Ditto Music Responds To TuneCore CEO Jeff Price


Yesterday, Hypebot broke an interview with TuneCore CEO Jeff Price. In it, he said it was disingenuous for companies, like Ditto Music and others, to claim 24-hour live times to iTunes, because there is no way to guarantee that; it depends on too many factors that exist outside of the control of digital music distributors. Also, Price went even as far to say that making such promises, ones they know they cannot keep, “preys on the hopes, dreams and aspirations of musicians.” Lee Parsons, co-founder of Ditto Music, had this to say in response:


Hi Jeff, a few quotes to add to the article, I hope you don’t mind me quoting direct from TuneCore:

"Yes, we have 24 hour delivery" & "To put hundreds of releases into iTunes this quickly, it's the culmination of years of work." Peter Wells of TuneCore claiming credit for the fast delivery times.

And you mentioned CDbaby, so hope you don’t mind me quoting them as well…"We Have Same-Day iTunes Distribution" CDbaby – Digital Music News

TuneCore were the first ones to shout about your new delivery times.  The only difference is that you took full credit for it, 

without giving praise to iTunes like we did. When Ditto Music received massive press momentum by putting our necks on the line and giving a guarantee, you back tracked. I realize the press momentum Ditto Music received was frustrating for you. I did not expect so many TuneCore customers to contact us who were unhappy with your service.

Artists are savvy. You claiming other companies “none established” just makes you look threatened and unprofessional.

We are not in competition with TuneCore.

We have had 7 UK top 40 singles with unsigned artists, we help promote artists, we collect airplay royalties for artists and loads more great services, as WELL as distributing to hundreds of digital stores. We are not interested in how many artists we can deliver to iTunes for a profit.


Let's this keep discussion based around
what we can all do for artists.

My brother and I who started Ditto have been in bands our whole lives and know the constraints and difficulties artists face. Having their music on iTunes is just one part of a puzzle and not something we should be taking a pat on the back for. I will take a pat on the back when unsigned artists have the same infrastructure given to signed artists. And we at Ditto are working towards that until it is there. – Lee Parsons, Ditto Music

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  1. can you all stop giving any more publicity to Ditto now please? this ‘debate’ is getting tiresome

  2. Hi Hypebot,
    This is a very sensitive topic. I stand at a neutral position because both TuneCore & Ditto Music are right.
    On one side, I would have to agree with Jeff that promising artists a 24 hour delivery time to get on iTunes can be a dangerous game. Simply because it is out of the hands of the distributor once the “package” is delivered to iTunes. Its extremely crucial that artists are well aware of their catalog.
    On another side, I do agree with some of the points that Lee presented. While its true that one shouldn’t guarantee a 24 hour delivery (as Jeff pointed out), it is true that iTunes has updated their content delivery system. Virtually EVERY distributors have the same delivery time capability. This is because iTunes recently updated their exclusive software iTunes Producer to enable “perfect polishing” to each of the packages delivered from the distributors.
    Overall, I say do well by the artists and you’ll do well by the services.
    Kevin Rivers
    CEO, WaTunes
    Twitter: @kevin_rivers

  3. Don’t know anything about Ditto music, but what about Tunecore. Seems their getting just as much, if not more attention here… They’re both enjoying exposure, and Hypebot reaps the benefit of web traffic from the spat.
    Play the game…. everybody play the gaaaaaame….

  4. I’m glad you’re running these. It’s a relevant debate, WTF else should hypebot do with this story?
    Hopefully 2010 is the year we all learn that anything we engage with online, we give power to. Clicking on an article you find distasteful to register your distaste is not only meaningless, but it gives it momentum. This is why the celebrities you “hate on” keep getting more famous, too…
    If you’re really above this tiresome debate, do something else with your time.

  5. Who cares about this? If you need something up on iTunes in 24hrs than someone dropped the ball months ago. Why is that not part of this discussion? The real debate should be how quickly these services can get an iTunes feature…

  6. Thank you EC for mentioning that! That’s a whole other conversation hahaha! None of these services can guarantee features as that’s controlled solely by ITunes editorial team.
    As I briefly commented yesterday,
    “Faster delivery times mean NADA if not supported by promotion and marketing efforts from artists, distributors,labels collectively. That’s the real takeaway message from all this guaranteed delivery jander. On DSP’s, real estate/location makes all the difference for around 95% of the tracks and artists submitted. Faster submissions does not necessarily guarantee sales if the other components to support those releases are not in place or non-existent.”
    In respect of timely deliveries, it’s also worth noting that content owners and or rightsholders MUST now be more diligent in adhering to metadata and style compliance guidelines as required by their respective distributor/aggregator/DSP(s) or risk penalty fees for having to go back in and make time-consuming corrections/changes to metadata, which often requires take-down and re-delivery(so much for faster delivery times ;)).
    To reiterate, if there’s any discussion/debate to be had, the convo should focus on KPIs-measureable key performance indicators, which help reveal to artists and labels which distributors/aggregators/DSPs matter and which ones continue selling snake oil, and are a complete waste of time, resources and applicable blogspace.

  7. This is such a loaded debate, especially considering the differences between the two companies. To me when you look at Tunecore and their services, you see a business strategy en masse and not really catering to the independent artist. Something where you pay x amount of dollars and your music goes up on x amount of websites. The hullabaloo about iTunes doesn’t really matter a lot to me. Great it’s a quick turnaround and in certain situations that might be relevant but if you are an independent band/artist you normally plan around release dates at least two weeks out so you can prepare for the upcoming release.

    I think what Ditto offers (I have never worked with them personally) is a more personalized service to the artist. Putting the band/artist’s music on the DSP’s is as they stated only one of the services they provide. With Ditto I think if you are serious about music as a career it can help put your music out there with a message and some decent online marketing. Ditto is not a revolutionary company in fact it reminds me a lot of other online distributing companies (My Rocket Science, DashGo, both which have been used by artist’s I work for and provide exemplary service) where profit is still present but they care about the music. Something hard to find in companies like Tunecore which offer the same blue plate special to everyone.

    The real question in this debate is why would you want your music up in less than 24 hours?

  8. Thanks for moderating, Justin. Once again, you’ve weighed in by policing the overall “nature” of the discussion rather addressing any of the actual points at hand.
    You are pompous and cynical. Fine. Two potentially salient qualities to any discussion- however your comments rarely push things forward and instead are just academic observations on the discourse at hand.
    If all your going to do is police hypebot threads like such, do something else with your time.

  9. This story is a reminder that this blog is a waste of time. None of these companies are music companies.
    Arguing on the internet is like, well… you know the rest of it.

  10. Thanks for taking the time to come through and argue on the internet Luis.

  11. The press release of Ditto says:
    “Whilst the standard distributor turnaround is 4/5 weeks , Ditto Music artists will have their content live on iTunes within 24 hours of uploading.”
    Kevin is right when he wrote “…iTunes has updated their content delivery system. Virtually EVERY distributors have the same delivery time capability.”
    In my eyes it’s quite shady when you announce this as an exclusive Ditto feature when it’s clearly not. On the other hand it gives a perfect picture of the company and their general approach.
    If you’re bullshitting, don’t be mad if somebody’s calling you out for it.
    Rod Ski

  12. Rod your biased opinion on a debate and inside knowledge of digital distributors concerns me that once again Tunecore and CDbaby are doing everything they can to discredit Ditto Music, who are by all accounts a very good company.
    Jeff does not help his public image with calling other distributors names and all it seems to have done is highlight the shortfalls in the Tunecore service and point to companies like Ditto who seem to care more about the artist than the battery chicken approach of monetary distribution.
    The questions here are Do artists need 24 hour distribution? Should distribution companies be doing more to help the artists?
    Maybe if Tunecore spent more time looking at that, and less time planning PR strategy they would not be facing a backlash

  13. Tony, actually I’m not biased at all when it comes do Ditto – I do have an opinion based on the company’s “public appearance” though.
    You’re totally right when asking whether artists need 24h distribution (when obviously a proper marketing and promotion strategy is needed for every release), but this is a different story.
    This debate is solely about correcting the misleading statement that Lee made and I’m glad somebody did it.

  14. there are far more distributors who are capable of a fast delivery to itms (in order to avoid the term “24h delivery”) than the ones named here. as kevin said, it’s an improvement on apple’s side that is virtually available to every aggregator/distributor/…

  15. @Rod
    No, this article is about the misleading statement that Jeff made, if you bother to read it properly.
    And “Dick Rogers” who is obviously from Routenote, one of the smaller distributors who spend most of their time spamming these discussions trying to get backlinks, please go back to your day job, if you have one.
    Ditto called out Jeff for criticising other platforms for offering 24 hour distribution and when Jeff was the first one to guarantee these times. He even did it again through this interview. THAT was the point in the above interview with Lee from Ditto.
    I was on the fence on this discussion but watching these companies gang up on Ditto Music , just because they received more press than they did, makes them all look pathetic.
    I anyone would like to discuss DISTRIBUTION then please go ahead as it needs to be talked about.
    If Tunecore or CDbaby were confident in their service they would not be this bothered about other distributors gaining press.
    You are making yourselves look very bad here.

  16. Last comment from my side (fortunately I have a day job..):
    I spoke about the debate here, not the article, if you care to read it properly.
    Plus it’s not about gaining press but making false statements. If you’re confident about the services you are offering as a company I think it wouldn’t be necessary to go this route.

  17. @Tony
    I can guarantee that no one from RouteNote has commented on this article previously.
    As mentioned previously, this whole discussion is a little pointless. All distributors simply send packages to iTunes as fast as possible. Its then up to iTunes to send it live when they are ready. Times vary, sometimes very quick, and sometimes 6 weeks. No distributor has control over this and if they claim to have—that’s simply not true.
    All artists should be focusing on a specific street date and not just getting their music as live as fast as possible anyways. If you have a street date then you have the ability to focus your marketing campaigns correctly.

  18. Avoid Ditto Music at all costs!
    Ditto music advertised they would release my album to “over 200 stores” within “4-5 weeks”. It has been FOUR MONTHS, and so far it is only on iTunes (and that took 6 weeks). It also appears on 4 other stores, but Ditto messed up the track names, so the wrong track plays when you click the one you expect.
    I paid £55.00 for this + £24.00 a year subscription. Their Co-Founder has refused my request to cancel the release and release it again with the correct track names, because it would cost him a few pounds. Instead I have waited 4 months while they apparently chase the corrections with 200 stores (actually 5).
    Even more astonishingly, they are also refusing to pay me the small royalties I did earn during the limited time they put my album up on iTunes with wrong track names before I cancelled in disgust, because these earnings were ‘below their payment threshold’. Of course they were! Their delays and mistakes were the cause of that. How unfair and ironic that they then refuse to pay me what little they did generate with my membership fee. So now I have lost my membership fee + subscription + any royalties too!
    I wish I had never heard of Ditto Music. Their bad reputation is well earned. I have reported them to Trading Standards and the Insolvency Service’s Companies Investigation Branch. I am pushing for the maximum fine, as they have scuppered my album launch that i worked years towards, completely ruining the creative process for me and losing me many potential sales.

  19. To the “avoid Ditto at all costs” guy.
    I have seen the exact same comment on pretty every piece of press to do with Ditto for around 18 months now.
    So you didnt sell anything and you want paying?
    Whatever, i dont really care what your argument is, but do you not think it would be better to concentrate on your music than waste your time with this tirade?

  20. Well said JP. Looks like the boys are in the corporate sandbox battling it out with GI Joes and Star War action figures. I got my money on GI Joe…he’s got kung fu grip. “kick his ass Joe….kick it!!”

  21. I have one major problem with TuneCore, and am about to close my account with them. After an explosive and expensive ad and promo campaign, in promoting my record label and tunes to the world. I achieved a very high placement on many worldwide search engines under the name, aquablauw. But we have a problem: I have not received any royalties of sales of any of its distributors for over 4 months? (Going into 6 months of joining TuneCore) Every month, I hear the saying, that all is on track. I decided to purchase my own song in October,from Itunes-USA, hoping I will see that transaction on the December statement. Well, even that did not came in. I told them: I signed up with Tunecore, not to look forward to 0 balances every month my reports shows up. At this time, they refuse to look any deeper into it, to see, if all my royalties are not being dumped into someone else’s account? I think Jeff Price better look into it, and also would be nice to have an office phone number, instead of worrying about his competition. In fact, I ran to their competition and decide to try only one single with Ditto. The phone number I got from the operator has been disconnected from Top Hat Entertainment, must be their parent company?
    My earnings from the sales, should’ve help cover some of my promo and advertising expenses.
    Anyone having answers or had similar experiences with them, please email me at: harrybroker@gmail.com
    Thank you,
    Harry Broker

  22. Wow, am I glad, I just give them only one single to play with, for the total cost of USD $ 12.95. Too bad I saw your posting late. But that is all I can afford with Ditto. I sure did not believe to pay 25.00 pound Sterling, for me letting them use my record label. I am already the record company, so why pay them. Thanks a billion. Read on this same postings, what TuneCore did to me? They all worry about their competition, yet…neglect the problems their artists are facing, with no help to a solution?
    Someone at TuneCore is pocketing my royalties over a 4 month period! Result? I stop promoting, taking the links off to my songs and and only use Tunecore, to promote my label: “CrystalClearRecords”. See: http://reverbnation.com/aquablauw. That is all that works. But thanks to your comment. I will only let ditto work with that single. That is it. I thought, they suppose to help us 3rd. rank musicians, from being sdrewed by the major players?…..

  23. I have one major problem with TuneCore, and am about to close my account with them. After an explosive and expensive add and promo campaign, in promoting my record label and tunes to the world. i achieve very high placement on many worldwide search engines under the name, aquablauw. But we have a problem: I have not received any royalties of sales of any of its distributors for over 4 months? 6 months in total. I decided to buy my own single on Itunes-USA . Well, December came along and no Itunes report. The office has no phone, so all had to do through emails. Well, every months, I heard them say, that my account is on track. Yes it is, receiving a fat 0 in my account, for the past 4 months. Napster is nice to give me a total of $0.13 for stream lining 2 of my songs for a period of 4 months…and that is all. I spend lots of money in promo and ads, hoping part of my royalty payments will cover it? Was I wrong. I see that Jeff Price, CEO of TuneCore, is to busy in keeping track of his competition, but don’t worry about taking care of his clients. Are we talking about, that they are also musicians, and helping us, keeping us away from the big bad wolf recording giants? Who else experience the same problem I have with TuneCore, may email me at: harrybroker@gmail.com
    Harry Broker

  24. I’m way, way late to this but..
    We’re an established label and we went with Ditto after about 6 months back-and-forth and investigation with other distributors. Our inital project was 16 simultaneous releases which they handled without flaw and on time. 24 hours into iTunes was guaranteed and met (Jan 2011).
    They were (are) IMO the most repsonsive, professional outfit that we spoke to. Great live and telephone support and reasonable in cost. We looked at Tunecore and decided not to go with them for several reasons – and all of the negative press out there about them being scammers certainly did not help their cause.
    We definitely recommend them and since I had the opportunity to speak with a LOT of other distros in our search process, I’d be happy give the low down on ALL the people we spoke to and our experience with them – offline of course.. 😉
    NexGen Music Group

  25. Ditto’s new page looks to be a carbon copy of Tunecore (all black) with Mondo Tunes slogan. All that’s left is to start selling physical CD’s and direct downloads from your site to mimic Cdbaby. Nice going boys…….way to be original.
    The most important part, you guys have no shame in how horrible your customer service is yet you claim to have the best support?? Our band will do everything to spread the truth about your service. You should not be operating.

  26. I am a manager of independent artists and as such I have being handling for Eldorado
    and Ana Alcaide their online distribution. So far I have used CDbaby, Tunecore and Ditto.
    I think the personal experience of working with the aggregators may also be of use when you get to form an opinion about them.
    With CDbaby and Tunecore, all has worked as expected and when having a question or an issue it was resolved in a timely matter. I started working with Ditto last year. I distributed through them 4 albums of Eldorado (rock band from Spain). I had plenty of problems with Ditto and I think it may be worth sharing them:
    – When starting the distribution: the songs have bad names in some shops, wrong gender, some albums appeared duplicated in some shops, the albums appeared in shops that were marked as NOT to be distributed (as Grooveshark)
    – Trying to solve these problems: I open different tickets in the customer service of Ditto. All were answered very politely saying that they would take care of the problem, but then half of them were not solved, not pursued. There were also inconsistencies in the sales reports and I needed to report that repeatedly to have the real money added (all this according to their unmatching data, I don’t know the real figures).
    – Once I tried to have the album taken down: after months of this situation, I asked them in 2013, July, 23rd to have all the four albums taken down. They informed me that would take from 4-6 weeks to have them off all the shops. Right now, 22 weeks, 5 month after the request, the albums keep being available on most of the shops. I have open 5 tickets since them with Ditto, send them the specific url of the different shops where the albums are on sale yet. I also exchange some email with Matt Parsons who asked me to be patient because they will be solving the issue as fast as they could (that was 6 weeks ago, I have open a new ticket since then).
    During those 5months, the shops keep selling the songs and I guess Ditto keeps receiving the money. Nothing has being reported or given to the band.
    And at the same time, as the albums are not taken down from the shops (not anymore available on itunes, that is true) I cannot start distributing them through another aggregator.
    Ditto may be able to distribute to 200+ shops, but they haven’t the process or tool to ensure a correct treatment nor of the data, the real money generated, the take down as requested.
    The customer service email is responded, but they don’t solve the issues.
    And I am currently trapped there unable so far of getting free of all this mess.

  27. Hi Natalia,
    I encourage you to try out my company Venzo Digital. While we may not get your music on 200+ stores, we aim to give you the best iTunes distribution possible.
    Through us, we’ll give you the ability to view iTunes Daily/Weekly Trending Data for free, set Pre-Orders, sell Albums, Singles, EPs, Ringtones, and even iPhone apps.
    We also have the best platform on the market that automatically monitors your sales activity daily as you sell units on iTunes. Best part? It’s all free! We charge nothing upfront and we’ll pay you 80% royalties generated from your music.
    If you have any questions, I will personally be there to help you or one of my staff. We look forward to potentially work with you and your music.
    Kevin Rivers
    CEO, Venzo Digital

  28. I hate Tunecore….stay away from the crooks – terrible company with terrible policies…once they get your information they have you forever in their data base and refuse to close your account and delete your information….super security risk to give them you paypal stuff I had to close my paypal account to be safe from them….don’t have anything to so with tunecore

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