TuneCore Launches Beta iTunes Music Submission Service

TuneCore iTunes submission...TuneCore happily declares it will submit your music to iTunes and Rhapsody for you, while letting you keep all of your song rights, as well as any money made from either iTunes and Rhapsody.

Pricing involves a 1-time $0.99 per song upload fee, plus an annual $7.98 per album fee (an "album" is defined as any music submission, whether an actual album or just a single song, that was uploaded at one time.  If you upload 7 songs separately, you’ll be paying for 7 "albums" every year).  TuneCore also penalizes artists $20 if they remove their music less than 6 months after uploading it.

I’d be more interested if TuneCore offered a guaranteed, faster submission process.  Submitting directly to iTunes is free, but can take a while, and you’re not guaranteed inclusion or even a response.  No mention of any timeline is made on TuneCore’s site.

iTunes is #1 in terms of music download sales, so TuneCore chose their focus market wisely.  However, be sure to compare what they offer with The Orchard and IODA before making your decision to upload your music for distribution.




, ,




9 responses to “TuneCore Launches Beta iTunes Music Submission Service”

  1. Gideon Marken Avatar

    Mike – I’m not sure about this one. Let’s look over some items from their site and FAQ.

    >>>TuneCore also penalizes artists $20 if they remove their music less than 6 months after uploading it.

    Well, that’s not a friendly policy! According to their FAQs, it’s a means to keep you from behaving “frivolous”:

    >>>”We charge a $20.00 early termination fee to discourage people from frivolously uploading and requesting albums be taken down right after they went up.”

    So, they’re looking to discourage behavior by threatening the artists with potential fines?


    As I read through their FAQs, I’m finding a few more things people should consider about this service:

    * 4-6wk turn around on getting your music posted. Which is the same if you don’t use Tunecore, which means there’s no advantage here.

    * All payments go through them. Ok, so what happens when they go out of business? Why are the checks going to them? Are the songs not registered to the artists at these services?

    * Then there’s this line in their FAQs:
    “Correcting mistakes after payment can be very expensive.”

    When I read this, it sounds so, “1990.”

    In partial defense of Tunecore, I do have to point out that both iTunes and Rhapsody apparently do make it difficult to impossible to get anything changed. Beyond making the request to those bodies, I’m not sure how much work on Tunecore’s part would be needed. Especially if they had a Web application which handled their business. This leads me to wonder why they consider changes so “expensive.”


    Overall, my suggestion to independent artists is:

    1. first see some data on indie music sales from itunes and rhapsody and see if it’s worthwhile

    2. check out alternatives to this service, like theorchard.com – although, I’m not sure what their policies and fees are

    3. spend a few hours and see what it will take to submit your music on your own, and if it’s possible.

    4. And lastly… watch those frivolous behaviors!


  2. MikeB Avatar


    Thanks for confirming my misgivings about this company. I tried to be ‘nice’ while reviewing, but honestly, I found myself rather annoyed when reading their many stipulations and poor-a#s excuses and explanations for bad policies.

    So yup, The Orchard is a better route. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Eric Avatar


    Don’t forget CDBaby’s digital distribution, which is free, if you’re already selling through CDBaby. This gets you on a lot more download services, and all you have to do is click one button.


  4. Peter Wells Avatar

    Hi all,

    This is actually an opportunity. You folks have seen our “pitch” and read our FAQ and still feel we’re not the way to go. Maybe I can improve it.

    Can you tell me specifically what things we could change about TuneCore that would make us the choice for y’all? What’s good, what’s bad? We’re only live for a week now. I want to know ways to make the site and the service better for everyone.

    Thanks. Feel free to write me, or just post here. As you can see, we read what people say, and at least care enough to ask. ๐Ÿ™‚


    Peter Wells
    Chief Operations Officer

  5. Gideon Marken Avatar

    Hi Peter,
    Glad to see that you are a part of the conversation.

    I’ll send you an email directly.


  6. Peter Wells Avatar

    Hey Gideon,

    Thanks, cool. We’re so early in this business there’s room to change practically anything. We’ll do what it takes to make folks happy. It’s great people can reach out and suggest ways to make things better.



  7. MikeB Avatar

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for participating in the conversation, just the fact that you’re both listening and discussing is much appreciated. I wish the best for any service that genuinely offers to help artists promote their music.

    Perhaps you could answer one question that keeps arising: What advantage does TuneCore offer over submitting music to iTunes directly? We’ve speculated, but it’s honestly a tad unclear.



  8. Peter Wells Avatar

    Hey MikeB,

    It’s a fair question. The truth is, iTunes doesn’t take individual artists. They aren’t set up for it. We’ve heard all sorts of stories of people who try and try, get put on lists, get rejected, wait six, seven months. Check around the iTunes site and you’ll see they simply won’t do it.

    That’s the problem, it’s the reason we founded TuneCore. If only large labels and the like are big enough to secure an open channel to iTunes, then they “hold the keys” and can control access to the iTunes store. We’re a key holder, but we offer what we believe is a much more fair deal. We don’t take a percentage of your back end, we charge a nominal up-front fee to get your music in the door, and we handle all the paperwork for transferring the earnings back to you.

    So it’s that simple. There is no way for the individual to get onto iTunes themselves. So we make it possible for $0.99 a song. We hope folks will see it’s a fair deal.

    Thanks, and feel free to write if you’ve any other questions.


    Peter Wells

  9. Lee Avatar

    You can also http://www.dittomusic.com who cover around 700 stores.
    We have so far managed to get 7 unsigned artists into the UK charts and are responsible for helping KOOPA become the first unsigned artist in history to get into the UK top 40.

    We have a 4 week turnaround and give you free barcodes, ISRC codes and YOU specify your release date.
    Our ยฃ25 package covers over 50 sites including all worldwide iTunes sites, Amazon, Amazon UK, Play.com and some great new ones like Youtube digital, we7, lala, mobile networks like Shazam.

    I believe we are one of the only distributors to have a telephone number which is uself for helping our clients.

    Some other great features of Ditto is doing your Catco so that you are fully chart eligible and putting you on pre release.
    This means that while you are waiting the 4 weeks to go live on iTunes fans can still order your music off around 12 sites!!!

    If anyone has enquiries please let me know, i would be happy to answer them.

    Oh and we also have our own national TV show ๐Ÿ˜‰



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *