This is aimed at Anto and Deci etc.. have any of you guys
heard of Zimbalam? It's a set fee for uploading your material
to all the major digital stores that I can tell, and you get
90% royalties on sales. How does that compare with the services
you guys are using?
A fee and a % cut is considerably poorer than either Record Union (10% cut - free up front) or Tunecore (up front costs 99c per store/per tracl - NO cut.)
I've tested most of the D.I.Y distribution sites in the past so will throw in my 2 cents here...
In my experience Record Union is not worth dabbling with, they charge nothing up front but take the first $5 of all your sales (reset every year) and 15% of your sales, they also charge you $10 to generate a UPC code for your release (which is free with Zimbalam and Tunecore). Essentially, whilst there's no 'up-front fee' (in my opinion their biggest selling point) you do need to make $15 to cover your UPC code and the first $5 (reset annually) before you start making any money AND then only make 85% of your royalties.
Tunecore isn't bad and has just relaunched their site but they don't cover a very big or wide network, particularly outside of North America. In the UK you can pretty much only expect to get on iTunes... Still, definitely no fundamental problems with Tunecore except for the small network, good and reliable service as they were one of the first in the marketplace.
I'm actually testing Zimbalam at the moment with a single release (£20) to see how the service stacks up but I'm impressed with the way it all works so far. The release isn't due out for another couple of weeks so I can't comment on that but the upload went fine so there's no reason the single shouldn't come out when I set it to. I think the pricing is fair at £20 for a single or £30 for an album, the fee is cheaper than almost any of the competition and the percentage is low, especially compared to a traditional ditribution deal at 30%+. You can choose the stores, release date, countries etc. yourself so there's no need to get someone else involved. You also get a free widget player with buy-now links attached that looks pretty snazzy.
I'll reserve full judgement until my release date but so far so good, seems very promosing.
Hope this is helpful.
Hmm.. interesting points from both views there.. I have to admit I have the standard user of message boards scepticism of a single post from a new user who weighs in on a commercial topic - it sounds like good PR work to me, so sorry if this is me being too cynical! I had a check and my post is on the 2nd page on google if you search under Zimbalam, so it's easy to find alright.
Anybody else have any experience of either service? There seem to be a lot of competing services out there, and not that much between them!
Well the UPC charge and $5 upkeep thing for Record Union are balls and it's 10% in that if you need a UPC most sites will get one for you for a small fee, but you can get your own for nowt if you check about.
Tunecore is great if you expect a block of sales up front, for a big album/single release as you recoup your fee then keep the rest. After that as sales drop off you're better with a % deal or yuo could start losing money.
I don't think I'd be rushing to work with a company who shills message boards with inaccurate information about their competitors, if that were the case, however.
[quote:ccaf77021a="tinpot anto"]Well the UPC charge and $5 upkeep thing for Record Union are balls and it's 10% in that if you need a UPC most sites will get one for you for a small fee, but you can get your own for nowt if you check about.
I don't think I'd be rushing to work with a company who shills message boards with inaccurate information about their competitors, if that were the case, however.[/quote:ccaf77021a]
Can I correct a couple of issues here before you start calling me, A. a spammer and B. posting inaccurate information.
As I mentioned I have used a number of these services for research purposes and will be posting a blog about my findings. I am also looking into a number of other services, such as web-hosting/self designing band sites, mailing list tools, unsigned social networks and the like, in order to put up a small advice site with information for unsigned artists on what services and good and trustworthy and which are full of hidden costs. I found Zimbalam initially through a news story posted by the Unsigned Guide so thought I'd check it out a few weeks ago.
And to address my point B., above, about inaccurate information, please see the following from THE RECORD UNION FAQ and please don't say I am posting inaccurate information without checking your own info first...
[i:ccaf77021a][b:ccaf77021a]How much does it cost to distribute music with Record Union?[/b:ccaf77021a]Signing up and distributing your music with Record Union is free. However, one requirement for selling music online is a UPC code, which are required for each release (i.e. single or album) you want to sell online. If you donít already have one, Record Union can generate a UPC for $10.
[b:ccaf77021a]How does Record Union make money?[/b:ccaf77021a]
Record Union asks for the first $5 from each single or album you upload once they start generating sales from the services we distribute to, and 15% of the sales. This $5 is reset every year from the date that you uploaded your single or album. This means that we only make money when your music begins to sell, and there are no financial risks for you as an artist.
[b:ccaf77021a]How much do artists make?[/b:ccaf77021a]
After the initial $5 per single or album that Record Union takes, artists receive 85% from their track sales after the music shops have taken their cut.[/i:ccaf77021a]
Sorry if this came across as rude/confrontational, was just trying to throw in my 2 cents as an interested party with experience of the services, no need to shoot someone down just because their a new poster..
These are different from the terms and conditions under which we signed up, and are still.
There must have been a special rate for early adopters.
Sorry there, mister one-time only single topic entirely coincidental poster
Maybe could have been an introductory rate, yeah. They are quite new I think so could have been just for early adopters?
Anyone have any new info on this? We're looking at our options atm, we really need to get our finger out in the online market.
Christ that sounds dodgey.
I have ben using zimbalam for 2.5 months now and have found it works really well.
I was unsure at first as I didn't like the idea of paying $29.99 upfront for an album.
However I earn't enough in downloads to cover this initial cost in the first month.
I have beem selling on average 2-6 single tracks and 1 album per day.
I'm just about to receive my first payment at the end of November which should be around Ä150.00
(If I keep selling the same average amount)
I really love the music player as well which has the facility to show news, biog and sign people up to a newsletter.
My music is now available in every major download website and It really does work! For me anyway!
The Wolf Shirt cured my cancer
Speaking of Zimbalam, we've recently reviewed their service. The article can be found here:
Hope this helps!