Music Business

New Tunecore fee structure is much better for artists

Now artists can make the process of releasing new music cheaper and easier with Tunecore’s new unlimited release plans.

By Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0.

Many artists use Tunecore to distribute their music, but most have griped about the cost, which is more expensive than the competition. The platform is trying hard to change that with the introduction of its new “Unlimited Release Pricing Plans,” a big change in the Tunecore business model that’s more in-line with competitors like Distrokid.

TuneCore has historically charged artists on a per-upload basis at $9.99 per single and $29.99 per album. Obviously that can get pretty expensive for a prolific artist, considering that Distrokid charges $19.99 per year to upload an unlimited number of tracks. Now the company’s four unlimited release tiers provide something for everyone. They are:

  • The New Artist plan, which offers artists unlimited release of songs to the music libraries of social platforms like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Instead of an upfront free, TuneCore takes 20% of what’s collected from those platforms.
  • The Rising Artist plan, which costs $14.99 per year and includes unlimited distribution to over 150+ streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer and Tidal as well as all social media platform libraries. Tunecore does not take a cut of any of the revenue earned on any platform.
  • The Breakout Artist plan costs $29.99 per year and provides everything from the other plans plus adds free access to TuneCore’s Automator. This guarantee’s that the artist’s music will automatically become available on any new platform that’s launched in the future, as well as downloadable reports and artist support response time within 48 hours.
  • The Professional plan at $49.99 per year is “designed for labels, managers and artists who are more advanced in their careers and would benefit from more sophisticated release features”. This includes everything from the other three plans plus advanced sales reporting, use of your own UPC code and a custom label name, access to select country restrictions, exclusive partnerships, and promotional opportunities. This plan also lets its users add additional artist profiles to their accounts for $14.99 per artist per year, and offers support response time of 24 hours or less.

As you can see, this is a big change in the Tunecore business model, but it’s a lot better for artists. If you’re an indie artist you’re forced to use a distributor to get your music to the various platforms so it’s good to have choices.

Bobby Owsinski is a producer/engineer, author and coach. He has authored 24 books on recording, music, the music business and social media.

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