Note: Fandalism Distro is a new online service for getting your music onto iTunes and Spotify, and Google Play. It’s so new that you can’t just sign up and run it — you have to be invited into the group. Also, there are still bugs to be worked out, as I found out today.
The other day I uploaded some songs to Fandalism Distro, a new site for sharing/selling your music through the iTunes and Google stores, as well as free streaming through Spotify. The service is $19.99 per year for unlimited tracks, and advertises that you get to keep all revenue.
I figured, what do I have to lose except up to $19.99/yr, and hopefully much less?
The reason for the decision
Here’s TuneCore’s pricing (as of 8th April, 2013): $29.99 for the first year, $49.99 each additional year. That’s PER ALBUM. They put your music on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and even MySpace! (Yeah, MySpace!)
CDBaby offers a one-time $49 fee, and takes 9% of each sale.
While I’m sure TuneCore provides a great service and everything at your fingertips, if I can save 60% per year (or 33.3-repeating% the first year), I’m happy to see what the outcome is.
I got the email invite code, set up the payment plan, and got to work right away. All the artwork for my albums were originally done at line 180dpi so I had to upscale the images, but it’s all lo-fi single guy work, so I don’t really care that much about the quality. It looks good enough, and will have that “not so new” aura about it, which is fine by me.
I ripped all the songs from CD into WAV files for hi-quality output (since I lost all my song masters when my hard drive crashed), and uploaded them within minutes.
Minutes after that (and I mean less than ten) each album had a UPC code, and an ISRC was assigned to each song. All I have to do now is wait for the songs to show up on the online music places!
(updates about how things are going will appear in subsequent blog posts)
The only downside is probably that it’s just a guy running the site. The realisation of the downside came this morning in an email to me. Philip Kaplan, creator of Fandalism, has an “awesome” back-end system, but ran into development issues which pushed his work back by about four whole weeks. And while there is much evidence that a small team of one to three developers is sometimes all you need to make it big, there have also been plenty of cases where this just isn’t the case.
To you, Mr. Kaplan, I have all the faith.
(again, updates about how things are going will appear in a future post)
A bottom line, if you need one
In an interview, Kaplan stated that he is not pricing it low to out-price everyone and be the worldwide distributor of music to only stores. He doesn’t expect this to be a huge source of revenue for him. He is running the service to help bring people to the main site, a sort of social network of musicians and performers, complete with videos. Everywhere.
Wanna try out Fandalism Distro but don’t want to pay? There’s a free option. Drop your email into the queue. Find one good song and upload a single. See what comes of it. If you love how things are going, then you can drop $20/yr for the service. I think it was worth trying out immediately, and I can’t wait to see how everything looks in a month.