BLOG: iTunes Service Venzo Music Steps In After TuneCore Raises Prices
From Digital Music News:This is one of those things you only notice when you notice. For example, when your annual renewals are due within 30 days. And in the past few weeks, Tunecore has more than doubled its album distribution renewal fees, from $19.98 to $49.99.
Actually, that's a 150% increase, and $30 means something to most artists. We talked to a Tunecore customer service rep about the shift, who confirmed that the price hike actually happened April 6th. But of course, Tunecore wasn't about to trumpet the change. Singles and ringtone distribution renewal charges remain the same – at $9.99 per year.
We had little trouble locating pissed-off artists. "This is a highly alarming event and many artists consider it blatant fraud," one artist wrote on the Velvet Rope forum. "The sign-up deal was $19.98 per year to renew an album. I want you to know I will immediately be contacting the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Protection Agency and RipOff Report."
Tunecore does reserve the right to change rates, and the company has been notifying artists – but typically within 30 days of renewal. That technically allows time to shop around, though shifting contents to another service can be a huge hassle. And, there are serious penalties for non-renewal. "You must renew by the date above to keep your music live on the online stores you selected," the Tunecore letter states. "If you do not renew, your release will be taken down from the online stores after the renewal date. You will lose all your reviews, comments, future sales and your TuneCore Media Player. "
Official Response from Venzo Music (VMG):
We are very aware on how the distribution market has shifted. Due to these changes, more and more competitors are now able to take advantage of what seems like a grave error to music artists around the world. I am proud to say that Venzo Music has a much broader approach to getting people's music on iTunes. As the only iTunes platform that never charge any flat fees, we are opening our doors to any music artists who wants to gain access right into the iTunes Store.
In exchange for 20% of sales made, we are offering everyone to sell unlimited music, music videos, ringtones, and iTunes LPs on iTunes. Unlike other services out there, we grant users the ability to literally upload their music directly on iTunes, giving them more leverage and control of their music. Our business model is a non-changing model. We are very excited to be able to offer our services to any artist and record label without charging and increasing prices – Kevin Rivers, CEO Venzo Music (VMG).
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