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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tunecore & You

So there are a few people out there who are pissed with the new fee rate hike for using Tuncore to distribute your music. It is incoincodential, that peoepl use these type of outlets to embrace their independence from "Big Box" record labels. So this is the scoop.

Tuncore has raised their fees by more than 150% for the indie artist. They have silently placed this fees in your que when you go to renew your account. The price went from $19.95 a year to $49.95. What? Well i can admit, I tried their services to not make one cooper penny from their outlet. In addition, they wanted me to renew for a higher price from the original price of 12.95? That was two years agao. Since that time I have watched their fees contiue to increase with noe return on my investment. So i stopped using their services. Well of course they had my Street Formation album removed from the iTunes catalg. Alot of peoepl are experiencing being lost in the haystack of over ten million artist and available downloads. How does any independent artist stand out in tha thaystack. Being that I am an electronic dance artist this really didn't make any sense. Third, I never got one dime from using Tunecore. Any money that I have made off my music has been purely from direct sales of CD Baby. Ever heard of them? Well, I suggest them as your main indie outlet for all types of artist. They really indiviualize and embrace each artist equally.

So Digital Music News has teamed up with BFM Digital to ease the sores from the fee increase.
Update, 5:30 pm PCT: BFM Digital is now stepping in with an offer to lure artists unhappy with the situation. BFM is waiving all setup and UPC fees (three-album minimum) for artists, and the company does not have renewal or hosting fees. To take advantage of this deal, email and put "No Fees" in the subject line."

I posted the original article to twitter and Tuncore actually responed with this:
@shefm More like TuneCore added 34 new features and lowered some prices. he stole our "quietly" line! :)

Well this is what their blog says:
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 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
Let’s just go with a flat:

• $49.99 a year for an album (unlimited songs and stores)
• $9.99 per year for a single (unlimited stores)
• $9.99 per year for a ringtone
Let’s also roll out volume discounts, where TuneCore customers can pre-buy distribution at discounted prices (in packs of 5, 10 or 20, with savings up to 14%).

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.

My question is why? weren't these service available from the start? And some of these services come automatic with other distributors and they were just catching up!
Well you be the judge! Talk to you soon!