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November 25, 2005



But if a podcast were "commercial but WEALTHY" (assuming such podcasts exist) then wouldn't this mean a lot of listeners actually PAY to subscribe to the podcast...and since they are paying listeners, they might also be inclined to PAY for a Magnatune CD if the liked it? (either that or they have so many subscribers that ad revenues are the reason they generate over 50K...in that case they must have a huge audience)

What would happen if, by some wild fluke, a major commercial radio station decided they wanted to play Magnatune songs instead of just the typical RIAA (de facto payola) songs? What type of licensing would be involved? (not that I predict this will happen in near future )

John Buckman

What would happen if, by some wild fluke, a major commercial radio station...

Radio stations don't need a license from us to play our music, they already pay a blanket license to ASCAP or BMI (in the USA) which gives them legal permission to play anything they like without additional fees. That's a USA government law.

Now, if a podcast were really making a lot of money, we'd charge a license for them to use the music, just as if a film wanted to use our music. Yes, we would get advertising out of the use, but I do think that not everything should be free for everyone -- that's why I drew the line at $50k per year in gross profits for "commercial podcast but free".

It's all moot now anyway, as no podcasts are that profitable, so the currentl commercial-but-poor license is just a way to promote our music in podcasts, however those podcasts work.



FYI - I think this predates your example here by a few months (May 2005):


The download:



I did a videoblog entry that was actually borderline journalistic and I used Magnatune music. It preceded Pete's entry (a friend of mine!) but not the one referenced by Charlie.


I like your clarification of non-commercial and commercial-but-poor. I'm in the situation where I take sponsor money but consider my podcast non-commercial since I've never returned any of that money to my pocket. I use it for server expenses and equipment expenses and conference expenses. In September I gave a big chunk of my surplus to Gulf Coast relief charities. I use things licensed Creative Commons non-commercial and I've always wondered if some day I'll have to respond to a challenge of that by a license holder since I do generate revenue.

Mick I

This guy here has been using this music for a while.


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