Zimbalam Moves Into U.S. Challenging Tunecore

image from www.musiciens.biz European flat fee digital distributor Zimbalam has entered the U.S. market with a product offering aimed straight at sector leader Tunecore.

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."

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  1. “The service also offers real-time daily sales data, email newsletters and social networking promo widgets.”
    Hypebot, you got the comparison wrong.
    Distribution + email + promo widgets = ReverbNation
    Not Tunecore.

  2. Real Time Daily Sales Data? I dont understand how this is possible. How can they get real time sales data from iTunes or Amazon for example?

  3. Met with Believe @ Midem. They receive daily sales data jus like every other aggreggator, every 24 hours (if provided by the service).

  4. The only service that provides daily data is iTunes (via their trending reports).

  5. Thank you!
    TRending reports rendered every 24 hours correct? Any word on an ITunes Store API? : )

  6. Very interesting, I used to use Believe Digital and they’re an excellent service so I have a lot of faith in this, but whether they can overtake Tunecore in the US.. i’m not so sure, time will tell 🙂

  7. Hm, did I wake up in an alternate universe without CD Baby? TuneCore seems to get all the attention on Hypebot for some reason. CD Baby has the longest track record of anyone in DIY digital distribution, which I think is a significant factor when choosing a distributor.

  8. That’s an important distinction, though ReverbNation is also in physical distribution. It seems like the wheel of retailing is in motion…

  9. CD Baby and ReverbNation are great services for indie and d.i.y., artists and each have their own strengths. But both charge a % for percentage – not a bad thing, just a different model – whereas Tunecore and Zimbalam are both flat fee distributors.

  10. Bruce,
    I need to correct you.
    ReverbNation does NOT charge a % of sales, and never has. Ours is a flat-fee model similar to Tunecore or now Zimbalan.
    Jed Carlson
    Co-Founder, COO, ReverbNation.com

  11. Thanks for running the press realease/ I mean news article, about Zimbalam. I too am wondering why there is such an editorial slant here with respect to Tunecore. Let’s get some transparency – I wonder if Tunecore is a sponsor of this periodical – whose independence I am starting to question. Enough of Tunecore already. The way you ignore CDBaby in your articles amazes me – something is wrong with this picture. Your legitimacy is of concern to me when I see an article like this. I just picked up this article via a google alert I have on digital distribution. But god what an incomplete article. By the way, where do you get your stats that Tunecore is the “sector leader” – from Tunecore? Yeah I really trust them allright.

  12. Neither Tunecore nor Zimbalam are sponsors. I did not write about CD Baby – a service which I like very much – because it is not a flat fee distributor.

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