On the free listening site (http://magnatune.com) we've started putting in short advertisements mixed into the songs themselves. Over the next two weeks, all the free listening will have these little adverts (ie: "you're listening to Magnatune") in them.
The idea is to motivate you to get a Magnatune membership, and thus enjoy commercial-free listening as well as full download access to all our music.
The reason for this change?
- Each day, about 20,000 people listen to music for free on Magnatune.
- Each day, about 6 people sign up for a membership.
Magnatune is a small business (there's four of us working here) and so every daily new membership makes a huge difference.
Heck, I'd be happy if free listeners accounted for 99.5% of daily visitors (that'd be a 10x improvement!)
And of course, my personal mission is to find a way to financially support interesting indie music, which only happens if people choose to pay for the music they listen to.
UPDATE (tuesday evening)
Here's what I think is a good compromise, and I'm going to give it a try:
1) I'm going to make all albums commercial-free for the first 20 minutes of the album. This means I'm also going to remove the advert at the end of each song that's been there. There will be the 5 second "you just heard" msg to remind you what you're listening to, but that's all.
2) After 20 minutes into an album, the adverts come in.
So... this means less interruptions that ever before... for the first 20 minutes of each album. And then ads (every 30 secs) come in after the commercial-free 20 minutes.
That way, you get to decide--interruption and irritation free--whether you like an album or not.
Also, this means that listening to the playlists in the "genres" section will be commercial free, as they only play the 1st song from each album.
Thank you, everyone, for your helpful comments and positive tone. You guys have been really helpful!