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DIY Update: Tunecore Launches Songwriter Publishing Administration Service

This week Tunecore announced a new Songwriter Publishing Administration Service. Many self-published bands may be familiar with Tunecore’s online distribution service, which helps get unsigned bands’ albums and songs into the major online stores. In the changing musical landscape where streams are slowly eating away at album sales, Tunecore now hopes to helps artists capture much of that money and do it as painlessly as possible for the artist.

They’ve been talking about the issues facing musicians in these areas in a number of blog posts (see “Here Comes The Songwriter Revolution” and “A Goal: Performance Royalty Accountability In 2012”), focusing on different angles of the problem that they have set out to solve.

That said, here’s what the service will do:

1. Register songwriter’s songs with organizations that use and track their copyrights so they know they exist, what songs are theirs and what money belongs to them.
2. Issue any licenses needed and handle any requests for the use of a songwriter’s songs in TV shows, movies, commercials and other media, and negotiate any licenses with TuneCore’s in-house Film & Visual Media department to get them the best possible terms.
3. Represent the songwriter and aggressively pursue all of their songwriting earnings.
4. Get songwriter’s existing “found” money back before it is given to someone else.
5. Police the world on the songwriter’s behalf to find illegal usage or copyright violation and make it stop and/or get the songwriter paid.

The service will cost songwriters a one-time $49.99 setup fee and a 10% cut of the money that Tunecore collects for you.

I’m not here to recommend Tunecore’s new service, only to let our readers know about it so they can investigate it further for themselves. But here’s what Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor had to say about it:

I began using TuneCore six years ago with the release of Ghosts. They seemed like an interesting and efficient solution to get my music out everywhere and circumvent the existing machine in place at that time. The experience went very well - they actually did what they said they would in a straightforward, transparent, efficient and logical manner… I was sure they wouldn’t have a chance of surviving in the music business with that philosophy!

Years later, we’re both still standing. I’ve continued using TuneCore for all my releases since Ghosts including “The Social Network” and plan to use them for the upcoming “The Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo” and the new full-length from How To Destroy Angels.

When they reached out to tell me about their new big idea - adding transparency and straightforwardness to the murky waters of publishing administration (which to me is a world as boring and convoluted as it sounds) I was very interested. If they could pull off what they did with distribution on the publishing administration side of things, this could be a pretty big deal - it could be another important tool that further empowers the musician / songwriter directly.

OK, I’m in. Check the link below for more information or check back in a few years and I’ll tell you how it went!



The real question to me is how much money is out there for bands to collect and how “big” a band has to be to get a return on their $50 investment in the service with the “pennies” in earnings that are typically discussed in relation to streaming music services. For bands just starting out, it’s probably not worth it. But for moderately successful self-published bands, this service could prove valuable.

For any metal bands that may decide to take the plunge and try it out, we’d like to hear about your experiences and results. Contact us to let us know what you think.

deathbringer's avatar

A self-described "metal geek," Doug Gibson has been listening to heavy metal for more than twenty five years and designed and coded Metal Underground.com from scratch over ten years ago.

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