For $29.99, about $10 - $15 less than Tunecore, Zimbalam distributes an album to 25 key outlets including iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and Spotify. Like Tunecore, artists keep 100% of the royalties. After the intial year, there is a $19.99 charge every 12 months only if there have been enough sales to cover the fee, essentially eliminating financial risk. To celebrate the U.S. launch, the company is offering single album distribution for $5.99. (use code: sxsw.)
The service also offers real-time daily sales data, email newsletters and social networking promo widgets. Artists with strong performance on Zimbalam are assigned a personal A&R manager from parent company Believe Digital to provide advice on release strategy, marketing and promotion.
Zimbalam's parent Believe Digital was founded by music executives from companies including Vivendi Universal, MP3.com, eMusic, BMG Entertainment and Sony and received funding from VC's XAnge and Ventech. Believe has s staff of 70 in six countries across Europe (the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal) and the United States.
"With Zimbalam, our goal is to bring the largest distribution network, the strongest marketing tool set and the greatest revenue potential, all at the lowest price point, to the US independent music community, " said Believe Digital and Zimbalam CEO Denis Ladegaillerie. "We want to make sure that independent artists have the chance to not just realize the best business opportunities, but also to realize the opportunity to break through on a global basis."