Jeff Price, the pugnacious founder and CEO of digital music distributor TuneCore, has ankled the company along with co-founder Peter Wells.
Price confirmed his exit to Variety on Thursday night, saying he was “no longer an employee, executive or board member” at TuneCore, but adding that he retains a share in the company. Citing confidentiality agreements, Price was unable to comment on the specifics of his departure.
A former indie label owner and eMusic exec, Price founded TuneCore in 2006 along with Wells and Gary Burke. Offering a unique model, the company distributed albums and singles across iTunes, Amazon and (later) Spotify for a flat fee, without extracting royalties or claiming rights to any material. It attracted a wide array of clients, ranging from hobbyists to the likes of Drake, Aretha Franklin, the Civil Wars and Nine Inch Nails. In 2011, TuneCore bowed a publishing administration service as well.
Price recently claimed that TuneCore-distributed artists have sold more than 610 million units of digital music to date, grossing around $310 million in total sales.
An outspoken chief executive, Price was known for engaging in heated philosophical skirmishes at industry conferences and waged a fierce battle with Amazon over royalties earlier this year.
Price did not comment on his future plans, though he reiterated his commitment to the “service-oriented” model of TuneCore, saying “anything that’s built on a gatekeeper model is bound to be circumvented. … The path to success is transparency.”
Billboard initially reported Price’s departure on Wednesday night, and Price later confirmed both exits in a blog post.
Perhaps coincidentally, streaming service Rdio announced on Thursday morning that it would begin streaming TuneCore-distributed content.