What is TuneCore? TuneCore Explained in Detail - Lost Stories Academy


TuneCore is a major distribution company that has been in existence for a long time. It deals with independent artists who need their music distributed to the public through various digital platforms. In this blog, I am going to take you through everything you need to know about TuneCore.

Now, TuneCore was founded in the year 2005 with the main aim being providing distribution, licensing, and publishing services. Among the three objectives, TuneCore majorly deals in the digital distribution of music.

Apart from these three services, TuneCore has also developed its scope of service and now even offers other services such as cover song licensing, social media promotion, and much more including providing a system where musicians can get genuine feedback from their fans. We will explain these extra services further in the upcoming blogs, so make sure you stay tuned.

Onto its pricing criteria. TuneCore does not usually operate under the splitting royalty pricing structure. This means that it only charges upfront fees, unlike others that require musicians to give up a percentage of the royalties. For instance, if the agreement was on a 20% royalty split, and let’s say you earn $200,000 royalties. The distributing company will have to take $40,000 of your royalties. Now, TuneCore doesn't do that, they let you keep 100% of your royalties and will only require you to pay yearly fees. For instance, for an album, TuneCore charges $50 every year.

If you are a musician and are okay with $50 renewal fee for albums, you might want to consider TuneCore. However, these yearly renewal fees can be high to some musicians, who usually look for a distributor that charges less. Sometimes they go to distributing companies that operate under royalty splits and give up an agreed percentage of their royalties.

Therefore, if you are starting as an upcoming musician, and so your music still doesn’t generate many royalties, it is advisable to consider signing up with a distributing company that operates under royalty splits. So that in such a case, you will only have to give up a share of the royalties due to you.

But if you can afford to pay both the upfront and yearly renewal fees, then you might go with TuneCore.

Now, let us move on to the fees that TuneCore charges for different types of releases. For album releases, TuneCore usually charges $29.99 for the first year and $49.99 as a yearly renewal fee. If you intend to release a single, you will have to pay yearly renewal fees of $9.99. For ringtone releases, TuneCore’s yearly renewal fee goes at $19.99.

But even with this set of fees, it is important to note that TuneCore sometimes offers discounts to musicians. If you want a discount, make sure you release a huge number of music using the ‘TuneCore’s Credits system’. The use of this is advisable to musicians who intend to release a lot of albums over a long period. For instance, let’s say you buy around twenty (20) credits prior to enable you to release music albums later, TuneCore will most certainly award you with a 14% discount. This looks like a good deal, right?

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In the next blog, we are going to look at TuneCore’s platform as a whole, including covering the various digital music platforms to which TuneCore distribute music, the time it takes to have your music distributed to such platforms when you sign up with TuneCore, the added unique features of TuneCore and so much more. I am sure you would never want to miss that!

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