« Home | OurStage is now available on your iPhone » | The Power of a Music Community » | You Cannot Succeed Without A Goal » | Tori Amos Interview Video from Amoeba Music » | ReverbNation Is At It Again! » | Why I Dig OurStage » | imeem Launches Site Redesign and Introduces New So... » | ReverbNation Secures $3 Million in Series B Expans... » | The Independent Music Awards (IMAs) » | Focus On What You Desire » 

Monday, October 27, 2008 

TuneCore vs ReverbNation For Digital Distro?

by Madalyn Sklar

So this morning I'm reading what is turning into quite the interesting article and blog comments about TuneCore raising $7 million for its digital distro service.

Apple’s iTunes music-downloading service and its iPod music players disrupted the music industry’s CD business. TuneCore is helping to complete that process.

That’s how the company just raised $7 million in a first institutional round of funding from Opus Capital. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company allows artists to distribute their music, videos and films to iTunes and a host of other online vendors.

I'm happy for TuneCore. They have done a great job building this company up and now with $7M they can do even more. I've known Jeff Price for a long time and he's come up with a great way for indie artists to get their music into the digital arena at an affordable price. They don't keep a percent of sales. YOUR SALES! This is why I feel strongly that their platform is better than CD Baby's. Why give your money away to CD Baby if you don't have to? I have been recommending TuneCore for years.

But then I run into a very interesting counter post on this subject at hyperbot asking a simple question: TuneCore Gets $7 M From Opus Capital. Why? They question this because ReverbNation is now offering digital distro at a cheaper rate than TuneCore.

Opus Capital's Gill Cogan told VentureBeat that he'd "screened a lot of music internet companies but didn’t find any that could do what TuneCore does." Well, Opus and VentureBeat should both hire new research departements. The flat fee distribtuion model has already been adopted by several companies. The largest, ReverbNation, offers a similar and sometimes cheaper flat fee service to 250,000 artist members. And ReverbNation offers an integrated suite of free viral promotional tools that TuneCore would do well to spend its $7 million copying.

ReverbNation I love ReverbNation! I'm a big fan. They offer hands down the BEST widgets to promote your music on the Internet. I love their Facebook applications too. I have been recommending them to everyone for a long time now. And I was thrilled to recently learn they are now offering their own digital distro and it's priced better than TuneCore. So you can guess which company I started recommending to my clients and the GoGirls community. Yep, ReverbNation. Oh and by the way, it's not just because their pricing is better. Nope. I've spent time with the people at ReverbNation. They "get it" when it comes to indie artists. And they are damn nice.

Here's a tip to remember: people like to work with people they like. Always be likable in this business!

I think this topic is going to get interesting. I'll be keeping a watchful eye. Stay tuned as this develops...

Send me your comments. I welcome your thoughts on this and would love to hear what you think!

Copyright © 2008 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 12 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

Madalyn's Sites:

Labels: , , ,

I've been doing a series on this as well and I have to say, ReverbNation takes the cake on this deal. I think you're totally right when you say they "get it". By adding digital distribution, they've rounded out an already outstanding package that allows independent artists to effectively and efficiently market, distribute, and profit from their music. TuneCore's offering is great, and probably has them beat on tracking/analytics features at the moment, but ReverbNation's site kind of hints that they will offer more in depth analytics soon.

The deal with iLike is a good move because of iLike's relationship with Facebook, but TuneCore has a long way to go before it matches the marketing power ReverbNation gives its users. They should really think about using the $7 million to beef up their marketing/promotional tools.

I could not agree with you more on all points. Thanks for sharing!!

Hey Madalyn - this topic hits home right now, as I made a decision last spring to pull my original, small one-man shop digital distribution partner for my second CD and go back to CDBaby where my first CD is still happily digitally distributed.

The process was horribly painful, but I'm glad I went through it. And especially after that, I wasn't comfortable going with another newcomer to the business.

I stalled momentarily when ReverbNation announced its digital distribution offering bc I love their artist services as you do, but after quick email exchange with CDBaby I've confirmed with them. Yes they take 9%, but there is no set up fee beyond what you've already paid for CD distribution ($35, which is waived when you manufacture your CDs through Oasis or Discmakers).

I'm just wary of going with TuneCore OR ReverbNation, not fully understanding their long-term revenue models. I'm confident that CDBaby won't just disappear.

Thx for continuing to explore these topics!


I love reverbnation!!! Feel free to check my music out! I would love to work with ur girls!! Lets make some good music!!


has anyone heard of any scams associated with TuneCore or ReverbNation? I heard of the TuneCore scams and it has me worried. I want to make the best educated decision I can for my upcoming album.

Right now I have my single and a ringtone through TuneCore however I have been using both iLike and ReverbNation for a while now.. And I prefer ReverbNation's tools but I see that most of the bigger names in the recording industry go with iLike (at least in the genre of CCM).

Thanks for the info Madalyn. Im just on the cusp of putting new music online and see the reverbnation application.
Ive been a happy cdbaby user for 3 or so years and was tossing up whether to go tunecore or not ...the vast array of marketing tools looks pretty nifty on reverbnation. I must say though that thei uploading on say dates to play takes a LONG time. Maybe its the slow speeds here on the South Coast Of Australia.

I was about to hit the "Distribute Album" button on my TuneCore account when I noticed that Reverb Nation had secured Digital distribution. I had a few questions that I hope someone can answer: 1) I heard that Tune Core's flat fee goes UP after the introductory first album is that true? 2) I also read that Tune Core charges the flat fee for EACH store they distribute to. Is that still the case (can't find answers to either of those questions in their site)? Also has anyone hear of DittoMusic (I also found them when doing a search on "Comparing Digital distribution")? Any wisdom, feedback etc. is welcome.


Hi! I'm making my decision by tomorrow whether or not to go with TuneCore or Reverbnation~ and although I found this helpful~ I'm still not convinced on either one, as they both look pretty similar, so I'm thinking of the prices now. Will someone please help me understand the price difference there? When I researched online, it seemed that Tunecore was cheaper, but all these comments say that Reverb is cheaper . . . and now that I've looked again, it shows Tune as $50 per submission plus $35 annually, and Reverb is $35 per submission and $35 annually (all for the basic, not Pro packages) but does that mean every year you pay $35 per album submission...?

Also, I'm marketing myself as a one name artist, but unfortunately there's apparently already a band with that name. Will that be an issue? How do I find out before spending the time to upload all my albums?

Thank you so much for your help!! *~~kiana

Kiana, they both provide the same service at about the same cost. TuneCore has been doing it longer. It's a preference thing. Go with the one you think is the best fit for you.

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link



    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

    Madalyn's Sites:
    * GoGirlsMusic.com
    * Social Networks for Musicians
    contact: madalynsklar(at)gmail.com


    Get interviewed on this blog for just $50

    HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard

    Learn it all.

    HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard

    Check out my YouTube video:

    GoGirlsMusic.com's items Go to Madalyn's photostream


    Click here if you would like to post articles and information from this blog to your blog or web site.

Previous posts


Madalyn's Blog
P.O. Box 16940
Sugar Land, TX 77496-6940

Copyright © 2000-2009 Madalyn's Music Biz Blog. All rights reserved.

This blog is designed to provide reliable information regarding the subject matter covered.
The authors disclaim any liability that incurs from the use of any information contained in this blog.