You’re going to want to TUNE into this


by Jackie Willson

[Late night shopping network voice] Attention all artists: if you are a talented musician looking to sell your work online and gain 100% of the profits that you deserve, look no further. We have found a solution. And no, there is no catch…are you still with us?

Seriously though, meet TuneCore, a new online music distribution company.  This is the place where you can sell your stuff.

Quip recently caught up with the head of Artist Promotions of TuneCore, Chris Mooney, to talk about this amazing site and the exciting launch of This little chat gave us insight on how artists can create a song and have it sold to multiple distribution companies without losing their rights or their money. “Sell your music, not your soul” could rightfully be their mantra.

In a nutshell, for $10 a single, or $30 for an album, an artist can sell their music to multiple platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. With such a small fee for an entire year of no distribution limitations, TuneCore is pushing boundaries and building up business models that allow musicians to expand globally without getting stuck behind record labels and contracts.

Peter Wells and Gary Burke founded TuneCore in 2005, after noticing that distribution companies, in the digital age, were still acting as gatekeepers to the industry, when the experience could actually be low-cost and widely accessible. Even major record labels are becoming part of the process. They do not work directly with TuneCore because they have their own distribution systems, but they do use TuneCore as a way of getting music out quickly. For instance, if an artist is on Saturday Night Live and they want to get their single out right away, they will pay a sum of $10 and TuneCore will distribute the single to all of their partnering stores. Being incredibly fast and efficient is their main advantage.

Another extremely important advantage, according to Mooney, is the daily trend reports for your music. Artists can track all of their releases, their sales data, and which song is doing best. They can use this information to approach radio stations, because they have numbers to back it up. “You’re given the information that entire record labels are built around. The trend reports were invented because of the feedback from artists”.

Another thing about TuneCore is how clear they are about what they are doing, how they are doing it, and how they can improve. “Transparency is something we truly try and stress. This isn’t the old-school record label. This is a new business model.  We have seen artists use Tunecore, get label deals, launch their records, and come back to TuneCore. One band stated that the two years they weren’t with TuneCore was when they didn’t make any money”.

Launching TuneCore in Canada is extremely exciting for both the company and for Canadian musicians. It allows for more global recognition and further success in the industry. Drake is one of the first major artists to use TuneCore. Mooney jokes that by law he needs to mention him, but on a serious note states that he was a huge part of TuneCore’s success, allowing major artists like Metric, Jim Guthrie, and Tegan and Sara to also gain recognition through the site.

There are over 20,000 Canadian account holders already, and plenty more who were using the US site until now.  Thank you, TuneCore, for bringing us the music we want to hear, while keeping money in the pockets of the artists who’ve earned it.

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