SURE, your garage band is big in Cleveland, but how big?
For decades, tracking the regional success of up-and-coming acts was a spooky art in the music industry (and one with plenty of smoke and mirrors), but that changed with the 1991 advent of the SoundScan era and its stricter science of counting units sold nationwide and in individual markets.
Still, Nielsen SoundScan ain't cheap, so true indie labels and artists couldn't always afford its math. Now, TuneCore.com is helping a bit: Starting June 11, the site will offer -- for a flat rate -- something called "daily sales trending reports." (How punk rock is that?) It's only for iTunes, but it still sounds useful to bands clawing their way into the national scene.
Here's their pitch, via a recent news release: "Through TuneCore, bands can download trending data for how many sales took place each day, by song or by album, by day, and by ZIP Code each week a la carte for $2.99 a week. . . . Every Wednesday, the previous week's (Monday-Sunday) worth of daily sales data will be available for a flat fee."
-- Geoff Boucher