Digital Distribution FAQ
Q. I applied to iTunes and have been
turned down. Can you put my music onto iTunes?
Communications may be able to distribute your music in
the iTunes Music Store. However, we have a fairly strict
set of criteria. We want to work with artists and musical
genres that actually interest us. We've worked with way
too many people in the past who have unrealistic expectations.
Our experience is that it's better not to work with an
artist who is not "on the same page". We're not
just talking about "American Idol-syndrome" either.
That way we keep the "friction" down to a minimum
and everyone gets something positive out of the relationship.
Q. So what kind of artists/music are you looking for?
A. We are specifically looking
for artists and labels with the following types of recordings:
- Music with TV and/or Film exposure
- Expired / back catalog / out-of-print recordings
- Original (not sample-based) Techno / House / DJ-type music
- Christian worship (i.e. Vineyard / Integrity / Maranatha)
Q. What's the catch? What do I have to give
A. It's very simple. In order to handle the administration
of your music, we charge a 10% administration fee which
is almost identical to the way publishing administration
works. Apple sell your songs for US$0.99 in the
US iTunes Music Store. They pay us US$0.70 and we pay the
artist/label 90% of whatever we receive, which, in this case
is US$0.63 per track. There are payment threshholds which
means that your money will acrue until you have earned enough
to us to cut you a check.
Q. How is this better than a major label
A. It all depends on where you are in your career
and what your realistic expectations are. This isn't a record
deal. It's a distribution deal. Let's use Sony distribution
as a comparison. There's a lawsuit
currently raging over
this very topic. Tracks sold over the Internet usually go
for about US$.099. About US$0.70 of the sale price
goes to Sony. The bands signed to Sony are getting about
4 1/2 cents per song from Sony, according to the lawsuit,
rather than the approximately US$0.30 cents they claim is
rightfully theirs. Compare that to the 90% of gross income
we pay artists/labels (and they get to keep their masters).
Q. What else do I need to know?
A. We are providing digital distribution only.
This is not
a "record deal". Occasionally there are marketing
opportunities that occur - like being included on iTunes
sampler CDs - but this is a bonus and we don't control this
opportunity. The important part to know is that you
are paid on the sales of your recorded music and
you take home the lion's share of the pie. You will
own your masters so you are always free
to press and distribute your CD (or not) and collect 100%
of the revenue. And because you take home the lion's share
of the online pie, you are free to decide how to spend your
earnings (food, rent, gear, new recordings, marketing, etc.).
Q. What if I don't have a CD pressed?
A. This is not necesarily a problem. We are providing
digital distribution only.
Q. How do we contact you?
A. Our contact information is available here.