TuneCore FAQ

What is happening?

We launched Stem with a mission to create a truly artist-first platform that provides all creative collaborators visibility into their businesses, and we delivered on that with important features like the industry’s first consensus-based splits, an easy-to-read dashboard, and automated payments technology.

We at Stem have spent the past four years innovating in the distribution space, experimenting with several offerings for various types of individual creators. As a result of this work, we are honing in on a few, key archetypes of independent businesses so we can maintain a dynamic feedback loop and build tools for the industry with the artist in mind.

Refining the focus of our company also means parting ways with some of our current users. As of May 31st, we will no longer be able to support your catalog on Stem. Although we will not be serving you directly today, we very much believe this shift for building artist-first financial tools for organizations will rise the tides and lift all boats — ultimately benefiting creators everywhere. If we continue as is, we impact individuals; however, if we make this leap we see ourselves providing software that enables all artists to expect clarity from their industry partners.

In an effort to create the most seamless transition possible; we have integrated with the distribution platform TuneCore, who will host the transferred content of Stem users for 3 months free of charge. Stem and TuneCore will be working hand-in-hand to monitor the metadata & streams for those that opt into this collaborative transfer. For users who would like to choose a different distribution partner, we have made a self-facilitated transfer option available as well.

We want to thank you for entrusting us with your releases and we promise to do all we can to ensure a smooth transition during this time. To start, we’ve created this guide to offer clarity and to walk you through the steps necessary to make this process painless. Please read through thoroughly so that we can work with you to best care for your content.

Why am I part of this transition?

We are focusing on providing innovative financial tools and dedicated support to select artists and independent businesses. While we’d love to build relationships with every single current Stem user, providing best-in-class service to tens of thousands of artists simply isn’t realistic. All creators deserve partners that provide the best they have to offer; we are making this move to ensure that holds true for everyone in the Stem ecosystem.

Why is Stem partnering with TuneCore?

After connecting with several distributors, we have chosen TuneCore as our trusted partner for their track record of success and genuine enthusiasm in welcoming Stem accounts.

In addition to offering 3 months of free distribution, TuneCore has established a dedicated team to offer assistance, answer questions, and meet the needs of Stem creators involved in this transition.

What is TuneCore offering you?

  • Opt-in by July 15 and Stem will transfer your previously distributed releases to TuneCore by July 29 for 3 months of FREE distribution.
  • TuneCore will give you 50% Off distribution of your new releases between May 31 to July 29, use this link and the discount will be applied at checkout.
  • TuneCore has a world-class Customer Care team with Artist Support Specialists available to offer assistance, answer questions, and meet the needs of Stem creators involved in this transition. Submit questions here.

For quick reference, here is some information to answer questions you may have:

  • How much will TuneCore cost after the free 3 months?
    You can find all of TuneCore’s services and pricing info here.
  • Does TuneCore offer distribution to major platforms?
    Absolutely! To more than 150 stores worldwide, learn more here.
  • Can I automate royalty splits through TuneCore?
    Not currently. At this time, TuneCore generates payments directly to the content uploader.
  • Where can I learn more about TuneCore?
    This FAQ page has more information about TuneCore.

For other questions, reach out here and a dedicated TuneCore support team member will help walk you through the process.

How can I contact TuneCore?

Simply submit any questions using the request link. Under “Music Distribution”, select “My Stem Transfer” from the drop down menu.

How is this transition taking place?

Beginning May 31, 2019, we will not be supporting any new uploads from accounts transitioning from Stem. However, you will still be able to view and monitor your previously uploaded content and continue to receive payment for approximately 3 months post takedown date (the time it will take to ingest and pay out on your final payments).

Users will have until July 15 to opt in to 3 months of free distribution with TuneCore. On July 29, Stem will officially oversee the transfer of content to TuneCore on behalf of those users, and begin taking down the remaining content.

The full timeline of key dates is included below.


How should I move forward & transfer my content?

To best care for your content, please read through our FAQ thoroughly & be sure to take the following steps:
For seamless transfer:

  • Select your distribution partner (opt in to Stem x TuneCore transfer by July 15 or transfer your own content to a different distributor by July 29).
  • Helpful Links:
    • Info on Transferring to TuneCore here

Possible concerns during content transfer:

  • When you transfer your content to a new distributor, your play count and playlisting should also be transferred on Spotify, but it is not guaranteed.
  • iTunes/Apple reviews on your existing releases will unfortunately be lost after you transfer those releases to a new distributor.

Ensure you receive residual payment from Stem:

  • Make sure all splits are accepted on Stem by August 30.
  • Make sure your payment information is added and up to date by August 30.

How will my content be affected?

If opting into TuneCore:

  • Your uploads will be transferred by Stem to TuneCore beginning July 15th.
  • We will handle this process for you & takedown our version of the content once TuneCore notifies our team that your streams and metadata have been successfully transferred.
  • We recommend opting in to TuneCore’s 3 month free distribution offer, as our partnership allows us to oversee a smooth transfer of all streams.

If selecting another provider:

  • You’ll need to transfer your own content out of Stem by July 29, 2019. We will begin taking down content on July 29th.
  • Please know that if you choose another distribution partner, we cannot facilitate the process or monitor the transfer of your existing streams.

When will Stem stop supporting my content?

  • Content will be taken down starting July 29th on a rolling basis. We will continue to pay out on this content for approximately three months post takedown date. Please refer to the timeline below to make sure your content is safely transferred to TuneCore or another distributor before this date.

How will my content be successfully transferred?

This is completely up to you. Think about how you’d prefer your transfer to be handled — whether you’d like to control it on your own through the app, or allow Stem x TuneCore to facilitate on your behalf. We recommend opting into a facilitated transfer as Tunecore x Stem will be working hand in hand to monitor the integrity of your existing streams. We cannot extend the same diligence should you choose a different distributor.

  • Information on Transferring to TuneCore
    • You’ll need to opt in by July 15, 2019 to receive your 3 free months of distribution.
    • Simply log in to your Stem account, go to account settings, and check the box/button that reads “opt in to TuneCore” and accept their terms of service. This will automatically register you for 3 free months of TuneCore distribution.
    • If you are already distributing with TuneCore, your Stem content will be added directly into your existing account.
  • Information on Transferring to a different distribution Partner
    • Selecting your own distribution partner means that you will need to upload your content through this partner then takedown your content from Stem before July 29, 2019.
    • Once you’ve chosen your distribution partner, you can provide them with your metadata directly from your Stem dashboard.
      • Login to Stem > My Content > Click into Piece(s) of Content > Toggle to Metadata
        If you’re transferring more than 5 pieces of content, email us at [email protected] with your account email, and we can provide an export of your catalog’s metadata.
    • To ensure your streams transfer you’ll want to provide your selected partner with the same metadata that’s currently in your Stem account audio & art files.
      • All ISRCs & UPCs must be the same
      • Metadata must match exactly
      • Audio & art files must be the exact same as those uploaded to stem. No remastered or edited audio
    • Once you’ve uploaded the content with the new partner, you’ll need to execute a takedown of the content in Stem
      • Login to Stem > My Content> Click into Piece(s) of Content>Click on the “Actions” button in the top-right corner of the page>
      • Click “Take Down” and follow the provided instructions to initiate the take down. Please allow5-7 business days for your takedown to be processed

How should I choose a distribution partner?

We strongly recommend TuneCore as your next distribution partner, as they have extended 3 free months of distribution to transferring Stem users, and we will be working hand in hand with Tunecore to monitor the transfer process. However, if you feel that another partner is better suited to your needs, here are some additional options you may want to explore.

If you choose to opt into the Stem x Tunecore transfer (recommended)

  • Receive 3 months of FREE distribution through TuneCore on your transferred releases.
  • Get 50% Off distribution of your new releases through TuneCore between May 31 and July 29, use this link and the discount will be applied at checkout.
  • TuneCore has a world-class Customer Care team with Artist Support Specialists available to offer assistance, answer questions, and meet the needs of Stem creators involved in this transition. Submit questions here.
  • Get your music streamed and downloaded in 150+ stores worldwide, plus you can monetize your music on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
  • TuneCore’s flat annual fee allows artists to keep 100% of your sales and streaming revenue.
  • Click here to learn more.

Things to keep in mind:

  • TuneCore does not provide splits capabilities at this time.

If you choose self-facilitated transfer with alternative partner

  • Benefits:
    • Control your own transfer process
    • Potential selection of an alternative partner that better fits your needs
  • Things to keep in mind:
    • Stem will not be able to guarantee a smooth transfer of streams
    • Stem won’t be able to provide info or guidance on the process

How will my account be affected?

Beginning May 31, 2019, we will not be supporting any new uploads from accounts transitioning from Stem. However, you will still be able to view and monitor your previously uploaded content and continue to receive payment for approximately 3 months post takedown date (the time it will take to ingest and pay out on your final payments).

  • In your account, you’ll need to opt in to TuneCore’s servicing for facilitate your own transfer by July 15, 2019.
  • Make sure all of your splits are finalized & that your payment settings are properly set.
  • If you’re a shareholder on content that is remaining on Stem’s platform, your account will remain active — you will be able to view data and receive payment. If you’d like to upload new content after July 15th, you will need to re-apply for membership.

If you have new releases you want to distribute after May 31, TuneCore will give you 50% Off distribution of your new releases between May 31 to July 29, use this link and the discount will be applied at checkout.


How will I get paid?

Payment cycles for you and any shareholders will continue normally for approximately 3 months post takedown date unless:

  • You have pending splits
  • You have not added payment info
  • You are below the payment threshold of $50 (in this case, the remaining balance will be paid to the uploader in December, 2019).

In these cases, all payments will be made to the uploader only on December 15th.

All composition royalties will be paid out in bulk to the uploader only on December 15th, 2019.

To ensure seamless payment, please make sure:

  • That your splits are accepted by August 30th
  • Your payment details are added by August 30th

We’ve created the following 2019 timeline to make deadlines as clear as possible.

  • May 31: Uploads of new content will no longer be supported
  • May 31 through July 29: receive 50% Off distribution of your new releases through TuneCore, use this link and the discount will be applied at checkout.
  • July 15: Final day to opt into the TuneCore transfer and receive 3 months of free distribution. We recommend that users who select an alternative distribution partner begin uploading their content to their new partner by this date.
  • July 15-July 29: Stem facilitates transfer for those that have opted in to Tunecore’s services.
  • July 29: Stem takes down content from transitioning accounts. Any users who have not transferred & taken down their own content by this date are subjected to Stem’s takedown schedule.
  • August 30th: All splits must be finalized & payment credentials added
  • October 15th: Expected last remaining payments paid on content that’s been taken down. Please note that we will continue to process payments for three months after we takedown your transferred content. (***content must have accepted splits, be above the $50 threshold, and have associated payment information)
  • December 15th: Users under the $50 threshold will be paid out
  • December 15th: All remaining mechanical royalties will be paid out in bulk to the uploader
  • December 15th: All remaining funds for content with pending contracts will be paid out in full to the uploader

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