5 Predictions for Independent Artists in 2014

TuneCore is the largest music distributor in the world with one of the highest revenue-generating music catalogs in existance. Since launching in 2006, over 1.7 billion TuneCore Artist units have been downloaded or streamed, which translates to over $250 million in revenue earned by the artists.

For a flat fee, TuneCore distributes artists’ music to places like AmazonMP3, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Deezer, eMusic, Rdio and Simfy. The artists keep their rights and don't get charged any portion of the revenue they make from the sale of their tunes. Not just appealing to indie bands, TuneCore has more than 849,000 artist and label account holders, from the breaking new talent to the established names like Aretha Franklin, Blood On The Dance Floor, Drake, Jay-Z, Keith Richards, Nine Inch Nails, Public Enemy, The Civil Wars, Willie Nelson and MGM Studios. In 2011, TuneCore expanded to Canada and in 2012, to Japan. TuneCore Music Publishing Administration was introduced in 2011.

Chris Mooney, Sr. Director of Artist Promotions and Strategic Relationships for the music giant, shares 5 predictions for independent artists in 2014.

  1. Artists focus on monetization
    Artists will turn to Publishing Administrators to secure new sources of revenue with a focus on collecting money from YouTube for both their sound recording and composition. In doing so, artists will focus even more attention on YouTube as a social network and place for engagement, contesting, and announcements. (According to, one million views could bring in between $800 and $8,000 dollars to the person who uploads the video.)
  2. More artists start promotion early with pre-orders
    Pre-orders will no longer only be the territory for high-profile artist releases. More artists will embrace the ability to include a link to purchase on iTunes during the marketing period leading up to release date. It is easy now to offer fans instant grat tracks with their pre-order purchase. Plus, all of these pre-order sales register on release day, helping albums rise up the iTunes charts.
  3. Management is the new indie label
    Managers assemble hand-picked teams to support their artists, hiring the publicist, selecting their distribution partner, connecting bands with a booking agent, contracting special marketing companies... and based on their success, the band and manager have a real choice to maintain their independence or they also have a much more valuable story to bring to a major label when considering a deal. (While having one person lead a team that does all of the behind the scenes work frees artists up to do what they do best - make music - musicians should still stay on top of what is being done. After all, it is your career the manager is driving.)
  4. Streaming radio becomes something to watch
    iTunes Radio is extremely convenient for users, and while it still needs to improve on its discovery suggestions and listener experience, with a few adjustments, it will usher in a fierce challenge to competitive streaming services. (According to's Paul Gil, there are 18 internet radio stations that top the list for 2014.)
  5. Market through video
    Vine and Instagram video will grow in importance for marketing by bands and artists. The video elements allow creative messages with music to fans. These posts are much more capable of "going viral" compared to a Facebook post. (Vine, owned by twitter, hit 40 million registered users in August of 2013. Instagram hit 150 million users one month later. The two platforms do extremely well and represent different demographics which is highlighted in who their most followed account holders are. Vine's top guy is funny-man KingBach vs Instagrams top fashionista, Kylie Jenner. Pictures on Instagram still account for 96% of their views.)

Tags : Music Business

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