Some time ago, I mentioned that Magnatune was signing with a music company that distributes digital music to libraries. The idea is that a library buys one copy of an album and can lend it out for a 14 day period, after which it can be re-lent out. There is DRM on the lent-out version preventing them from using it after 14 days.
However, we opted to allow CD burning of the files, which does mean they can circumvent the DRM, but more importantly, it means that people borrowing the music can play it on an ipod. The library company was extremely excited that we allowed burn-to-cd, because evidently a number of libraries refuse to buy any digital content that doesn't have a bypass-the-drm feature, since they may be locked out of the content in the future that they legally bought. Since Naxos, for instance, does not allow burn-to-cd, with their library offering, they thought this was a big plus for our offering.
I checked in today with the company we work with, called Overdrive (Digital Library Reserve) and they inform me that Magnatune digital music has been bought for lending by six libraries: Boston Public, Nicholson Memorial (TX), Brooklyn Public, Queens Public, Kansas Virtual Library (group of Kansas libraries) and Maricopa County (AZ) and that over 800 albums have been sold.
If you have borrowing rights at any of these libraries, do check out some of our music, since your library has already bought copies for you!
If you do an "advanced search" at the Boston Public Library http://overdrive.bpl.org/ for "Magnatune" as the publisher, you'll see that the Boston Library bought 122 albums! Magnatune gets paid for those albums, which of course then goes to the artists, so this is great.
If an album is requested frequently, and is already out on loan, library are inclined to order several copies, which may be a route to further sales.