Unsurprisingly, Tunecore artists have been unenthusiastic about huge distribution cost increases, especially when presented with little advance notice.
But Tunecore founder Jeff Price says the extra services are worth the 150 percent increase. “It costs money to create improvements, new features and upgrades,” Price responded on the Tunecore blog. “We can be an old, stale and out-of-date service and operate as we did three years ago, or we can invest and improve and create more value. I chose to create more value.”
Accordingly, the ramped-up, $49.99 annual album distribution fee – up from $19.98 – includes a raft of extras. The list includes weekly iTunes trending reports (normally $7.98 extra); a-la-carte reports (normally $1.98); extra stores ($1.98); and unlimited album songs and distributed stores from the onset.
But that’s just the beginning. On top of all that, Price also provided a long list of other services, including faster live support, quicker uploads, Ping support, better customer service, direct bank deposits, and Twitter support.
A better service is hard to argue against, though the question is whether artists can afford it. A recent calculation found that the average Tunecore artist sells $179 worth of music a year, before ever-increasing costs. But Price made the case for better quality, more features, and simplified billing. “So we just said screw it, simpler is better,” Price stated. “Let’s give Tunecore customers all the things they asked for and not charge them for each and every new feature.”