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March 04, 2010

Comments

Jef Spaleta

Just to be clear.

Does this mean that you also wrote a check back to Canonical for ~$50
that would have otherwise gone to GNOME if Ubuntu had kept the default referrer info?


-jef

John from Magnatune

"Does this mean that you also wrote a check back to Canonical for ~$50 that would have otherwise gone to GNOME if Ubuntu had kept the default referrer info?"

It means that I owe $101.70 (10%) to Canonical, yes. However, they haven't yet asked me to pay them (ahem) and when they do it isn't clear whether they'll want the money for themselves or whether they'll want me to send it to GNOME (they haven't said). It's a bit of a delicate situation, that I think I'd prefer stay away from.

In the past, Ubuntu has been good about doing the "right thing" and they were aware of the sensitivity of the issue way back when they made the referred code change, and told me they'd "consult the community". Beyond that, I'm staying out of that conversation, myself.

-john

Jef Spaleta

I look forward to following the publicly archived discussion where Canonical consults with the community on how to use the referral money that would have otherwise gone to the GNOME Foundation. If you would be so kind as to write another blog article when you cut that check I'd appreciate it.

-jef

Paul whelan

A man of his word. A rare and wonderful thing these days. Respect is due.

turtaf

I love magnatune and the fact that with rythmbox I can discover lots of artists there. So I start with a big thank you

Now the "bad" things. I don't get the point, people "coming here" from Ubuntu, pass through rythmbox. Why Ubuntu deserves a part of the check and Debian, Fedora, Parsix or Dreamlinux don't, even if they use, or allow to, Rhythmbox?

really, I don't get it

btw, thanks again for the good music

Mikko Rauhala

To give Canonical the benefit of the doubt, they might've primarily wanted to just know how much referrals they generate (they _are_ now launching their own [well, rebranded] mainstream music store now, after all), though I'll agree that were that the case it would've been better of them to state from the start that "oh, just give us the stats and nevermind the change when cutting the checks".

I'd hope that'd be pretty much where the promised community discussion would end up.

came along

@Paul
From the article:
"Ubuntu changed the ref= on RB sales coming from their distro, so they get credit (and paid) for their sales."

I assume that other distros didn't change the refferrer in RB.

lefty.crupps

Very cool. Was anything like this set up for the Amarok music player and KDE? If I recall, they also incorporated Magnatune before Rhythmbox even existed.

John from Magnatune

re:
Was anything like this set up for the Amarok music player and KDE? If I recall, they also incorporated Magnatune before Rhythmbox even existed.

Yes, I have the same arrangement with the Amarok music player. I've sent them money and they've been even more effective than Rhythmbox at selling our music. Here's a blog entry:
http://blogs.magnatune.com/buckman/2008/04/giving-money-to.html

Also, Nikolaj, who works with me at Magnatune, spends part of his time programming on Amarok as well.

-john

Justin Mitchell

This is one of the coolest things I have heard in a while from a music company. I think it is awesome that you support the open source community this way.

Joachim Bomann

"Rhythmbox has really excellent integration with Magnatune "
Really?
Try to buy the album "Strangers with shoes" with Rhythmbox (Version 0.12.5; ubuntu 9.10)
It does not work:
"Magnatune unfortunately can no longer process credit card purchases from 3rd party applications. We are working on an alternative. Your card has not been charged!"
Not really.

Jef Spaleta

One last follow up question. Other than the referrer string do your purchase transactions record any information concerning the operating system from which the client transaction is happening? Can you say what percentage of Amarok or rhythmbox purchase transactions are from a Windows or Linux system?

I don't expect the windows percentages to be particularly noteworthy but Amarok does appear to be available for Windows so I can't just assume its all linux based activity (and of course there's always noise associated with people deliberately changing identifier strings.)

And if you are recording operating system information for client transactions that are using the Magnatune APIs, can you also tell me how linux client plugin transactions compare to purchases via the traditional magnatune webstore interface from general purpose web browsers running on linux? (Again respecting the understood uncertain due to deliberately reconfigured browser agent id strings.) Is the revenue generated from API based purchases in linux applications larger than the webbrowser-based linux purchases?

I'm trying to get a sense of how impactful deep integration into the application UI experience is at getting people to explore Magnatune versus the traditional webstore interface.

-jef

John from Magnatune

re: Joachim who wrote:
Try to buy the album "Strangers with shoes" with Rhythmbox (Version 0.12.5; ubuntu 9.10)
It does not work:
"Magnatune unfortunately can no longer process credit card purchases from 3rd party applications. We are working on an alternative. Your card has not been charged!"
Not really.

Abut 9 months ago, we stopped being able to charge credit card numbers directly, due to a lot of fraud we were getting hit bit causing us some problems with VISA.

So, we switched to a system where Linux users buy a gift card from a predetermined amount from our web site (using paypal or google checkout) and then they can use the gift card number in Rhythmbox or Amarok.

Amarok currently supports this way, and the version of Rhythmbox before the one you (Joachim) are using, also supports this. However, the current Rhythmbox has the gift card support removed (small miscommunication) so you can't do this.

However, I just received an answer back from Adam, who does the Magnatune/Rhythmbox integration and he says he's going to fix this soon, perhaps within a few weeks.

-john

John from Magnatune

re: One last follow up question. Other than the referrer string do your purchase transactions record any information concerning the operating system from which the client transaction is happening? Can you say what percentage of Amarok or rhythmbox purchase transactions are from a Windows or Linux system?

I don't expect the windows percentages to be particularly noteworthy but Amarok does appear to be available for Windows so I can't just assume its all linux based activity (and of course there's always noise associated with people deliberately changing identifier strings.)

We don't store the browser string of API purchases, so I can't tell you how many people buy from Magnatune using Amarok for Windows.

However, I expect that it's _very_ small, because there is no functioning current version of Amarok for Windows. The KDE installer for Windows no longer includes Amarok.

I tried, a few weeks ago, to get Amarok running on Windows and was not able to. I believe the only way to do it is to compile Amarok from source on a KDE/Windows install, and I doubt many people do that.

And if you are recording operating system information for client transactions that are using the Magnatune APIs, can you also tell me how linux client plugin transactions compare to purchases via the traditional magnatune webstore interface from general purpose web browsers running on linux? (Again respecting the understood uncertain due to deliberately reconfigured browser agent id strings.) Is the revenue generated from API based purchases in linux applications larger than the webbrowser-based linux purchases?

I'm trying to get a sense of how impactful deep integration into the application UI experience is at getting people to explore Magnatune versus the traditional webstore interface.

Looking at my browser logs, 8.5% of visitors to the web site are using Linux. However, the logs say that an additional 22% of visitors are coming from an unknown OS, so perhaps the Linux user base is over 10% (likely, I think).

We don't store the OS string for purchases, however, so I can't make a comparison of Rhythmbox/Amarok vs buyers at the web site. Sorry!

We're working on an HTML5 audio player from the magnatune web site, which will remove the need for a Flash plugin, something which I think linux users will like, and will likely increase their usage of the magnatune web site.

Good questions!

-john

Jef Spaleta


Yes an html5 player will be very interesting to see, especially given the heated debate across browsers over which codecs html5 should be support. Being able to point to magnatune as an example of using html5 to provide content in open codec formats would be a very good thing.

Its going to be interesting to see how web-centric the future of content consumption devices gets. If Google's chromeOS vision holds up things like html5 or flash player applications get even more important then deep client app integration. Which is part of my motivation for the question about tracking dedicated client purchases versus web purchases. Let me ask it in a more general way. Can you trend API purchases versus direct web site purchases less granularly? Instead of operating system specifics...just in general. How is client application based purchases trending against website purchases over time?

-jef

anonymous

They also paid Amarok team. And they paid more.

Georg

I'm thinking of signing up and fortunately saw the 10% in the FAQs before doing so on the web page.
For Ubuntu users, is there a way to change the referrer back manually to point to Rhythmbox in some config file?

John Buckman

Georg, if you sign up to Magnatune with this URL
http://magnatune.com/membership/signup?ref=rb

in a web browser, instead of the link inside Ubuntu's version of Rhythmbox, then 10% of your signup fee will go to Rythmbox and not to Ubuntu at all.

-john

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