Adapting To The New Music Industry

They say one year on the Net is like five years in the “real world,” in regards to the music industry, one year sure feels like 15.

When we launched TuneCore half a decade ago (sounds more impressive than five years) we built a system to change the music industry and empower and serve artists.  Since then, the industry has changed and evolved: new stores have popped up, others have shut down; more music is being released, bought, streamed and shared as major labels downsize, release less music, consolidate, put themselves up for sale or get taken over by banks.  Music sales by unit are up another 1.5% in 2010 (around 1.6 billion units).  With the rumored forthcoming “cloud services from Google, Apple and Amazon and Spotify entering the US, the concept of over a trillion units being streamed or bought per year is no longer fantasy. Over the past 28 months alone, TuneCore Artists have sold over 300 million units generating over $150 million in gross music sales.  Most of these TuneCore Artists are also the songwriter, the publishing company, and the performer, earning them over $100 million more in additional revenue from each of these additional income streams (more on the six legal copyrights that drive the music business can be found here).


Based on the market changes, it was time to invest, build and launch new upgrades, improvements and feature sets.


First up the accounting system – we looked at the old music industry royalty system and did the exact opposite. Artists deserve transparent, timely and clear sales information with instant access to every single dollar, dime, penny or fraction of penny.

The new upgraded accounting system lets you filter your sales information by release, song, store, as well as by best selling release or single, all in whatever timeframe you choose.

At the click of a few buttons, you can easily view the results of any promotion, tour dates, email campaign or video upload to YouTube.

You can also easily create and download custom reports around collaborated songs or releases to see how much money is owed to you and to the other artist or producer for just that one track or release.

In addition, we upgraded the system to display up to 14 places to the right of the decimal point.  Unlike some other services, we will never ever round down and trim off any percentage of the money made from the sale or paid stream of your music. You deserve a clear and transparent lens into how your music is selling, how much you made and a way to get the money from those sales as soon as possible.


There will be no more monthly or one-time charges for iTunes trend reports; they are now free. Each iTunes trend report shows detailed information about the person who bought your music in iTunes–this can include the US city, state, zip code (in the US) or postal code (outside of the US)–while providing information on how much music you sold and how much money you should expect.


To help you get your music out and collect more fan emails, each TuneCore account now gets up to 25 streaming media players at no additional cost. Your custom-made media player can be placed on Facebook, MySpace, your website, and other social networks. Each player allows you to stream your songs, have iTunes buy links as well as plug into your YouTube channel, Twitter account, list tour dates and link to any other website. You can also give away a song for free in exchange for an email address.


As more artists are creating and releasing music more quickly, we overhauled the entire upload system, allowing faster and up to 100 simultaneous song uploads at a time. When your song upload is complete, you can now playback each song to assure it is the right track.


We are also working directly with Apple to help set up your own exclusive Artist Ping Account allowing you to connect directly with iTunes customers and show them videos, tour dates, playlist of music and more.  (You can click here to download the registration form and click here to read more about Ping on our blog page.)

There are additional stores and new services being launched as we move through the year – as always, these will be opt in at your discretion.

We built this system because the industry needs it and artists deserve it. Please keep your suggestions coming! We view it as our job to serve you, not the other way around.


  • Hi Jeff, Thanks for all these incredible tunecore improvements. The free trend reports are much appreciated! And I’m very impressed by the new accounting speed, look, feel and functionality. I love, for example, that I can filter out to see only ringtone sales in a specific date range.
    Something that would be really helpful is a way that tunecore artists could submit BIOGRAPHY information that iTunes could build into our artist page (where our albums are listed). Currently this is only extracted from AllMusic, but unfortunately Allmusic does not process every submission of bio information, and only adds bios at their discretion, re-writing them with their own editing team.
    To me this seems like something that the Apple Ping team could help facilitate since it’s more directly pertaining to iTunes pages specifically, and maybe Pandora artist pages too (which also extract bios from AllMusic) could work with a new portal of bio info that Tunecore makes. (NOTE to artists unfamiliar with Pandora, see and this is a separate online service from Tunecore ) So iTunes and Pandora could potentially have a programming logic that first attempts to extract the artist bio data from Allmusic and IF not available at Allmusic, then extracts from the Tunecore bio database.
    Also, along the lines of artist pages at iTunes, it would be wonderful if iTunes could design a portal from which we, or tunecore programmers could influence a color scheme, look and feel, similar to the customized pages they allow for major label artists.

    •  Customized pages would indeed be a huge step forward. I’d love to see that happen.

  • I would like to be a recording artist and I’ve dabbled with applications and gadgets for mixing my music. Now I want to work with a recording studio and I was wondering how to go about finding one that can help me perfect my craft.

  • Your change in accounting seems to assume that everyone using Tunecore is the actual artist. We are a label and suddenly I am trying to close out my quarter and gather information to pay other publishers and can’t seem to access the information I used to be able to access on a spread sheet. I need to be able to print spreadsheets of income we received in January, Feb. and March of 2011 but can only access a spreadsheet through Jan. 2011 now. I think it is grea to add new ways of filtering the information but I found the old system easier and necessary to get my quarter closed out. I am now waiting for someone from Tunecore to call me.

  • Hey Kathy,
    Thanks for writing. Someone on the Artist Support team will be getting back to soon, but to give you some info now about what has changed…
    Now, on the downloadable monthly sales reports,the month for which you are viewing monthly sales are actually the sales for that month. For example, if you see sales for November 2010, this reflects sales that took place in November 2010 (unlike the old system, where November 2010 sales showed in the report for January 2011). So the January 2011 report shows sales from January 2011, and when the February 2011 sales come out soon, they will be posted under February 2011 in your account.
    Sorry for the confusion! You’ll be receiving more details shortly.

  • Ben

    You forgot to mention that these options which are now part of the basic package and other improvements come with a 250% increase in renewal fees.

  • huh?

  • Ben

    I’ve gotten my renewal notice and the fee is now 49.99$. That is 2.5X the fee of 19.98$ that was advertized when I signed up a year ago. Now I can see how some of the improvements will benefit some of the artists that sell a certain number of albums but that is not my case. Sadly I have not been able to make enough money to cover the old renewal fee and I am now considering letting my release expire. I guess I wish these features had remained options.

  • yes, it is absolutely unacceptable that the renewal fees have gone up that much without warning. please explain, dear tunecore!

  • How to get a record deal

    oh !!
    i am not believing yar!!!!!!!!

  • Livingthemusic

    TELL ME THAT IS NOT TRUE!!! Renewal fees AFTER advertising $19.98 per year????? What a scam..

  • Baileycarternss

    Very well put! As a musician, active for about 15 years I welcome the changes. I like the idea of having full control over my work. It’s fair. It’s freedom.____________-
    bailey Builders

  • It was nice to find your site. I am now just beginning to sell music online. What a great tool for musicians

  • Pingback: Not Good Enough | Outside The Box Music()

  • Pingback: The Mainstream Music Establishment Wants You To Think You’re Not Good Enough()

  • Pingback: ARLIVE 5.0 – The Music Industry EdgeMainstream to Indies: Your Music Isn't Good Enough - ARLIVE 5.0 - Music Industry Edge()

  • Pingback: An Artist’s Guide To SOPA | Outside The Box Music()