Tom Silverman, founder of hip-hop label Tommy Boy, has torn into the long tail of music releases, claiming that 79,000 releases sold less than 100 copies last year. “80 percent of all records released are just noise — hobbyists. Some companies like TuneCore are betting on the long tail because they get the same $10 whether you sell one copy or 10,000,” he says. “Those are the people who are using TuneCore and iTunes to clutter the music environment with crap, so that the artists who really are pretty good have more trouble breaking through than they ever did before.”

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