October 17, 2006

Submit this...

by Chris Randall

We normally use CD Baby's digital submission thingie to get all the Positron product in the digital stores, but for the most recent Micronaut release, we're going to give Tunecore a shot, I think. While the net cost is not significantly cheaper (in fact, I believe it could be more expensive over the long run if an album doesn't sell very well) it looks like a more logical method.

The main benefit is thus: when you submit to iTunes through CD Baby, your album can't be browsed to via the genre browsing in that store. But with Tunecore, it can be. For a relatively well-known artist (e.g. Sister Machine Gun) that's not such a big deal, but for an unknown, it basically makes the difference between selling a record and not selling a record.

The other deciding factor is that it can take up to three months for a CD Baby digital submission to get in to iTunes, while Tunecore submissions take a week or two. It's basically impossible to get a CD Baby-submitted iTunes release to line up with its hard-copy counterpart, but that's not such a trick with Tunecore.

So, we're gonna give it a shot. I'll report back when we know if it makes a difference or not, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has Tunecore experiences they'd like to share.



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Oct.17.2006 @ 12:36 PM
I used Tunecore for my last release, and it took about 6 weeks to hit iTunes. Their uploading system and user area is nice though.

Oct.17.2006 @ 12:45 PM
Chris Randall
Really. I specifically asked Fletcher about this, because it was a point of contention I have with CD Baby, and he said "a few days." Although, in his defense, that was some months ago.

I agree that the upload feature is nice. The CD Baby method for a digital-only release is kind of a pain in the ass.



Oct.17.2006 @ 12:51 PM
D' MacKinnon
I'd be interested in seeing how this works out. It would seem like the annual storage feeds would add up for a label submitting a ton of releases though.

Oct.17.2006 @ 1:10 PM
Chris Randall
I think, in running the numbers, if you know you're going to sell a certain amount of digital downloads, Tunecore is much better than CD Baby in the long run, whether you have a lot of albums or not.

If you've got a vanity project and you just want to be able to say "hey, my album is in iTunes" then CD Baby is by far the wiser choice.

Since we move a pretty large quantity of digital downloads, both via shopPOSI and iTunes, Tunecore makes a lot of sense. You only have to sell one copy of an album to pay for the annual storage.



Oct.17.2006 @ 1:17 PM
Ive used both CDBaby and Tunecore for digital distrobution. I find Tunecore to be much better (imho) and gives you far more control of your submission than CDBaby does, (not to mention faster). the accouning reports seem to come more regularly on tuncore as well.

Oct.17.2006 @ 1:43 PM
Subliminal Fusion
Speaking of getting paid for stuff, Chris - did you realize that SMG is on the SoundExchange Unpaid Artist List?
link [63.236.111]">link []

Oct.17.2006 @ 1:50 PM
Chris Randall
For christ's sake, can people stop sending me that? For once and all, yes, I'm aware. Yes, it's taken care of. No, they haven't actually sent me a check yet or taken my fucking name off their fucking list.

I swear to god, I get at least one, if not several, emails a day telling me that, and have for about six months. For the record, those people are just this side of criminally stupid. Their "service" largely consists of shaking down podcasters, collecting money, then sitting on it for years.

(Edit: sorry if I sound annoyed there, but just linking to a page that had a link to that engendered 3 emails to me stating the above in as many minutes.)



Oct.17.2006 @ 2:45 PM
"Moses Avalon" (Josh Melville) did a comparison of 7 content distributors and came up with the same conclusion; tunecore is best. His data is summarized in chart form here:

Go to home -> cool resources -> digital distributor comparisons

from the following page:
link [www.mosesavalon.co...]">link [www.mosesavalon.co...]

AFAIK his page is organized so you can't link directly to the chart; probably for promotional reasons (you have to go through the rest of the dreck to get to it).

I'd guess that most people here know who this guy is. I thought his first book "confessions of a record producer" was pretty good.

He's carved out a unique niche for himself and has managed to really piss some people off:

link [cdbaby.org/stor5.htm...]">link [cdbaby.org]


Oct.17.2006 @ 2:45 PM
I use IODA for digital distribution, and aside from the fact that they still have yet to implement their uploading system (we still need to send a CDR, which I'm told will not be the case much longer), they have so far always hit every digital outlet within 2 weeks (or less in some cases). They also are building a huge international presence, which can't hurt. I'd check them out if you haven't done so already.

Oct.17.2006 @ 3:44 PM
Chris Randall
Actually, it's funny those two comments came back to back, as I specifically ruled out IODA because of their contract. I have about as good an understanding of copyright and master use contracts as someone that hasn't gone to law school can have, and I had some serious issues with their contract.

Basically, as Josh sort of points out, any time you see the term "underlying composition," your sensor array should come on line. For something like this, you want to see something on the order of "non-exclusive worldwide rights in perpetuity, unless either party cancels." If you don't see that right at the top, run (don't walk) in another direction. There's no need for them to even mention underlying compositions, as all they're supposed to be is a middleman.

In short, almost every sob story I've ever heard in the music industry that isn't directly related to heroin abuse involves a musician signing away rights he didn't know he had. Buy the Donald Passman book and read it cover to cover three times, then go find a good entertainment attorney. Seriously.



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