A Look Back at 2015: TuneCore Artists Shine

TuneCore Artists came out swinging for the fences in January of 2015 and rode the momentum all year. As a digital distributor offering creators the chance to get their music to the world without the help of a label, we’re unbelievably proud of the artists who use our services.

From country to hip hop, indie rock to electronica, and everything in between, here are some TuneCore Artist accolades we’re proud to have helped make a reality!

See you at the GRAMMYs!
GRAMMY Awards 2016

TuneCore artists, songwriters and arrangers are making some serious waves in the GRAMMY nomination pool:

“Shame” off the album Black Rose by Tyreese is nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best R&B Song.

“Glory” off the Selma Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Common and John Legend is nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Rap Song, and Best Song Written For Visual Media.

Fun Home is nominated for Best Musical Theater Album.

Other notable artists who have called TuneCore home for past releases that are nominated for GRAMMYs this year include Lori Henriques, Jose-Luis Orozoco, Natalie Jah Cure, Ai Kamauu, The Milk Carton Kids, Alex Cuba, Hayes Carl, Patrick Williams, Joey+Rory, and Lori McKenna. Good luck to all!

Cleaning up at the Latin GRAMMYs
Latin GRAMMY Awards 2015

In addition to the American ceremony of a year in music, we’re proud of our TuneCore Artists who were nominated and won in November during the Latin GRAMMYs:

Monsieur Perinè – winner, Best New Artist

Derroche De Amor by Alex Campos – winner, Best Christian Album

Nada Es Demasiado by Mojito Lite – nominee, Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Flamboyàn by Camila Luna  – nominee, Best Pop/Rock Album

Son 45 by Ismael Miranda – nominee, Best Salsa Album

Buen Comino by Lucas Arnau – nominee, Best Contemporary Tropical Album

Esa Morena by Daiquiri – nominee, Best Tropical Fusion Album

Additional TuneCore nominees included Aida Cuevas, Mariachi Fior De Tolache, Diego Verdaguer, Los Gallitos, Perdi La Pose, Emmanuel y Linda, Tercer Cielo, Rockcito, Chini y Nacho, and Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. Congrats!

Taking Home the Tonys

Directed by Sam Gould, the production of Fun Home won Best Musical at the 2015 Tony Awards. TuneCore is proud to be the choice distributor for it’s original soundtrack – congrats to all involved!

Fun Home Musical

TuneCore Live, SXSW, Indie Artist Forum

2015 was a crazy busy year for our live event game. We offered artists the opportunity to play live in LA, Brooklyn, and Austin for our TuneCore Live event series; hit SXSW to support and celebrate our artists; and hosted our first ever Indie Artist Forum!

Check out all the highlights from those events at our 2015 Wrap Up page here.

A3C Fest 2015

For the second year in a row, TuneCore was honored to be named the official Distribution and Music Publishing Administration Sponsor of A3C Festival – the annual pillage to Atlanta, where hip hop rules. From showcases to panels, A3C is the preeminent melting pot of producers, MCs, industry folks, and of course, hip hop heads.

This year, with the announcement of our brand new Atlanta office, we brought our TuneCore Live series down south, featuring an awesome line up of up-and-comers, and a surprise close-out from the one and only Young Jeezy!

SNL Takes a Chance on Indie Talent

Speaking of indie hip hop – Chance the Rapper got the opportunity to wow America by becoming the first unsigned artist to ever perform on Saturday Night Live! He performed his latest single, “Somewhere in Paradise”, as well as “Sunday Candy” – both distributed via TuneCore.

Chance The Rapper SNL

Soaring With Pigeons and Planes

Tastemaking music blog Pigeons and Planes always have their finger on what’s hot and new in hip hop, electronica, indie and pop. It’s only natural that when they listed their Best New Artists of 2015, TuneCore was well represented! Check out where they ranked:

#4 – Smino
#7 – Post Malone
#9 – Cousin Stizz
#13 – London O’Connor
#17 – AJ Tracey
#22 – dev09
#23 – Sjowgren
#27 – Leisure
#30 – Dylan Brady
#42 – KAMAU

In With the Pitchfork Crowd

Speaking of super influential blogs that compose super entertaining (and well written) lists each year, TuneCore Artists made it onto the staff list of 100 Best Tracks of 2015 over at Pitchfork! See how they fared:

#16 – “Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment
#43 – “Flex” by Rich Homie Quan
#64 – “Angels (ft. Saba)” by Chance the Rapper
#83 – “Seeds” by Moses Sumney
#96 – “Nelly” by Isaiah Rashad

iTunes Best Of 2015 – Hitting All the Genres

This year our pals at iTunes rounded up their ‘best of’ and TuneCore Artists were popping up all over the place! Check out how they performed in each genre below:

Alternative Singles: 
#35 “Drag” by Daywave

Blues Albums:
#19 While the Cat’s Away by Matt Woosey
#20 Fantastic Negrito (Deluxe Edition) by Fantastic Negrito

Christian & Gospel Singles:
#15 “The Well” by JJ Heller
#38 “Destiny” by Tina Campbell

Country Albums:
#19 Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 by Randy Rogers

Hip Hop Albums:
#2 Surf by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment

Indie Albums:
#9 Surf by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment

R&B Albums:
#16 Aviary, Act 1 by Eryn Allen Kane

Singer Songwriter Albums:
#8 For the Taking by Elenowen
#15 Golden Age by Daniel Martin Moore

#8 Spotlight Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Needless to say, 2015 was a great year for our artists. Got some highlights and milestones of your own? Tell us about ’em in the comment section! Remember – whether it’s a first tour, a new release, or even just signing up with TuneCore, every step you take towards growing your music career is vital!

Wednesday Video Diversion: December 30, 2015

What’s that, you say? It’s the LAST Wednesday Video Diversion of the YEAR?! Well, bottoms up folks. There’s a good chance you’re not in the classroom or the office this week, but there’s an even better chance you need some sort of audio visual stimulation to keep from getting bored. We’ve got the remedy – see you in 2016!

Mario Ruiz & Omar Cruz, “Good Boy Killa”

Fossil Collective, “Let It Go”

Benny Bugz, “Scream (A Tale Of Two Cities Remix)”

K. Sparks, “Sunshine”

Celebration Worship, “You Amaze Us”

L.A. Funk Corporation, “Vertigo (Let’s Get Down Tonight)”

Dan Dyer, “While I Rest in a Cabin”

Polyenso, “Soda Pop Fiction”

A Silent Film, “Lightning Strike”

David Lei Brandt, “Latch”

December Songwriter News

By Dwight Brown

The holiday season is a perfect time to look back at the gains and challenges of 2015 and anticipate what direction songwriters should take in 2016.

Even in the midst of this rapidly changing digital age, the songwriting industry is booming, the U.S. Copyright Office could get an update, co-songwriters are getting advice on protecting their rights, music publishing can find new frontiers and you can sing “Happy Birthday” anytime, anywhere—for FREE.

This December, the world of songwriting and publishing continues to turn…

Business is booming for songwriters in the global market

upwards leading arrow in stock market exchange

Songwriters have been singing the blues about diminishing returns, but Music Business Worldwide, based on the findings of a leading industry economist Will Page (Spotify’s Director of Economics), thinks they should be rejoicing. To quote MBW, “Across 2014, the worldwide music copyright industry – that’s recorded music income plus publishing and songwriting (‘musical works’) – generated a grand total of $25.28 billion.” Breaking it down further, “… the income from publishing and songwriting (‘musical works’) was $11,338bn!  

Page was on a mission to give the publishing community facts that had not been extrapolated before, “I wanted to plug the knowledge gap, as industry analysts and professionals often don’t appreciate the sheer value of musical works that songwriters and publishers create,” says Page. His three keen observations:

  1. The songwriting/publishing sector is large and more importantly it’s growing!
  2. Collecting societies have been reporting ‘record collections,’ in contrast to the recording industry, which has seen its top line halve in size.
  3. Publishers are seeing direct revenues make up an increasing share of their business as they expand their licensing activities in areas like sync.

The global music market, for songwriters, is generating billions more dollars every year than most people thought.

New bill aims to modernize U.S. Copyright Office

Copyright intellectual property and digital copyright laws conceptual illustration with symbol and icon and a gavel on black background.

The U.S. Copyright Office could move out of the analog era into the digital era if three members of Congress can get their CODE Act (Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act) passed. MusicWeek points out that co-sponsor Congressman Tom Marino knows the deal, “…we have allowed our Copyright Office to fall behind the fast-moving pace of America’s creators… This bill will ensure the Office has great autonomy to more quickly adapt to changes in technology.” Congresswoman Judy Chu concurs, “The copyright industries are responsible for millions of jobs and billions of dollars in our economy, yet the office responsible is running on analog in a digital world.”

Key points in the bill:  

Remove Copyright Office from Library of Congress and make it independent.

– The President would appoint the Director of the Copyright Office.

– Administrative functions under Library of Congress become CO responsibilities.

Key powers and duties of the new Copyright Office:

– Advise Congress on national and international issues relating to copyrights.

– Provide advice and assistance to the Executive and Judiciary branches.

– Participate in meetings of international intergovernmental organizations.  

CO strategy:

Conduct “ongoing technology studies to ensure the office remains current with technology.”  

To read the entire text of the CODE Act, click here.

Do “split sheets” provide enough protection for co-writers?

Several American Dollars ripped or torn in half symbolizing the destruction of the economy

When songwriters co-create new music and work together they take credit for their work. Typically they sign a “split sheet,” a document that specifies each person’s contributions and ownership percentage on a given track. According to an article at Hypebot, Artists should make an effort to take further legal precautions in order to avoid issues down the road.” Having nothing more than a “split sheet” could cause some serious complications for co-composers if they don’t consider all possible outcomes.

These issues could be come a challenge if you only have a “split sheet:”

* The right to request a proper accounting from the other parties

* The right to recover certain documented expenses

* Proper attribution or credit on the finished work

* Indemnifications for potential unauthorized sampling

Clearly, the traditional “split sheet” may not be enough to serve all the best interests of co-songwriters.

Is streaming giving songwriters a raw deal, or is there hope?

Is the future looking up or down for songwriters seeking royalties from music streaming? A Music Business Worldwide article that summarized a MBW podcast delved into that subject when it featured a candid interview with Justin Kalifowitz, CEO of Downtown Music Publishing. Kalifowitz represents songwriting copyrights for artists from John Lennon to One Direction and is surprisingly  “very bullish” about the future of music publishing.

Regulations: “Quite simply, whenever the government’s not involved, publishers tend to get a much higher percentage of the overall pie.”

Metadata matching issues: “Less than 80% of [due money] is making its way to songwriters and publishers because of [meta] data issues.”

Forcing more value out of “Freemium” services: “As an industry if we continue to [allow that to happen], I think we’re going to be shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Here’s the silver lining: “When you think about the fact that less than one sixth of the world’s population currently lives in places where music publishing as an industry is mature, that’s a very exciting proposition.”

If there’s room for growth, there’s room for hope in 2016.



Team up with TuneCore Music Publishing Administration!

December News From Our Store Partners

By Dwight Brown

Good news. That’s what our store partners are giving artists this holiday season, as we look back on 2015 and forward to 2016.

Apple Music turns the streaming game into a competitive race. The Australian music service Guvera adds territories. Spotify may change the way artists can release music. And Saavn is branching out as it hits a new pinnacle.

A lot’s going on this time of year…

Pandora vs. Spotify vs. Apple Music: sprint or marathon?

Apple MusicA recent article on The Verge follows a heated race between Pandora (78M users and rapid growth), Spotify (75M and rapid growth) and Apple Music (6.5M new growth). “Unless it [Apple] can find something that will get users to pay for Apple Music en masse, it’s going to be stuck chasing Spotify and Pandora.”

Wired thinks otherwise, “Apple doesn’t need Apple Music to win, which is why it will. With a huge pile of cash and massive profits, Apple is under little pressure to show quick returns … Its size, its resources, its visibility—give the company a serious edge in streaming music.” And DigitalTrends quotes music business analyst Mark Mulligan’s report that says, “the music streaming service [Apple Music] will reach 20 million subscribers by the end of 2016. Is this a race between the Tortoise and the Hares?

More Apple Music News: Since early December, iTunes and Apple Music have listed two separate charts in all territories, so if artists have their music on both services, and it charts, now they’re doubling their visibility.  Apple Music is coming to Android. Apple Music is the exclusive distributor of the official concert film of Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour, reports Music Business Worldwide.

15 million users, expanding to U.S. and courting an IPO

Guvera is an international ad supported and subscription (ad-free) based music streaming service from Australia. It offers users access to millions of songs and expertly curated playlists from both local and international artists and labels. Now that it has reached 15 million users, Music Week reports it has an eye on jumping into the United States market.

GuveraThis is after Guvera launched in India and, according to Billboard, distinguished itself from other foreign streaming services by putting a bigger emphasis on securing streaming rights to popular Bollywood music. Said Guvera Chief Executive Darren Herft, “We’re the only [streaming service] in the world that has label agreements with labels like Sony on top of the biggest Bollywood label in India as well.” To meet its ambitious expansion goals, it [Guvera] has confirmed a $100 million “pre-IPO round” of funding. Guvera is currently in 17 countries—and counting.

Can Spotify’s Freemium survive? Who rocked Spotify in 2015?

SpotifyIs Spotify thinking about changing its practice of simultaneously making artists’ music available to both its paid subscription service (20M+ users) and “freemium” service (80M users)? Music Business World says, “…demands from significant players in the industry for Spotify to drop its ‘everything freemium’ rule are getting louder.” And MBW points out there is a precedent, “Earlier this year, a new track from UK rock band Muse ended up exclusively on the paid-for level of Spotify.” End of an era? New beginning? Just conjecture? Artists who want to “window” release their music will want to stay tuned to this story. So what is “windowing?” First, transactional sales (downloads, CDs, vinyl); Second, subscription streaming; Later, free streaming.

More News: TuneCore Artist Band Low Cut Connie and their song “Boozophilia” made the Spotify 2015 White House Presidential Playlist. Where do former TuneCore Artists go? To the top of Spotify’s 2015 Biggest Playlist Chart! Drake is the world’s most streamed artist of 2015, with over 1.8 billion streams. A new Spotify feature can create a list of local concerts for users based on their Spotify tastes.

$100M in funding. 18 million users. Music is just the beginning.

An article in Music Business Worldwide reports news about India’s leading streaming service, Saavn has secured $100 million in a new funding round led by Tiger Global Management – as the streaming competition in India heats up.” Apple Music and Guvera have put roots down in India; Spotify has yet to launch there.

SaavnSaavn views music streaming as a strong base, especially when it comes to its use on mobile phones (Androids), where music is driving data consumption and redefining mobile advertising. “We are building the best-in-class mobile entertainment ecosystem, with music as the foundation,” states Rishi Malhotra, CEO and co-founder of Saavn. Even more ambitiously, a Billboard article reveals that Saavn reaches 18M monthly users. And MBW profiled Saavn’s Gaurav Wadhwa, the new Vice President of Entertainment and Original Content, who will oversee development of Saavn’s moves into new genres, sports, comedy and other entertainment channels.

In 2015 TuneCore’s digital partners found new ways to keep a competitive edge that will help them and TuneCore artists grow in 2016.


New Music Friday: Holiday Edition!

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

I Heart The Holidays
Various Artists


Thinking About Drinking For Christmas
Kristian Bush

Country, Holiday

Merry & Bright
The Ellas

Big Band, Jazz

Magnolias & Mistletoe
Marc Broussard

Holiday, R&B/Soul

Jennifer Paige

Holiday, Pop

Merry Christmas To You

The Cains
Country, Holiday

Christmas Home
Tony DeSare

Holiday, Jazz

Ring Christmas Bells
Sara Stevens


Wednesday Video Diversion: December 23, 2015

Just a couple of days out from Christmas, and we’re celebrating in probably the least traditional fashion ever: showcasing our weekly round up of TuneCore Artist music videos! Consider this wonderful excuse to get distracted our little gift to you.

Red Letter Hymnal, “Hoverboard Song (EDM/Dubstep Version)”

Blackbear, “City of Dreams”

Drayter, “Run”

Jillian Kohr, “Moonshine Money”

Still Parade, “Fields”

Eazy, “Prodigal Son”

Troy Noka, “Bigger Than Me”

Tyler Colt, “Look At Me”

Brooklyn Duo, “Sleigh Ride (Cello + Piano Cover)”

Adanita Ross, “Free Falling”