Echo Nest Compares It's Playlist Engine To iTunes Genius, Google Instant Mix
Karmin & 2CELLOS: Using Cover Songs To Find Fame And Fortune

TuneCore Explains Major Price Hike, CD Baby Responds With Discount

image from Popular digital distributor TuneCore recently raised prices from $19.99 a year per album distributed to $49.99 per year.  While many users still find TuneCore a bargain, the reaction from others was vocal and negative. "Under the old pricing scheme my yearly costs for 4 albums would be $57.96," wrote one. "It is now $200. A ridiculous amount to increase costs for small time musicians. Still, businesses need to make money to innovate; and Tunecore shared reasons for more than doubling its yearly fee.


Tunecore names 34 improvements made over three years and several paid features that are now free to explain the increase. Some TuneCore customers were spending between $65 – $90 for distribution of an album, according to TuneCore. Now more services are included like the formerly $7.98 a month charge for iTunes trend reports, $1.98 for additional media players and $1.98 per song and per store when initially distributing a release. TuneCore also says they now include "marketing and promotion" free, but offer no specific as to how that can be done equitably for tens of thousands of releases.

"I wish I could please 100% of the customers, I really really do," TuneCore CEO Jeff Price told Hypebot of the price hikes. "The only other solution would be to set up a huge number of pricing options to meet each and every possible permutation, but that's just not possible as it would be far too confusing for the customer."


image from The price increase also created an opportunity for TuneCore's competitors. In this video, sent to Hypebot, CD Baby President Brian Felsen offers users a 50% discount to switch distributors.

After a $39 per album sign up fee, CD Baby charges artists 9% of each sale via a download store with no additional annual fee. TuneCore charges $49.99 per album initially and $49.99 each year thereafter, but does not take a percentage of sales.