I don’t know how many of you have interacted with Jeff Price, but he’s a fantastic guy.
My name’s Alex Day, I’m an independent musician, one of Tunecore’s artists, and in the last year things have got pretty crazy for me in terms of exposure and growth. I’ve sold half a million songs on iTunes, all put there by Tunecore, for example. Through it all, Jeff’s always been an email away. I didn’t know him - I just took a shot and sent him an email and he was polite enough to reply, and from then on he’s always replied. He told me how much he liked the new music video I’d made and released that day, or backed my crazy scheme to release three singles at once, or congratulated me on getting a featured profile in Forbes (in which he joked ‘when you buy Tunecore be nice to me!).
I feel compelled to write this after hearing about Jeff stepping down as Tunecore’s CEO. I’m not clear on who his replacement is, but I’m going to say something that Jeff was once kind enough to say about me: he’s everything that is right with the modern music industry. He makes time for his artists. He breathes music. I’ve always seen Tunecore as a supportive family and there can be no greater home for my work, and Jeff is responsible for creating such a welcoming and encouraging environment for emerging talent.
As I read his open letter (copied below), I was thinking all this - about how supportive he’s been to me and my music - and then what do I find? A list of famous Tunecore artists, with me right in the middle, smack bang between Ed Sheeran and Aretha Franklin. I was blown away.
On behalf of musicians everywhere, I wanna thank Jeff for being the kind of CEO we don’t see enough in the music industry. Someone who cares, gets excited about what they do, and really fights for the musicians they represent. He does things right, and I can only hope his successor is up to the challenge of standing in his shoes.
Here’s Jeff’s open letter in full:
Peter Wells, Gary Burke and I launched TuneCore on January 25, 2006. Our motto and mission: for artists to “sell their music not their soul.” We envisioned changing the global music industry for artists for the better by serving, not exploiting, them. TuneCore’s impact was significant and immediate. It turned the industry on its head by removing gatekeepers, allowing all artists onto the shelves of the digital music services while not requiring them to give up rights and revenue from the sale of their music. It also provided the industry’s first transparent royalty system with easy 24/7 real time access. In late 2011, phase two of TuneCore launched with the announcement of its Global Publishing Administration service, allowing any songwriter access to a global publishing administration deal. This first-of-its-kind global pipeline permits all songwriters to access their additional royalties and enforce their copyrights while maintaining control and ownership of their songs.
With our vision, guidance, execution and hard work we made TuneCore the leader in its space as the largest music distribution and publishing entity in the world. From just three people in 2006, TuneCore grew to over 40 employees working out of the headquarters in Brooklyn, NY and the Publishing Administration office in Burbank, CA.
I am announcing today that I am no longer CEO/President of TuneCore and co-founder Peter Wells is no longer working with TuneCore.
Under our tenure, TuneCore took take significant market share away from the traditional major labels. As of July, 2012, TuneCore artists represent over 4% of all US gross digital music sales revenue and have sold over 610,000,000 units of music generating over $310,000,000 in gross music sales. More than four songs a second are sold on iTunes somewhere in the world by a TuneCore artist. Through the execution of the vision and the trust of the artist, TuneCore achieved about 40% of the market share of EMI and 25% of the market share of Universal in regards to digital music sales in the United States.
We were also able to attract artists across the spectrum: from emerging artists to the older legends and the new legends. Artists such as Drake, Soulja Boy, Sonic Youth, Nine Inch Nails, Zac Brown Band, Hoodie Allen, Civil Wars, Lecrea, Boyce Avenue, Kelly, Colt Ford, Ed Sheerhan, Alex Day, Aretha Franklin, Jay Z, Girl Talk, Blood On The Dancefloor, Jason Mraz, Nice Peter, Tiesto and hundreds of thousands more used TuneCore to place number one albums and songs on iTunes, Amazon and many other digital stores, breaking the control of the traditional industry while democratizing it.
Under our leadership, TuneCore changed the global music industry, provided hundreds of thousands of artists access to digital music services, shifted the power of the industry to the artist while administering hundreds of millions of dollars back into their hands under a new model, all while growing the company into a global force.
Peter and I look forward to continuing to change the industry on a global scale to the further betterment of artists, songwriters and investors and to issuing our next announcement.
Alex Day is an independent musician with two UK Top 20 songs and over 90 million plays to YouTube in the last year, all without a record label or any PR or management. His newest single, She Walks Right Through Me, is available on iTunes.