can some one make a poll . i would love to know the answer to
CDBaby is the best in my opinion. Tunecore is known to rip people off.
Dont know about tunecore, but I didnt go with them based on yearly fee's.
I went with CD Baby for 3 projects and have not had any issues.
i use IODA/THE ORCHARD for my releases why pay to release a project if you have a label with mutli artists tunecore and cdbaby can add up. IODA only takes 20% and you have options for VEVO channels video on itunes,vevo, youtube content id and mobile cellphone carriers..
idk about IODA .. i just read this https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music...al-2010-a.html
+1 on CDBaby. I've had great luck and success with them!
Definitely cdbaby, my project was up when they said it would be and I'm still getting deposits into my back account :)
Cdbaby took over 100 days to put my project up I'll be working with Tunecore next time...There's regular Tunecore and then there's an Interscope Tunecore that most people don't know about it's the exact same thing but Interscope checks out your music goes direcly to the company.
I wouldn't trust MondoTunes
MondoTunes is a little scammy...
They were starting to sound pretty cool to me, so I did some further research on them. It was hard to find any reviews by credible sources, but what I did find is an article (featured at musicthinktank.com) offering a seemingly unbiased comparison of MondoTunes, CDBaby, TuneCore, and ReverbNation (but basically claims that Mondo tops them all, even stating in the last line, "As long as honest, inexpensive companies like Mondo are around, absolutely anyone can sell music online.")...
...BUT when I googled the article's author, I found out it's one of MondoTunes' very own staff writers! See for yourself:
Here's the article -
MondoTunes, CDBaby, TuneCore, and ReverbNation: How They Measure
Here's the review listing the same author -
AND, in case these pages "mysteriously" disappear from the internet, I print-screened them. You can view the images here -
Kinda slimy stuff... :facepalm: :tut:
EDIT: The "unbiased" article was written AFTER the staff-written artist review... just to rule out the possibility of Mondo hiring this guy AFTER reading his "unbiased" article...
So far, I've been happy with TuneCore Distribution. There seems to be money in the account, and I'm sure I read that they don't own your rights or work in any way, but I could have misunderstood. I am not a lawyer and I can't afford one financially, let alone the time and angst with all that.
I've also got Ruthie's debut CD on SonicBids but not happy after the 2 week free trial, went to the 1st level at $6.95 or therebouts a month!, and they only left 5 songs and wiped out all the specially captioned photos I had up, but the EKP is still there. Canceling for next month.
Also on Jango Airplay with a rapidly growing global fan base so if you haven't checked into that, it seems legit enough, then last.fm, already mentioned is in process as Ruthie has lotsa fans from UK.
RadioSubmit has trouble with their software presently, in process, but it seems it's a good way to get tunes to radio industry folks, broad eblast for regular and internet radio airplay which is what you need once you're distributed so people hear and go looking to buy.
Broadjam's been very good for a base site and peer interaction but I don't think they do any distribution. I think you can buy radio targeted radio distribution from the primo account.
Songcast looks like they have a few more free features than Tunecore right now and I haven't checked the others, i.e. Catapult, Bandcamp and those mentioned. Looking for good radio distribution deals right now, so RSVP if any of you know.
Also looking for cheaper merchandising with spreadshirt being too spendy for buyers in this economy, my opinion. And the site is difficult to manage.
Suz/ieshea for Ruthie Gee Sweet As Can Be
Ruth Gregor's Profile It's Never Too Late [you kidz will LOVE this!]
Good outlook. I've spent a ton of time researching distributors and saw those same articles. Then again, I saw a handful of articles by reps of every company boasting about themselves (none more than the former Tunecore man, Jeff Price). We used Tunecore and CDbaby in the past and they were OK. We actually did release our project with Mondo Tunes and the guys there have been awesome. We were a bit skeptical at first but our project is available in many more stores than tunecore was able to provide. Our experience has been great so far. I've actually called them twice and their customer service has been pretty awesome! Good luck everyone
Start your own label - Label Worx.
Thanks for the feedback! We've distributed 2 projects with Mondo (they used to be called JMD I believe) and its been pretty flawless. We liked how they don't have monthly or yearly fees. They also are affiliated with Interscope if I'm not mistaken and thats what they have the big distribution range. That's why we joined them anyway. Our previous distributor was based out of the UK and they charged for ringtones, streaming and anything else you added on. These guys covered everything with one charge. I feel you though, they haven't been around as long as some of the others but our experience has been pretty good. Hey, we're a small time band so we're ALWAYS trying to hype up our music from a 3rd party stand point so I get it haha :)
Started a Google Docs spreadsheet as a wiki-style info collector on distro services
Here's a Google Docs spreadsheet I just started as a collection point for current info on the different distribution services, wiki-style (everyone should feel free to contribute -- but, please, try to keep it accurate and neutral).
The column headings are off the top of my head. Feel free to add a column for specific important aspects you think aren't being covered.
(If anyone has any difficulty adding/editing, let me know. I haven't done much Google Docs collaboration.)
I got a little start and I'll be back later to continue, but if anyone wants to contribute, please just jump in. I think you should be able to edit the spreadsheet without any logins or anything. Just, you know, don't insert a bunch of porn or jokes, OK? ;)
recordunion totally free I believe
Been a CDBABY artist since 2004. They are wonderful. Probably the best of the best. Tried and true, been around since the beginning... and was the ONLY way to get digital distribution at the time.
Heard negative stories about tunecore, etc. They promise a lot, but don't seem to deliver. Remember the myspace/Snocap thing? Snocap died even before myspace did.
Bandcamp is also insanely good. I would recommend setting up a Bandcamp store to sell directly to your fans, and cdbaby to get exposure (cdbaby can get you on last.fm, itunes, amazon, Spotify, etc). The cost can be a pain, per album... but, it's worth it.
I was just reading that article a few minutes ago and thinking, My goodness, this sounds too good to be true.
Funny how that works.
Of course... one of the services they offer is promotion... heh
I have to say, though, that there seem to be a bunch of happy people weighing in on their FB page. Although, of course, bad things can be made to disappear.
And they do seem to have a pretty together website. And they do service MOG (which is my chosen 'scrip service). I like the no up-front of RouteNote quite a bit -- and the ability to switch back and forth between paid and percentage slice -- but it just doesn't have a, let's say, dynamic, future-forward kind of feel. (And they don't service MOG, as far as I can tell.)
Indiepool in Canada is great. I went into my local HMV and saw my album in there. $200 per release though and it still hasn't showed up on itunes whivh kind of annoying.
Yeah, I had come across some of the "testimonials" for Mondo out there too. Certainly came across as staged.
Regardless, their payment model of only paying for uploading is the way they should all work.
I had a rep write me that they will NEVER charge a takedown or renewal fee of any kind.
There are just SO many things to be skittish about with these services... all of them. The inability to properly audit is like a flashing red light, but since we can't go directly to iTunes, all we have to make a choice, then make sure the companies live up to their promises.
If you really think about it too, there are just so many issues with the number of outlets. Do you really know what is going on with some obscure ringtone retailer in a foreign language? Do you know who they are, what their payment structure is, what sort of minimum reserve they have before they pay your aggregator? Would you know if they DID pay your aggregator and they left it off their accounting statement they gave you?
If you found out today that someone was selling your cd on amazon, how much legwork would you have to do in order to figure out what company was behind it, do they have a relationship with your aggregator, what is their payment structure, etc.
And... do you REALLY know whether they sold one copy or a million?
There really needs to be a much better accounting solution than what I've seen from any of them. Full transparency from Apple would be a good start.
I've personally written off Tunecore. That doesn't mean they're bad. I just got ticked because they sent out promo emails touting their new ~$30/year/album distribution -- emails which neglected to mention that's the first year ONLY and that subsequent years lock you in at $50/year until you cancel. (In fairness, the website itself is clear on the pricing.)
But I actually have a one year Tunecore album distro credit I bought back before they changed their renewal costs and jacked them up to $50 [mine would have orginally been about $10/year as I was planning my store placements].
But I'm blowing it off -- because I just don't see the point of putting my stuff up for a year and then going through all the BS of a takedown (which they assure me they do promptly as possible and for free) after it's only been up 10 months or so (since it takes at least 6 weeks to go up in the first place). I'm NOT going to be paying $50 a year for them to collect my money when other services will do it for free or offer alternative payment systems like percentage.
RouteNote looks straightforward, they have either a paid premium account or one where there's no advance fee but they take a percentage. But they don't have the store/service coverage some of the others do. (No MOG. I love MOG. I want to hear my stuff on MOG. Whether that's enough of a rational reason or not, I can't see NOT being able to get my music on what I consider the best service [the only one I know of with all 320 kbps].) And, I hate to say it, there's just not really an air of a dynamic, future-forward outfit there. It feels a little 'left behind.' (Maybe it's just a style thing. Maybe it's because they don't have MOG. ;) )
Mondotunes looks slick, shyster marketing and spam-blog 'articles' not withstanding. They have a big array of stores/services. Their prices seem reasonable vis a vis the others.
But... I have to say... what's the business model? How does Monto pay for ongoing administration of your account? Is there a 'catch' in the 'partner fees'? (Of course, the premium tier at RouteNote has the same, pay-once system.)
I don't mind paying for a service (as long as there's some kind of chance of breaking even) but I do want to know what I'm paying. Or having withheld or whatever.
Let me throw this out: Has anyone been on any of these services long enough to go through an annual cycle or two?
Yeah... Mondo model seems to depend on new uploads, but don't forget about the power of minimum recoupable sales figures. Most artists will never get the first check. Probably true of a number of the companies... and in all fairness, there probably needs to be some minimum figure if no maintenance fees. The thing that's killing me is the quarterly reports. They swear, however, that iTunes and so on only pay out quarterly which makes me wonder if true what sort of worthless weekly reports and monthly payments Tunecore is doing. Certainly better reporting there, but what's the point if iTunes only does it quarterly?
I'm getting very frustrated all around. I'll leave out the details of some of the back and forth I've had with some of the companies to give them the benefit of the doubt, but here's some questions I've gotten less than helpful answers to from several of the companies:
How do I set my album price for iTunes? The following page shows Catapult's mechanism for doing this, and clearly demonstrates that iTunes has such an internal mechanism. I've been told by 2 aggregators, however, that there is no control over this, and iTunes just sets it automatically. Clearly this is false which leads me to wonder whether they are just ignorant, or lying to me so they don't have to be bothered with it.
Catapult - Pricing in Music Stores
Next up is bonus content. I've been told there are obscure rules limiting bonus content on albums for iTunes, yet no actual rule that seems to be true. I see pre-order only bonus content being offered on iTunes, yet no mechanism to specify that with any of the aggregators I've dug into for that aspect.
Basically, if one of these companies wants to demonstrate they have their act together and aren't just pandering to hobbyists who want their home recording to pop up on iTunes, please, I would love some straight (and correct) answers to these questions:
How do I add bonus tracks to the album?
How do I add pre-order only bonus tracks?
What limits are there?
How do I set album pricing?
How do I upload ringtones?
OK, well, I've been ready to upload some material for weeks now, but the more I dig, the more problems I find. There are some very important differences between the companies that go beyond pricing.
I'll just say that based upon a great deal of research, I've found that the options one has for pricing their album are COMPLETELY different depending on which company they go with.
It's just bewildering the differences in something one would think would be straightforward. It would seem that some of it has to do with whether the companies are Apple approved aggregators themselves or if they are dealing with a major label as an intermediary, can't tell for sure, but it's looking like Mondo is likely out for me. I want to set a lower pricepoint for album vs singles, and they just don't have any way for me to do that.
So... back to the research. I'm unwilling to give up a percentage, so that nixes a couple.
I would greatly appreciate any other input as to real, tangible differences between the companies that anyone may have discovered.
I really would like to get material up this week, but the more I dig in, the more I see I need to get the facts sorted before making a costly mistake that hamstrings my options.
... CDBABY does not promote ..thats another issue all together.
I have a friend that went with nimbit... but it did not look as good for my situation
Well, personally, I'm not looking for anyone to promote anything... just want straight forward distribution with as much control as possible and as transparent as possible reporting. I'm not looking to sell anything on the aggregator's site, or have them serve as an "upstream label", or pretend they're going to magically find me money from some obscure Japanese broadcast... I just want clean, simple digital distribution. I will be doing runs of 1000 or so at a time for physical cd's, and selling them from website, FB, Amazon, etc.
If there are other real concerns or bonuses to using a particular physical distribution system, I'd love to hear about them... maybe I'm missing the boat on some options there.
CD Baby's percentage model won't work for me. Whatever I choose has to be flat-fee.
I'm leaning toward Tunecore now (MondoTunes won't allow album tier pricing), but some of the fees can really add up:
I see they have a $100 fee per pre-order. That could add up quick. Let's use my general plan as an example. I'd guess at this point that I will be doing something like a half dozen singles throughout the year with pre-orders to correspond with video-release and promotional dates. Then, a pre-order for the album. Possibly more singles, but that's the general idea of per-year releases for the next few years.
So... half a dozen singles loaded at $9.99 each (first year and every thereafter... or at least until they raise annual fees again)... PLUS $100 PER TRACK to pre-order. That's $660 year one alone... and that's just what happens BEFORE the album releases. Album is another $150 first year, plus recurring charges. Toss in a few ringtones, a couple of extras like cd booklet, etc.... and we're rounding the $1000 mark.
Do that for just 3 years, and I'm well over $3000 plus several hundred in recurring charges... a bit less if I then takedown the singles now that they are included in albums. This stuff is certainly worth considering carefully. I'd probably just have to abandon the idea of doing pre-order for anything but the album with that sort of pricing.
Any insights on how other companies handle pre-orders? Can I do that without the additional fee?
Looking at RouteNote, but VERY little info presented. Also, not showing as Apple authorized aggregator, so we'll see what they have to say about their ability to do iTunes tier pricing, etc. Very few partners shown there, but there's really only a dozen or so I care about anyway.
So... am I wrong about any of the above? Should I be considering anything else? Is there any real benefit to having anyone else do physical distribution?
I have been with TuneCore for five years. Given all the turmoil they have been going thru lately (especially change in the leadership followed by petty law suits), I can not shake off this bad feeling that they will change their direction for worse, in order to make the investors happy.
So far, Catapult looks like a good alternative, but I'd like to hear opinions from people who actually use their services.
I also considered MondoTunes; nevertheless, all the reviews seemed slightly scripted and staged.
Any thoughts and comments on Catapult?
Haven't heard from a single person who's used Catapult (here or elsewhere).
Same 9% split as CD Baby, though, so it's out for me.
I've got the same dicey feeling about TuneCore. Just no way to predict what will happen with a company once VC's remove the central pillar and step in.