After much thought and discussion, I’ve decided to end distribution of my music through Tunecore next month (March). I hope to make the music available again through some source, eventually, in the future, but what form that distribution will be and when Gymshoes music will be available again is at this point unknown. I’m considering Patreon to help support my work as an author, and — if I, indeed, do this — my music could possibly be rolled into one of the rewards levels there, though probably not the lowest entry level since people would be joining for my words, not my music. At this time my music is still available from Amazon Music or iTunes. If you’ve been meaning to buy it, but haven’t — and you don’t want to wait to see if (or when) it becomes available elsewhere — then now’s the time to get it from those vendors.
You may be wondering why I’m ending my relationship with Tunecore. I have no particular problem with them, but at this point they are not a good fit for my business. I’m not making new music and while I wouldn’t absolutely rule it out, I don’t have any plans to pursue it any further. Writing is taking up all my time now and it’s even more labor intensive than creating music is. So, you ask, why not just leave the music out there? Because as an indie artist I have to pay a lot of money just to keep the music in stores. Over the years sales have dropped to the vanishing point, and the distribution fees which were reasonable when I joined Tunecore at the beginning have increased as my sales have slowed to a stop. In short, it’s sucking me dry. The only reason I’m not turning a profit on my combined creative endeavors is because I’m losing huge amounts of money for distribution of albums which are no longer selling. “Selling” is a key word. I do get some money from streaming services, but that is, literally, pennies — not dollars. The streaming model of music services pay artists considerably less than selling the music does. So I’m being paid less money, less often (because as it gets older my music is less in demand) and yet I have to pay hundreds of dollars to keep that music available through various online vendors. The math has been hellishly bad for years now, but I’ve been reluctant to pull the plug. What’s changed? It’s just harder and harder every year to afford to take the hit of hundreds of dollars for just pennies in return. I just can’t do it anymore. I need to bring in more money, not less.
Which is why I’m considering doing Patreon. I’m currently checking it out as a Patron, and if I think it’ll be a good fit for me as an author, then I may set that up later this year. A lot of authors I know and admire use Patreon to supplement their income and support them while they work on long projects. But even if I do Patreon, I can’t say at this point whether Gymshoes music will part of that or when albums or tracks will be available. I’m still looking into things. If I don’t do Patreon, or if Gymshoes music isn’t a good fit for an author profile there, then I’ll look into other distribution options. But I cannot at this point guarantee the future availability of Gymshoes Music.
I appreciate all the support Gymshoes fans have given me over the years, but if Gymshoes music is to continue to be available for any future fans, I need a business model which will not cost me hundreds of dollars a year in distribution fees, for a return of only pocket change. I will post again on my Gymshoes Music site when I’ve made a decision about any possible future availability of the music. You’ve got a couple of weeks to get it from Amazon Music or iTunes before it goes away for an indefinite period of time.