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DEBATE: What the EP Revolution Means for DIY Distribution

When we first got into trouble for doubting the role of the album, we didn’t mean to dismiss it altogether, but we did want to convey that the EP is the future of business. Singles and EPs are vastly better for today’s industry for the following reasons: 1) They’re easier to make 2) They allow bands to produce more frequently over a year and therefore maintain consistency in the news cycle and remain in the conversation 3) They’re cheaper to make and 4) They’re more polished products than albums. Music Think Tank argues these points in regards to DIY musicians and them needing to consistently create.

If the industry moves forward with more EPs, smaller but more frequent outputs from artists, and less hiatus and long form LPs, then distribution is going to change (at least for some). It’s hard to believe the large-annual-fee model can be sustained in the EP culture. What DIY artist in their right mind would pay $30-40 each time for each EP/single in the year when they might have 2 or 3 more later? Other services like us can be more feasible in this market, where you only need to drop the same $1.99 flat fee per release. 

When you have a culture of micro-releases, the industry must respond with micro-prices.

TuneCore Change-Up Reminds Us What Really Matters with Distribution

In shocking fashion, DIY distributor TuneCore let go their CEO and founder, Jeff Price on July 22, as reported by Billboard. Price was kicked out along with co-founder Peter Wells by the board as well. The article details that the fallout had to do with Price’s controversy with Amazon in Europe among other internal issues involving not achieving financial goals. 

While it’s unknown what this drastic change at the top means for the company’s plans going forward, the news is setting a fire in the blogosphere. One commenter on Digital Music News made a sticking point:

Really? If you are truly in this as a pro, you know that getting on iTunes is not the tough part.  Look at the stats: 28MM songs made it on in 2011.  94% of those sold 100 units or less, roughly 8MM songs were downloaded just once!  This is the legacy of Tunecore and others like them.  You can’t release music and hpoe that it goes viral on its own.  Get a team, get a clue, get real!! - commenter named “Realist”

Going forward, artists need to learn it takes a lot more than getting your music on a store to succeed. It’s what happens after getting your music on iTunes that truly matters most. TuneCore has been a stalwart in the distribution game for a long time, but at the pace of the changing music industry, more needs to be offered to DIY musicians. Artists need a full-service option to reach their full potential. In today’s day and age, post-release promotional support and high-impact features help a lot more than just an upload service. Take what we did for Basement Batman as an example, and we got nothing but great feedback. ONErpm believes in empowering artists, but that they also need that extra support. 

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What Sets Us Apart: Features

We wanted to share these screenshots of Basement Batman’s debut album Season 1 on Rdio, because it’s an example of what ONErpm can do for individual artists; get them promoted on high-profile stores. We got our pals onto Rdio’s New Music Tuesday Playlist and on the front page of New Releases. After all, features are the most powerful tool an artist can use. A feature on iTunes can spike tales by 500% sometimes. You’re not going to get features from CD-Baby or Tunecore. We fight for features on iTunes, Rdio and eMusic, and soon Spotify.