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

Here’s the list:

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

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

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

These two are coming soon.

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

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

  • no more $7.98 extra a month for weekly iTunes trend reports (moving to daily shortly)
  • no more $1.98 per month for additional TuneCore media players (get 25 for free now)
  • no more $1.98 for al-la-carte trend reports
  • no more charges per song or per store when initially distributing your release
  • no additional charge for marketing and promotion
  • Lower prices on pre-buys of 5 and up (discounts of up to 14%)

On year two and forward, keep all the new things free, and change the price by $2.50 a month, everything else stays the same.

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

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

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