TuneCore – Everything You Need to Know

Music Industry

TuneCore – Everything You Need to Know


Are you looking to distribute your music across various streaming platforms and trying to find the best music distributor for your needs? In this context, we’ll dive into TuneCore and discuss whether it’s your optimal choice. TuneCore has undergone significant changes, so let’s break down what’s new and why you might consider it. In the past, TuneCore operated on a pay-per-single or album basis, but now they offer an annual fee model with unlimited music uploads. This aligns them with platforms like District, where you pay a yearly fee for unlimited uploads and access to various features.

Comparing TuneCore to other distributors like CD Baby and DistroKid reveals distinct differences in pricing and features. CD Baby operates on a pay-per-release model, whereas DistroKid offers annual plans similar to TuneCore’s. Each platform caters to different needs, whether unlimited uploads, worldwide distribution, or specific features like YouTube Content ID.

Ultimately, the choice of distributor depends on your priorities as an independent artist. TuneCore’s revamped pricing model, especially its free tier, presents a compelling option for those experimenting with music distribution without financial commitment. Remember, you’re not locked into any distributor, so feel free to explore and choose the one that best aligns with your goals. 


What Is A Music Distributor?

A music distributor is like a helper for musicians and record labels. They put your music in different places where people can listen, like Spotify or music stores. They also make sure you get paid when people listen to your music.

For example, if you’re a singer and you want your song to be on Spotify, you need someone to do it for you. That’s where a music distributor comes in. They gather all the information about your song, like the music file, the cover art, and who wrote it. Then, they upload it to Spotify for you.

But they don’t do it for free. You have to pay them a fee for their service. It could be a yearly fee or a fee for each song. When people listen to your song on Spotify, you get paid some money for each listen. The distributor makes sure you get that money.

Think of the distributor as a middleman between you and Spotify. They handle all the technical stuff and ensure you get your share of the money when people listen to your music. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way for musicians to upload their music directly to places like Spotify. But in the future, things may change.

History of TuneCore:

TuneCore was founded in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York, by Jeff Price, Peter Wells, and Gary Burke. They wanted to make the music industry fairer for everyone. At first, TuneCore helped musicians sell their music online. But as more people started streaming music, TuneCore adapted to that, too.

Even though the music industry keeps changing, TuneCore remains essential.  In the US, it claims 10% of iTunes’ 20 million songs and nearly 4% of digital sales. With 2 million songs hosted, TuneCore influence is evident. Should you join its ranks?


What do you need to know about TuneCore?

TuneCore assists artists, labels, and managers in marketing their music across various platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, TikTok, and over 150 other download and streaming stores globally. For a modest annual flat fee, users maintain complete control of their sales revenue and rights.

Services Offered by TuneCore

1.TuneCore Music Distribution:

TuneCore facilitates the distribution of artists’ music across prominent online platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. With a straightforward upload process, artists can broaden their reach to a global audience, bypassing the necessity for a traditional record deal. This empowers independent artists to share their music widely and seamlessly connect with fans across various platforms.

It spreads your music to many places online where people can listen. They work with over 150 different stores and websites that stream music, giving you plenty of choices.

But when it comes to getting your music onto big streaming sites like Spotify or Apple Music, TuneCore isn’t any better than other companies like DistroKid, Amuse, or CD Baby. If you’re interested in smaller, more specialized sites, like ones that focus on Spanish music, it’s a good idea to check if TuneCore works with them before you decide to use it.

TuneCore Music Distribution

2. Publishing Administration:

TuneCore offers publishing administration services, guaranteeing that artists receive rightful royalties for their compositions through registration with performance rights organizations (PROs) and diligent collection of publishing royalties.TuneCore assists artists in maximizing their earnings from their music. This ensures that artists can focus on their creativity while their financial interests are expertly managed.


3. Artist Promotion:

In addition to distribution and publishing, TuneCore offers promotional tools to help artists gain exposure. From social media marketing to playlist pitching, TuneCore equips artists with the resources they need to build their fanbase and increase their visibility.

  • Rising Artist

The Rising Artist plan lets you release as much music as you want on big platforms for just £14.99 a year. It offers perks like picking when your music comes out, keeping all your earnings, and quick help from customer service. It’s excellent for new musicians starting on TuneCore.


  • BreakOut Artist

The Breakout Artist plan costs £29.99 per year and offers extra features compared to the Rising Artist plan. These extras include a store automator, which helps manage your music sales, and daily trend reports to keep you updated on what’s popular.

Artist services

How TuneCore Works?

1. Uploading Music:

Artists can start with TuneCore easily. They just need to upload their music files, along with artwork and details about their music. After that, TuneCore sends the music to online stores and streaming services, making it available for people to find and buy.

2. Distribution Channels:

TuneCore distributes music to over 150 digital stores and streaming services worldwide, including Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and TikTok. This extensive network ensures that artists can reach audiences across various platforms and regions.

Distribution Channels

3. Royalties and Payments:

TuneCore ensures that musicians receive all the money they earn from streaming their music on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. If you use their free plan, they take a small portion (20%) as their fee.  When choosing a service to distribute your music, it’s important to know how much you’ll get paid. TuneCore pays well compared to others, especially on Spotify, where they’re at the top. They’re also pretty good on Apple Music, coming in second.


Advantages of TuneCore:

  • Independence: TuneCore empowers artists to retain full control over their music and earnings.
  • Global Reach: With distribution to over 150 digital stores, TuneCore helps artists reach audiences worldwide.
  • Transparent Reporting: TuneCore provides detailed analytics and reporting, allowing artists to monitor their performance.
  • TuneCore empowers artists to pursue music as their primary source of income by providing guidance on monetizing and promoting their song catalog and leveraging music licensing, master residuals, and sync opportunities.


Disadvantages of TuneCore:

  • Cost: TuneCore charges additional fees for adding new streaming/distribution outlets, such as iTunes and Spotify, if they’re not included in the original order. Either pay $2 per outlet or an extra $10 per release to include all new outlets (streaming platforms) automatically.
  • Competition: With the rise of competing platforms, artists may face challenges standing out in a crowded marketplace.


TuneCore Pricing plans

TuneCore has different pricing plans. There’s a free one where you can put your music on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.  But you only keep 80% of the money you make. Then there are paid plans, costing between $15 and $50 a year, where you can upload as much music as you want to all the extensive streaming services.

TuneCore says they can get your music into over 150 shops so that many people can hear it. The cheapest plan, at $15, gives you the best deal because you get to keep all your money. But there’s a catch. The cheaper plans don’t have fancy features like custom labels or advanced stats.

The basic plan lets you schedule when your music comes out, which is essential for solo artists. You get cool extras like round-the-clock support, detailed sales info, and chances to promote your stuff as you go up the price levels. TuneCore hints at new things coming, like sharing earnings with other artists, which could make managing royalties easier.

TuneCore Pricing plans

Take a look at the TuneCore pricing plan below:

You’ll notice there are four options available at TuneCore Pricing plans. Pay attention to the free signup option; it’s pretty impressive!

TuneCore pricing plan

How much does TuneCore pay for 1000 streams?

TuneCore compensates artists at a rate of $0.01 per stream, meaning you would earn $0.01 for every 1000 streams of your song. While this may appear minimal, these royalties can accumulate rapidly if your songs receive frequent plays.


Comparisons with Other Music Distribution Platforms

While TuneCore is a popular choice among independent artists, comparing its features and pricing with other distribution platforms such as DistroKid, CD Baby, and Ditto Music is essential. Each platform offers unique benefits and drawbacks, so artists should carefully evaluate their options based on their needs.


Tips for Maximizing Success with TuneCore

  • Optimize Metadata: Ensure your music is properly tagged with relevant keywords and genre classifications.
  • Engage with Fans: Build a solid online presence and interact with your audience through social media and live performances.
  • Stay Consistent: Release new music regularly to engage your audience and attract new listeners.
  • Utilize Promotional Tools: Take advantage of TuneCore’s promotional services to boost your visibility and reach a wider audience.
  • Network with Other Artists: Collaborate with fellow musicians and leverage their fanbase to expand your reach and grow your career.



TuneCore helps independent musicians get their music out to people worldwide. They’re upfront about how much it costs and offer different services, like getting your music out there. It handles the legal stuff and helps you get noticed. But artists need to know about any extra fees and competitions.

TuneCore has different plans to suit various needs, even a free one. To do well with TuneCore, musicians should ensure their song details are good and keep in touch with fans.They can also stay consistent with their music, use tools to promote themselves and connect with other musicians.

TuneCore music


Q: Is TuneCore suitable for all types of musicians?

       Ans:  TuneCore caters to musicians of all genres and levels, from emerging artists to established


Q: How much does TuneCore cost?

        Ans:  Depending on your needs, TuneCore offers various pricing options, including one-time fees

per release or annual subscriptions.

Q: Can I track my earnings with TuneCore?

        Ans:  Yes, TuneCore provides detailed analytics and reporting, allowing you to monitor your

earnings in real time.

Q: Does TuneCore offer promotional services?

        Ans:  Yes, TuneCore provides promotional tools to help artists gain exposure and grow their


Q: How long does it take for my music to be available on streaming platforms?

        Ans:  TuneCore typically delivers your music to digital stores and streaming platforms in a few

days to a couple of weeks.


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Yaniv Ben Ari
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