Digital distributor TuneCore paid out $32 million in the third quarter, a 13.2-percent increase from the prior-year period, bringing total payouts since its 2006 inception to $471.5 million. Although TuneCore does not separate download and streaming royalties, the company revealed its artists experienced a 154-percent year-over-year increase in number of streams in the quarter.
The company’s digital distribution arm added three new partners in the third quarter, including Yandex Music, the music service of Russian search giant Yandex that’s available in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. TuneCore now has more than 80 partners in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.
As for TuneCore Music Publishing Administration, the service for independent songwriters launched nearly 3 years ago, details are scarcer. The company revealed only that the division “sustained its growth momentum” in the quarter while growing its catalog to over 260,000 compositions.
TuneCore’s gain in distribution payouts bucks the general trend of flat digital sales. In the United States, for example, download sales were down 13.1 percent in the third quarter, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and recent figures from the RIAA show streaming revenue is making up for the decline in download sales. That’s actually an incomplete picture since RIAA numbers include statutory royalties from non-interactive, digital services distributed by SoundExchange. So, it’s safe to say TuneCore clients received more than $32 million last quarter when SoundExchange royalties are taken into account.
Also of note is the company’s newest hire — to be announced Thursday — of Joe Cuello for the newly created position of chief creative officer. Formerly the senior vice president music services at MTV, Cuello will be responsible for developing the TuneCore brand and finding growth opportunities through partnerships, special events and other such initiatives.