Local band transfers to iTunes


Kate Lichter

Band 515 rehearses newly written material at their makeshift practice room. Once finished recording in Norwalk, 515 plans on releasing more music in the future.

Kate Lichter and Hannah Crooks

When 515 first released its EP which consists of five songs on iTunes July 22, band members were excited to see their work finally on display and ready to sell. That is until they noticed their songs were posted under the name 5.15 instead. Upset and irritated, 515 member Troy Ikeda voiced his opinion to the distributor.

“I sent a pretty strongly worded email to the distributor,” Ikeda said. “I feel kind of bad about it now, but it was a pretty frustrating experience.” Following his email, the distributor fixed the issue within a week.

After recording at Capp Audio Productions, 515 decided to switch from selling CDs to selling songs on iTunes.  The band paid $80 for a slot on iTunes instead of $400 to make 200 CDs.  It paid $30 for the initial fee, and $50 to maintain the slot yearly. They receive 30 percent of their profits on iTunes.

Since the unveil of the EP, they have not received a sales report to know the amount of money they have earned. That information will be available later on in September. 

Instead of undertaking the task of handing out CDs and sharing their music with the local population physically, they are now able to send it out to even greater audience.

“It’s just another way for people to access our music, which is kind of the goal at the end of the day,” Ikeda said. iTunes gives 515 the opportunity to expand their fan base technologically across the globe.

Before setting up the EP, the band had to choose a distributor who would take in its work and share it with iTunes and other stores like Spotify. They meticulously searched the internet and only found a small selection of distributors before picking TuneCore. This was the only distributor that offered to give them the full 30 percent of earnings from iTunes.

“As far as putting it on iTunes, I think we made a good decision with picking the distributor we chose,” 515 drummer Shane Burgess said.  Most distributors are not willing to go this route with most bands and take away money from them later on.

TuneCore tries to allow artists’ music to be heard not only nationally but globally. According to TuneCore’s Director of Market and Communications, Meg Reilly, songs can be available on iTunes from 24 to 72 hours after they are to them. If the artist wants their songs to be available internationally, however, that could take up to 16 business days.

Once the band sent its music to TuneCore, it went through only a short process. First they filled out their information and sent an audio recording to the distributor along with the cover art. Next they selected the stores they wanted to have their music purchased at. When 515 finished filling out the form and sending the audio and cover art, their music was ready to be sold. 

515 is expecting to produce more material in the future that will be available on iTunes and Spotify as well. 515 is present on Twitter with the Twitter handle @515band. Its Twitter account lets fans stay up-to-date with its performance dates and new song releases. 515’s next live performance is Sept. 20 at the Beaverdale Fall Fest in the morning, and the Metro Arts Rock n’ Run 5k  during the afternoon.