TuneCore Says Digital Music News Is a Sorry Excuse for a Trade Magazine…

Because when all else fails, it’s time to blame the industry rag.  Which is exactly the sad direction TuneCore is charting, with its guns now pointed at yours truly, Digital Music News.

In the midst of a potentially litigious divorce with ex-CEO Jeff Price, persistent advertising on pirate websites, misleading ‘price drops’ and sagging per-artist payouts, TuneCore is now lashing out at us for, well, covering it all.  “Your ‘reporting’ belies certain journalistic integrities as it wantonly accepts a singular narrative, when you must know that there are always varying points of view; and, in some cases, matters that are in reality, inappropriate for public debate,” TuneCore media rep Juda Engelmayer (of 5W Public Relations) instructed over email.

“The impression I can surmise is that you are now in vendetta mode or something along those lines, and it is hard to warm up to that.”

We also write nice things about TuneCore, including a nice ramp-up in revenues and subscribers in 2012.  But Engelmeyer (who’s a guy, if that matters) seems to have a number of complaints, the biggest being that we (a) typically don’t write fluffy articles about TuneCore, and (b) fail to check in with them for permission before commiting (a).   But while Engelmeyer seemed happy to lob all sorts of accusations about our journalistic integrity, he didn’t have a good answer for why TuneCore executives only agreed to speak with Digital Music News on the condition that we never mention Jeff Price’s name.

Enter glass house/stone throwing analogy here.  “On a basic level, your job is to report news, while ours is to help manage that news for clients,” the Engelmeyer lecture continued.

  • Save
Highly Related: Grooveshark Exec: Universal Music and Digital Music News Are Conspiring Against Us…

And to fend off the near-certain accusations of ‘out of context’ email quoting, here’s the entire exchange.

26 Responses

    • Zac Shaw

      TuneCore should be railing against the commenters on Digital Music News. That’s where the real industry hackery is going on.

    • Jeff Robinson

      Hey, if they want fair coverage, tell them to lobby Congress to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, then we can be rid of conservative Fox News and liberal MSNBC too.

      It starts there.

  1. Visitor

    I like TuneCore, but I think they’re wrong on all accounts here. And I really don’t enjoy paying for ads on pirate sites!
    However, I’m not sure why it’s so important to discuss He Who Shall Not Be Named, or any other former TuneCore employee.
    Why not move on?
    (Goes for Mr. Price, too.)

  2. visitor

    Sounds like Tunecore is being run by regular business people now. Good for them.

  3. AnAmusedGeek

    All the GrooveShark execs moved to tunecore ?
    Or does Paul just really need better deodorant ?

  4. Cliche

    It’s not show friends, it’s show business.
    Does Tunecore need a hanky for their boo-boos?

  5. anonymous

    As a PR person, I can tell you that Engelmayer’s statement: “Your ‘reporting’ belies certain journalistic integrities as it wantonly accepts a singular narrative, when you must know that there are always varying points of view; and, in some cases, matters that are in reality, inappropriate for public debate,” is a bias that is vefy well-known among other PR people working with companies in the digital music space.

  6. hippydog

    honestly.. From my perspective and opinion..
    I would say they have a point.. it very possible its pure coincidence,
    but it does “look like” digital music news has an ‘axe to grind’ with tunecore.. You do seem to lean to one side when oppurtunity presents itself 😉
    just sayin..

    • Visitor

      Nah, Paul “leans” whichever way will create a buzz. He’s likely nothing against TuneCore really (nor against anyone else he aims his digital type against today). He’s just after the “juicy” angle. Believe me, it is obvious to anyone who has ever been on the inside of a story that DMN is reporting on that Paul isn’t practicing journalism. He’d be more accurately compared to a gossip columnist than a news reporter.
      Paul is a blogger writing opinions, editorial, half-truths and hearsay. And the fact is that by doing so HE IS DOING HIS JOB.
      One shouldn’t confuse the fact that the word news is in the name of his publication with the fact that he is practicing journalism. He’s not (and I hope and believe he’d agree).
      Paul’s DMN is a blog and an effective one at that. His “job” is to write whatever will draw eyeballs. Those eyeballs turn into ads. Those ads feed Paul. The same agenda drives “journalistic” publications but there is a standard – fact checking, confirming sources and all that – which separates one from the other.

  7. Rikki

    Has it ever occured to the artists that todays music is bland boring, corporate and it really sucks?
    I am a dj and I am shocked so many “artists” can make any money at all….they should bow down and kiss the ground.
    I have NO symphathy….I need MUSIC TODAY… good danceable music with real instruments…..anyone know any bands that play this long forgotten genre?
    PS any band still know what guitar solo is?

    • Visitor

      too busy whining about youtube and the rest of the interwebnets

    • Visitor

      “good danceable music with real instruments”
      It’s funny, I’ve heard many strange instruments over the years but never a fake one.

    • hippydog

      Has it ever occured to you that part of the problem is most DJ’s do nothing to support the music industry besides playing the same crap that the top40 stations play?
      instead of being spoon fed, more DJ’s need to actively look for and find small label and indie musicians.. THEN SUPPORT AND PLAY THEM!
      until then, DJ’s will have no relevance to todays music industry.. (besides the break through DJ’s that create their own music)

  8. Me

    DMN does seem to have covered evry single piece about Tunecore over the last year in not too favourable a light whilst seemingly publishing so many fluff articles about Ditto that its almost become the Ditto blog.
    To put so many articles (good and bad) about two very small DIY digital distribution companies does seem a little strange.
    Where are the articles about FUGA, Believe, InGrooves, AWAL, Orchard, Essential, PIAS etc all of whom vastly outnumber the aforementioned in market share?,

  9. JW

    yes. “Where ARE the articles about FUGA, Believe, InGrooves, AWAL, Orchard, Essential, PIAS etc all of whom vastly outnumber the aforementioned in market share?,”

  10. anon

    Thank you for letting me know that Juda Engelmeyer is a guy. I can now take him seriously! I was all set to assume that this was some dumb broad writing jibberish but now I know that this is a man and I can respectfully read what he has written. Thank you for saving me the embarrassment of mistakenly ignoring something because I assumed it was from a woman.

  11. LOOK AT ME!

    Half of the articles on Digital Music News are about Digital Music News.

  12. Sunset

    I am not sure what the thing is between TCore and DMN but I will say that if anyone catches sh*t from paul and the DMS, its pandora…LOL….we were issued IPO and selling it has been rough so please…lay off for just a tiny bit longer…lol…i kid you about it but the ONLY thing is with regard to these ads being placed, etc…alot of that is done via what is a relational database. And, so if you go to a site…you could feasibly see what they re;ate what you have done online…to the ad you get in the page..i know its hard to gauge but i get my own ads everywhere which is futile…and I have ZERO control of it….I don’t wanna get involved ina fight but again…there could be that reason they have ads when you see the operate bay site or whatever bit torrent site…those especially use those weird dbases…facebook does it…I get tunecore ads all of the time quite frankly…and again..i think its those dbases that remember what you have done…and its selective to IP addresses….Now..if this NOT true..i have no science t base it on..I know that form of programming from school and I have seen it happen to me because again..I think its counterproductive to barrage you with the same ads for the same sites you have already bought thats ame product….I have noticed that a few time and i also notice my cafe press ads for all of my artists all over the place…and at every web site i go which one more time..is futile to show me that ad since I set it up in first place…but that cookie thing remembers everything we do..and i have this great feeling tunecore is in that network..like I said in this note..I get tunecore ads at every site i go..there is no way they spend money on ads that way….its some co op sitch…attached to some dbase that is “relational:” as they call it programmers world…but also,…i happen to love the DMS…and i think tunecore is cool for most part…I had have known jeff dating back to the 90s when I was with sire and he seems like a real music guy….which is all I care about with people in our industry…and, with that said and as a person the loves that music industry as much as I love music…i think tcore is the butt of those types of ads you are getting on them for and I dont think they even know it..or know how to explain..I cant…its hard…and deep programming but its all that napster file sharing crap…just in all dbases….remember in the early 00’s…with those files sharing and remember what shawn fanning tried to do with snocap…i think its all that same concept if that makes since….thanks…

    • Sunset

      I mean to say pirate bay site…sorry…not operate site…and also soory about typos…I could not see the corrections or mispelled words…and rambled on too…

  13. danwriter

    As a journalist, I’ll back Paul fully versus this kind of utter arrogance on 5W’s part. No news organization would agree to the constraints they attermpted to put on their interview offer. But I gotta agree, identifying his antagonist’s gender was pointless at best.

  14. Joseph John

    What a bunch of children. Once a week I have to scroll pass this tunecore crap to get to anything of value. Thanks for the waste…you’re getting close to being banned from my corporations in-box…as I don’t want my staff wasting their time with this!

  15. Ghost of Rick Ross

    Grooveshark’s fight with Digital Music News was a complete disaster on so many levels. I’m hearing it’s just the lawyers running down the shot clock billing as much as they can before the bankruptcy lawyers and vultures come a’ knockin.

  16. Visitor

    This particular article IS a ‘gossip’ article instead of news, and so what!?… Paul can write an opinion piece if he wants, and so can you! Blog, tweet, make a facebook post, start your own music industry news website… just so happens that Paul’s forum is Digital Music News.
    Regarding the issue: Who cares if DMN slams TuneCore!? It’s an opinion. Get over it. Likewise, who cares if TuneCore looks down on DMN and does not approve what is said about them. The entire scenario represents the beauty and value of FREE SPEECH.
    I don’t always agree with Paul nor does his writing style always appeal to me, BUT I fuckin LOVED how Paul handled Juda in the email exchange! Go Paul 😉
    … and so why do I read DMN??? Because MANY others in the biz do, and it behooves me to stay current on what is being discussed whether it is top quality journalism or not.