TuneCore - What The RIAA Dreads

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TuneCore is a musician’s digital service that pays artists more per CD at absurdly low entry costs.

The RIAA’s anti-digital campaign to protect their way of life is increasingly bumping up against new business models from unknown upstarts. One which seems to hold a lot of promise is TuneCore.

The RIAA has to hate this outfit because:

  • It cuts out ALL the record company middlemen
  • Anyone who pays minimal fees (about $30) gets access to all services
  • It gives 40% of revenues back to the artist
  • It distributes both CDs and digital files to download sites

According to TuneCore, digital files can be distributed to:

  • iTunes (all stores)
  • iTunes Video
  • Napster (also offers Streams, see below)
  • Rhapsody (also offers Streams, see below)
  • MusicNet (all stores; also offers Streams, see below)
  • Groupie Tunes
  • Amazon MP3
  • Lala.com
  • ShockHound
  • Amie Street

While you might think TuneCore is just for the up and coming artist, established names such as Trent Reznor, Keith Richards, Frank Black, SecondhandSerenade, Tapes ‘n Tapes, Joe Ely, Izzy Stadlin, Ricky Skaggs, and Joan Jett have used TuneCore. In the last 22 months TuneCore has generated $23 million in sales – not close to what a mainstream label takes in but looks like a good start to me.

As a possible kick-start to increased visibility, TuneCore and Amazon are teaming up to offer its services through Amazon’s network. For the RIAA, this is beginning to look a lot like what the music biz will migrate towards. For music consumers, the “democratic” model of the music biz is compelling – rather than letting the record labels act as a filter, consumers get to pick and choose based on what’s available.

How novel – let the market decide which cream rises to the top. Guess whose ox gets gored when the consumer runs the show.

 

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