Amazon and Tunecore launching cheap on-demand CD sales

Digital distribution startup Tunecore has partnered with Amazon to offer physical publishing options to DIY musicians that will cost considerably less than traditional CD manufacturing.

It's claimed that the service will be launched in the US on 28 May, and will cost musicians just $31 per year for Amazon to handle all the fees involved from pressing to delivery of a 10-track album.

The scheme will pass all the payout (about 40%) straight to the artist, with an $8.98 CD providing $3.59 in payouts. It'll therefore take nine sales for the artist to be making a profit on the system. All the barcode, artwork and design are taken care of.

“As an artist, you have unlimited physical inventory, made on demand, with no upfront costs and worldwide distribution to anyone who orders it at Amazon.com”, said TuneCore CEO Jeff Price

Analysts suggest that the low price of the system will encourage a lot of smaller bands to try it out, despite a collapse on CD sales globally. Many bigger bands, like Trent Reznor and Keith Richards, are also opting out of contracts to handle their sales through TuneCore.

Pocket-lint hopes that the service will be rolling out to the UK soon. The UK's unsigned band scene is just as vibrant as the American one, so it would make a lot of sense to launch it this side of the Atlantic too.

Update: We got in touch with TuneCore, who said that there's nothing stopping British bands signing up for and using the system, they'll just have to cope with delivery times and postage costs to the UK. That's okay, but surely it can't be too hard to open a UK pressing and distribution centre?


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