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TuneCore Review: What you need to be aware of?

TuneCore Review: What you need to be aware of?

Independent musicians can choose from a huge selection of music distribution providers to release their work. TuneCore is a super popular choice since they do not take any commissions from your music distribution. This article provides you with all the pros and cons of TuneCore which can help you to decide whether TuneCore will be a wise distribution choice.

You can also check our article Top 4 Music Distribution Services 2023 to know more about other options from this sector. 

Price of TuneCore packages and what they offer

Music Distribution

TuneCore is one of the top music publishing services that charge you a yearly fee for unlimited releases to all social platforms.

They are offering 4 different plans for artists to choose from: 

  • New Artist: FREE
  • Rising Artist: $14.99/Year 
  • BreakOut Artist: $29.99/Year
  • Professional:  $49.99/Year

The Free New Artist package is aimed at young artists who want to stream their music online. Despite the fact that the number of streaming platform is limited and will not include the top quality platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music,... with TuneCore will take 20% of the music royalty, this is still a great deal for people who wants to test out the first step of distributing their music. 

While Rising Artist Plan provides all the features you need to distribute music, it does not include a Custom label name. This means that when publishing your music, you will not have a section of "Produced by _" under the song information. 

The BreakOut Artist offers more features than the Rising Artist package, such as, store automator, daily trend reports, and cover art creator. But some artists actually prefer to use their own artwork for Cover art. Plus, it is quite easy for you to do your own research on trending streaming data on Artists’ profiles on Spotify and Apple Music. So there is not much difference to the Rising Artist one.

For the Professional plan, the name of it is what you will actually get when signing up with this deal. If you consider yourself an experienced musician, this package will be able to cover you with every feature that you will need to distribute your music in the most efficient way.

To know more about what features each package includes, sign-up for our newsletter to get the first access to TuneCore Pricing Breakdown

With all of those three paid packages, you will be able to keep 100% of your revenue. TuneCore will not take any commissions on your music at all!

Music Publishing Administration/Monetization 

Besides those deals, TuneCore also has another service called Music Publishing Administration with a price of $75 for one-time setup. This means that artists can get a separate, second royalty whenever their original compositions are sold, downloaded, streamed or publicly performed. 

This service will include YouTube monetization which claims and collect the generated royalties from youtube and 3rd party videos that use your music. 

With this service, you will have a royal and sync commission. 

The royal commission is the royalties that they collect from streaming after you have licensed your music, TuneCore will take 15% of the commission on this. For sync commission, those royalties are collected from TV, movies and commercials and TuneCore will take 20% of the commission on this. 

Pros and Cons of Tunecore


  • No commission for your music distribution on streaming services

TuneCore promised the artists that they will not take any commission on the music that you distribute by TuneCore. This is a crucial thing for independent artists to look into when finding a music distributor. You would want to get fully paid for what you deserve. 

If artists wish to sell a decent number of copies of their music, TuneCore is the less expensive option because their annual fee would be minor compared to the sum you would lose to CDBaby because of their share of your earnings. If you plan to sell only a few versions of your music online, then CDBaby is less expensive than TuneCore.

  • More ways of making money for artists 

With a one-time fee for the Music Publishing Administration, TuneCore will cover your music with 3 kinds of publishing collected: Sync licensing, performance royalties and print music royalties. Revenue for artists will come from those agreements. This is another way for musicians to make money than just streaming the music. There are not many distributors providing this service yet so this is definitely a strong feature of Tunecore.


  • Annual renewal fee 

After a year of purchasing the package, you will have to pay an annual renewal fee of $9.99 for a single track and $49.99 for an album to keep your music online, otherwise, it will be taken down from stores and streaming platforms after 2 days from the end of its one year period.

  • Insufficient customer support 

TuneCore does not have instant chat support with real humans to help users. And when filing a help support request, it takes them a long period of time to respond. Some former users did not even get any response from them!

There have been multiple complaints from other users that TuneCore is taking forever to release their music. The time that artists had to wait ranged from weeks to months.

For example, here’s one user’s honest review about their experience with TuneCore:

Jon from the US, posted on TrustPilot

“ I joined 1/22/23 and submitted 2 songs. The two platforms that really matter to me are Spotify and Apple Music, but mainly Spotify. Today is Feb. 14th and my song is on Apple but not on Spotify. I've sent 2 emails to Tunecore wondering when my songs will show up to no avail. I think I paid $15/year, so I don't expect someone to show up at my door to help me work out these issues. But if you can't reply to your customers for over a week, you may want to charge more so you can hire more people and can give your customers what you guarantee them in the first place. Nothing more frustrating than throwing away money, even if it's only $15. “ 

  • Confusing price and commissions charge

Despite the fact that TuneCore advertises itself as a music distributor that will not take any commissions at all, if you want to access all the features of licensing and royalties, they will still take commissions from it. If you sign up with their package only, it will not include any royalties collection and you have to pay more and give them commissions to publish your music. Hence, all of that can cause great confusion when you want to onboard with Tunecore. 

What makes Tunecore stand out from the music distribution industry?

First and foremost, we have to look at the fact that TuneCore actually offers a free deal for artists wanting to test out their music distribution and only takes a 20% commission on your music distribution. You don’t have to pay any fees at all besides that. 

Next, compared to competitors like CDBaby, their Publishing Administration service is only available in US and Canada. Meanwhile, TuneCore is offering this for you worldwide, so it is definitely more beneficial for you to go with TuneCore’s service. 

Last but not least important is that after signing up for the sync licensing option, you will be able to keep from 80% to 85% of your revenue, TuneCore will take 15 to 20% commission. While CDBaby’s commission goes up to 40% and you can only keep 60% of the fees. 


In conclusion, TuneCore is a great service for you to consider distributing your music on streaming platforms and they will not take any commissions on this service. 

If you are independent musicians who aim to be more professional and work with licensing or registering the music with Royalties collections, you can also use the extra service of TuneCore - Publishing Administration. They will help you through every step that you need in this process.

We are going to have an article to break down the prices of TuneCore for you to have a deeper understanding of what it includes, so subscribe to our blog to keep up with that!

After your release, independent musicians often find themselves at a disadvantage in the music industry to stand against the big names. Understanding this competitive landscape and how to navigate it is important to independent musicians, Base For Music is a reliable complementary service that can help to promote your product once it's been distributed.

Base For Music offers a single dashboard where you can easily create multiple ad campaigns across well-known advertising networks like Spotify, Facebook, Tiktok and Youtube… With us, you can increase the visibility of your releases and build your fanbase after your release. 

Sign up for your free account with Base For Music now! 

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