      Perhaps this is not a black and white issue but a ‘different strokes for different folks’ kind of thing. I can see that the labels have their place for people who are willing to sacrifice certain things in exchange for what the labels are willing to offer. I can see that the independent music model might work for those who are willing to do most if not all of the work themselves. After being wined and dined in Nashville by Producers (who all seemed to think that the music industry is dead based on the number of extinct record companies), the conclusion I came to was that the major label model was not for me because the personal sacrifice of certain virtues that was required to take that road conflicted with my core value system.  Living by my core value system is what makes me happy. The Independent music model does not require that I relinquish any portion of my unalienable right of the pursuit of happiness in order to get my tunes in a few pairs of ears. Every heard of “Enyaomics”? I highly recommend that every musician study Enya’s business model and see if it appeals to them. That is my new direction.  I also believe that we need to be the change that we want to see around us, so I enrolled at Full Sail University and started my Bachelors in Music Production so that I can be fluid and change my business model with the technological times.  That direction of education and adding professional value to oneself through technological training might ameliorate some of the frustration I sense among my fellow musicians in this discussion.

      All the best!

      Rafferty

  • http://twitter.com/doctor_nu Alex Neuhausen

    That’s 2/3rds of albums, not 2/3rds of music sold. The 75% figure is for the UK. I buy singles off iTunes and most casual music listeners I know do the same. However, if it’s the new Radiohead release and I want the album, I often purchase the physical CD because I want the packaging. Jeff did his homework. You have a reading comprehension problem.

    • Durden964

      LOL. The majority of Albums sold in 2011 we’re CDs, Fact. The majority of those albums were sold at big box retailers, Fact. The stats in the quoted link are for the USA, Fact.

      • http://twitter.com/doctor_nu Alex Neuhausen

        67.6% of albums sold in the US last year were CD’s. That is not inconsistent with Jeff’s link to an article saying that the majority of music sales were digital. Album sales is not equal to music sales. People buy digital singles. 76.1% of albums purchased in the UK last year were CDs. Again, you have a reading comprehension problem, and writing “LOL” and “Fact” does not cover it up.

  • http://twitter.com/doctor_nu Alex Neuhausen

    That’s 2/3rds of albums, not 2/3rds of music sold. The 75% figure is for the UK. I buy singles off iTunes and most casual music listeners I know do the same. However, if it’s the new Radiohead release and I want the album, I often purchase the physical CD because I want the packaging. Jeff did his homework. You have a reading comprehension problem.

  • John

    Jeff
    I think you spit this stuff out just to make youse of
    feel better about Tunecore.

    • Michael

      John….I THINK he says it to educate the masses of Artist who don’t know how powerful they are and that the game is now in their hands and they don’t have to be enslaved by a record company to make money. Think about it, there are people who are signing 360 deals so they can be “Famous” not caring about their intellectual rights. Why? Because they have twisted values about the business and themselves. This is info for true musicians and Artist who want to make their living doing what they love most….don’t hate. If you want to do your thing, do it your way and leave the negative vibe out of the conversation. We ALL are trying to make a go at this thing called “Music Bizz”.

    • http://twitter.com/gah650 George Howard

      i can promise you this is not the case. I’ve known Jeff for over 10 years now (we both ran large independent labels). Then as now, Jeff has been single-minded in his devotion to exposing artists.

      Have you looked at the countless articles Jeff has written that consistently provide good, solid advice and information to HELP the independent artist?

      Why would you bother writing a comment like this? 

      I’d really appreciate it if you stop reading this blog, using Tunecore, etc. We don’t need/want you here.

      George

    • Anonymous

      naw
      i write this stuff as they piss me off

      jeff

      • mcc04

        appreciate your insights. sorry the majority of the commenters are responding in contention! (although it makes for a lively discussion and i’m sure you’re used to it)

  • L Bolen

    Sounds a little like the alarmist news reports from Fox news!

    • Anonymous

      i wish it was!

      jeff

  • Rxldchairman

    Well, the only way they could have accomplished that was to buy out/buy in a few artists, who would in turn f-up their fellow artists and getting paid quite well to do so. A few artists was all they needed. Wellpaid, well fed, so they can join them to fleece the rest of the artist sheep. HMMM I wonder who those artists are!!:) 

  • Robert Furtkamp

    “The world of having gatekeepers deciding who gets let in, is gone.”

    Then why exactly are we paying to be listed on iTunes?

    Suppose I should add the fact that the level of customer support is the same as the majors – I was promised a direct contact from customer service back in October (http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/10/how-creative-commons-can-stifle-artistic-output.html#comment-335069173) by the founder after commenting on how the price of renewals was upped without warning and it was radically cheaper to put up a new album than continue our relationship.

    This sort of thing is exactly what I’d expected from the majors, and from the people who have replaced them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Camalion/95700653556 CAMALION

       I do agree that the price of the renewals going up kind of hindered the independent (and worldwide-post undreground) movement while  yet promoting it…  Especially those starting from scratch or retaking careers under particular (economic) conditions and thus, taking advantage of human technology (seduced by it)… I suppose at this level reducing the uploading price would be a good alternative for tunecore and artist (“customer – partner (associate) -there’s a blurry line that defines or set the status quo wheter artists are merely customers or associates with tunecore staff) ” relations ..perhaps… Renewal prices should go up only as far as an artist sells more ..and from there could arise newer forms of artists contributing to human society, as these develop into funding systems blended from the digital world, according to the progress achieved.. 

      • Anonymous

        I hear you

        two answers

        1) the cost for TuneCore to distribute an album and provide all of its services for year is about four dollars a month
        2) we launched a new pricing option, $4.99 a month, cancel whenever you want
        jeff

        • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Camalion/95700653556 CAMALION

          ..how about further discounting for independent artists that maintain digital catalogues? (more than 1 album online) ..it is not easy to maintain a catalogue at this rate…  I was about to upload a third album but always get caugth up in thinking if i should renew an older one that is better known by now… and i believe this practice should help promote a new form of reviving the back catalogue (cultural) thing as part of the process… I was a pioneer during the underground 90’s of one of the musical forms that exploded comercially a few years back.. Since most of my public don’t make the transition yet, I find that I sell more albums by myself on the streets than digitally.. it was my original intention to link both activities by having different music on the streets and in the web.. but this became hard to do with 2 online albums and the price of renewals going up… thougth I don’t feel myself antagonized with tunecore, it comes to no surprise the stress brougth within since this event and many do feel that way from what i read here.. Since it is still not clear at this rate the nature of  relations musicians hold with tunecore (customers or associates??) , the thought of raising the price coming as a “limiter” to the independentist artist revolution (remember in democracy they never tell you that you cannot do this or do that directly, but they raise the price bar to imposibility sometimes as a limiter.. not that is imposible to do, the price beign ridiculously high is not the case, but it migth become under individual circumstances) and i wondered for a while if this was due to the burgeoise class (major labels) putting some type of indirect pressure on tunecore (“the artists themselves can upload and get paid directly?? outrageous!! thats our stolen money they are taking!! no way!!!” they say LOL.. you know when it comes to this a struggle of classes is inevitable)… Now I know you are getting other type of pressure from the dominating class (major labels, ASCAP, etc.)… but then i wondered too… and I do apprciate the 4.99 option… but it still does not cut it for the struggling artist that wishes to build catalogues as a part of integrating cultural (core) values… :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Camalion/95700653556 CAMALION

            ..what I am saying is..  Most digital sells are singles so far (also my experience..) opposed to whole albums as one can do in the material world (streets).. Then it becomes harder if one cannot maintain a catalogue (history) that can be purchased online that at least maintain itself… I only wish we had today’s technolgy during the nineties as i wished back then something like this was available… During the comercializing processes of underground music eventually the people that “work” the music become alienated from the music itself… Either that or some musical movements were ahead of it’s time…. ..In this atmosphere of struggle were the old powers crumble and crush anything beneath, I believe it is also tunecore’s responsibility to promote new forms of “slow burning” evolutions (opose to the exploding hit.. since many old ways from the decadent privatizing industry are obsolete now)… Is not helping to revive (or create) a new system of digital independent catalogues with it’s many posibilities part of tunecore’s responsibility in promoting new forms of artist (working people) owning and benefiting from their works? ..I believe catalogue packages would be a nice idea.. to make it easier on the working class… LOL  😉

          • Anonymous

            i hear you loud and clear.

            I literally made up the pricing structure for TuneCore while 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.
            Before we existed, there was no pricing model at all. We are doing our best to figure it out as we go along. You move one lever and another gets flipped. You push one thing and something you never thought of happens somewhere else.
            We are going to keep trying, but I suspect we will never be able to get it right for 100% of the population, but bare with us as we continue to try to find the right balance
            jeff

    • Anonymous

      not sure i follow

      in the old days, there were gatekeepers as to what music was on the shelf of Walmart
      in this new industry, there are no gatekeepers as to what music is allowed on the shelf of iTunes, Google etc
      jeff

      • 247EnterpriseMusic

        Preach!

  • Lalamusicgirl

    I have no problem with major labels making money, as long as the artist gets his/her cut. Many artists are perfectly content with major labels. Anybody that wants in, can get in if they work hard enough at it and have the talent. Working for a major label is the same as working for any employer… except you don’t get a salary and your record better sell.

    • Anonymous

      i dont either

      as long as they dont slow down progress or make things worse for the new industry
      although, I must admit, it scares me to think of all of these songs being controlled by a multi-national corporation
      jeff

  • Ben

    TuneCore, I love your articles! I love the way you exposed the people who is stealing our money.
    ASCAP, PRS and others………..all the bosses are getting huge amount of money in their pockets…………

  • Roger

    There is much truth in what you write. But the copyrights to Sound Recordings (SRs) and the songs themselves have great value. The problem is ASCAP, BMI and their affiliated peformance rights licensing societies have not spent any money educating the public on learning to respect the intellectual property rights of creative people. Too many underground (and even commercial and college) radio stations do not log the songs they broadcast, making it impossible to audit their airplay and allocate licensing fees to copyright holders. The few internet stations that do log what they play pay virtually nothing for the content.

    Go into a drug store and fill a prescription, and the price you pay compensates the pharmaceutical company for its patents, r&d and intellectual property. You subscribe to a cable carrier and they pay the people who create the shows you watch. For some reason, people think music should be for free, even when the people broadcasting it are charging advertisers/ underwriters to reach their listening audience tuning in for the music, not the commercials.

    You go to jail when you get caught shoplifting; but if you steal someone’s music–well, that serves the people who create it and the companies that market it right, doesn’t it? In my book, a thief is a thief, whether he steals my merchandise or my songs.

  • Steven Vachon

    I wonder, how will artists afford to sue, if necessary, if they have no record company to back them up? No record company investment means LESS MONEY, LESS MARKETING, LESS PROTECTION. Are the days of FAMOUS artists over?

    I’m all for doing things myself with things like TuneCore, but there are degrees of success and BIG business is NOT run [entirely] from the kitchen table.

    • Steven Vachon

      ^ READ THIS ONE

    • Chuck Hughes

      Except, of course, when the record company is the one you are suing. Rebecca Black had no real record company, and she got famous. Pomplamoose sold 100k on iTunes with only Youtube promotion.
      All that record company money was recoupable from the artist’s tiny sliver of the pie.

      • Steven Vachon

        There’re always disputes in business, even between partners. I don’t see how the music industry differs if all parties are educated enough and have lawyers. And great for Pomplamoose, they’re way ahead of me… but they aren’t Justin Bieber/Metallica/etc.

    • Anonymous

      good point

      and to this point in time they had no ability to sue as they transferred their rights to the label or publisher
      then they label/publisher would sue, get a settlement and the artists still got nothing
      jeff

      • Steven Vachon

        Yeah, but just because bad contracts exist doesn’t mean that a) you gotta sign them; and b) that all record contracts are bad. Big business is littered with land mines. Gotta be smart.

        • Anonymous

          thats true now, but was not about 15 years ago

          15 years ago, you had one option, sign the major label contract or you get no chance of success
          jeff

          • Steven Vachon

            But this is where I don’t think the big record labels are going out of business. They’re enterprise level and the indie artists are small business owners. If anything, EMI/etc will just be pooling the indie charts for their future stars.

          • Anonymous

            i dont think they are going out of business, i think the days of the old industry are over.
            these entities represent 100 years of the music industry and are control the rights to the recordings and songs
            my issue with them is they are doing nothing to help the new industry.
            in regards to signing indie bands, biggest challange they have is bands dont need them for
            distribution
            marketing
            recording

            therefore, beyond an up front advance, they dont have a lot to offer to demand ownership of the copyrights and not pay the band much off of each unit sold
            many of the million+ unit selling TuneCore artists turn the majors down, they see no point in working with them
            jeff

  • Heartpharmacymusic

    Hell yeah. Your articles always pump me up. Thanks Jeff

  • http://twitter.com/doctor_nu Alex Neuhausen

    @alyric,
    I don’t think I mind what it implies. Even indie bands (small festival level) hire PR agencies to handle marketing for them but they keep their song rights. It’s a way more even playing field than the current major label and artist relationship.

    I’m not sure why, but the comment software doesn’t put my replies under the correct message.

  • Jeffriana Cascone

    Sadly, artists have shot themselves in the foot with the whole indie movement. Not that the record companies didn’t shoot themselves first. But having a record company, I mean a major label behind an artist is the only realistic method if you’re not rolling in dough. The reason for this is that the record company has the mucho cashola to promote the artist/album through advanced advertising. They put big money into showcasing talent. Yeah, they get a bigger percentage, but they also put their clout and money into promoting their artists. In the 90’s, alternative non pop rock bands still did better with record companies than they do nowadays with indie labels. Yeah, you might make some money with an Indie label, but you’ll have to have a day job as well. Furthermore, one critical thing to notice is that artists for the most part are not savvy in business. My job as an artist is to write music, I’m a musician, I don’t have a degree in business or marketing. You have these young and older indie musicians like myself who think or thought once that all you had to do was put a video on youtube and have a myspace or facebook page to get noticed. And even that much work is annoying. That shouldn’t be my job. I’m a musician and when my focus gets diluted on a 100 other things I don’t have the time or sanity left to write new songs. Touring is about all the extra energy I can expend. An artist needs a full backing from many different creative hands from the person who designs the album cover to the engineer who records the music to the promoter and agent who spends his unappreciated day making phone calls, shaking hands with music industry connections and the person who etc etc…Also, the production quality from a major label cripples any mediocre indie recording, not to mention home recordings…ugg! Most of the stuff I here from indie musicians can’t compare with the state of the art sound a major studio puts out. Remember all those awesome recordings you’ve heard over the years? Yeah, major label sound. That and expensive analog tape which contrary to popular belief is still used and still sounds better than 1’s and 0’s.    
    The success indie artists have had is minimal at best. A few get noticed while most are caught in the obscure haystack of thousands of artists. The desolate economy hasn’t helped much either. Greed has killed the major labels. So, if you’re an indie artist, don’t think that having a few bucks is gonna get you anywhere. Yeah, you’ll own all your songs and keep the rights to them intact, but without a pot of gold to finance all the workings behind your music as previously stated, you’re music is not gonna get the exposure it deserves. You need to be good at what you do. That comes first. Then you need to tour your butt off, and you need lots of money and production assistance to launch your name. Don’t count on luck even though luck plays a part in everything you do in life. Yeah, being an artist is a bitch. Like they say, don’t quit your day job. I say, have a good day job, something else you love or like to do especially when you’re an artist who cares about the integrity of your creations. Major labels don’t care about integrity and many indie labels are charlatans too. So, you know the mountain you have to climb and the artistic cross you have to bear. A serious musician is born to work. 

    • RAD

      All so true, the reality of this is disappointing, but then again so is the state of our world.
      Perhaps more to write about… or not.
      Just as you mention, which I totally concur, without major loot, CONNECTIONS, team of supporters/PR, and etc… it’s a needle in a hay stake. 
      Perhaps we can use the ‘Secret’.
      O)

    • mcc04

      You aren’t working with the right “indie producers” if you think they can’t compete with the “major label sound.”

      • Anonymous

        amen

        • Fritz

          I live in a 3rd world country where indie rock is scarcely consumed. Back in the 90’s there where only a couple of bands and their recordings were really bad, somehow they got exposure on local radio stations and they organized themselves into a few indie labels. Now a days they control who gets in the radio. They are the managers of local rock radio stations, they own the studios, they are the gate keepers if you will of the rock industry in this country and they don’t care about anyone else trying to break into the business. I, who was just a kid in the 90’s, went to them personally and showed them all this music that I wanted to put out there thinking that they who once were the outcast would definitely help a fellow musician. What they had to say was surprising to me. They completely discredited my music saying it was not marketable. They said if they heard such a song or songs on the radio they would laugh so much they wouldn’t be able to hold their pee. I was exposed to such negative criticism that I got it in my mind that this jerks were not possibly talking seriously. They have the studios and the money to help me record my music and make it sound perfect and they could make a profit in doing so, but they rather concentrate con their own bands and the bands of their friends. As you would imagine I was crushed and I thought I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t a real artist. I clearly didn’t know what I was doing and I left the building thinking I should not keep making music. Since then I stopped caring about radio stations, about fans, about people buying my music in regular stores. I have been a tunecore member since 2007 and the quality of my recordings have dramatically improved since then. Still I am recording from home. I have founded my own label, I have made my own store dedicated to sell my own music http://fritzabreu.com and I sell only to friends. Of course that is hardly a business is just an outlet. I continue to use tunecore for now but my future releases can’t and won’t be released through any aggregators because I can’t keep incurring charges without generating any income, so my music will be exclusive to my site and amazon.com through createspace, which adds my music to amazon.com for free. I am not saying tunecore is not good. TUNECORE IS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME. Through blog posts and through the aggregation of mu sounds to the stores tunecore taught me I DO HAVE POWER. I have the power to spread my art and thanks to tunecore I have taken this power into my hands. I say, we artist are not here to make a buck. Lets make music and you know, forget about making a buck. We can get jobs for that. It was my dream to become a musician, and I believe I have accomplished just that and I will keep growing by hard work and dedication. Thank you tunecore, and thank you Jeff Price. And to my fellow artists… LETS ROCK!

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Forget about making a buck?? Are you Kidding ????  I’m glad that you are happy Fritz, but if I am spending 8-14 hours per day working for someone else’s business, those are 8-14 hours per day that I am NOT spending on MY business and MY work. 

            If I am independently wealthy, then this is a moot point, but I need money to live, and alot of money to support my work, and continue to produce more. 

            I live for music, but I don’t work for FUN. Yes, music IS fun, and joyful, and all that, but I am not doing this for KICKS. I am doing this because it is what I was made to do.  It is my calling.  It is in my blood.  It is my craft.  It is my obsession.  

            Everything else that I must do to survive is merely a means to an end.  Until I am financially successful as a music creator and artist, and have the bank account that permits me to do only music and all of the creative work that goes with that 24 hours per day if I so choose, I have failed in my mission in life, and my life will have been worth nothing.

            It always been my goal to spend ALL of my time creating, and working with others in creating – – – Not crap however, but real, legitimate, long-standing contributions to music and the arts in general.

            If I died in the midst of singing a note, or creating something beautiful, it would be the best way to have lived. 

            Until I have the financial success, there is no way that I can fulfill my potential.

            This industry has sidelined all but the very few who happen to know the right people at the right time, in the right place.  It is not a meritocracy.  The fact that shit-merchant  L. G-G- has the world at her feet is proof of that.

          • Fritz

            I want to listen to your music. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Camalion/95700653556 CAMALION

            forgetting about making a buck from music has become an imposibility for those of us that have been exposed to the media for long enough to be recognized as artists on a national or local scale but are not rich yet or have full international recognition through the mainstream media (of course music is an artcraft that should be done with quality as a priority and to make money as a consequence.. but you must make money by any means necesary from music.. a question i ask…  I you are the hiring manager somewhere.. and are suddendly aprroached by Lady Gaga (or any artist that you recognize) for a job.. Will you handle the job to this person even if he/she qualifies for it?? .knowing that this person appeared on TV and might make you feel unconfortable with his/her presence (not to mention, any respect you had for the artist will vanish in the new employee relatio)n… .that’s how the secular world works.. It has happened too many times for me to pursue any job now… People at jobs feel intimidated with your presence… Either i live by music or die from it.. With me there is not another option…. Even thought i sometimes wish i had a normal job to back up my enterprise… It is just fantasizing now.. even more fantasizing than to make it in the music and live alone from it… Wich is more of a reality for many of us…

          • Tom Hamilton

            Yea, well you could forget about making a buck with the old system too. just ask anyone who was a member of The Human Expression,  recorded for Accent’ and published by 60s Psycedlic

    • McKnightbrad2

      I am a composer for tv and movie and have written in digital format
      for ten years ,
      All this argument over the pro and con is really just giving energy to
      The resistance of change
      Like it or not kids now are growing up using digital only so tell me
      Where will they take it
      That’s the mil dollar question
      BM

      • Anonymous

        exactly!

        the world is going mobile and cloud based.

        this means that copyright holders/artists will get paid each and every time their song/recording is listened to as opposed to being paid one time when it is bought
        make certain you understand your copyrights as a songwriter as this is where the money is shifting to
        jeff

        • Kayte

          ..and those royalties have been diminished to what I call “micro-royalties” where you can no longer live on them since the “pie” is being divided, rightly, amongst more writers and performers than ever before.  Rather than getting 1$ per album sold (13$ in the 90’s indie model), you are getting .000001 cents for each listen online.  Yes, it’s fun getting checks for your music, but you’ll be lucky to get one even if you chart on an airplay chart like I did last year.  Most of the time the exposure doesn’t add up to enough to send a check.

          • Anonymous

            i do agree that the less than 1% of all artists that made money will make less.
            but here is where i get confused

            98% of the releases in the major label system failed – the majors spent hundreds of millions marketing it.
            it used to be that 1/1,000,000th of all artists ever got the opportunity to be “let in”
            when they were “let in” they had to transfer ownership of their copyrights to another entity.
            the artists was paid an advance to record the music that it then had to assign ownership of over to the label.
            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).
            TuneCore 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.
            the 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.

            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.

            This is an improvement over the old system

            jeff

    • Mbalinnh

      For a new model, you ought to look at http://www.thepdrl.com.  They might be on to something. 

    • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

      I could not have said it any better or more completely Jeffriana. 

      I constantly get  the comment, “oh, just put it out there”, or “use CDBaby”, or WHATever other ridiculous suggestion might come to mind.  Bottom line is what I have been saying all along, and what you have said so well here. 

      I’m actually really really GOOD at what I do and I could be HUGE on a financial level, but I do not have that precious backing and structure behind me to make the bus actually go, so my abilities are CONSTANTLY siphoned off to a series of endless business, marketing, etc… tasks – all of which are, in the end, useless.  So, more than likely I will die having never been acknowledged, my work and I will reside permanently in oblivion.

      • Deltaunitsound

        More than likely, we will die in oblivion and THEN someone will find our music and re-release it…dead artists can’t negotiate their royalty rate!!! Good luck!!

    • Joett

      What an amazing take on all of this. Your pointers on quality – the major label sound as you called, all makes a lot of sense. Quite a refreshing angle. Knocking major labels has become somewhat of a sport nowadays. Fast and furious. I must say I do like this comment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/durandrobinson Noel Durand Robinson

      Perhaps if music labels became more like a true service industry for the musician then the artist and the label both could win. I’d love to have a label focusing on creating enough infrastructure for excellence in production, promotion, merch, tour logistics and the like so that I as a musician can concentrate on my craft. Now that would be a company that’s worth sharing the profits with.

      • Anonymous

        i agree completely

        the new industry should be about serving the artist without having to own or control their copyrights
        jeff

    • Drealdc

      yo @Jeffriana Cascone You are th mutha fduckin man/woman like no bull its a lot of shit in your comment that half these artist are completely blind about i was hip for the most part. but from the sounds of things it looks like your ahead of me in this music and experienced this bull so i respect that, we should work seems like you have a good head on your shoulders hit me up @dreal91 facebook.com/drealdc or email me drealdc@gmail.com!!!!

    • Ruben Erazo

      Jeffriana,
      Now it is very easy to make music and you can get excellent equipment for decent prices. However, “quality” is still an issue, and it was an issue even in the old days of the music business. There are thousands of bands trying to make it, but when an artist does not a have a clear visual concept and a sound identity, everything is going to be futile. You can find music recorded in excellent studios (big labels) with famous producers that sounds bad and great music made out of very scarce resources that sounds amazing. Nobody knows what the market wants. Passion is the driving force. What makes great art is when the artists are taken out of their confort zones. It has not been easy for anybody and it won’t be in the future. 

      • Kraig Dean

        The initial focus for most A&R staff who scout for the Major Labels is on the song, hearing more of the same great songs (consitency is critical) to be convinced this is not just another solo artist or band out of millions who want a record deal. Pro Tools will never get a record deal; great vocals, great songs in you respective genre will.

    • neza

      you think too much…it is not a cross to bear…it is a wonderful contact with the universe and the self and a bunch of beautiful harmonic noises.It is playful cosmic radiance…you really need someone giving you a paycheck.

    • Tom Hamilton

      BYTE ME

    • chuck

      As some one who has spent many years in the industry and then retiring for a number of years befor returning recently and now starting a small indie label. I can say for 100 per cent sure that even with the new indepedent revolution taking place that there are certain things that have not changed.One of those is that unless you have the mega bucks and conections like the majors have, you can only grow so far.That why with my company I only work at developing our acts in a regional manor and then work at handing them off to a major. It also should be noted that by doing it this way that when you can show that you are a viable act you have better bargining power when talking a deal with a malor label..

    • chuck

      As some one who has spent many years in the industry and then retiring for a number of years befor returning recently and now starting a small indie label. I can say for 100 per cent sure that even with the new indepedent revolution taking place that there are certain things that have not changed.One of those is that unless you have the mega bucks and conections like the majors have, you can only grow so far.That why with my company I only work at developing our acts in a regional manor and then work at handing them off to a major. It also should be noted that by doing it this way that when you can show that you are a viable act you have better bargining power when talking a deal with a malor label..

  • Eldenneemia

    well, the industry is very needed to still keep high guality top dollars for good entertainment but they just have to not stop the change but embrace change. means be creative alongside with small artist by expanding its vision. These all mean for them big label companys have to expand. re mix or master down whats already exsisting or in track such as these many independant artist. so it more like more options to work with or sub contracting mini projects. so expantion would be more like it not re inventing. well, don’t take my word on this nor need to reply, all just opinion and wala! its free lol.

  • Abellemus

    I agree with you Me, hit the nail write on the head!

  • Stephan

    i think music lovers will still want to get cds of their most favorite bands because with cds or even vinyls there comes the artwork and kool photos that you can actually physically hold and i think that still has value, but i do think that major labels are not needed as much for a band to get their music out there anymore. and to make cds of professional quality isn’t that expensive either. Artists definitely have more power these days and although a major label can launch them faster i think that the good Artists are always able to make it to the top one way or another.

  • Alan Cramer

    As an ebook author who follows the music industry because of the parallels to the book publishing industry, I would have to agree with this article. To date, three independent authors have sold over a million ebooks on amazon.com alone.

    If some dude from the mid west can sell a million books without a major marketing budget I know a creative musician can. 

    I sold over 10,000 books in 2011. If you have decent material and you promote it, you can sell it. There are so many ways to market on the internet for free it is ridiculous. 

    What artist need to do is stop worrying about the Majors and concentrate on the Customers. Because in the end that’s who actually pays the money. For the first ime in decades, the number of people reading books is up, but yet major publishing houses are not getting all of this new revenue.

    Artist need to produce. If you make it, some smart business man will help you find a way to sell it.

    • Larry J McDonald

      Alan, I like your comment about the fact that a good businessman will find a way to market a good product.  I put out a fully orchestrated 3 CD set of extraordinary quality and 100 % of profit earned from this project is donated to the local Cancer Societies.  This product has not been marketed properly and am wondering if you, or any other reader of this reply can tell me who I might approach to provide high-end international marketin.  Your comments will be appreciated.

      Larry J. McDonald

      • Alan Cramer

        Sometimes you have to be that business man. i started out selling books out of the trunk of my car. The first 1,500 dollars was more or less wasted, the books wouldn’t sell. I had a 1000 books I couldn’t give away. But being out there among st the BUYING public, I learned what they wanted to pay for. i found a market that I was comfortable with, could reach and wrote produced a book that they wanted.
        Art is one thing, but if no one wants to buy it, you can’t sell it. But if people really like it, they will buy it. I also used to stand in front of the Bronx Barnes & Noble and give away books until the manager would run me off. I’d also stand on manhattan street corners and do the same.

        Maybe you need tto ggo to a concert or venue where they play the music you like and give some away for free. If people like it, chances are some of their friends will too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thespacemonk SpaceMonk Smith

      “If you make it, some smart business man will help you find a way to sell it.”

      Not necessarily. I’ve been trying to make that kind of an alignment for about 30 years. And not just counting on THAT but doing as much as I can on my own to get to that point. Maybe my stuff just isn’t good enough? But I hear crap all the time that DOES make it through to the airwaves somehow…so, who knows?!?! The world doesn’t hear my music because I’m a lousy marketing guy. Or the product sucks, which I don’t think it does. 

      • Alan Cramer

        Sometimes you have to be that business man. i started out selling books out of the trunk of my car. The first 1,500 dollars was more or less wasted, the books wouldn’t sell. I had a 1000 books I couldn’t give away. But being out there among st the BUYING public, I learned what they wanted to pay for. i found a market that I was comfortable with, could reach and wrote produced a book that they wanted.
        Art is one thing, but if no one wants to buy it, you can’t sell it. But if people really like it, they will buy it. I also used to stand in front of the Bronx Barnes & Noble and give away books until the manager would run me off. I’d also stand on manhattan street corners and do the same.

        Maybe you need tto ggo to a concert or venue where they play the music you like and give some away for free. If people like it, chances are some of their friends will too.

    • Alan Cramer

      Sometimes you have to be that business man. i started out selling books out of the trunk of my car. The first 1,500 dollars was more or less wasted, the books wouldn’t sell. I had a 1000 books I couldn’t give away. But being out there among st the BUYING public, I learned what they wanted to pay for. i found a market that I was comfortable with, could reach and wrote produced a book that they wanted.

      Art is one thing, but if no one wants to buy it, you can’t sell it. But if people really like it, they will buy it. I also used to stand in front of the Bronx Barnes & Noble and give away books until the manager would run me off. I’d also stand on manhattan street corners and do the same.

      Maybe you need tto ggo to a concert or venue where they play the music you like and give some away for free. If people like it, chances are some of their friends will too.

  • JF

    This is mostly bullshit. Pretending that there are no more ‘gatekeepers’ is a myth perpetuated by music aggregators such as Tunecore, whose listing and renewal fees keep going up year after year. Apart from the odd case of “viral” success, most consumers still need to be told by some “authority” that “this music is great” before they hop on. Putting your stuff on iTunes without any solid backing or promotion, and hoping it will become a “hit”, amounts to the same kind of wishful thinking involved in buying a lottery ticket. And meanwhile, the great majority of artists putting up music on Tunecore make LESS money than it costs them to keep the music available on iTunes! You don’t hear Tunecore telling you about THAT!

    • Brian

      Wow, nice touch of angst there JF. I have been with Tunecore for about three years and I’m pretty sure the fees have not risen. It’s a numbers game though and promoting the music and the artist is the only way it can really work. I’m not sure how effective Tunecore is but it’s my choice both to join and continue. If you dont love making music without any expectations of financial success, you might become jaded and cynical, lol. Is that what happened to you, curser?

    • http://twitter.com/gah650 George Howard

      TuneCore is a service. If you feel that the value of the service it provides is not worth the cost, you should – by all means – not purchase the service. However, your strange assertion that TC is not “telling you” about something with respect to their service is completely false. TC is transparent. Jeff is transparent.

      implying otherwise is wrong, and an insult not only to TC, but to the many, many artists who use and benefit from the service.

      George

    • Anonymous

      actually JF, yes you do hear about hard this business is from us, we did a blog posting about it
      you can read it here -http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/11/blogger-criticizes-artists-for-making-money-tunecore-ceo-jeff-price-responds.html
      truth is, only you can make you a star. Not me, not TuneCore, not iTunes.
      Your music has to cause reaction, thats the key

      anything I can do to help improve the odds for artists I will do – the rest is up to you
      jeff

  • Seth1studio

    Four things:

    1) What do you have against private plane ownership?
    2) It’s a total fallacy to believe that “the only thing stopping success will now be the music itself”….total gleaming generality right there!  The “as it should be” is close to some truth, perhaps.
    3) I believe that the folks at Universal & Sony probably understand the positive advantages of their acquisition of EMI more than you.
    4) I seriously doubt EMI’s catalog of music & songs is losing value everyday….That’s quite the statement to make to a community of song/music writers!!!!

    • Anonymous

      @ seth

      four answers

      1) nothing, provided power is not consolidated with the entity that no longer represents the music industry and therefore exerts control that hurts and hinders the emerging industry and artists
      2) Could not disagree more. The only thing that sells a song is the song. Music has to cause reaction, if it doesn’t it flat lines. This is why the majors had a 98% failure ratio.
      3) I agree – this deal benefits them personally, it does not benefit the industry or artists.
      4) here is a link to a number of Billboard Top 100 charts from the past. http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best_billbord1.html
      I doubt Mule Train as performed by Frankie Lane is as valuable and popular now as it was then
      I know very few (if any) 13 year olds buying Fly Like An Eagle by the Steve Miller band….
      jefff

  • Ajstancato

    Has anyone here ever attempted to get airplay. I’m in the Christian industry. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been told “great song, sorry we only play from major lables. The majors still do, and will continue to control radio. I get good airplay in Canada. The the US is tough because the major labels strong arm all reporting radio stations!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zoltan-Enter/700183785 Zoltan Enter

    Excellent article on why Best Buy is on it’s way out in Forbes.  This completely relates to where the corporate music industry is headed–it’s only taking longer, similar to U.S. based airlines:  
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrydownes/2012/01/02/why-best-buy-is-going-out-of-business-gradually/

    The reality for artists:  We’re back to focusing on great song writing like they did back in the 1950s and 1960s.  Then you either need a lot of money to promote your songs or a lot of people/time who believe in you and your music to help you promote.  Which road you take is up to you.  The rest of the barriers are gone.

    http://www.ZoltanEntertainment.com 

  • Versus

    “Performing rights organizations like ASCAP are using their own songwriters’ money to sue, litigate and lobby to assure that their members get less so they can make more.”

    Please explain how these efforts make ASCAP “members get less”. 

    – Versus

    • Anonymous

      they are working aggressively to stop “direct licensing”

      this takes more money out of your pocket and puts it in theirs

      example – Spotify can pay TuneCore the money owed to the songwriter/publisher each month. TuneCore can then give more of that money back to you more quickly (monthly) with transparency and an audit trail
      vs

      Spotify pays ASCAP/BMI the money where they take between 15 – 20% of your money
      they sit on it if 6 to 9 months before they report it back to you (if they report it back to you, there is no audit trail)
      You do not know the rates, you do not know if the info is correct, all we do know is BMI/ASCAP get a chunk of it and we did not need them to monitor Spotify
      Right now, ASCAP in particular is doing everything it can to stop TuneCore from doing these types of deals despite it getting the songwriters more money.
      You would not believe the email trail between them and us

      Jeff

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jaques-Pierreto/100000780662630 Jaques Pierreto

    Im just glad to witness the day that i dont have to beg for a deal. I can take my time and make a album the way i want without some dude i never met breathing down my neck. hey that rhymes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jaques-Pierreto/100000780662630 Jaques Pierreto

    TuneCore Is the Best

  • Holliewood323

    I scroll down and read all of these post, and I have yet to hear anyone hit on the root problem….THE PRODUCT SUCKS !! Have you listened to a top 40 station lately ? 

  • Versus

    There is no real argument here, but just a list of ad hominem insults and vague generalizations. The labels, and their artists, have a right to be paid for the intellectual property they own and represent. How dare you say that the thinking behind this is  “Screw them all”?

    Furthermore, there is no either/or conflict between labels, publishers, and performing rights organizations and the DIY model you advocate. Artists already have the freedom to release independently and maintain complete control of their work (except for being able to prevent piracy and theft of their work). 

    P.S. I am an artist who releases both through traditional labels, and independently through TuneCore and elsewhere.  I support the TuneCore (and other self-release) models, but traditional labels also are justified in attempts to fight piracy and intellectual property violations. Piracy and IP hurt both the traditional model and the new model. 

    • Anonymous

      yeah, im pissed

      this post is about the dying industry doing what it can to stop its inevitable death and hurt others in the process
      the consolidation of power gives the old school disproportionate control over legislation and regulations that benefit them, not you, despite the fact that they no longer represent the industry
      jeff

  • Skyskrappa

    I agree with you fully.Todays’ music industry is failing due to the greediness and selfishness of  record companies in America.I’m a underground artist who controls my song and copyrights.I will never sign with a record company because most artist, besides a selected few,lose more money than they make.When hip hop first started out,the artist controlled the music industry and not the record companies.Now,the record companies are offering artist 360 contract deals which allows the record companies to steal more money from the artist legally.Prime example look at what Young Buck of G-Unit.He can’t sign or perform with any other record company and they own his name.Do your research before signing with a record company….. 

  • Luannehunt

    Yes, and now all the Indie artists can delude themselves into thinking they are going to become Internet stars with their mediocre music.  

    Thanks to the major labels running things in the past, legends like Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, etc. were born.  Why aren’t we grateful to them?

    Legends are not being made anymore because the industry has become an Independent free-for-all!  Any system without regulation is going to fall flat on its face.

    The worst part of all of this is that most legitimately great artists will never get the worldwide audience they deserve unless they have a lot of money to put into promotion, etc.  Sadly, the majority of them are broke and don’t have access to investors.

    It may be a new game, but no one’s winning this one!

    • http://twitter.com/gah650 George Howard

      completely disagree; there are far more artists who are – as you say – “winning” than ever before, and doing so on their own terms.

    • Cali

      Labels stopped signing bands with their own identity over a decade ago. Its all recycled, sampled, sticking to what already been done because labels are not developing acts anymore. Acts like Elton John, Rod Stewart, Billie Joel,  Aerosmith, Pink Floyd and U2 debut albums did little to nothing. Bono stated of U2, that in todays label world they would have been dropped.  Yet there back catalogs are what continue to fuel the industry.  

      People should decide what sucks or not. Legends are made because they have the “it” factor. Eddie Van Halen stands out in a crowd, Michael Jackson stood out in a crowd, the Beatles, Elvis, etc have/had the talent and the ability to rise to the occasion and seize the moment. Not because they wore some seductive outfit or their boob fell out on tv. 

  • Kraig Dean

    I get a migraine headache trying to keep up with the music business on the web; daily I recieve a truck load of offers from people who all appear keen on “helping promote” my band and our music. Just maintaining my Reverbnation site is a challenge, with each new “fan” and subsequent links leading me into places I am weary of. Some of their websites are totally

    overblown with graphics and strange terminology. I worry if I don’t maintain RN our chart position, which is inching closer to double figures, will go back up again. We lost our drummer so technically we can’t function on-line as a band until we’re back in the loop and playing the clubs again. Is there a way to consolidate all of this “stuff”, know what is worth pursuing and what is no great loss if I don’t “fan them back”? I might not like their material and that’s a cumbersome thing to deal with. I’m old school, back when you sent solicited demos, bios etc. Overwhelming.

    Kraig Dean of MEDUSA

  • Dude

    Stupid article…

    • Anonymous

      great comment

  • Regina

    About time because the injustice is unbelievable. Look at what they did to Vesta Williams, a wonderful talent. And they played her right out of pocket. Look how the top artist just steal other peoples music and try to claim it as theirs, then the true writer or artist is again played out of pocket. About time something is about to change. This stupid greedy stuff has been going on far too long. Most people I talk to say they don’t listen to FM/AM radio very much anymore. They say nothing worth while is on the radio. And The A & M departments at these record companies will and should be a shame of themselves for their unjust behavior. Pay day is on its way!!! A time of reckoning is on it’s way. Lets see who gets the last laugh

    • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

      I know I don’t listen to the radio – well, not music radio – well, not for enjoyment.  I hear it sometimes in order to have an awareness of what is being rammed down most people’s throats – to have an understanding of what their ears are being trained to buy.  I make mental notes of the sound, and compare my work to what is out there – – I improve my work where I can accordingly.  I need every edge I can possibly get my hands on. 

  • Bonnie

    Similar thoughts in a neat article by Dĭn of Wednesdays At The Beach: http://wednesdaysatthebeach.com/songs-about-change.html 

  • Dude

    1 It’s their money (Univ. & Sony), they can spend it how they please. Stupid investments take place everyday around the world.

    2 There isnt a company on the planet that doesnt pass its costs off to customers.

    3 Labels front all the cash to launch an artist and it is VERY expensive. If an artist wants put up $100,000 (plus) to launch their own record properly (tour, PR, radio campaign, mixing, mastering, art, etc)…. then don’t sign with a label… take out a loan.

    4 Artists (indie & signed) have ALL lost control over their recording rights in the public sector via the internet. 

    5 Illegal downloads will continue to grow until “the legal” system does something to enforce the laws that are ALREADY in place.

    6 Don’t blame SONY, blame your friends and law enforcement for ignoring the law.

    7 IDEA: Lobby the FEDs to shut down any/all ISP’s that facilitate one single illegal download. One illegal download should suspend the entire ISP and ALL of its clients.  I can assure you… it will end all the madness right away.

  • Terribletim

    Deepest condolences and love, Amanda Cummings rest in peace.. http://youtu.be/zG9Q-uxwafQ

  • Mark Clear

    Interesting thread.   The record company’s dirty little secret is that over 120,000 CD’s are made
    every year but 90% sell < 200 copies.   So the 10% is paying for the 90% that is costing the record company money.   It's a business and artist development is expensive.    

    The days when Elvis P. not Costello could
    could put his records in the trunk of his cadillac and drop them off to radio stations, and get air play are long gone.   I was fortunate to have similar results in the late 80's.  Times have changed.  I feel sorry for the young bands that feel they have to give their music away to build a following. 

  • Kic

    they have gates at cattle barns and gatekeepers at hell and it’s all still shit ..and all about the money or you(tunecore) wouldn’t be here ..regardless you will never have the heavies that EMI and its subsidiaries had… they are just entertainers now a days not singer songwriters of yesteryear ..

    • Anonymous

      actually Kic, im here because i got tired of seeing artists get screwed so i did something about it.
      i dont like bullies – there are lot of them in the music industry

      anything i can do, no matter how small, to make things better for the artist I will do. If you dont like what we do, dont use the service.

      jeff

  • Sharky701

    so what will happen to billboard? will top 40 for each genre still be ruled by fm radio requests, are radio dj’s like going extinct? will all new artists be stuck to net and sat radio only, is fm dying, or will net and sat user choices be tallied, and that determine fm airplay for new artists not using conventional methods to get into music? Or can tunecore guarantee fm airtime as well as net and sat?

    • Anonymous

      Billboard’s charts have already become obsolete

      Only your music can cause reaction and sales

      jeff

  • Rene Labre

    Oh gee-whiz and the new music revolution.You have to do this bottom line because you love to do it.You want to ascend to the highest creative level that you can reach.And how do you hold tack to that through all of the disappointments and let downs?You have many thousands of more ways to expose yourself that did not even exist 20 years ago.This “star” thing ,the preoccupation with that trip as opposed to a good band going out and rocking the house.A recording artist cutting a great tune in the studio.What a buzz!A tune can be a success in many more ways than you think.It is good to have control of your copyrights and also good to know that releasing that control may at times be your best option and with a good publisher you are going to do a fifty fifty split at least on that.Of course amateurs abound,They can hit three chords on a guitar too,but they won’t be around too long.It is to tough of a go.And there are many folks nobody ever heard of
     that get very nice checks from Harry Fox twice a year.Jim Morrison in his drunken diatribe at The Doors legendary miami concert actually said a lot “You are not here to see a great band play some great music,You are here for something else.”renelabre.com.. 

     
    ” 

  • 247EnterpriseMusic

    IT’S HERE! TWENTYTWELVE! YEAR OF THE SUPER SAVVY!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583474199 Tracy Farr

    The problem here though is it’s becoming harder and harder for the consumer to find music they want to buy, since the digital revolution is far more saturated than the days when you went to best buy and browsed what was on the shelf.

    All in all selling music is dying regardless of digital downloads. I am a tunecore member but publishing and getting music on TV and movies is the best avenue these days if you want to make money.

    • Anonymous

      i disagree

      in the old days, you could not be found at all unless you were one of the 1/1000th % of the world of artists that got signed
      Now you can be found.

      look, when you go to iTunes, there is no gun at your head making you listen to something you do not like
      At iTunes, you find things by searching. How does music sitting on Apple’s hard drive being available to be found if searched for stop Radiohead from selling?

  • RAD

    Not sure if any other artist’s have noticed or picked up on this, BUT I know for a fact just from witnessing with my eyes and ears that mainstream labels and artist’s come to sites like reverbnation, facebbook, myspace, etc and shop ! They know us underground artist’s have no “Big Backing” and just grab whatever lil tune they dig and copy IMAGE and etc !
    It’s happened to me and 2 other artist’s I know.
    So now I try not to put my best tunes and images that I create because it’s get ripped off and there’s nothing we can do about. And of course ‘they’ get all the credit and notoriety for ‘their new’ look and sound. 

    • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

      I have actually had this experience, too.

  • Artist500

    I just want to know how to get a mention on Twitter like some of my fellow artists on tunecore.

    • Anonymous

      Follow on Twitter, re-tweet those you follow

      then will tend to then follow and re-tweet you

      jeff

  • Chris T

    To a few of the people that post.  This is why you just can’t let artist’s make business decisions and maybe that is why there was even the majors. Now, the majors ethics is whole other discussion. Tunecore price hike… pfff..  try the overhead of a car dealership.  4.99 a month is what you spend at subway in one day.  If your music isn’t selling, try something different in life. It’s called the music business for a reason, it’s a business. Gains and losses are facts of life in any business, it’s a risk. Anyone that would complain, as jeff says, needs to cancel. 

    “some” artists and music business just don’t mix, and there will always be a label to take care of the business aspects for them.  Good luck to all who want to risk their own capital for the sake of trying to profit from their music.  Could be a nice wake up call for someone whose music sux when they arn’t selling, and then complain about the money they see going out. Do yourself a favor and buy a sandwich.  You may be a little happier….   ok just a little ranting sorry :) 

    If an artist expects to keep all their money.  Expect to do all the work to operate a small business.  Basic theory of economics(may come in handy), basic accounting skills (better keep this tight incase of an IRS audit), elite marketing skills (how else will someone even know who you are, unless your a youtube sensation) ok ok word of mouth when your Awesome!, scrub the toilets or not, build valuable touring contacts, etc.. etc.. etc.. agh I could go on. This doesn’t even apply to the article.  Im done! Where was I going with this. 

    (((Robert..))) You could have never dreamed of getting your CD into TARGET or WALLY WORLD  and that is why you are having the issue of comprehending the gatekeeper.  It wasn’t too long ago you could only dream of being on Itunes. You must be about 13 or so to have such a limited knowledge of history. In fact you don’t need a gatekeeper at all, all you need is an Ecommerce site to sell your own music. Then you won’t have to worry about tunecore, itunes, rhapsody or any other such media site. You will have to worry about bank fees though and credit card company fees oh and the fee for hosting and the fee for your web design back end web design, the integration of the ecomerce function and maintnance etc.. etc.. etc.. 
     

  • http://www.iggycarson.com/ Iggy

    Taken from an Iggy Carson interview:
    “The problem
    today is not the record labels, the problem today is technology. Today any
    person can make an album, so many people learn to play Do Re Mi in the guitar
    and they consider themselves musicians ready to record, so they just buy a
    computer, record, and try to sell it. The problem is that the dream of being a
    superstar seems to be closer for everyone, which is very wrong. Many pseudo
    stars, start sending music to the record labels, and what happens is that the
    record labels start closing their doors for everyone cause they are tired of
    listening so much garbage. Is not like the old times anymore. But there are
    true artists out there, just a few”.
    So people start making indie labels and guess what happens next, I agree Jeffriana, Major is the only way to go for a real artist. 
     

    • Anonymous

      not following how this is a problem

      music that people do not like will not sell

      and no one has yet to explain to me how music sitting on Apple’s hard drive available to be found if searched for stops Radiohead from selling
      But for those of you that want others to make decisions for you, there is a simple solution, only buy music released by the majors
      easy enough

      the rest of us can make our own decisions and listen to friend recommendations.
      jeff

  • Jamiek

    There are still gatekeepers, my new album is amazing, so why can’t i get it on pandora, Sirius, or XM? Who is controlling what is played through these major outlets? still the labels, they only accept label artists…. anyone have any information on when that is changing?

    Also, what artist could ever pay $15-20,000 to have a banner style add up on itunes when their new album is released like the major label artists? will that price change when the majors go under?

    What about licensing and movies? Song in a movie can be a huge chunk of change for an artist and great promotion, again, all the major label artists, i don’t hear alvin in the new alvin and chipmunks movies singing an awesome indie song do you?

    The youth consumes what is pushed at them, what they hear on the radio, and especially what is on tv….. when will it be “the only thing stopping success will now be the music itself?” because I rock check out my new album “Never Gonna Stop” by Jamie K on itunes : ) if anyone has any info on any of these topics please comment back! i appreciate the advice and direction, it is frustrating when your music is as good if not better than a lot of music you hear on the radio…. if it was just up to the music, why isn’t mine on it?

    • Chris T

      Cost of advertising on itunes, because of supply and demand, will probably never change. When 500,000 artists want a banner on Itunes, Itunes can pretty much charge what ever they want. Though if you did have the money, hopefully your album would be good enough to offset the amount spent on buying the banner on Itunes.  

      Sony records execs hang out with XM radio execs and together they decide the playlist :) maybe :) Do you have a chance. Probably not. 

      “youth consumes what is pushed at them” (this is a scientific topic in itself, with many research papers written on it) You should take a sociology class in college. You may find it useful.  Some of the aspects of an intro to sociology course deals with the culture of youth and what they may find popular and why they find it popular at all.  Also deals with subcultures.  You can apply this to finding your niche crowd. You may even develop your own sub-culture and cult following. :) good luck

      • Anonymous

        iTunes does not charge for banner ads, never has

        you cannot buy a banner on iTunes

    • Anonymous

      in regards to licensing into movies – its been pretty amazing

      used to be all major label content, now there is a lot of major and non major music
      jeff

      te:

    • mcc04

      wow. you might want to start by letting OTHER people call you amazing.

      make youtube videos and see what the general public thinks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_455CVYTH56BZY44GG46NMOEK6M Jamie

    There are still gatekeepers, my new album is amazing, so why can’t i get it on pandora, Sirius, or XM? Who is controlling what is played through these major outlets? still the labels, they only accept label artists…. anyone have any information on when that is changing?

    Also, what artist could ever pay $15-20,000 to have a banner style add up on itunes when their new album is released like the major label artists? will that price change when the majors go under?

    What about licensing and movies? Song in a movie can be a huge chunk of change for an artist and great promotion, again, all the major label artists, i don’t hear alvin in the new alvin and chipmunks movies singing an awesome indie song do you?

    The youth consumes what is pushed at them, what they hear on the radio, and especially what is on tv….. when will it be “the only thing stopping success will now be the music itself?” because I rock check out my new album “Never Gonna Stop” by Jamie K on itunes : ) if anyone has any info on any of these topics please comment back! i appreciate the advice and direction, it is frustrating when your music is as good if not better than a lot of music you hear on the radio…. if it was just up to the music, why isn’t mine on it?

    • Anonymous

      youre right
      there are still gatekeepers in some areas

      and in others there are not – like having your music available on the shelf of the largest music store in the world or being available on Jango, Slacker, YouTube etc
      jeff

    • matthew

      “my new album is amazing, so why can’t i get it on pandora”
      “because I rock check out my new album”
      “if it was just up to the music, why isn’t mine on it?”

      I had to check out your music after the rave review you gave you. You have a lot of talent, but remember — God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

    • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

      YUP.

  • Leroy23

    Its all about who has the money. An artist can’t support his/her career without millions backing on their promo budget. Simply the record labels…scratch that , Universal who either owns or is partnered with the vast majority of Record labels and distribution companies will never die because of things going digital. As far as them holding the keys to the gate their in right to do so. We blame the major corporations for all our follies and all they want to do is , “do what they want to do” and we as artists or consumer feel we have a right to horn in on their business . That’s very audacious of us. Money is power and if an artist wants to truly make it on their own, on their terms then they need to start stacking major chips. Shout out to 360 deals also LMFAO aren’t complaining.

    • Anonymous

      leroy23, you’re wrong

      There are many million+ unit sellers that use TuneCore that spent little to no money and yet sold
      Alex Day just posted something in here somewhere – he sold over 100,000 copies of his song over X-mas and spent $0 in marketing
      jeff

  • Arch

    When discussing streaming, and digital downloads sales it would be beneficial to have more facts.  Example:  Which is more profitable for the average artist, streaming or digital digital downloads? What are the trends of each?   Without this kind of knowledge we get mired down in opinion only.  Perhaps Tunecore or others have enough data to make an educated guess. 

    • Anonymous

      downloads pay more at the moment but the revenue from streams is increasing
      anyone with a TuneCore account can log in and see the itemized detail for each sale/stream
      as we move forward in time, I predict more streams, less downloads and the money will shift with consumer adoption to streams

      • Arch

        Thanks for the fast response tunecore.  Do the revenues from streaming appear to be making up for the lost revenue’s from downloads, or do they appear to fall short of replacing download revenues? Tunecore is in a great position to assist it’s artists in making intelligent decisions by providing that information.  Information analysis would be a great tunecore service to it’s artists.  It would greatly assist tunecore artists as a whole and give us a leg up on the competition.  We must operate as a “family” at tunecore and assist each other in making smart choices.  It benefits all of us.  Tunecore RESPECTS it’s artist’s right to choose which of it’s music outlets to utilize.  Tunecore pays a financial price for allowing choice.  To me tunecore has integrity, something missing in other digital distributors who require that all artists use all music outlets provided by the distributor.  This places the needs of the digital distribution company above the needs of the artists.  Check out CD Baby and Reverb Nation if you don’t believe me.  They force the artist to use ALL of their distribution outlets, even if it’s not in the artist’s interest or fits the artist’s business model.  Tunecore is the place to be, we just have to build our family ties for the benefit of everyone.

        • Anonymous

          @arch

          right now, streaming revenue is going up but is still less than download revenue
          but its fascinating to watch the money shift from one side to the other
          I dont think the total pile of money will go away, I believe it will shift to where consumers go
          I also think revenue for the songwriter will continue to go up as revenue for the “label” goes down. This is why we launched TuneCore’s songwriter music publishing service
          Revenue for the songwriter is the only revenue that has been steadily increasing over the past five years
          and thank you for the kind words

          jeff

  • Leroy23

    Also shout out to Tunecore/Universal stop hating on yourself its not a good look !

  • Jerk Doctor

    Tunecore’s game is to entice every musician to “buy” a listing on Tunecore, selling the dream of making it on your own in the industry.  They just want your 10 bucks.  After that, you dont stand much chance to succeed, even if you’re really good.  The world is too full of distractions for anyone to notice you.  The math is overwhelming.  You have a far better chance at winning the lottery than making a decent living from selling your recordings. 

    • Anonymous

      whether TuneCore exists or not, artists will still write songs and record music.
      You’re absolutely right, most will not make it. However, who are you to tell anyone they should throw in the towel and stop believing in themselves.
      Anything i can do to make the world a better place for musicians i will do
      no matter how many cynics or clueless bullies show up at our site, we will not stop this mission.
      It blows my mind that you think everything is a “game” out to fool people into doing something so they can make a buck
      if you dont like our service, dont use it.

      • Jerkdoctor

        Musicians SHOULD know the truth, not be taken advantage of for dreaming.  They SHOULD  know that the odds are better.. winning a lottery.  THey SHOULD know that you can have 500,000 legitimate plays on myspace, and still, with that  level of attention…you would be lucky to make 500 bucks in sales.

        • Anonymous

          dead on!

          its a tough hard business!

          its going to work, time, passion, luck, perseverance and knowledge to make it happen.
          jeff

  • Veteran

    I’ve been working with major labels for the past 17 years. The majors have the ability to truly help an artist develop and build a career that is unsurpassed by any other method. If is wasn’t for the major label system we wouldn’t have most of the classic and great music that everyone loves. It’s all about THE SONG and the VOCAL, that is what speaks to the masses. I’m sick and tired of these negative Tunecore posts! Gatekeepers? Give me a break! The major label system isn’t perfect but at least it is still there to develop artists and songwriters. Plus the majors still have the precious ability to tap into resources such as great studios, engineers, and technical staff to deliver a truly professional product.

    As a professional working in the music business I find these Tunecore posts very misleading to the average person or indie artist looking for a means to build their career and audience!

    • Anonymous

      the major label system gets all the credit for the entire music industry up to this point in time
      the beatles, the beach boys, the byrds etc etc etc

      the problem is, it began to consolidate and by 1995, what used to be a robust, talent driven artist development industry changed.
      unlike the old days, when they would sign and release an artist and work with them to build their career so 4 albums later they would hit (like Bruce Springsteen, U2 etc) the artist had to hit on the first release or get dropped
      artist development went out the window with thousands of bands left dead on the side of the road as their machine spit them out
      jeff

  • Kevin Wood

    I’ve read most of the postings here, and I see some are defending the majors and others are knocking them.  Some think the industry for independents today is way better with accessible digital distribution channels and some think it is way worse, both sides citing some good points in a world that is never black and white.

    My wish is this.  My wish for 2012 is that we all come together — artists (on labels and independents), major labels, independent labels, promotion companies, recording studios, and music gear retailers, etc. as well as decent people who believe that theft is wrong . . .

    and deal with the elephant in the room.  

    And that elephant is. . .  Piracy.  Old topic, indeed, but the one that matters most in my view.

    Depending upon which study you believe, between 85 to 95% of all music is pirated. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/business/global/22music.html 

    Why is this okay?  A guy working at Tunecore’s competitor, for example, told me on the phone that this was not a big deal and is just reality, and artists needed to just accept it and find new ways to succeed.  

    Why are we not coming together and demanding change? 

    Britain passed laws: http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/20100408.html

    And so did Sweden, and those laws are apparently working: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/nov/23/sweden-music-sales-filesharing-crackdown

    I’m not sure exactly what the right solutions are, be it shutting down ISPs, etc., and how they should be carried out. People much smarter than I should work on these issues.  

    But, at the very minimum, it seems to me that we should put our democracy to work push for laws to be enacted, and/or existing ones be enforced.

    I worked in politics in Texas for a couple of years and one thing I learned is that when state lawmakers saw a cause that was worthy and enough groups and voters came together to support it, they saw it as an opportunity and they’d pounce.  They could get recognition, press, future votes and feel good about what they were out front supporting.

    Indeed, the days of the RIAA suing consumers is behind us.  There are better ways to get this done, but let’s get together and demand change.  

    I am one of the fortunate independent artists who makes a living in the music biz, and I did it by diversifying my business and offering not only music, but promotional services in a niche genre. And I feel very blessed and proud.  But nothing would make me happier than to see artists and labels and promoters and performers receive the money being stolen from them every minute of every day.

    Imagine. . .  if we could cut piracy down to say. . .50%, just how many more independent artists and struggling artists on the cusp of success could make a go of it.  Imagine how many Guitar Centers and independent music stores would open up and hire musicians.  Imagine how many recording studios would open up and hire engineers and producers. . . how many more digital retailers could survive and thrive.  It is not just the artist who suffers, but every part of the music industry which has shrunk and become less relevant.  The music industry should be allowed the chance to be paid for their work and pursue excellence like every other industry. 

    Some say they want better music. I say. . . Fine. Allow us to get paid for our work, and I can assure you the music will sound better.  I’ll buy a Neumann M 147 and a Neve board, or I’ll hire a producer in a local recording studio and I promise it WILL sound better.

    Perhaps we are all arguing here because hardly anyone is making any money, and we’re pissed off about it and want someone to blame.  I submit we take that passion and energy and focus it on improving the piracy issue and we and the rest of the world will be better off for it.  

    Peace to all!  Except you folks stealing music…  I hate you.

    :-)

    • Jerk Doctor

      excellent post…hopefully our fellow musicians will take their heads out of the sand and wake up to this.  kudos to you, what an accomplishment. 

      Why should we have to look at alternate ways of making money?  I dont want to be a “glorified  t-shirt salesman”.  If you have a “hit” in the digital world, that should be worth something.  Right now it might be worth a couple grand, but certainly not a renumeration that is appropriate for the accomplishment of creating a hit.

    • http://www.evaeva.net/ Evaeva

      Hey Kevin,

      Thankyou, too. You make the other point that I have grown hoarse in repeating – – My work is NOT FREE.  People constantly just expect me to GIVE them a copy of my work.  It truly enrages me to homicidal levels.

      I have commented often previously (on other blogs), that, for example, when I need good monitors to produce the work that so-and-so wants for free, I can’t go to DynAudio and say, “Hey, Jane wants my CD, and I need some rad speakers to master it before I give it to her.  May I have those $2000 monitors so that I can do that please?”.  Apply same example to every piece of hardware, software, EVERYTHING, because EVERYTHING costs money.

      This business about how recorded music “should be free”, and we should only expect income from touring, or other streams is utter BULLSHIT and a double standard.   I slave over the final product, hours, days, weeks, months, years.  My ears are trained over YEARS of study, improving, and honing my abilities and sensibilities.  That is ALL worth $$$$.

      If my friend works at a nail place, or the hair place, or wherEVER, she would be insulted if I expected her to do my nails, hair, give me the product of her work for free.

      Same here, people. 

      • Keith

         Hi EvaEva,

        “If my friend works at a nail place, or the hair place, or wherEVER, she
        would be insulted if I expected her to do my nails, hair, give me the
        product of her work for free.”

        If you had the opportunity to go to the shop next door and get your hair and nails done for free, every month, forever, might you go there instead?  Do you think there’s a good chance your friend might go out of business with that sort of competition??

        Best, K.

        • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

          Kevin, it sounds like you are defending piracy – but why would you do that after your original post.  ?????

          Of course the baser response is to just take something for free, however, I thought that your entire comment was an indictment of the practice.  FREE = guaranteed total loss of quality of the work.  Eventually if everything is “free”, well then we’ve got the USSR at its best.  Everything gray and shit quality, and then the very few who can, will spend a few hundred dollars for a decent pair of jeans.

          “FREE” is bullshit.  Ain’t nothing in life that is worth ANYTHING that comes free.  Period.

          • Keith

             Hi EvaEva, it’s Keith you’ve mixed me up with Kevin, but I will add:

            Like Gaetano I thoroughly understand your point of view, but the industry is moving, re-shaping, and like Gaetano says it’s the consumer that’s dictating the moves we have no choice but to make.

            I don’t believe I defended piracy in any way, in fact the strategy at our label hopes to reduce the piracy of our artists’ music significantly, if not eradicate it completely.

            Best, K.

        • Spidey

          Ummm how is that other Nail shop going to stay open for very long if they give it away for free?  There is overhead for everyone my friend.

          • Keith

             Hi Spidey,

            It’s a metaphor to help artists understand that this is the type of competition the industry is facing from file-sharing, and it’s ever-growing, as one sharer gets closed down, ten more step in to replace them.

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            This is actually just an additional comment to this particular thread – –
            I recently locked ALL of my content down on Soundcloud because I found that people who were “fans” were playing my work for free every day in their store.  I was so incensed I nearly went to the place and got into it with them in person. 

            Bottom line is, at the times that I have visited his store, I didn’t get ANYTHING for FREE. 

            I locked down my Souncloud content after that, and wrote him a message.  You like it so much, then pony up the damned cash and BUY it.   UNbelievable.

          • Anonymous

            Absolutely agree!

            this is your work, your copyrights, your recordings

            You get six legal copyrights as soon as you make your music tangible.

            These are your rights and you should have complete control over them

            jeff

          • Anonymous

            Absolutely agree!

            this is your work, your copyrights, your recordings

            You get six legal copyrights as soon as you make your music tangible.

            These are your rights and you should have complete control over them

            jeff

          • http://twitter.com/vandal54 Vandal

            Uh why have it on soundcloud for free in the first place? You invited them to download it for free in the first place if you have it up there and available for download. WTF?

          • http://twitter.com/vandal54 Vandal

            Uh why have it on soundcloud for free in the first place? You invited them to download it for free in the first place if you have it up there and available for download. WTF?

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            I did not have it available for download – it was available to be played only, but they are connected to me through Facebook, and were accessing our connection that way, and then just playing my tracks from Soundcloud through the site.  I never made my tracks available for download.  They are for sale only.  After seeing the abuse, I made them unavailable to be played also.  If people are interested, they can visit my Nimbit store, listen to samples of the songs, and click buy or not.

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            This is actually just an additional comment to this particular thread – –
            I recently locked ALL of my content down on Soundcloud because I found that people who were “fans” were playing my work for free every day in their store.  I was so incensed I nearly went to the place and got into it with them in person. 

            Bottom line is, at the times that I have visited his store, I didn’t get ANYTHING for FREE. 

            I locked down my Souncloud content after that, and wrote him a message.  You like it so much, then pony up the damned cash and BUY it.   UNbelievable.

      • gaetano

        Eva,

        I understand where you’re coming from, as someone who spent a long time honing their craft, and then another decade playing professionally I can appreciate the sentiment. 

        As creators, we can create a value for our content that we believe to be fair, something that reflects “market value” but also considers a Return on Investment that we need. ROI can be those monitors you bought or want to buy, or the 20 years of time investment you took getting good at something. 

        The issue that every artist faces today is that value is very much subjective, and created by the consumer. That’s it.  

        Music is no longer a durable good with a set value, it may never be. We can turn it into a moral argument, but that will also just get us nowhere. As artists, we can create works, for whatever reason. When we take it to market, there is no promise of it being successful, or even recognized.  

        In many ways I hate the idea of giving things away for free, to me it’s like telling the world that I think my music is worth nothing, but in the end, that’s old paradigm thinking. 

        Right now, most people should be so lucky that someone liked their music enough to steal it. The revenue streams have changed, and are changing, and though recorded sales are still a part of it, and I’ll say what’s been said before, obscurity is our biggest enemy. 

        If you as an artist do not have substantial brand equity, or any real following or catalog, free is the the easiest way to promote your work.  It took me a while to appreciate this, but there are too many examples of that working right now. 

        Think of giving away a few songs as your Cost of Acquisition. If that gets people on board, it’s worth the few bucks that was keeping them on the fence before. In the end you don’t want a sale, you want a relationship with a potential lifelong patron. 

        Your friend that works at the nail shop, she doesn’t live off of walk ins, she relies on dedicated customers that come back because they like her and her work. The market is saturated with nail salons, as it is artists right now. It’s just as much about the access and relationship as it is the content and product. 

        • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

          I understand your point Gaetano, however I could not disagree more.

          • gaetano

            Eva,

            I can honestly say that I understand where you’re coming from. Mostly because up until fairly recently I felt the same way you do. Not too long ago I would have looked at my own response to you and been outraged. 

            There’s a lot of emotions that go into being creative, and creating art, it’s really part and parcel to the process. That said, art and commerce have always been at odds in one way or another. Their relationship has changed through the years, and in that time there have been different powers that be telling artists “that’s the way it is”. 

            There’s nothing I hate more than hearing that…especially now after the last decade of such dramatic (and ongoing) change in the industry.  There have always been exceptions to the rule, but right now we’re in a complete correction, or paradigm shift as far as the music industry is concerned. Nothing will ever be the same, for better or for worse, and we might not see a huge change in our lifetime. That’s just the reality. 

            In recent times, I felt as if I was sold a bill of goods. I did the work, put in the time, built a great looking resume and experience with some huge names and never gave up hope, only to be told “that’s the way it is” one more time…except this time it was regarding the entire structure of a system I spent my life working within, studying and believing in. 

            In the end, it drove me to be unhappy. Unhappy with music, labels, managers, artists, consumers, etc.  It took me lightyears away from where I started, which was loving music.  Though I make and made money with music as a vocation, that’s not how it started, and right now it’s very easy to lose sight of that, especially when paying rent, eating and supporting a family is involved. 

            I’ve seen two different cycles in artists, One of Blame and Victimization, and one of Responsibility and Empowerment. 

            We can blame a lot of things. Right now, if we take a real hard look back, we could blame the creator of the Mp3 (which was in the late 70’s early 80s), or the people who funded that. We could blame Sean Fanning and Sean Parker for being short sighted with their creation of Napster and how it would potentially effect the entire music ecosystem, or the myriad of other factors that followed. 

            The thing is, it’s done, and we’re moving into a different place. We can attempt to enjoy what we do, be informed, and smart in how we do it, and continue to do so because we love it and try to enjoy the ride. Now, for me it’s about intention, and as brought up in another post here, core values. 

            There are millions of people out there right now feeling cheated or left out of something they’re entitled to, regardless of their passion or occupation or lot in life. Millions who bought into something that became either obsolete, or just untrue in the end. There’s a lot of emotions attached to that, and a lot of entitlement…some of it genuinely garnered, some not. 

            That’s where we are right now, and it sucks. A lot. 

            A friend of mine told me something recently that though didn’t help at the time, makes sense now. Letting go of things is hard, accepting things is easy. 

            I wish you the best of luck with all of your endeavors. 

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            I wish me luck too, because I need it like I need air.  In any case, my comments are simple.  I got sick of the bullshit, and drew a very simple line: 

            My work is not free.  As with other professionals in other industries who do not work for free, I also do not. 

            For the many who disagree, well, tough.  Either buy it to enjoy it, or don’t.  But I did not spend my life honing my craft to give away my work.  If one pays for it, one may even value it.  Whatever one chooses to do with it that isn’t reselling it, I don’t care, it isn’t free.  Period.

            I can only hope that I will be fortunate enough to be permitted to carve out my piece of the business and take possession of my career as I deserve.

            If I don’t, then I don’t.  Life’s a bitch and then we die.

          • gaetano

            I hear you, loud and clear. 

            With that, here’s something I ran across that I’ve found invaluable as of late, it outlines a lot of issues we’re talking about and is no bullshit. Def worth a peruse…

            http://changethis.com/manifesto/6.HowToBeCreative/pdf/6.HowToBeCreative.pdf

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Got the doc and saved it.  Will read, thankyou.

          • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

            Got the doc and saved it.  Will read, thankyou.

    • Venzetti

      I have to state that piracy is not the problem, piracy is extremley useful for bands, it’s because of the ability to get music for free that the music buisness is still kicking, when a person gets a hold of your music (legally or not) they listen to you, and if they like you come to shows, and shows (especially for bands) are the main source of income, and help us eat and live, piracy is nither a curse or a blessing but it will never be the downfall of the music.

      Venzetti

      • Glen Bentley

        You’re talking out of your pipe.
        If it was as easy to steal a car as it is music Volkwagen would be broke within 6 months and their entire workforce worldwide wouldn’t be earning a bean.
        Just like most musicians don’t earn a bean despite the wunnerful new world of easy distro.
        So… come back when you’ve had your wok pirated.
        In the meantime make sure you hand your employer back your wages each month – because that was piracy is:

        You working for nothing to benefit a thief.

        • Keith

           Hi Glen,

          In small defence of Venzetti “piracy is extremley useful for bands” this statement is absolutely right, there’s not many independents that would disagree.

          Here’s an interview with Chris Blackwell, interviewed by the wonderful George (Howard), giving his opinion on sharing in March 2010.

          • Jerkdoctor

            it should be up to the artist if he chooses to share it or give it away for promotion.

      • Jerk Doctor

        Live shows dont make much.  Years ago, labels gave bands “tour support” because bands actually lost money while touring.  The label could afford to fund the tour because record sales occurred.  Music business is dying.

      • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Camalion/95700653556 CAMALION

        piracy was created by the huge corporate interests originally with a double sided purpose (of course, who else can release a record that is not out yet except the same record label itself duh): 1) To help promote an artist they’ve signed and.. 2) to keep the political power of an artist in check (control) as they grow in popularity, so that he/she might not become too powerful and influence society, and even to become financially independent from the record label itself.. When paying time comes, the record label says to the artists they have not made any money yet from the album due to piracy (which they created on the first place) and that it is now required from the artist to put up another album for the label for free if they want to get their release contract (usually the artist get a release, sign with another record label (which is owned by the same bourgueoise as the previous one uff) and repeat the misery cycle again…. Of course, “piracy” could be reverted into a promotional tool for the (indie) artist that wishes so… (since file-sharing is often miscalled piracy even if it emerges from the creator of the work)..  Problem with this: many people from generation Y and X are used to freebies by now and expect that you handle them your work for free…  (only in this business, nowhere else) What i usually do is i tell people (mostly fans that do know the trajectory) that if they really want me to keep working music they have to buy something (harder to do if they don’t know you.. with people that don’t know me i let them be.. eventually somebody tells them who i am and they become curious about the product).. another problem with piracy is that it contributed to it’s originator’s demise as a double edged weapon (big corporate labels.. hehehe).. Then if they buy something, i will give them my facebook account and let them download other songs that are not for sale yet (obviously they have to make the copies themselves).. as a balance to the negative effects of pirating and to promote this lifestyle/business/art… One time I had a fan on facebook apologizing to me because he grabbed a link to download a song for free.. it turns out i created the link myself to share with them (but since he got it from a friend he thougth he was harming me LOL) ..at another point (a few weeks back) i approached someone (i don’t consider myself a true salesman but i do fusion some of it’s qualities as an independent artist) that might not know me trying to make a buck with my albums… He arrogantly bragged about how he could get any music he wanted for free from the internet… of course i had to put him on his place and remind him, that he will download a free song from me as long as i allow it and as long as i wanted him to have it..  there is no way that you can break into my PC and grab something  without permit just so.. you don’t have that much technology or wisdom whatsoever.. which of course, he did not got my facebook account from me and will waste hundreds of hours on the web looking for something free that he cannot take unless i specifically handle it to him,… LOL ..little by little i’ve been conditioning this mentality… and there should be a way out.. as soon as i figure it completely i’ll share the info… knowledge is power…

    • Anonymous

      i agree!

      TuneCore is the megaphone but all of you are the voice of the new industry. You need to be heard
      In the old days, most of the music released in the world was done so by the members of the RIAA. Therefore, the RIAA represented the industry
      These days, most of the music released in the world is happening via entities that are not part of the RIAA and yet their voice is not part of the conversation
      this is the danger of consolidation of the old industry. It gives it more power in making decisions that are good for them while ignoring all of you
      jeff

    • Heather

      My nephews friends (age 13) have 40,000 songs on their iPOD. I asked one of them how he got it. I said: Did you pay for it? He said pay? I said yes, pay. Oh no way. My cousins steal it from frostwire and then I go to their house and download all on my flashdrive. I asked if he thought it was stealing. He said no. I asked him if he thought it was ok to go into a store and steal a CD, book, etc. He said; no but didn’t even understand wht the hell I was talking about

      • Keith

         ..And with music in ‘the cloud’ on Amazon, Google, and itunes, it will be even easier for them to share multiple libraries of ‘acquired’ music, no flash drive necessary.  I like Google’s disclaimer on their ‘Organise’ your music page – “And remember, Google Music is only for lawfully acquired music files.”

      • Anonymous

        and that truly sucks!

        but the good news is, your nephews friends are into music

        they like it and want it

        they want the devices that play it

        they carry it with them everywhere they go

        we need to focus on how to create a model that allows the copyright holders to get paid for this
        Spotify, iMatch are a good start…

        jeff

  • Studio139

    The one thing major labels have done historically is give an air of legitimacy to bands or solo 
    artists.  This may or may not have been based on merit, but most people thought that an
    artist must have something if signed to a major label.  The price of this was of course selling
    your rights to the label.  Today major entertainment corporations that own an interest in the
    label, radio, television and other media outlets act as both a gate keeper and propagandists
    and promoters, much like the late 1950’s.  The general public seems uninterested in sifting
    through ever expanding offerings from independent bands.  The music business has always
    been about marketing first, music second, and it was rare that really good artists were 
    actually popular simply because of their music.  Most of us have a passion for making music,
    and do it, not to make money, but because we need to.  It is self indulgent, and some of us
    are not contributing to the art form, and will remain forever obscure.  How and why we listen
    to music has changed as much as how we make music.  All of the old models are on their
    way out, at some point making music will be as common as being part of a social network.
    So common no one will pay attention to it all.  At that point we will simply follow the 
    Japanese model of “Idols”, people who are promoted based upon appearance without the
    expectation of a career as an artist. Disposable.  Tunecore is at least helpful as an low
    cost way of giving others a chance to find your music.  

  • Marco Biasion

    This forum is fantastic. I’ve never come across such a focused debate on the old and new models of music promotion. There are points on both sides. To me the main point that stands out is that, sure, the Majors can do more for your exposure but for only a few, but the modern decentralized digital system gives access to an audience for everyone else who previously had none. 

    It bears a strong resemblance to the 99% or Occupy Wall Street protests. The old model has 50% of all the wealth in the hands of 1% and the new model is more socialist, more power to the people. Tunecore is not speaking to the 1% of lucky bastard major label megastars, they are speaking to the 99% who believe in themselves enough to make some tracks and give it shot. If you are really dead set on getting with a major, then systems like Tunecore can only help because larger industry organisations like publicists, booking agents and labels are more likely to pick you up once you already have got the ball rolling, got some attention, and have proven you can appeal to an audience.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ALMJV7PCE77WTGDOCDLZKCFKHQ Joanie

    I appreciate what you’re saying here, and all the hoopla about how free the industry is now, but bottom line is that physical product is practically worthless, if not an expense. You can sell downloads, but it’s a big deal if an artist breaks a million, whereas 5 million was the real big deal in the 90s and early 00s. Granted, you can get 50% of a download instead of 1% of a physical release that you might not ever see in the past. Plus now, you get to sell your licensing, which is where the real money is. You also get to pay a fortune to tour, since gas, insurance, legal, etc have all skyrocketed in cost. Maybe at this point, bands should set up their own Branson’s and live in them, and tell people to come see them there, and make being there an exciting experience.

    So touring costs money, physical product makes no money, and downloads and licensing are all you got. Recording is cheap, but only if an artist really knows what they’re doing, because recording and mixing aren’t mastered overnight. I dont know how this is such a great time in music, but it is great that an artist might be smart enough not to sign their rights away.

    I emphasize MIGHT, because there are a lot of sharks in the water looking for people to sign away their rights. It’s a problem in the visual arts as well. Watch what boxes you check, everywhere.

    Fact is, there’s never been less money to be had in the music industry. In the past the majors could sink you in a money river that a good lawyer could fight for a piece of, and indies could
    sell real product and tour for less costs. It is great to own all the licensing, but we’ll see how great it all is.

  • Mistersegs

    please tell me that Universal do not own or have a share in Tune core ? I been doing this a long time..and thats what I heard ? 

    • Darrylthorne

      if they do it should say so in the contract. it’s not strictly independent if there’s a major label involved.

      • Darrylthorne

        it says on the website that tunecore is partnered with universal. i think i’m going to go back to pressing vinyl and hope people have the money and sense to invest in a decent hifi so that they can appreciate it properly.

        • Darrylthorne

          it’s more spiratually rewarding process as well

        • Anonymous

          yes, we did a deal with Universal so artists that wanted to get signed by them could choose to have their sales data sent to their A&R people
          jeff

      • Anonymous

        no, tunecore is not owned by Universal

        jeff

  • Adsj

    Sure glad Tunecore is looking out for us, >coughcough< hahahahaha.

  • Darrylthorne

    as soon as x factor ceases, the people who are supposed to be buying the music will abandon any notion of becoming a ‘star’ and the music industry will again be the territory of people who love music more han they love fame. apple should up their game and make cd quality downloads as well. the sound quality of a record makes a big difference. when was the last time you said ‘i really love that record because it sounds rubbish’?

  • Darrylthorne

    i think i’ve sold 7 downloads so far. i might go and stand on a street corner handing out business cards with the url on them or something.

  • Keith

    The Majors and Distributors know CD = Control Distribution, so they will hold on to this format until grim death, but don’t expect that to happen anytime soon because it won’t, the recent figures aren’t convincing but they may indicate a ‘bottoming-out’ of declining sales, if figures remain consistent this year that will be good enough for them to hold on to CDs like a cat sliding down glass, if figures actually improve this year – which some analysts are predicting, the Majors will believe the worst is over and calculate to live with lower revenues than they’ve been accustomed to.  This will be a shame, because Digital makes so much sense to everyone, except the Majors, forgive me for saying it Jeff but Universal invested in Tunecore to put a leash on the ‘yappy DL dog’ not to put it on a purple cushion, and it was one sure move to keep Tunecore out of independent CD distribution.

    The crazy news from Sweden yesterday that Kopimism has now been recognised as an official religion, a church with the central tenet to file-share, is just another blow to digital. 

    Just recently, a band that used to be signed to our label decided they wanted to go their own way, which was no problem at all – no complicated contracts here and we wished them well. They did the right thing, signed up with Tunecore, decided to press and announced a CD pre-release on Amazon 6 weeks ahead, even got themselves a few local gigs.  All fired up until a week after going live at Tunecore, finding that their album was the first 50 pages of Google search results, with file-sharers, allegedly securing over 40,000 DLs on one site alone.  Three months later, just one CD sold at Amazon.

    The DLs of course are not the fault of Tunecore, the problem is the format and how so easy it can be ‘Smart-phoned,’ which is another reason Jeff, your prediction of the death of the CD is a little premature, I believe.

    We are all in a phase of examining and re-drawing business-models, to stay alive let alone make money, no one is all right or all wrong it’s too early to tell, but I can tell you, like other labels, we are already putting plans in place to let fans have our entire digital catalogue for free, to ensure at least we can keep in contact with fans that download our artists’ music, rather than them using file-sharers.  It might sound a little radical but if the industrys’ estimates are anywhere near accurate, we could be losing 100 customers to sharers for every single purchased DL, if we can persuade just 6 of these to buy T-shirts or posters, file-shared DL revenue will be recovered and our new model will be viable for us and our artists.

    If the independents decide this is the way to go in any significant numbers, there’s a very good chance that CDs will outlive itunes, Amazon mp3, Rhapsody, Spotify, emusic, 7digital, and sorry Jeff – Tunecore.

    • Darrylthorne

      the problem is that the majors go around putting leashes on things. digital doesn’t make sense to anyone because it doesn’t sound as good. if radio only played songs which artists were confident enough in to press on vinyl they wouldn’t have such a problem with the number of songs ‘released’ each week and the quality of radio would go up as well. and ikea would probably sell a million record player/vinyl units. you can’t properly pirate a vinyl either, although you could have some fun recording your favourite tunes into a speacially designed ‘mixtape’ program and then uploading them onto your ipod or something.

      • Darrylthorne

        having said that, i still think itunes is valuable as an artist development tool. i can see a system which would work perfectly but ‘the majors’ think i’m a joker and won’t take my calls. there’s a possibility they’ve heard i’m not a dog

        • Darrylthorne

          because vinyl doesn’t contain an app which tells you when you’re supposed to breathe doesn’t mean it’s out of date. it’s sonically the best format i’ve heard (i haven’t heard 8 track tapes and i have heard 1/4″ and 1/2″ master tapes from the 60’s and they sound awesome but they don’t
          count because there’s all that troublesome tape threading which renders them ‘not counted’)

    • Anonymous

      LOL

      no keith, Universal does not own TuneCore

      I did a deal with them for all of you to have an option – if you want to get signed to a label, thats your choice, not mine
      many still do (as you can see by the blog postings here)

      So i struck a deal that allows a TuneCore artist to have their sales data go to the A&R people at Universal in an attempt to have Universal know more about them
      man, tough crowd!

      jeff

      • Keith

         Hi Jeff,

        I didn’t say Universal owned Tunecore, it’s a reciprocal investment in time and resources to foster possible potential as I understand it, and fairplay to you Jeff for bringing about the deal.  But like it or not your inside the tent pissing out now, instead of outside pissing in, and that’s perfect for Universal, but is it perfect for Tunecore and the artists you represent?

        Can I ask, how many Tunecore artists has the deal benefitted so far?  Have any been picked up and gone platinum since the deal was struck?  And I’m not asking to pick holes Jeff I greatly admire what you’ve achieved with Tunecore, but I’m very familiar with what motivates Majors to do anything, and it’s rarely altruistic, so I’m genuinely interested if you have any feedback about the results of the relationship.

        Best, K.

        • Anonymous

          @Keith

          i truly dont know how many artists have benefitted by choosing to allow Universal A&R people to get their sales data
          Customers said they wanted the “in” to the majors, so i went out and created that “in”
          whats been interesting for me is to see a shift – that is, a number of years back, about 80% of artists doing very well would move on to a major. These days only about 5% do.
          Jeff

          • Keith

             Fair enuff!

            Keep on keepin’ on Jeff, all the best, K.

          • Keith

             Fair enuff!

            Keep on keepin’ on Jeff, all the best, K.

  • Markshaps

    Sales of vinyl records are increasing. 

  • TNT1MUSIC

    I can tell you from experience I have already received national and international radio play which includes top 100 on the mediabase reported airplay charts in the U.S. This takes a budget to make happen unfortunately I ran out of enough budget money to progress further up the charts I took part in my own national radio campaign. Major labels have the money to make things happen unfortunately when it comes to the big stations even for the best indies it would be difficult to get 1 spin on a major radio station. I know this 1st hand from having and running my own label and have heard tracks that were better than many major artists not do much because of budget. To top it off for me I have never seen a royalty check from ASCAP even though I received national airplay on 26 commercial reporting stations and many more non reporting stations. God Bless, Toby TNT1

  • JFS

    The article states, “They could have taken that same four billion dollars and used it to innovate, invest, change business models and educate.  They could have used it to accelerate ideas and strategies that the world has never seen.  They could test new models, see what works, push the failures to the side and move forward.” 
    Well here is someone doing just that.  Check it out: http://promotethemusic.com/joycespencer.html 

     

  • Artistpromotions

    Jeffriana has very good points. And I been trying to explain this to artists I produce for too! Many want to only rely on the production I give them but it is beyond that when an artist hasn’t the talent to compete with someone who does. Overall, it is going to cost money and artists think all you need is a good beat and backing music which is dumb because then commercial radio would only be spinning instrumentals on the radio stations. 

    What many unsigned artists don’t understand is that quality and money is what is needed. Without marketing & promotions these days, you will never be heard. People think with digital music distribution companies sending their songs to another 20 – 30 online outlets they would be heard. But don’t they realize that there are another 100 million or more unsigned hopefuls doing the same thing? How does one get heard in a crowded room where everyone else is screaming, ‘BUY MY SONG’…? It just isn’t going to happen because the major record companies have enough money to voice over everyone else and set the mark to be heard on a larger PA system!

    The wannabe’s need to think and realize that if majors are having problems selling their artists music why would they be any better selling their own with 0.1% the funding that the major place into marketing & promotions?

    CD’s sound quality also is garbage compared to Vinyl and the sound waves when breaking it down explains everything. Zeros and ones started the fall down of the music and the industry and at that end of this year when they discontinue CD manufacturing for major record label recording artists and move to digital changes might occur. For the better or worse that is yet to be seen but  many don’t realize that Vinyl never went anywhere and has actually risen in sales in the last couple years without losing its value when marketed! This speaks for its self & says a lot when people read between the lines. Digital sales might have increased slightly but it has’t increased or replaces the CD sales that have been losing an average of 8 – 10% of fallen over all music sales each year. 

    The music industry has less money overall in the same pot it did a decade ago but with 500% more artists reaching in that pot and now even with live shows occurring labels have taken that on with their 360 deals. FREE music being illegally download no longer helps the unknowns get heard because people no longer care overall to buy music anymore so they still become unheard of for longer periods. A star today and gone tomorrow is what the music industry has become and   unless they can find a way that a music listener who doesn’t own a credit card, want to use their computer or can block all FREE downloading websites worldwide for music. Then things will only crumble in the years to come!

    • Keith

       “and at that end of this year when they discontinue CD manufacturing for major record label recording artists and move to digital changes might occur”

      Hi Artistpromotions,

      I’m very interested in what you said here, can you post a link to where I can read about this end of CD manufacturing?

      Many thanks, K.

    • Anonymous

      im sorry, but money for promotion does not = success

      it’s up to the music

      the music has to cause reaction, when it does, it takes off

      and no, you dont need money to get heard these days. thats why you have artists selling without budgets
      here are some stats
      http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/11/tunecore-artists-music-sales-july-2011.html

      • Glen Bentley

        You’re dreaming Jeff. Wake up and smell reality, the same reality that has ALWAYS ruled in the music business: a great song is a great song, but only great publicity will ever get it heard so it sells.

        The man up there said it honestly: the majors are not mugs; they dont need to own the record plants anymore, because they now control the only thing that matters: the ability of an artrist to not be part of that deafening room full of independent artists screaming “BUY MY SONG!!”

        They own publicity, airplay, TV time – the rest is just us making demos and pretending we’ll strike it rich because we can pay iTunes to laugh at us.
        In literary circles it’s called “vanity publishing” – pretending it’s anything else because it’s a song on an MP3 is just plain dishonest.

        The big battle is closing down the ISPs that profit indirectly from tacitly allowing piracy. That will be tough, because the wealthy like the poor to have a an opiate – and free folms and music is this centuries opiate of the masses.
        While they are listening to free music and watching free films they wont be rioting about being shafted out of jobs and any futures by the globalists…
         

        • Anonymous

          i am a dreamer – and will continue to be one

          i dream of a world where artists can keep their copyrights and have access. where the playing field is leveled and its the music that allows it to succeed or not
          Anything I can do to help create that world I will do, the rest will be up to you
          This is a tough tough business, most will not make it, but for the first time, their success or failure is up to them and their music, not up to someone else deciding to let them into the system at the cost of having them give up their copyrights and making no money when their music sells
          Whether you believe it or not is moot, its happening…

          Its amazing to watch things change.

          jeff

          • Glen Bentley

            (quote Jeff) “i am a dreamer – and will continue to be onei dream of a world where artists can keep their copyrights and have access. where the playing field is leveled and its the music that allows it to succeed or not ”
            …..

            I’m really suprised that you don’t seem to understand that without the mainstream publicity that only the major companies can provide,  the very best that even really fantastically creative and original copyright owners can hope for is the joy of paying iTunes to store their tracks.

            They will not make a living.

            They will be unlikely to even make enough to pay for the electricity their home studio uses let alone pay for the gear they had to buy to record their tracks.

            It’s great that you’re a dreamer Jeff – and I’m a romantic just like you.
            But I’ve learned down the years that kidding myself is stupid.

            Kidding other people however is something else altogether.

          • Anonymous

            you’re just dead wrong

            and not because its my opinion

            i ran a label for 17 years – i released the Pixies, Echo & The Bunnymen, Eels, Apples In Stereo and 250 other releases
            I spent hundreds of thousands on marketing and promotion for radio, print and even TV
            and yet, as one example of many, Blood On The Dancefloor outsold the combined total of everything I released over 17 years in six months
            their marketing budget – $0

            You have romanticized the old industry –

            98% of the releases failed – the majors spent hundreds of millions marketing it.
            it used to be that 1/1,000,000th of all artists ever got the opportunity to be “let in”
            when they were “let in” they had to transfer ownership of their copyrights to another entity.
            the artists was paid an advance to record the music that it then had to assign ownership of over to the label.
            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).

            TuneCore 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.

            the 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.

            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.

            This is an improvement over the old system – sorry to spoil your cynicism, but things have gotten better

            jeff

          • Glen Bentley

            (quote Jeff) “i am a dreamer – and will continue to be onei dream of a world where artists can keep their copyrights and have access. where the playing field is leveled and its the music that allows it to succeed or not ”
            …..

            I’m really suprised that you don’t seem to understand that without the mainstream publicity that only the major companies can provide,  the very best that even really fantastically creative and original copyright owners can hope for is the joy of paying iTunes to store their tracks.

            They will not make a living.

            They will be unlikely to even make enough to pay for the electricity their home studio uses let alone pay for the gear they had to buy to record their tracks.

            It’s great that you’re a dreamer Jeff – and I’m a romantic just like you.
            But I’ve learned down the years that kidding myself is stupid.

            Kidding other people however is something else altogether.

        • Anonymous

          i am a dreamer – and will continue to be one

          i dream of a world where artists can keep their copyrights and have access. where the playing field is leveled and its the music that allows it to succeed or not
          Anything I can do to help create that world I will do, the rest will be up to you
          This is a tough tough business, most will not make it, but for the first time, their success or failure is up to them and their music, not up to someone else deciding to let them into the system at the cost of having them give up their copyrights and making no money when their music sells
          Whether you believe it or not is moot, its happening…

          Its amazing to watch things change.

          jeff

    • Darrylthorne

      it’s a bigger thing than just the format which music is released on. it’s about the whole way that the industry’s major players conduct their business. i worked in an analogue studio in Camden, UK for a couple of years before protools, logic and cubase vst took hold. the labels should have supported studios and kept them going but they were too interested in jumping on bandwagons and the studio budget they could save by encouraging artists to record their music at home. given that a successful album generates several hundred million GBP and a realistic studio budget would be around £20,000 for an album they are effectively ‘saving’ £20,000 but losing millions in sales.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DerekNorthMusic Derek North

    Strongly agree!!!

  • Michaelmavrik

    Brilliant! Nature takes it’s course!

  • Collector

    as usual everyone has an angle and Tunecore has theirs, no value for EMI really?? you think BEATLES, PINK FLOYD catalogues and countless others are not valuable? did you see the cost of PINK FLOUYD’s new mmersion series? $200 a pop. the music industry is going nowhere but it will change as we know it, example current labels are now tied in to managing acts and merchandising and touring, including selling rights to film and corporate. Everything evolves
    and adapts music is now bigger than ever. The labels as we know them will change though.
    as for your doom and gloom,vinyl was to become obsolete 20 years ago, have you looked at this years sales figures?

    • Anonymous

      its not about if Pink Floyd has value

      its about is this consolidation good for the music industry

      the old industry is on its last breath

      the old system is over

      you have $4 billion dollars to use, what do you do. Buy up an old catalog that loses value daily (I can assure you Pink Floyd sells less today than 20 years ago) to make a short term buck or invest in the future to allow you to continue to grow
      The issue is Universal no longer represents what the music industry is, it represents what it was
      Sony, Universal and Warner no longer release the worlds music. They lost the market share, they lost the money, they lost the control and yet they are the ones that are legislating and lobbying for laws the benefit them, not you
      you should be pissed the hell off that decisions that impact your royalties and bottom line are being controlled and dictated by a system that is obsolete in today’s world
      they were built for the world of AM/FM radio, analog TV and plastic/vinyl physical products
      today’s world is digital, they dont fit and the control they are going for hurts YOU and the entire emerging new industry
      jeff

  • BIgGgetit

    Man, I’ve been saying this for quite a while now, an to know that there’s someone that concur’s a real handshake, a pat on the back. The writer of this article deserves all of the accolades he can get, because someone’s finally told the truth. And guess what? The truth has no fear… Yeah to digital distribution..

  • BIgGgetit

    Man, I’ve been saying this for quite a while now, an to know that there’s someone that concur’s a real handshake, a pat on the back. The writer of this article deserves all of the accolades he can get, because someone’s finally told the truth. And guess what? The truth has no fear… Yeah to digital distribution..

  • BigGgetit

    MIGHTY HYE RECORDS AND TEAM NAZO APPRECIATES THIS…

  • BigGgetit

    MIGHTY HYE RECORDS AND TEAM NAZO APPRECIATES THIS…

  • Kevio

    This was just posted and emphasizes that digital is taking over. 

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/05/digital-music-finally-outsells-physical-media/ 
    However, in terms of gatekeepers–we are just trading one for another. Artists are generally not good marketers. Of course there are exceptions. But the majority of artists will need help in building their brand and increasing awareness of their product. 

  • Anonyomous

    So I’m right in saying that these big companies like PROs have been extremely clouded. They are keeping their system hidden from artists, so they can milk out as much money as they can, and we’re supposed to just stand by dumbfounded and allow our hard earned money to be stolen? Well I can’t wait until this change is finally here. Then we can work in honesty and transparency rather than clouded systems and falsified payments.

    • Anonymous

      yes, you are right
      there is no transparency, with transparency comes accountability

      read this – http://www.futureofcopyright.com/home/blog-post/2011/07/06/employees-of-spanish-collecting-society-sgae-face-fraud-charges.html

      • Anonyomous

        It’s a shame that Congress won’t reply to this. There have been too many court cases involving the rights that they have set and the bigwigs violating them. Now I’d like to believe that Congress is looking out for us “little people”, but artists have been ripped off for too many years now. And still no response?

        • Anonymous

          and thats the problem with this EMI purchase

          More power consolidated in the hands of those that no longer control the industry

  • Bossalicious

    Wow Jeff, you have a lot to learn about writing. Could you offer one piece of evidence, or even an argument (I mean that in the formal sense of proposition, evidence conclusion), and not just strongly expressed opinions?  Things are definitely changing, in many ways for the better, but in some ways for the worse. Maybe you could explore those changes and look at the pros and cons instead of just launching off on a rant which is factually devoid. 
           As a veteran artist who has seen very beginning students record a song (badly) and post it to iTunes, I sometimes long for the days of gatekeepers.  TuneCore (which provides a great service in many) is in the business of promoting the idea that we can all make it happen in this new level playing field, so it’s not surprising I would find this kind of post here, but you do the music community a dis-service when you distort the reality of the business like this. 

  • Hans B

    The musical industry is truely in the hands of digital and all these guys of the majors who seat right there dreaming the game will be thesame better open them eyes and see what’s going on with digital.Information,comprehention,humbleness,communication,creativity are just some of the few things they seem to pretty much lack.bonamuzik@yahoo.com if they need a hand.

  • Hans B

    The musical industry is truely in the hands of digital and all these guys of the majors who seat right there dreaming the game will be thesame better open them eyes and see what’s going on with digital.Information,comprehention,humbleness,communication,creativity are just some of the few things they seem to pretty much lack.bonamuzik@yahoo.com if they need a hand.

  • Thefishingjournal

    Yes!

  • Thefishingjournal

    Jeffriana with respect you sound intelligent but lazy. Your success or failure is up to you. PERIOD. Yes true you need backing but if youre making something worth listening to your backing will be your friends family and fans who will be more than happy to design and promote for you. People need something to believe in and be involved with. Inolve your people around you and youll find every resource you need. And truly thank them. And if youre never famous or able to quit your dayjob ….it wont be for lack of trying and staying true. And by all means avoid staying sane. Stay functional. Insane people write the best stuff.

    • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

      @TheFishJournal, I am sorry, but that is one of DUMBest pieces of non-logic I have heard in a while.   
      Umm, here’s a reality check.  Not everyone’s family is as wonderful as yours must be.

      For example, the people related to me by blood are a bunch of fucking hyenas, and would rather stick hot pokers in their eyes rather than lift a finger to stand by me.  They are self-absorbed, vindictive, arrogant, garbage excuses for human beings.  As for my friends, they have many challanges of their own to handle in their lives, they don’t have the TIME to spend on my career – they have their OWN!!!!

      In addition to that, in order to have the kind of serious dedicated representation and talent working to support one’s work in all of those different ways, one needs people whose profession it is to do these things.  Unless one happens to have an awesome agent as a best friend, asking your friends to do this kind of specialized work is like representing yourself in a courtroom – UTTERLY FOOLISH.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TogzUndercover Toggo Ultrarock

    Amen! I love your articles btw, so refreshingly honest.

  • Keith

    Thanks to Jeff, one of the few CEOs you can actually talk to, this has been a very interesting post to read, and I would like to add just a couple of points for everyone to think about.

    You can say the industry today does provide much more opportunity for artists to get their music out in the market place, it may not always be easy to find and explore new artists and their music, but at least it is pretty much a level playing field for 98% of the artists trying to make a living, which, thanks to places like Tunecore, is a huge improvement on the way things used to be a generation ago.

    But, just because you believe your talented, and believe you make great music, doesn’t mean you’re going to sell music, or in fact you’re even entitled to do so.  It’s been mentioned a few times in the comments here, “even with vast Major resources promoting a new artist they don’t always become successful. ”  The reality is it’s only a small minority of Major promoted artists that actually make a return on the investment, and a minority of those that make a real profit.  Majors promote thousands of artists each year, but most of us don’t get to hear them, just like the majority of artists here that don’t get heard.

    A generation ago all you had to do was convince an A&R man to listen past the first 7 seconds of your song, you got signed and bought a Ferrari from the advance, easy :o)  Now, you alone must convince everyone, ‘one by one’ to listen to your music, and hopefully, slowly and steadily build a consumer base for your current music, and your future releases.  Don’t bother with radio it’s a closed shop, use social media and make yourself a realistic target of people to contact on a daily basis, don’t listen to the people that say “members are sick of hearing from bands on Facebook” – which is only true for the artists that people don’t like, people are always happy to hear from bands that they do like.

    Target people on your doorstep, your street, in your town, your city, your state: when you’ve got 50,000 contacts (not just ‘likers’ – people you actually talk to) in outlook organise some ‘free’ gigs to play your music to those that turn up, in your town, your city, your state.  Don’t spend a cent on promotion, invite everyone personally within a small radius of each gig, and sell your debut/latest CD for a reasonable price.  Don’t try and sell a range of merch at your gigs, keep people focussed on your music, with just one opportunity for them to part with money, your CD.

    This is what reputable independent labels do for their artists every day, and much more, it’s long days, and hard work, and most do it for love not money, old school dedication to the art.

    If you follow this advice their are two eventualities, one, in twelve months you’ll be selling tickets for gigs, more CDs at your gigs, and your phone will be ringing. Or, two, people still don’t come to your gigs after all your efforts, which means you must re-evaluate the commercial potential of your music.

    There’s been a few comments here claiming that digital is about to supersede CDs, if you truly believe this will happen you should be very careful in wishing this to be the case, you might get your wish.  The revenues from digital for the Majors is peanuts, because the major player in digital DLs are the file-sharers, sharers are the only Major in DLs, some analysts claim their ‘share’ could be as much as 80% of the ‘market.’  The Majors have tried all reasonable means to defeat this phenomenon but “Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be
    bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or
    remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are
    dead.”

    A digital music industry equals no music industry, it is not possible to protect the product from theft and rapid distribution to millions in the blink of an eye.

    If you can’t beat them, and we can’t, there is only one option left, make file-sharing pointless, and the only way to do that is for the Majors to offer their digital catalogues available for free DL.  It’s not a question of choice, anti-trust litigation will be flying everywhere, but at the moment the Majors have some defence – “We had to do it to protect core revenues from CD sales, and keep the industry alive, a majority digital music industry could mean NO music industry, very quickly.”

    Make your own minds up, I’m not here to debate the ins, outs, pros, and cons of a situation I and others believe is about to happen, you make your own decisions, but, think on this: IF the Majors announced tomorrow that everyone could now download all their catalogues for free, how do YOU think fans would greet the decision?  “No – it’s a terrible idea.”  OR  “WOOOHOOO!!! Where’s my laptop?”

  • http://www.flowerpowerrecords.com/ Supersonic

    For me the the majors have the power to control what music fans listen to, promoting only music under their wing and doing everything they can to suppress anybodies else’s music. Mainstream radio, music magazines/publications, large events organizers are all puppets for the major labels. They are a mafia that need to be taken down for the good of the public/listener even more so than for the good of the musician.      

  • Acanthuspro

    Tunecore has allowed me to start a small label from nothing and still struggling to grow but I still have to employ the same methods to marketing as do the majors but what I lack is the money to sustain a good marketing campain but I would still cut a deal with the majors as long as I can control the marketing…

  • Daniel

    There are so many great points here, but I would like to argue something from a different angle here.  Forgive me if anyone has already mentioned this, but I see a fundamental problem with consumers (our music buyers) and it happens to be a HUGE problem.  The digital age we’re in allows consumers to be more ADD than ever.  Consumers don’t have the loyalty to artists that they did even 10 years ago.  One day it’s, “I’m your’e biggest fan.”  The next day they’re on to something else.  Think about it….everything is at people’s fingertips making it so convenient to switch gears.   The whole Facebook culture of “liking” something is also pointless because you don’t know for sure if the person is going to actually do anything else with it (i.e., buy your album). You can guess what they’ll do as a result of “liking” something, but it’s really all speculation.  

    Furthermore, the market is over-saturated and this is part of why consumers have ADD.  The fact that anyone and their great grandmother can make a CD is both a blessing and a curse.  For example, look at the band names out there these days.  They have names like say….  “Safety Pin Knuckleheads”  “Velcro Chinstrap”  ” or  “Uncle Toms Cabin Fever Boil” and the album title is “Got Pneumonia in My Head”  Don’t get me wrong, bad names have been around for decades, but the names we’re seeing now are exceptionally stupid.  

    Still, the more important point is that consumers are at the root of this problem of non-loyalty.  Welcome to the United States of ADD America.  

    • Keith

       You make a very good point Daniel,

      ..And I can tell you it’s (loyalty) been debated in many an A&R office over the years, the best anecdote I can think of that applies directly I heard back at EMI:

      Debut album: Who the fuck are you?
      Second album: It’s them again, the first album was better!
      Third album: I bought the first album.
      Fourth album: I bought this too.
      Fifth album: I’ve bought this and the second and the third, CAN THE WORLD NOT HEAR HOW GREAT THIS BAND IS?

      Fans can only be loyal to a band that’s been around and survives, the vast majority don’t get past a debut album, it can take five albums to establish loyalty, so plan for ten to make real money.  Take a look at the careers of the biggest bands you can think of, they very rarely arrived at the top overnight.

      Best, K.

  • Robert Burns

    “Roy said… Do you really expect Universal, who owns Tunecore, to respect the rights of independant artists?”  http://instylerecords.blogspot.com/2010/02/tunecore-biggest-scam-in-music-industry.html  I wonder about TuneCore given this absurd article.  Tangible music is as dated as tangible dating.

  • A Music Producer

    All of this may LOOK correct but you have to look at the big picture to really realize what is going on with the music business. I can name the following reasons for this sad end for music business:

    1. Rarity of fun in the past; excessive availability of it nowadays

    I always call those born before 60’s the “EASY-CHEESY” generation. Why? Because the world was literally like a village when they were in their 20’s or 30’s.
    Result: Many simple-minded ideas were turned into billion dollar industries. Pretty much the same for music. People may not realize that they don’t like OLD songs because of the songs themselves; in fact, they only cherish the “magical” memories and fun they experienced with those “easy” songs in an era when FUN was scarce; in an era when there was no play station, xbox, wii, Internet, computers and video games.
    I tell you what: imagine that all ISPs ban downloading illegally-shared music. Imagine, all music players stop supporting MP3 and switch to media-sensitivity (like xboxes that only play original DVDs). Do you think it helps the sales? I hardly think so. Why is that?
    SIMPLE: Because a music producer or composer, unlike the past, now has to battle and defeat a lot of other sources of FUN, which even I as a music producer and die-hard fan of music, believe are more fun than music!
    It may be the reason why almost 99% of the winners of musical reality TV competitions are forgotten right away the second the show is over. Music can not beat other fun even if radio or tv kill themselves for it to just attract some attention!

    2. Over exposure of “certain” artists = less sales for them = damage!
    It’s hilariously preposterously ridiculously funny that major label executives think the more promotion they make the more sales they’ll have. I give you an example:
    Imagine a major label artist has released a new single.
    Now look at the story from the perspective of a music fan:
    It’s the morning, in the car, the radio is playing the new song. At work, the radio is playing the song or maybe the boss has chosen to play it in the playlist. In the shopping center toilet, yeah, you can hear the same song in the background! On youtube homepage, you can watch the video of the very same song. When going back home, you end up hearing the same song on the radio again. If you live in a country with free-to-air music channels (or subscription channels anyway), you actually end up seeing the same thing over and over again till you go to sleep for another pathetic day of life.
    I wanna ask you a question: Had this poor music fan bought this piece of music, how may time would he have listened to it? I guess he/she can get enough of that song in just a single day like this so why would he/she pay for it while tomorrow it’ll be the same as the above day?

    In the past, this “over exposure” could be interpreted as “being in the scene” but nowadays it ends up with nothing but harm to the artist. In the same way, many of other aspect of music business should be updated including the way of finding new talents. Availability of music production tools has messed everything up because many people who don’t have the real original and genuine talent now bombard the A/Rs with crap and real talents may end up in other jobs. That could be another reason why music can not beat other fun simply because most of it is crap nowadays.

    What can we do?
    Well, the answer is “nothing”. If you’re a good musician, continue your work but don’t count on it as a career like the oldies born before the 60’s. Life, in comparision to the past, has become more and more complicated and maybe, in our modern world, music won’t have any place any more!

  • Teauu1

    People, Don’t fool yourselves. Yes, the industry is taking on water but the ship hasn’t sank as of yet. Grab your magnifying glasses and let’s take a closer look. Throughout history ALL forms of expression have always come from humble beginnings only to end up exploited by people of means. When I say people of means, I don’t simply mean people with money but more or less, people with a stage. People or entities who control very specific medias from which the world receives it’s entertainment. Just like in any industry, you have the middlemen who find a way to wedge themselves right in the center spot between the creator of the product and the consumer by any verity of means be it through distribution or legal and legislative entanglements. As time and technology moved forward the inevitable happened. People/ artist found ways of getting their art to the masses without the middlemen. HOWEVER, while the need for the middleman is nearing an end, the need for the STAGE itself is entering a period of expansion. In days of old, the stage was whatever raised surface you could draw an audience to and that slowly evolved into television and radio. Now with the internet and computerized phones, satellites and everything in between, it’s the ownership of the stage that has the industry preoccupied. Think about it. Google now owns YouTube. A company started by a few buddies to share uploads between them grew into one of the worlds largest stages and now it’s in the hands of yet another corporate entity. I’m only using YouTube as one example. There are many, many more. Too many to mention here. If you are an artist of modest means, you will eventually have to make your way to the stage, SOMEWHERE. The industry isn’t dead. It’s simply trying to head us off at the pass.

  • A Pilgrim aka Double G

    I am a gospel rap artist on my own label Earthboy Entertainment..I have been at this for years like the rest of u and i have a family to support…I find that i can’t stop doing what my heart comands me even if i never make the serious dollars i know my music is worth..it started from the love and will end witth the love lol but sum money would definitely help my cause..peace

  • Musical Magic

    Why do I always hear the same nonsense over and over agian?  You all make it sound like if you make money in music that this is wrong or uncool. Why?? Music is not some sort of cool cult not to make money.  It is art. And for those who are not aware of it, people gladly pay for art.  What does flying private planes have anything do with anything? Who cares if a major company buys another one?  Isn’t this America we live in? Why are artist always jealous of others who are successful? You blame everyone else for your own mistakes. It is about working hard at what you love and the better you get at it the more valuable you are to others. Yes it is business. I plead to all artists to stop being afraid and so ignorant about doing business.  There is nothing cool about someone taking you for a ride by getting you to play for free or having you give your music away or even getting you to sign a dumb contract because you are just to cool to read it.  Wake up.  Stop Blaming others. Take responsibility.  And write some great music.

  • Jlrexach23

    Love it!!!

  • Jlrexach23

    What a sad way to think, we are taking the humanity out of art lmao so incredibly wrong….. But so was Hitler lol, and he almost ruled the world lol

  • Colin P. Sumpter

    I have been writing and performing for years, and have four or five good CDs in a couple of genres but every time I have been offered a deal, it showed that I might make 10 %. The music was considered highly commercial, and deep in it’s content. I recorded a CD about children. After giving away 90 CDs I decided to upload to TuneCor. I believe You guys are the new standard..

    • Anonymous

      really trying to be!
      just want to make things better in any way we can

      jeff

  • Colin P. Sumpter

    I do want to tell the the long spoken Jeffriana that in the end,if it is not a labor of love; the point has been missed. There are two universal/cross-dimensional factors which transcend both, that would be numbers and music.

  • Isaac

    Wow. A lot of response on this one. A few thoughts…the majors aren’t going anywhere. They offer infrastructure. When I released my first album last year I was like “Wow, this album’s great, I’m gonna be famous!” HAHA. So naive, I know. Well a year later, my band has had over a dozen placements on television, including MTV’s highest rated show (3 separate times just on that show), and have made not even 2k through tunecore. So I’ve had my music on a show that has 9 million viewers, 3 separate times, and made not even 2 thousand through digital sales. I’m sure my music has been pirated a ton, and frankly there’s no stopping that. BUT, if I could sign with a major, and that does appear to be a possibility now, they would be promoting my music, getting it to the push team, sending it to blogs, working on the album art, working on the web presence etc. And frankly, it doesn’t seem like such a bad deal to give up my publishing rights for that kind of infrastructure. Plus, they will be working on getting me placements, and with the weight of a major behind you on that end, the fees for placement will be higher, so there will be more money. Labels do all the work that I don’t want to do.

    • gaetano

      All good points you bring up. 

      The other thing to consider once you sign, they also get to tell you what you should sound like, who you should work with, what you should look like, and be presented. Also, they don’t have to release anything of yours until they’re happy with it….or they can just spend thousands just to put all that work, time, and money onto a shelf forever, never to be heard.

      There are different types of deals, Pub, Licensing, etc. But what you’re talking about sounds like something that would involve relinquishing the majority of the things you’ve had control over. 

      I’ve watched friends go through it, played in their bands, etc.  Sometimes it’s nice, but most of the time it’s a headache and the with the current state of things, the majority of people I’ve spoken to are unhappy with the decision. 

      The days of development are over. Very rarely are these people just going to do your admin, marketing, publishing and P&D. They’re looking for Synch, or a 360, not much in between…it’s just doesn’t make sense for them at this point. 

      Most managers will push you towards a deal, they make a lump sum…so will the lawyer that brokers it. 

      I’d say it’s a bit more than people just doing the work you don’t want to do. 

      But hey, you seem to be having a good run…might be worth a shot???

    • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

      I think even to put a finer point on it, majors do the things that individual artists just CAN’T do.

  • Alan Cramer

    I repeat,
    Sometimes you have to be that business man. i started out selling books out of the trunk of my car. The first 1,500 dollars was more or less wasted, the books wouldn’t sell. I had a 1000 books I couldn’t give away. But being out there among st the BUYING public, I learned what they wanted to pay for. i found a market that I was comfortable with, could reach and wrote produced a book that they wanted.Art is one thing, but if no one wants to buy it, you can’t sell it. But if people really like it, they will buy it. I also used to stand in front of the Bronx Barnes & Noble and give away books until the manager would run me off. I’d also stand on manhattan street corners and do the same.Maybe you need tto ggo to a concert or venue where they play the music you like and give some away for free. If people like it, chances are some of their friends will too. 

  • Luanne Hunt

    Indie or major, if you don’t record a bonfide hit song, you’ll never become famous.  The music greats who have had worldwide success have released a hit at some point in their careers.  And many (of those artists) were on labels and put out several albums before that happened. 

    It’s still all about having that stellar, irresistable song the people can’t stop listening to.  The majority of Indies I’ve come across think their songs fit into that category.  In reality, they are greatly missing the mark.

    With all the promotional channels online and social networking sites, it’s easier to have a hit now more than ever.  It’s just that you have to actually write and record one.  Obviously, it’s harder than it looks.  Not to mention, everyone is just copying something or someone else, which is getting really old. 

    In my opinion, there’s too much worrying over the business of music rather than the art of music.  Before our world became so fame hungry, artists created simply for the love of it.  Out of that mentality came America’s vast catalog of phenomenal songs that have endured over time and transcended the generations.

    If today’s artists could actually get back to following their authentic creative inspirations while striving for excellence in their art form, this whole discussion would become a moot point.

  • Sudhakar Narra

    WOW THIS IS RARE LIL B IS GOING THROUGH A
    RARE PROCESS IN BASEDWORLD, HE HAS REACHED A LEVEL I MUST I DONT NO IF
    ITS GOOD OR BAD RIGHT NOW BUT ITS A FUSION

  • Btumusiime

    music should not be left behaind becaouse it’s  a good busnes, insted, they should look for the new ways so that it can be improved.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t work out why someone like Universal (who own & release music, major motion pictures & tv shows) haven’t spent serious cash on a similar digital finger-printing technology that Youtube use to be used by all ISP’s. It would vastly cut down on piracy overnight. People & labels could then choose where & when to instantly block their work. The technology is obviously there, so why don’t they use it?

  • Bob

    power to the sensible

  • Bob

    power to the sensible

  • TT

    The Price is right, Jeff Price that is:) the music industry consisting of elitist top down management is coming to a close, thx to the likes of Steve Jobs and others, we are empowered to do our own thing, after all, it is our music…we are the creators! God will show us all the way.

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

    Let’s talk about this statement, “The world of having gatekeepers deciding who gets let in, is gone.” While there are more roads to travel than ever in regards to publicly being heard, there are, and will always be “gate keepers” in the industry. In many ways, I have no problem with that. Why? There still needs to be a filter somewhere. An artist may be able to make a decent living selling albums “out of their trunk” and doing some low-mid level touring but they still need that someone to take them to the next level. You can’t just go into NBC and say, “Hey, I’d love to get my album on your network’s shows!” While simply asking can get you a long way, it’s just not the way it happens past a certain level.

    Thankfully, there are companies like Tinderbox Music that can be an intermediary between us “indies” and quite a few networks and other various ways of sharing the music and getting some monetary return. And, not all record labels are bad. I’d love to sit down with ATO Records, even if just to talk music and discuss their business models. RCA (Ray Lamontagne, Dave Matthews Band, etc) comes to mind as well…and even Columbia (Avett Brothers, Derek Trucks Band, etc) has some great artists, as do nearly all of the majors.

    It’s just about what you’re willing to negotiate in order to attain “fame” or at least more exposure. Despite however anyone feels about the late night hosts, who wouldn’t jump on the opportunity to perform on one of their shows? (P.S. I’d be all over performing on Conan!) Exposure on that level just isn’t going to happen for 99% of the people who don’t give up a little something along the way.

    I’ve mentioned this on another TuneCore blog, but I can’t help but think of Ray Lamontagne. I dug up an old interview that was done right as his second album came out and he was saying that although Trouble (first release, RCA) sold 400k+ copies, he’d be broke if it weren’t for touring. Now, think about it…the man’s living pretty well now and probably better than if he would have kept doing coffee shops and small theaters in Maine, yeah? I’m willing to bet he didn’t do too bad with those first few years of touring as well. Sure, they put pressure on him to add a horn section to his hit “You are the Best Thing” but his latest album was recorded at his home studio, is raw, organic, a purist’s dream…

    So, all of that being said, I love, love, love that we have TuneCore, Tinderbox, etc, on our side but depending on what you want out of the music and your life, decisions and sacrifices are either made or not. Would I sign with a major in these uncertain times? I’m not sure I can answer that definitively until I saw the papers in front of me. Would I sign with another indie label? I’d definitely listen to what they have to say. I only have 24 hrs in the day and honestly, the more success I’m having, the less time I have to write, sing, and play my guitar. Handing over some of those responsibilities don’t sound too bad to me right now. 

    Cheers…

    http://www.daveowensmusic.com

    • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

      Agree with everything that you said, Dave….and well said.

      http://www.evaeva.net

  • Kevin Wood

    For those of you who say music “should” be free, PLEASE read this:

    http://www.petapixel.com/2012/01/10/this-photograph-is-not-free/

    What a great little article stating the case for artists.

    I find that in most cases, not all, but in most cases, the folks who say music should be given away for free are either 1) consumers who haven’t been accustomed to paying for it in the past and are enjoying the free ride ‘thank you very much’, or 2) folks involved in the streaming (which is near free) or piracy business.  It is in their best interest to make these far-fetched arguments for free music. 

    Regarding “free”, most artists I know are very willing and happy to give away a free track or two, and occasionally a free album for promotional purposes. But those who say all of our catalog should be available for free on file sharing sites, which is what they are espousing, are not speaking rationally.  Under this reasoning, why would anything be for sale?  We’d cease to live in a capitalist society.  How would you like it if whatever work you do and makes you money in this world was no longer given compensation?  My guess is you’d stop showing up for work because you wouldn’t work for free.  That’s called volunteering, but volunteering is a choice. Yet our music is available on file sharing sites day and night without our permission, while having no recourse to having it removed.

    One more thing on capitalism.  Interestingly, much is written about the topic of ethical behavior and capitalism and how, in order for capitalism to be successful, ethical behavior must generally be the norm, otherwise the system risks failure.

    The main problem in my view is that artists and the music industry haven’t stood up as a unified force and demanded lawmakers do something, like Britain and Sweden have.

    I wish I had the time, energy, and the know-how to start an “Occupy Piracy” movement, but unfortunately, I am too busy trying to make ends meet for my family. 

    I am calling out to Jeff, to CDBaby, to artists . . . sound engineers, producers, performers, promoters and managers to come together and form a cause — piracy will no longer be tolerated. We demand change and lawmakers must heed our words or lose our support.

    Jeff, you’ve made a huge difference in this world with your work, and for that, I am grateful.  But if you can somehow unite us and confront piracy in an effective way, you could be one of the prestigious CNN “Heroes” of 2012.  You’d certainly be mine.

    • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

      Hear, HEAR, Kevin.  I went to the article, and posted a comment there.  Thanks for your comments, we need to keep pushing for this to be brought from the status of a marginalized opinion to a front-and-center issue.

      http://www.evaeva.net

      • Keith

         Your music is crap, you’re singing is flat most of the time and no mixing or mastering engineers are apparent on the recordings at MySpace, people would have to be mad or tone deaf to part with money for it. 

        • http://www.evaeva.net/ EvaEva

          Thanks, Keith.

          • Keith

             &  Dave

            Hi Eva, Dave is right I could have been a little more subtle, in my defence 30 years in A&R does make one a little blunt.

            But, to be fair you have spent some time here telling people how great your music is, your ego overtook you and you posted a link, fortunately for you ‘I’ bothered to listen.

            If these recordings were done in a studio find another studio, and different engineers for your next project.  See if you can find a talented producer to work with you, they will be able to put the ‘flats’ right at the very least.  Singing flat is not an uncommon problem and is usually easily fixed.  Rule of thumb – get a good recording and there’s less to fix in the mix, less to fix in the mix means less to do in mastering.  Don’t let your mixer, master, always a good idea to use a second engineer to master, a second pair of fresh ears.

            Rates vary around the world of course but if you were recording a 12 track album I would budget at least 10 days in the studio and hope to do it in less, a good mixer should be taking at least 2 days per track.  If the recording and mixing are great a good masterer should knock out all 12 tracks in a no pressure working week or less. If you’re using quality people all around in Europe you wouldn’t have much change out of 18,000 euros for this project.

            Getting a top quality job is hugely expensive, but at least then you will be in a position to justifiably say “My music isn’t free!”

            Of course you’ll hear ‘stories’ “We made our first album in my Dad’s garage with one microphone and a cassette recorder – and we sold a million!”  ‘If’ these stories were true they were unimaginably fortunate, and you can bet your life they didn’t make the second album in Dad’s garage.

            All the best Eva, and good luck with all your future projects!

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

            Thanks for the well thought out reply – shoot me a msg sometime, I’d love to talk about all of this further.

          • Keith

            Anytime, check your .info Dave.

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

          (TuneCore, forgive the off-subject response here…)

          My first question is – where can we hear your music? My second one is – why are you approaching another artist like this? Has she attacked you or your music and I’m not aware of it? I listened to Eva’s music as well and I agree that it could use some producing but bashing it is not productive by any means.

          Usually when a vocalist is consistently flat/sharp, there’s more going on that needs to be addressed to maximize their performance (as opposed to a vocalist who’s all over the place with their pitch, that’s harder to correct most of the time). A few weeks ago I was asked to come in and help produce, arrange, and do some guitar work on a studio project. The vocalist was a young lady who was still finding her voice. When I heard the demos, I wasn’t all that excited. She was flat, sounded uninspired, and I could tell she was singing in an uncomfortable range. So, I brought my capo along and suggested we drop the first song down to D instead of Eb (not sure why they had decided on that key in the first place, but that’s a different story altogether). Immediately, she was nailing it – her pitch was spot on, vibrato was strong and controlled, and she was inspired to branch out with the music and ad lib (something she hadn’t approached yet).

          It’s amazing what a little constructive criticism can do for an artist. Not everyone can hear what the “problem” is and it can be tough when other people who aren’t fully qualified to make those kind of decisions are telling someone otherwise. In the case above, it was the young girl’s “vocal coach” who had minimal experience and even told me after the session that she couldn’t sound out music – if it wasn’t written in front of her, she couldn’t work it out.

          Eva – I commend you for doing the style of music you’re pursuing, not too many people are willing to move outside the pop styles. Maybe experiment with the keys a little and surround your project with people who are familiar with the style you are pursuing (if you haven’t already). I’m asked often about how to find the right producer/recording team and I always tell artists to find someone who LIKES your music. It’s amazing how much time, energy, and money can be wasted with the wrong TEAM. 

  • pika pene

    nah man, music  industry’ ant going , down we just’ running out off !! room    ..places to hide ?/ there for ‘ we have not much too say, or live for !! what, you think ..”’ 

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.wassef Mike Rustle-Ramzeez Wassef

    I know the #secrettosavetheworLD of this injustice! You just have to #occupyYOURmind with constructive thoughts. We all all need to @dosomething:twitter to #savetheworLD from the 2012 apocalypse! We need to come up with an #antidote4Dapocalypse. Maybe @laterdaysrock has one? 

  • http://www.gentlegiantproductions.us/ Yancy Johnson

    Thank You TuneCore for lighting the path into uncharted territory and making this industry what it should be….GentleGiant Productions is with you all the way.

  • Lars

    Couldn’t have put it better myself. The problem with record exec. Is that they never ever wanted or tried to understand the new technology. The kids today still love music as much as kids did in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s but now they go about another way to get it.

  • Colin P. Sumpter

    I recorded my songs about children on a Pro Tools system which a band friend of mine offered to let me use for free. The guinea pig idea. They didn’t know alot about the bells and whistles and I think it would have sounded better done flat professionally. But it was free to the extent that I wrote a blues and a rock song for my buddy who I used to perform with. I have sold some albums in  the first week, maybe 12 as old friends who I used to give CDs to actually ponied up. I wrote in a different genre for this; One friend said I was a genreless genius and another used to be friend said I was flat as a pancake. If it goes OK Jeff I actually have some backing and will try a couple of my southern blues rock stuff CDs, recorded professionally. I don’t know how the Keith EvaEva soap is going but as Rodney said, “Can’t we all just get along and get a million a self-critiqued hit” Neil Young said to Paul McCartney “Linda used to play music and now she is music.” We are all music. My genreless CD is “Childlike” and I believe we should look at music with the wonder of a child. Isn’t that sweet. I’m straight and married and can take a punch as my wife will affirm. I hope you all make some bucks while enjoying your part in the process.

  • Colin Sumpter

    Not much going on and I guess I wasn’t on subject. Pretty new to talking with hundreds of musicians. I think unless we really have some money like Elton John did and could produce a good product and back it; get it out there, we can only network. Tell friends, family, co’workers or whoever to listen to the streams and if they like it tell someone else. If you are good, perform for the gate. In the 80s every bar had a band. I played regionally and bought an MG and paid my rent and partied the rest away. I played at least ten of my own songs nightly and they (some became requests) I was just there for the party. It wasn’t work and I made quite a bit.but like a million others got into the party mode. Now in my mid 50s gigs are tough to get. It mostly DJs and a different crowd. So now I am working at it. I sent a great cassette and picture to Columbia, Warner  Bros. and when I got a reject in 1983 I just went back to gigs. What a schmuck. I would really like to have the musicians and writers of Tunecore offer constructive criticism to those who ask for it. Most musicians are into their own thing and not a chance that we could help each other.  It is sad that the ego locked onto the talent.

    • Kraig Dean

      FINALLY SOMEONE IS RELATING HIS EXPERIENCE WITH THE MUSIC BUSINESS FROM GIGS IN LOCAL HOLES TO ATTEMPTS AT SHOOTING DEMOS TO MAJOR LABELS. What bothered me the most however Colin, was when you said “now in my mid-50s gigs are hard to get etc.”. Now, I don’t mean your birthdate #,

      I mean how the local music scene has changed. I live in Phoenix, AZ and the 80s were the ONLY decade it managed to actually create a genuine excitement locally with three bands, mine included, making some really good modern rock (not the goofy Devo or B-52s shlock) but U2 and The Clash style “new wave”. Mostly we played our own material but got our initial crowd by playing record-perfect versions of new wave covers. Back then the tough part was that few, if any, clubs had their own PA System or lighting. Now most clubs have a great in-house system overall. But I played out for the first time in years after forming my own hard rock band with a 15 song demo as a way for the other players to learn the songs I recorded, wrote all songs, played instruments. Thought I was going to skip having to play live gigs but no such luck. I don’t have many friends these days and neither did my band members. We came across clubs that want the bands to sell tickets for

      for $10 advance or $15 at the door, clubs that expected ME the booking agent in the band, to supply the opening acts???? WTF?? We lost our 20-year-old drummer and the bass player insists we “push on” and get back out there. Look, I’ve been doing this for decades and have almost run out of any desire to play gigs. I LOVE RECORDING AND COULD SPEND EVERY WAKING HOUR WRITING AND RECORDING SONGS. TO HELL WITH THE CLUBS. I know some of you out there are gonna tell me “well its hard work and you got to do it”. REALLY? Suck up to today’s club owners c’os they know they have you exactly where they want you? There is NO scene that I can see except for this nu-metal thing which is a BANDWAGON FROM HELL. The bands attract a crowd c’os they play originals that sound like Green Day and Marilyn Manson. They play for the club, not themselves. And where am I to find 50-100 new fans (no , facebook ain’t the place for musicians as I have found out). Was a time just being a tight, great band with great songs secured your local crowd. Seems I’m not a part of that party anymore. Or perhaps there is still hope……….I’m all ears TUNECORE. HEAR MY MATERIAL AT reverbnation.com/medusaphx. Its a sound I believe to be one of a kind though at times it does have comparisons but what new bands don’t?
       

  • Colin P. Sumpter

    Thank you Kraig for sharing that memory of mine, (Oh, that was Your’s?) The thing is I did it in the cultural center of the US. Lincoln NE. The band’s lead guitarist and piano player was Ed Meradith. He played in my band for the money because we played what was hot at the time, Outlaws, Eagles, Jerry Jeff Walker and wrote accordingly. After a couple of half hearted attempts, I went on to teach writing, He went East. I guess he is the only true success story of a friend hitting it big. It was 2006 and he released Swim. Check it out. I called him and he told me about it and that is the only CD I bought last year. He never sold out, except for playing in my band when we were young. All that to say, I didn’t have the stick to it-ness to push my music. When I said that it is hard to find gigs, it is partly because of my location, but mostly because I don’t have a band. Funny? Funny how? Actually, I played some songs I wrote for a wealthy young bassist. I mean some real money. He immediately said we need to get it out and that he would cover facilities and the whole shooting match. I do have the personnel. Top shelf. Not like Edward.but good. I just hate that I waited so long to get it. I have so much fun recording and performing that I didn’t want to work it out. I waited twenty five years for someone to knock on my door and would have died waiting had I not done a little work, like  uploading an off the wall CD to TC and found a crazy bass player with money. CRAZY, Redundant. You’ll either say I chatted with him when or speak of me in hushed tones. The Majors can take it right up (write up) The Dirt Road.

  • Galaxyx9

    really the downfall is with proprietary devices and the inability for artists to reach the consumer as it has always been. The INDUSTRY would rather push total garbage at the listening pulic and tell them THIS IS GREAT ! when no one cares and no one is actually buying it !
     Besides the fact that the delivery of music is out of the stores and off of the tapes and records and now CD’s are over too It certainly leaves alot of question to how the industry with or without the Labels will proceed. However ! NOW ! us artists have a chance to bring back the live performance aspect of music and we can own it. There WILL be a battle for venues and the indipendants must get out there now before the “INDUSTRY” takes over even the smallest venues ! TuneCore leads the way for product placement assistance yet it is up to the artist to get out there and DO IT ! Gooood Luck ! and break a leg !

  • Foxy Houligan

    Ok, Im selling CDs and singles and a few streams. I have been goin coast to coast to family and friends. They are buying but how many friends and family members does anyone have close enough to even listen and possibly buy? Jeff, I have had local reviews saying must buy for parents and grandparents. That is great but you know if we really are competing and being loyal to the degree that we upload to you, what is the next step? You can’t lose if we sell nothing, as long as the card is good. My God, is that it? I am sparsely nationwide. How do we compete? Really. How do we get it out there? You say the majors are finished. Where are the sweepings?

  • Colin P, Sumpter

    I feel like I walked outside and couldn’t find a living soul. I am a wind borne cloud looking for a pretty woman without an umbrella to muss up her hair; wash off her makeup and get a good look to see if it’s you. Edward, are you on this site, lost your number starboy. I am not talkin union, I am talking let’s figure out how to get the good stuff out. Maybe I’m not that ONE but I would be so happy to be a part of pushin’ talent to the forefront, regardless of the genre. Come on, enough of the complaining of how it was. Let’s talk about how we want it to be. I can’t even imagine how many intelligent souls are out there indie wise. “Im not giving it away” Give a little. “This is work like anything else”. No, It is fun and if you were endowed with enough talent that people will look for you, find a medium to find you. I’ve never heard a top 100 golfer complaining. I played in front of 5,000 people opening act. You know they got  ten thou and we got promo made us ten thou over the next couple of months. We got three encores and they got two. You can only get so drunk or high. Come on, IDEAS>

  • Kraig Dean

    Correct me if I’m wrong but here’s the way it works: Nirvana (love ’em or hate ’em – I dug ’em) released their “indie” CD BLEACH and they had a major talent in Kurt Cobain despite his being a real troubled lad. Seattle was their Mission Control and they had just landed on the moon when they found the perfect producer who went crazy over NEVERMIND. He produced them like nobody

    else could have, got ’em a record deal on a MASSIVE RECORD LABEL CALLED A&M who had the advance money to push these three grungers into orbit. Then Kurt lost control and forgot what it was like to have a lousy rotten day job – he should have worked ONE 40 hour week in a basket making factory to snap him out of his anti-famous funk. Then maybe the drugs would have been effective again. Topping NEVERMIND was apparently not on his agenda and no one should deviate from a winning formula when signed to THE GIANT ONES.

    Look at Van Halen’s plan of attack way back when punk was all over the place. They wrote great 3:45 min rockers and just kept getting better with each successive album. And THEY were signed to THE GIANT ONES, with big money flowing like the booze they knocked back. Is it not clear that most musicians who suck don’t get why they suck? Your in big trouble when you don’t “get it”. http://www.reverbnation.com/medusaphxCheck out my songs from my band MEDUSA. We’re still trying to replace our moron drummer, let alone get a record deal. And then we have to hit the clubs again. This is a TOUGH, ROUGH business. Got great songs? Stick around long enough and you too might get signed to THE GIANT ONES.

  • Kraig Dean

    http://www.reverbnation.com/medusaphxMY LINK GOT PARTIALLY CUT OFF SO I RE-POSTED IT. NO MORE BEING MODEST: I BELIEVE IF A MAJOR LABEL INVESTED IN MY STYLE OF HARD ROCK I WOULD RELEASE A GOLD CD AND TOP EVERY ONE THEREAFTER. HOW? BECAUSE I HAVE AN ENDLESS SUPPLY OF GEAT SONGS.

    TECHNICALLY I HAVE MY FIRST THREE 12 SONG CDS ALREADY TO GO. WHAT I DON’T HAVE IS MY HOME STUDIO ANYMORE BUT I’LL GET IT BACK SOON ENOUGH. THE ONLY THING MY SONGS NEED IS TO BE PROFESSIONALLY MASTERED – NO ONE CAN MASTER THEIR OWN CD WITH CUBEBASE OR PRO TOOLS OR PLAY DOUGH FOOLS; MASTERING IS AS FINE AN ART AS PRODUCING, BOB ROCK ON METALLICA’S BLACK ALBUM FOR EXAMPLE. YEAH YOU MIGHT GET THE OVERALL MIX UP A FEW db’s BUT YOU’LL NEVER MATCH THE BIG HITTERS. YOU’LL BOTCH THE PARAMETRIC EQ OR LOSE A GREAT DRUM MIX. BUT ASIDE FROM THAT, I HAVE THE PRODUCT AND IT HAS A HEART, SOUL AND MOST OF ALL IS CONSISTENT. A FEW OF ‘EM ON OUR SITE NEED RE-WRITES, THEY COULD BE BETTER IN CERTAIN AREAS. I KNOW I DON’T SUCK BUT YOU CAN BET SOMEONE WILL THINK MY SONGS SUCK. OVERALL HOWEVER I GET RAVE REVIEWS. BUT I GOTS NO MAJOR LABEL, NO BOB ROCK OR MILLION DOLLAR STUDIO ACCESS. I’M SCREWED.

  • Kraig Dean

    http://www.reverbnation.com/medusaphx
    DAMN IT!! MEDUSAPHX, MEDUSAPHX IS THE LAST PART. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT TUNECORE?

    • Colin P. Sumpter

      Love your passion; I’ve got 35 ready to rumble. good; great; grammy; might even have one in the Wiggles division uploaded on Tunecore. For my children. Comparing those songs to the Wiggles though is like comparing Colbane to Alvin. Got a review on Amazon, blew my socks off. Guess you can buy reviews though. Can you clarify MEDUSAPHX?

  • http://reverbnation.com/aquablauw Aquablauw

    It’s about time, that we indie artists, start to build our own label.Maroon5 showed, by using their own Octone label, they made a deal with A&M to split their label. The growth of internet use and the ability to have TuneCore digitally place our music all over the world, makes us artist to start our own Indie Record Label. For more info, Google search, aquablauw….and see for yourself. Our cut is 70 cents, off the 99 cents they charge the song buyer of the artist, like itunes, amazon, rhapsody, etc.That gives us full control, were major labels lost their politics and buddy-buddy system. Their Glory and Power soon will be washed off the face of the Earth.