The Right Way To Get Your Music On To iTunes/Amazon/etc.

itunesLOGO.jpg

Unless you live under a rock, you know that no one is buying CDs anymore. This means you need to be selling your music online. If you want to do this you need to choose a middleman to get your music to the internet! These middlemen offer you many bells and whistles and each one offers you different benefits. While you may think this is common knowledge, you may come to find there is our service more suited to your needs. We will give you the dirt on which one may suit your needs in a quick five minute read!


tunecore_vert_logo_20070129_145953.jpgTunecore
Advantages:
Tunecore is by far the most common tool for a band with no label looking to get their music to all of the Digital Media Retailers. Though Tunecore is the most common tool and offers many great facilities, as well as the greatest ease of use, it isn’t necessarily the right one for everybody. They will get your music to the following outlets:

  • iTunes
  • Rhapsody
  • Napster
  • MusicNet
  • eMusic
  • Sony Connect
  • GroupieTunes
  • Amazon
  • Lala
  • ShockHound
  • Amie Street

Fees:
You can deal with Tunecore on a song ($9.99 per song) or album. If you choose to go down the album route you will need to pay on the following basis:

  •  $0.99 each song
  •  $0.99 per store per album
  •  $19.98 for album maintenance and storage per year

Bells and Whistles:

cdBaby.jpgCD Baby
Advantages:
CD Baby is a long running store that has a well-established following of fans who go to it to find independent artists. They sell CDs through their own store and if you are looking for a place to also host your online CD sales they can be of great help to you. They get your music to:

  • iTunes
  • Rhapsody
  • eMusic
  • Amazon MP3
  • Napster
  • Verizon V-Cast
  • Liquid
    Digital Media
  • PayPlay
  • AudioLunchbox
  • GroupieTunes
  • Ruckus

 Fees:

  • Setup fee: $35
  • They take 9% of sales

Bells and Whistles:

  • UPC codes cost $20 while ISRC codes are free
  • They can get your CD into Record Stores (you know the ones in the real world)

nimbit.jpgNimbit
Advantages:

Nimbit is unique in it’s emphasis on you promoting and selling your own merch. It works well if you are an artist that has a strong community and are getting a lot of traffic to your website and are looking to cut out the middleman and sell things mostly yourself. With all that said, they still offer the ability to get your music to:

  • iTunes
  • Rhapsody
  • Napster
  • eMusic
  • CDFreedom
  • LiveWire
  • Groupie Tunes

Fees:
Nimbit offers two models, one with a $15/album setup charge 20% commission. You can also become a member and pay $9.95 per month and get 100% of your own royalties. A steal for artists concerned about getting the most profit!

Bells and Whistles:

  • UPC and ISRC codes are both free
  • They offer promotional widgets and facilities to sell your own products and marketing tools
  • Ideal for bands looking to do a “Radiohead/NIN” model

logo_Reverb_Nation.jpgReverbNation
Advantages:
RN in many peoples eyes is just a Myspace music/Purevolume alternative. Really, ReverbNation is like a band’s best friend; they provide tons of marketing tools for bands to take advantage of. They boast the largest profitability of any site on the net for bands, though I don’t know any band who has experienced the rewards of this. They will service your music to:

  • iTunes
  • Amazon
  • eMusic
  • Napster
  • Rhapsody

Fees:
$34.95 to get started and then they take no fees
   
Bells and Whistles:

  • UPC and ISRC codes are both free
  • They offer tons of free services to get your band marketed and promoted including help booking tours, widgets, mailing list and street team maintenance.

routenote.jpgRoute Note
Route Note is the baby of the bunch, we told you before, that this can be an awesome service to get release you aren’t sure will sell. Offering no up front fees, they simply taking a 10% cut. They will bring your music to:

  •  iTunes
  • eMusic
  • Snocap
  • iMeem
  • Last.FM
  • Amazon
  • DMS

the orchard.jpgThe Orchard

Lastly, if you are a label or an artist with a large catalog and are planning many releases you can apply to be a part of The Orchard. They offer many benefits for labels looking to go through their Distribution, Marketing and Lisencing services.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.

  • http://www.tunecore.com Peter Wells

    Thanks for the mention!
    I always want to add to these comparisons one thing: DEFINE YOUR SUCCESS. Everything you choose to do with your music depends on what “success” means to you, including who you select to partner with for digital distribution.
    Do you want to sell a LOT OF MUSIC? Then go with a flat-fee, no percentage service. Just want to be on the shelves on the stores so friends and family can pick up copies? Then save cash and go with someone who takes a cut.
    Whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS OR MASTERS, but I’m pretty sure all the folks behind these services would agree with me.
    Thanks again. Feel free to write with questions about TuneCore or the industry.
    –Peter
    peter@tunecore.com

  • Janet Morningstar

    What do you think of using several of these services?

  • http://www.paulgilbody.com Paul Gilbody

    How do you rate SongCast.com or emubands.co.uk
    Emubands simply charge a one-off per album fee.
    Songcast operate a monthly fee model.
    I’m interested in what extras these companies can do in terms of profile e.g. does Tunecore teaming up with Amazon give them a big advantage over the others?

  • T Lafayette