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Is TuneCore a Publisher? What You Need to Know


When finding a music distributor and publisher, it’s best to rely on well-known companies that know what they are doing.

Amongst the top options, TuneCore offers publishing for an additional cost that isn’t related to their standard membership.

The musician will own both the royalties and retain ownership of their songs. However, their base membership doesn’t include the standard publishing package.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the company, it’s best to see what you’re getting into. We’ve taken the time to analyze what TuneCore is and if it offers publishing services.

Below, we discuss whether TuneCore is a publisher and what its services entail.

What is TuneCore?

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TuneCore is an independent digital music distribution, publishing, and licensing company. Their main goal is to allow musicians to distribute, sell, and stream their compositions through only retailers.

Major retailers that TuneCore works with are the following:

  • iTunes
  • Deezer
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • Google Play
  • Tidal

TuneCore is a Brooklyn, New York-based company, but they have offices located all over the world.

The offices are in Austin, Burbank, Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Australia, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.

Does TuneCore Publish Music?

No, TuneCore does not publish music unless you are using the TuneCore Publishing Service. TuneCore is generally used for music distribution.

The company focuses on getting musicians’ music out there while allowing them to retain the rights to their songs and collect royalties.

For a small subscription fee, musicians can join and upload the music they want to be distributed to other platforms.

What is TuneCore Mainly Used For?

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TuneCore is mainly used as a music distribution site, which can help artists get their music out there.

TuneCore is partnered with over 150 digital stores and can help get your music listed on popular digital stores located online and around the world.

It’s an ideal site if you’re looking to retain 100% of your sales revenue and own the rights for a low fee.

What Type of Ownership Does TuneCore Provide?

TuneCore does not own ANY rights to your songs or compositions. Instead, they provide musicians with 100% ownership of their music.

Additionally, musicians keep all rights, control, and copyright of the songs. TuneCore is only there to help with publishing, distribution, and administration.

Does TuneCore Keep Royalties?

TuneCore charges different amounts depending on your subscription when asked to distribute music.

The fee changes, as multiple tiers, cost an additional payment. Compared to the standard distributor, you’re getting a good deal.

All TuneCore does is handle the collection side of royalties. They work closely with PROs, which helps ensure that all of your music is collecting payments for its use.

After collecting the royalties, they will collect their commission and distribute it to your account.

What is TuneCore Publishing?

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The publishing service provides many benefits, including helping collect publishing royalties. The company keeps 15% of what is distributed, much lower than the average music publisher.

A standard publishing contract with a major distributor can cost you even more royalties.

The typical music publisher will take 50% of royalties, which would be their publishing share. This includes the mechanical and residual income from mechanical and synchronization royalties.

This money is collected by performing rights organizations (PROs). This agency ensures musicians are paid for the use of their music.

PROs collect money on behalf of an organization and musician, which helps ensure maximum benefits from royalties.

TuneCore uses PROs to ensure that all its customers are protected and get complete protection for their compositions.

What Fees Are Associated With TuneCore Publishing?

TuneCore publishing allows users to create an account for free. The free account will enable you to use their website without any charges to your account.

However, you will be limited to only unlimited releases to Social Platforms using their music distribution.

To gain access to TuneCore Publishing, you will need to pay an additional fee and agree to commissions. The standard fee for TuneCore Publishing is a one-time setup fee of $75.

On top of that, you will also need to agree to a 15% commission, where you would keep 85% of the royalties collected.

Then, you will also need to agree to a 20% Sync Commission if you are opted-in. With the Sync Commission, you will keep 80% of the revenue collected.

What Benefits Does TuneCore Provide For Publishing?

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TuneCore strives to provide artists with a handful of tools to help them succeed in the music industry. They work with over 150 distribution platforms, ensuring that artists get comprehensive coverage.

Below are a handful of the benefits that TuneCore promises:

  • Register Unlimited Songs Worldwide – get all of your royalties from music on other streaming platforms.
  • Collect Royalties from Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Facebook, etc. – ensure that your music gets distributed to 150 digital music platforms and ensures royalties.
  • Monetize Your Compositions on YouTube – register unlimited songs
  • Sync Licensing Opportunities – opt-in for getting pitched to TV, film, ads & more
  • Keep 100% of Your Copyrights – Keep royalties without sacrificing ownership
  • Verified Song Registrations – get more data, matches, and royalties
  • Focus on Creating – TuneCore takes care of publishing, administration, and distribution so you can focus on other aspects of your journey.

How to Sign up for TuneCore Publishing

Below, we’ll walk you through the steps to sign up for a TuneCore account and access their publishing service.

  1. Head over to the TuneCore Publishing
  2. Click on “Get Started.”
  3. You will be prompted to log in to your TuneCore account. If you don’t have an account, you must create one.
  4. If you have to create one, type in the necessary information such as your name, country, email, and password and agree to the terms of service.
  5. Once you have that, you can head back to the TuneCore Publishing page with your logged-in account.
  6. Go through the required fields and agree to the terms.
  7. Once your account is activated for publishing, you can head to your Composition Manager page and add compositions.
  8. You will need to fill out the following; title, album name, ISRC number, Release Date, Percentage of Ownership, and co-writers.

TuneCore Publishing FAQs


What’s the difference between publishing and distribution?

A music distribution company will collect royalties for uploaded recordings. However, a music publishing company will collect royalties for compositions.

Essentially, music distribution focuses on recordings of songs while music publishing focuses on written songs.

Is TuneCore publishing exclusive?

TuneCore only maintains the synchronization rights to compositions as it avoids confusion in the marketplace.

The main benefit is that it lessens confusion among anyone who represents the same music. That way, keeping track of licensing at fewer fees is easier.

Is TuneCore publishing a PRO?

TuneCore works with PROs to help maximize royalties and collect all revenue. This includes sync, micro-sync, and mechanical royalties. That way, artists still keep 100% ownership of their compositions and income.

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Is TuneCore Publishing Good?

TuneCore is pretty expensive compared to other distributors and publishers.

However, TuneCore provides high-quality services that help you keep all ownership and revenue. Paying a slightly higher price for this is worth it in the long run.

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