For the past 6 weeks, things have been great for Magnatune. We did 36 music licenses in September, an all time high, with almost all of them going to films or video production houses, which is wonderful as this is likely repeat business. Also, weekly sales are up 40% over the flat-no-growth that we've experience the past 12 months before that.
Why? Impossible to be sure, but some ideas...
One thing that changed is that I fired both my PR agencies (UK and San Francisco). The SF PR folks wanted a less-negative sounding Magnatune, replacing the slogan "we are not evil" with "everybody wins" and not bashing the evil music business any longer, emphasizing the positive. Also, a great deal of effort was made manufacturing "nice news" such as charities.
Since saying goodbye to them, I've launched
a) copy your purchased music for your friends
b) the "we are not evil" recruiting cards (10,000 given out already, in just 3 weeks)
c) the podcast-us-for-free license
d) as well as some significant improvements to the web site thanks to some free time I now have.
We've also gotten a full page article in The Economist which is great for our reputation (thanks go to the UK PR agency for getting that) though few web hits came from that, since The Economist web site content is subscriber only.
It could be the "back to school" crowd, but I don't think so, as sales have been flat for well over a year.
Web site hits are up about the same about, about 40%, which probably accounts for a large amount of the new increased daily purchase rate, but my web logs don't show those hits are coming from any particular site: it's mostly people typing in the http://magnatune.com url directly into their browsers.
All good news so far, we'll have to see if this positive trend increases, stabilizes, or passes. So far, we're on 6 weeks of this.