TuneCore Review: Don’t Use TuneCore

Along with the release of “Confluence” on CD in late January, we were really excited to also be releasing our entire catalog on iTunes and other online stores for the first time.

To get the new album, as well as our first album, “A Bygone Era”, and our demo, “True Position”, online, we decided to use an online vendor called TuneCore.

We uploaded all the necessary files and paid them up-front back on January 9, 2009, with an agreement to get the music up on iTunes USA, iTunes Canada, Amazon.com, Napster.com and Rhapsody.com.

TuneCore‘s website says that it takes 4-6 weeks for the music to go live. That’s awhile to process but understandable enough.

We were happily surprised to see our disography go live within a few days. Almost.

The one thing that hasn’t gone live is “Confluence” on iTunes USA. The most important album for us on the most popular online download site.

Boo, TuneCore.

Since TuneCore did say it would take 4-6 weeks, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited until their drop deadline of February 21. Still nothing.

So we emailed them. Within 48 hours, they responded and said they’d look into it and get back to us. But then we heard……..nothing.

A week later we emailed again. They didn’t even bother responding this time.

Another week later. No response again.

So here we sit two months after they happily took our money – and the new album isn’t up on iTunes and TuneCore don’t respond to customer support requests.

Our advice to all musicians out there looking to get your music online: Don’t use TuneCore.

(One other sidenote: TuneCore seems to do well trolling the web to get on message boards that are asking about their services to make sure they look good. I just wish they put as much effort into actually serving paying customers….)

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50 Responses to “TuneCore Review: Don’t Use TuneCore”

  1. Update On TuneCore Troubles (after one of their founders responds to this blog) « SwathBlog Says:

    […] SwathBlog « TuneCore Review: Don’t Use TuneCore […]

  2. Social Media, Customer Service and Your Business Reputation « GrafiQa Creative Services Says:

    […] the service we used to upload the tunes to make them available online. Check out the details here and […]

  3. Entire Swath catalog (finally) now available on iTunes and other online stores « SwathBlog Says:

    […] was a lot more of a hassle than we thought to get these up (see Tunecore Trouble post 1 and post 2) but hopefully, having downloads available will be a lot easier for people who want to […]

  4. Urban Touchdown Says:

    There seems to be a lot of bad press surounding Tunecore. I havent released through them for about 2 yearss. It took nearly 10 weeks for my content to go live and their customer support was appaling.
    If you tweet them they will respond, or if you go on the forum. Basically anywhere that is public and they will come back with “we are implementing this now, we are amazing etc”
    They arent amazing. They are too busy selling healthcare or trying to make a quick buck somewhere else.
    Last year they introduced video game distribution for $1000, and then it came out a few months later that they were uploading for FREE.

    So thats $1000 profit from each customer. And thats looking after your customers?

    They are pretending to be helping unsigned artists but they are a massive corporation , with millions in corporate funding, and they are all about profits, they have no care for artists.

    Stay as clear as Tunecore as possible

  5. Peter Wells Says:

    Urban, you’ve the right to your opinions (though I can assure you they’re wrong–we’re trying to help artists, with all our power). But you say this, and it’s wrong:

    “Last year they introduced video game distribution for $1000, and then it came out a few months later that they were uploading for FREE. So thats $1000 profit from each customer. And thats looking after your customers?”

    Our service required us to do all the stems and syncing, build all the files RockBand needs to accept content. It’s over 40 hours of intense high-tech labor, and the real cost can be up of 2500. What RockBand is accepting free is anyone who has those files ALREADY PREPARED. So yes, if you know how to prepare your music for RockBand and put it into their formats, all lined up, they’ll take it free. If someone gave us files like that, we wouldn’t charge them. What we charged for was very serious and difficult labor, and $999 is a bargain for it.

    –Peter
    peter@tunecore.com

  6. Peter Wells Says:

    Actually, let me update a few facts of my own, just to be clear. Getting into RockBand isn’t free for anyone:

    To submit a song to rock band network you must

    1) have the authored song
    2) own an X-box
    3) subscribe to RockBand Network for $99 A YEAR

    With TuneCore, if your song is mastered, we charge a flat $75 and handle it all from there.

    So it’s a savings even if you prepare the files yourself.

    –Peter
    peter@tunecore.com

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  8. Aaron B Says:

    So, what I need to know is, how long will it take to get my album on itunes? I uploaded it 4 days before the release date I specified..really hoping it releases it on that date.

  9. Peter Wells Says:

    24 hours, Aaron. If it’s not live within 24 hours, write me.

    –Peter
    peter@tunecore.com

  10. Terrell Says:

    For some reason, I have not received any of the money from sales of my song from tunecore. I read that this happened to a few people and that they never received their money. Thats why I only put up one song rather than a whole album. How do I close this tunecore account and remove my song?

  11. Peter Wells Says:

    When did you put up your song, Terrell? The stores do take time to pay out. This is true of any distributor. Write me?

    –Peter
    peter@tunecore.com

    (P.S., if you want to close your account, I’ll do that for you too.)

  12. Terrell Says:

    11-1-2010

  13. Angus M. Says:

    My band and I are recording our album, Trespassers, on this Sunday. We’re then going to try and put it on iTunes, but I’m a bit confused.
    Peter’s points are good, but then many people say it’s not a good way. Is the whole thing really worth it?

  14. Social Media, Customer Service and Your Business Reputation | Vibrant Creative Says:

    […] the service we used to upload the tunes to make them available online. Check out the details here and […]

  15. DSTONERECORDSINC Says:

    TO ALL ARTIST IF YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED WITH (ASCAP OR BMI ) YOU ARE NOT A REAL ARTIST A UNREGISTERD ARTIST OR LABEL WILL NOT GET PAID!!!!! DO YOU PAPER WORK OR SHUT UP!!!!! D.STONE

  16. DSTONERECORDSINC Says:

    TO ALL ARTIST IF YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED WITH (ASCAP OR BMI ) YOU ARE NOT A REAL ARTIST A UNREGISTERD ARTIST OR LABEL WILL NOT GET PAID!!!!! DO YOUR PAPER WORK OR SHUT UP!!!!! D.STONE

  17. Jan Says:

    I’ve been a member of SOCAN/ ASCAP they have been great for paying out the royalties on live performance and radio airplay. However when it comes to the internet that’s a whole other ballgame.
    I’ve lost total control of 3 of my songs on the web.
    Do you know of a distributor on the web that are opperating under
    SOCAN or ASCAP’S terms?

  18. IndustryHound Says:

    Many of us artists have received a renewal notice for our albums. Tunecore has suddenly and without warning raised the yearly renewal rate to $49.99, even though it has promised a $19.98 yearly fee when we signed up.

    This is a highly alarming event. I will be contacting the better business bureau within a week if I do not get a response from Tunecore. Please help spread the word, we need people to look into this.

    This was part of the email sent from Tunecore: “You must renew by the date above to keep your music live on the online stores you selected. If you do not renew, your release will be taken down from the online stores after the renewal date. You will lose all your reviews, comments, future sales and your TuneCore Media Player. ”

    -And we get 30 days to renew at the new rate of $49.99

    They lied to us! The only reason we all took Tunecore is because it was only $19.98 for yearly renewal! If your album is on Tunecore speak out. This is as unacceptable business practice. They know how difficult and time consuming it is to switch digital providers and they are using it to gouge us. Email them and tell them you will be contacting the better business bureau and the consumer protection agency unless they re-instate the yearly fee of $19.98 as they promised.

  19. Spiros Says:

    It’s been almost a week and my music is still not on i-tunes! Even though tunecore promise that music will become live within 24-72 hours. I’m worried now because I’ve paid them $49 for a service which is not being accomplished in time. They haven’t even responded to my emails. Tskk

  20. Peter Wells Says:

    As I just wrote you, could be an email problem. I’ve passed it on to support, you’ll hear from them in 24 hours.

    –Peter
    peter@tunecore.com

  21. jayman Says:

    PETER WelLS. do i need my song to be copyryght or do i need a special something because ive heard how you guys
    Scam people by paying them but then when their music sells alot alot you tell them “oh we cant paid you because or song is not copyright
    Or you dont have a license or register to bmi” please answer with full details cause i dont wanna get scam other wise my last choice is cd babby

  22. Peter Wells Says:

    You’ve heard wrong. I know that article, and we wrote an entire response.

    http://blog.tunecore.com/2011/02/the-new-music-thieves-stealing-from-artists.html

    If you’re not doing something illegal, you’re fine. Read that, and the guides we wrote.

    –Peter

  23. Liam Says:

    Can someone please help me and tell me how to delete my TuneCore account???

  24. Peter Wells Says:

    Just write support@tunecore.com and we’ll remove it for you, no questions asked, as always.

    –Peter

  25. the next lil wayne Says:

    Have any of you that had previously had tune core tell me if
    You made alot of money? Did you promoted? How much time? I have a good song
    But have heard of people only selling like 3 copies in 2 month. Can anybody
    Anybody tell me if you know how much someone with an alright song made?

  26. the revvernationns Says:

    For the above comment ..if your in tunescore expect nothing no money and alot of bad customer service. If your in cd baby expect at least 30-100 if you have a good song with
    A video on sites now if your song is reaaly good you can make thousands.just be careful which distributor you put it in because that thousands of dollars and be made into nothin ZERO dollars
    Just an adviced from someone who have taken albums through alot of distributor and has learned for the good.

  27. joel Says:

    I made 45 dollars throue tunecore funny thing was that i had tons of view and tons people telling me they bought it
    Yet according to them only 45 dollars i made and what a horrible customer service just like the guy who posted this blog
    Sometimes they just ignore your email. 1 n a half years later i now have a different distributor who cares about their artist

  28. Peter Wells Says:

    We answer every single email, Joel. You should get a response within twenty four hours, from a real human being. If you don’t get a response within those 24 hours, you write me directly. If somehow I don’t respond, sent a tweet to @tunecoresupport. If THAT doesn’t work, leave a post on our forum: blog.tunecore.com

    We will find a way to help you, to help everyone. And every single sale, be it a stream or a download, will be reported. Every single one. Guaranteed.

    –Peter
    peter@tunecore.com

  29. jasson Says:

    I made quite good money on tunescore, on my first song then my second song didnt do quite good in sells because the song was crappy im thinking of making third one.

  30. piano Says:

    Mr peter the owner of tunecore what happens if say i put a original song by me then someone else that knows me or whoever claims cause they feel one word or one little rediculous sounding beat sounds like theirs…wat happens? Do you
    Guys remove the song cause this person says is theirs? If you do remove it, who is responsible for the losses u guys tunecore for removing it or the other guys claiming or both? Their are alot of people trying to get money anyway now in days
    Even famous artist are getting sued by little artist trying to claim their work just to make money.

  31. Taylor K. Says:

    This is ridiculous, I just want to upload some good music and make money, but I see all these customer complaints. I can’t do this anymore guys. Why can’t there be a good company thats honest and really gives you what they say? This is very frustrating.

  32. bijoydatta Says:

    I wish it was that easy, Taylor K. Everyone’s out for a dollar – whether they earned it or deserve it or not.

  33. joyce carlson (@furgurl) Says:

    peter wells .. you only cover so long with your emails.. you are in this for a buck and it so obvious that u need sunglasses ,,, your site will fall in time ,, artists should not pay ,, thats why they use utube,,, good try but to may bad reviews and your answers sound like a drowning rat,,, I can tell you are not an artist ,,no talent ,,, because as an artist you wouldn’t put up with this lack of good business practices to artist ..

  34. joyce carlson (@furgurl) Says:

    now to check the others Ingroove , aol radio etc.. yo ho ho

  35. Nick Ketelsen Says:

    It’s very sad peter that your customers need to come to a blog that isn’t even written by your company to get answers from you. I will never give tunecore my business after reading threw this.

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  38. Wrapk Says:

    I’m trying to help novice musicians with a free software called wrapk. With wrapk you can sell your songs via Android Market directly and without intermediaries.

    Please, test wrapk and/or share it. Thanks!!!!

    Download wrapk in dropbox: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/51712267/wrapkv1.0.0.zip

  39. Eddie Says:

    I would stay clear of Tunecore. I truly believe they are keeping a lot of the money that comes in for the artists as I have had steady sales for 3 years and then all of a sudden all sales stopped for almost 8 months.. I know for a fact that I have had many sales and streams over that 8 month period and received nothing from Tunecore.

    DO NOT USE THESE GUYS.

  40. Peter Wells Says:

    We don’t keep a penny, and have independent, 3rd party auditors come in and make sure of it.

    Have you reached out to us, Eddie? Have you asked Support to look into it?

    http://help.tunecore.com

    –Peter

  41. Adjutant Asafoetida Says:

    Yeah, that’s a big fat no for me after reading more about the service. Do your research first, and then make your own choice. To me, it’s pretty obvious that there is a problem here.

  42. Jean Says:

    Damn, in this World we can’t trust anybody. Sorry Tunecore… I will provide this page because people and Artists need to know all this stuff that is going on here…

  43. Gates of Oblivion Says:

    Its actually funny that they are SO quick to jump on this page when i never got a reply from support in TWO MONTHS.
    Haha, because this is public and people see how shady and dis honest they are , its out in the open and that fat lazy crook Peter Wells jumps on here so fast he probably broke his seat.

    i think you have heard it enough times but once more

    DO NOT USE TUNECORE THEY WILL GET YOU TO SIGN UP THEN DOUBLE THE PRICES – DO NOT USE TUNECORE

    the only people getting rich here are tunecore, and they are doing it by pretending to care about artists

    hahahahahaha, thats the biggest joke there is!!!
    F*K Tunecore

  44. Tunecore review | Selcukdemetise Says:

    […] TuneCore Review: Don’t Use TuneCore « SwathBlogMar 5, 2009 … TuneCore Review: Don’t Use TuneCore. Along with the release of “Confluence” on CD in late January, we were really excited to also be … […]

  45. Sim Says:

    Peter wells probably breaks a lot of seats. Hes not the fittest.

    I never got a reply to any request and when i wanted something changed on my release they only advised me to PAY to take it down and then PAY AGAIN. And surprise surprise as soon as i asked them on twitter about it they jumped in to say they would help, and of course didnt.
    $50 a year? I call bullshit , their costs must be around $2 and that is for year one. What possible costs are there for year 2? Hosting 3 mp3s on a server costs $50?
    Peeps, if you wanna be naive and trust this company fine but you will just end up here like the rest of us.
    Si

  46. Simon Says:

    Tunecore are a Scam and are losing customers and money, believe me. I will be surprised if they are here in 6 months and what happens to our money, its all gone.
    I have left tunecore. no more

  47. cordlesspizza Says:

    Can anyone recommend somewhere better? I’m with tune core now. I noticed a few purchases for one of my songs and then debits of the purchases, reversing the sale? I have no idea what it is and there is no one to call. I hate going through e-mail and anticipating a response that comes days or weeks later.

  48. Tunecore Sucks Says:

    I have personally had bad experiences with Tunecore. I am a cowriter/composer of some material and copyright owner (both © and (P) copyrights ). I released some of this stuff through Tunecore, sold a little under $200 bucks worth, then it was pulled by Tunecore because another one of the writers of the composition filed a complaint with Itunes. I responded with the appropriate documentation to both ITunes and Tunecore proving that I own the copyrights (filed with the U.S. Govt. ), showed them that I have my songs listed with my PRO, and followed the Tunecore rules by replying to them within the determined amount of time to appeal (defend) my right to MY own compositions.
    Tunecore’s response to this was to lock my money up. The deducted it from my account when I tried to process the check, but the check never came. I called, spoke to many people (both customer service and some much higher ups… I won’t call names), and they were happy to inform me that I’m not allowed to have the money raised through the sale of my OWN stuff even though Tunecore is a paid service and is a WORK FOR HIRE.
    For that, I say shame on you Tunecore.

  49. patypole Says:

    i’m with tunecore they’ve e-mailed me for some changement that’ll be held on the terms and conditions the point is using tracks for publicy or movie’s soundtrack for 20% o commission cut on my revenues again if i need to add more store that tunecore are launching i’ve to pay 1.98$ per store! how much to $….again?

  50. jayco Says:

    we are undecided between TC and recordJet but with a strong tendency towards rj. they respond quickly which doesn’t seem to work so well for tc. their price structure is rather appealing too.

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