TuneCore CEO Praises YouTube, Predicts Consolidation of Digital Distributors

Tunecore logo 2016
Courtesy of TuneCore


To hear TuneCore CEO Scott Ackerman put it, YouTube is like a thrift store jacket with a bonus Hamilton in the zipper pocket. Or one of those "keep the change" checking accounts. "There is money out there on YouTube," he says in a new interview with Music Ally. "It’s almost like found money."

In contrast with other forces in the music business — from Irving Azoff to IFPI chief Frances Moore, as well as various artists — the digital distributor believes most of its clients see YouTube as a valuable discovery tool and aren’t bogged down by monetary concerns. "For most of our artists, that is their number one thing – they want their music heard," he said. "It’s not about money. They want their music out worldwide so everyone can hear it."

Ackerman also said he doesn’t believe the rise of streaming spells the doom of download stores like iTunes or Bandcamp. "Our artists are embracing streaming – but they have the choice of being able to pick downloads, streaming or both," when they distribute their music. "Most of the new stores were are adding now are streaming-based. Some do downloads."

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He also predicts that as the delivery of music continues trending from physical to digital, independent distributors will likely have to consolidate in order to survive. "We are definitely looking at ways to continue to grow the business," he said, adding that TuneCore would be the buyer, not the seller. "We are the largest digital distributor today to iTunes and we are growing very fast. I am not sure all the players that are out there today will be able to sustain that. There is going to be consolidation."