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April 12, 2006

Comments

Simo Sainio

How about a "buy a genre" option? Of course the pricing might prove another target for tinkering, as your genres hardly have same amount of music in minutes.

Just a thought that came to mind..

Firas

Selling music is hardly my expertise (or selling anything at all, for that matter), but I'd consider combining the subscriber & 'buy our library' options to some extent (eg. be one of the first 20 people to buy the library and be a magnatune subscriber for 6 months free..)

As a customer, I'm totally going to go for that 'get all our mp3s for $150' option, sounds like an incredible deal!

zborgerd

This is certainly interesting (as a purchaser of FLAC files only, it doesn't really apply to me though). The biggest question is, how will this affect the artists?

I see less potential for artists to make money this way. Perhaps I'm wrong, but as someone who always pays around $15 per Magnatune download (I think it's fair to properly pay for music I really enjoy) I'm always going to be certain that Magnatune and the artist each get 50%. With a subscription system, how does this get handled? It seems to me that it becomes less "artist-centric" and more in-line with the methods that the major record companies use to sell music; e.g. an extra layer between the artist and the listener.

One thing I've always liked about Magnatune is that (to my understanding) an email goes to the artist when someone purchases a CD. There is less of a barrier for the artist and the fans to interact this way. For example, Hans Christian and I corresponded by email after I purchased his albums on Magnatune.com, and he informed me of one of his other projects. Stefan Hertrich (Shiva in Exile) sent me a nice email response when I recently ordered his new ethno-metal CD - "SpiRitual: Pulse" (which unfortunately isn't offered on Magnatune's site). It's cool when you can interact directly with your favorite Magnatune artists. I just get the impression that the subscription services could add an extra layer to things, potentially due to decreased payments going to the artists.

Maybe I'm not aware of what the typical Magnatune buyer spends on a CD download. I suspect that there are a number of users who pay the lowest possible amount ($5.00) for every CD they download. In the end, this results in them having the potential to download a lot of extra music (comparing dollars to dollars, that's 3x the music that I would be purchasing since they are paying 1/3 of the price). I suppose that the subscription service would be very attractive for this user. This would be akin to buying 15 CD downloads at $5.00 for each download. But, in the end, how does this change things aside from making things more complicated?

As a fan of Magnatune and its progressive business model, I'm very eager for the artist to get their fair share. To me, it's not just about the DRM-free yummy FLAC files and and excellent music. It's about the peace of mind that the artists that I care about are going to be treated fairly. I'm not saying that the subscription service wouldn't be fair, but I was hoping that you might be able to offer some insight as to how it might effect the artists.

John Buckman

This is certainly interesting (as a purchaser of FLAC files only, it doesn't really apply to me though). The biggest question is, how will this affect the artists?

With the $150 download-everything, the $75 (half) is split evenly across all artists. With the subscription service, I'd like to split it across the artists that get listened to by the subscribers, which is more fair.

I see less potential for artists to make money this way. Perhaps I'm wrong, but as someone who always pays around $15 per Magnatune download (I think it's fair to properly pay for music I really enjoy) I'm always going to be certain that Magnatune and the artist each get 50%. With a subscription system, how does this get handled? It seems to me that it becomes less "artist-centric" and more in-line with the methods that the major record companies use to sell music; e.g. an extra layer between the artist and the listener.

Yes, the per-purchase share to an artist is less, but because Magnatune makes more money this way (the average buyer spends $12/year with magnatune, so $150 reprents 12 years of buying all at once) over time the musician will make more money through the catalog sale. What it really does, is favor the artists who don't sell that much, since they get paid for every sale. It makes Magnatune more of an "aritsts collective" which is different from a shop.

At any rate, I agree with many of your points, that buying a single album directly does make more of a difference to that artist, and that feels good. On the other hand, being part of a high quality "musician collective" could be a good thing, and if the public likes it and it brings in money, artists over-all will do better...

These are difficult questions.

Ryan Sawhill

Dude. John, you're crazy.

And you may just be brilliant.

I don't have any new suggestions, but damn will I be pleased if you pull this off. I'll most likely do the full-catalogue purchase, tho I also feel a little weird, like I'm cheating the artists...

John Buckman

I'll most likely do the full-catalogue purchase, tho I also feel a little weird, like I'm cheating the artists...

I should mention that $150 is the recommended price for the "magnatune mp3 library", and you can "name your price" at a higher price if you're more comfortable with that, so the musician makes more.

-john

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