TuneCore is set to partner up with Amazon for an on-demand CD printing and distribution service that will give artists a cheaper method of physically publishing their work. The new service expands on TuneCore’s current digital distribution model, which enables artists to upload their own songs and albums to paid services like iTunes, eMusic and other outlets, and receive payments upon customer purchases.
For $31 a year, TuneCore will handle a 10-track CD from pressing to delivery; all other costs are passed on to the buyer. The service will provide an unlimited number of CDs which are made on demand and can be distributed all over the world via Amazon.com. The company hopes this will be appealing to artists because it eliminates a majority of the financial risks involved with short-lived CD manufacturing. The deal intends on delivering 100% of Amazon’s payout to the artist – or about 40% of the retail price.
This may seem strange to some as CD sales are declining and several major CD distributors are looking to switch over to a digital format. However, Jeff Prince, TuneCore CEO, is not discouraged. He believes that the costs of this service are low enough for many bands to just give it a go. “Let the music fan decide how they want the music,” Prince said. According to the CEO, TuneCore releases more music in one day than any major label does in an entire year and they are home to well-known artists, such as Trent Reznor, and unsigned bands alike.
Future plans include a widget that will allow bands to distribute tweets and songs to fans as well as an iPhone app for steaming music. TuneCore is also planning to implement some reward-based programs for artists.