Tunecore cofounder Jeff Price has now been relieved of his CEO and President stripes, according to information confirmed by Price himself.
We first got the tip earlier this week from an executive at a partner company, who noted that Price was actually pushed two weeks ago (ie, July 31st) based on a number of frustrations and conflicts with the Tunecore Board of Directors. That prompted us to canvass nearly a dozen different executives – including a direct call to Price himself – though the information seemed to be tightly contained.
This was not described as a voluntary or friendly departure in any way. Financial issues topped the list of problems, though very high-profile smackdowns with the likes of Amazon and others may have also stirred resentment. “Jeff did butt heads with several people inside and out of the company,” the source noted.
Perhaps ardent artist championing comes with a price tag. The following statement was just emailed to Digital Music News.
An open letter from TuneCore Founder Jeff Price
August 15th, 2012
Peter Wells, Gary Burke and I launched TuneCore on January 25, 2006. Our motto and mission: for artists to ‘sell their music not their soul.’ We envisioned changing the global music industry for artists for the better by serving, not exploiting, them. TuneCore’s impact was significant and immediate. It turned the industry on its head by removing gatekeepers, allowing all artists onto the shelves of the digital music services while not requiring them to give up rights and revenue from the sale of their music. It also provided the industry’s first transparent royalty system with easy 24/7 real time access. In late 2011, phase two of TuneCore launched with the announcement of its Global Publishing Administration service, allowing any songwriter access to a global publishing administration deal. This first-of-its-kind global pipeline permits all songwriters to access their additional royalties and enforce their copyrights while maintaining control and ownership of their songs.
With our vision, guidance, execution and hard work we made TuneCore the leader in its space as the largest music distribution and publishing entity in the world. From just three people in 2006, TuneCore grew to over 40 employees working out of the headquarters in Brooklyn, NY and the Publishing Administration office in Burbank, CA.
I am announcing today that I am no longer CEO/President of TuneCore and co-founder Peter Wells is no longer working with TuneCore.
Under our tenure, TuneCore took take significant market share away from the traditional major labels. As of July, 2012, TuneCore artists represent over 4% of all US gross digital music sales revenue and have sold over 610,000,000 units of music generating over $310,000,000 in gross music sales. More than four songs a second are sold on iTunes somewhere in the world by a TuneCore artist. Through the execution of the vision and the trust of the artist, TuneCore achieved about 40% of the market share of EMI and 25% of the market share of Universal in regards to digital music sales in the United States.
We were also able to attract artists across the spectrum: from emerging artists to the older legends and the new legends. Artists such as Drake, Soulja Boy, Sonic Youth, Nine Inch Nails, Zac Brown Band, Hoodie Allen, Civil Wars, Lecrea, Boyce Avenue, Kelly, Colt Ford, Ed Sheerhan, Alex Day, Aretha Franklin, Jay Z, Girl Talk, Blood On The Dancefloor, Jason Mraz, Nice Peter, Tiesto and hundreds of thousands more used TuneCore to place number one albums and songs on iTunes, Amazon and many other digital stores, breaking the control of the traditional industry while democratizing it.
Under our leadership, TuneCore changed the global music industry, provided hundreds of thousands of artists access to digital music services, shifted the power of the industry to the artist while administering hundreds of millions of dollars back into their hands under a new model, all while growing the company into a global force.
Peter and I look forward to continuing to change the industry on a global scale to the further betterment of artists, songwriters and investors and to issuing our next announcement.