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TuneCore Claims Top DIY Distributor Crown With $3B In Artist Payments

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(Hypebot) — TuneCore has paid more than $3 billion to artists since the company was founded in 2006.

With the milestone, TuneCore claims the crown for total payments to artists. Competitor CD Baby, which was founded in 1998, announced $1 billion in total payments early last year. DistroKid is believed to be the top DIY distributor by annual volume of tracks but has not shared payment stats.


TuneCore says that 8000 of its artists cumulatively earned over $10,000, thousands of artists earned between $50,000 and $100,000, and “many” are taking home over $1,000,000.

TuneCore is owned by leading digital music company Believe, which also owns Nuclear Blast, Naïve, Groove Attack, and AllPoints. More than 400 TuneCore artists have been upstreamed Believe’s premium services levels, an offering designed to serve artists at all stages of their development.

Too much “low quality” music?

UMG chief Lucien Grainge and other major label executives have recently criticized DIY artists and companies like TuneCore for releasing “low-quality music” that clutters the marketplace.

Naturally, Believe CEO Denis Ladegaillerie disagrees: “The achievement of reaching $3 billion earned by self-releasing artists speaks volumes to the importance of supporting all creators equally. Which is why the whole artistic community must be nurtured without differentiation to allow the emergence of a new class of self-releasing artists that will be able to sustain themselves by making a living from their art. Not all artists aim at becoming superstars, but all top artists need a launchpad to blossom.”

Despite Grainge’s comments, UMG is obviously paying attention. The signed Lauren Spencer Smith, who’s been a TuneCore artist for years and released her hit “Fingers Crossed” with the d.i.y. distributor to its Island/ Republic label earlier this year.

“We’re proud to offer innovative technology-based services at affordable price points to all music creators, whether you’re a beginner or a top artist. Ed Sheeran, Lizzo, and Chance the Rapper all started their careers on TuneCore,” said Andreea Gleeson, TuneCore CEO. “Our goal is to give all self-releasing artists the freedom to create, test, perfect – and earn money from – their music, without restrictions.”

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