At Cannes Film Festival
I'm going to the Cannes Film Festival tomorrow, for the first time with an approved "professional accreditation", which is nice because it's a pass to the entire festival. The Cannes Festival plays the elitist game to the hilt: you can't even get into a hotel to have a drink unless you have "professional accreditation". A few years I was in Cannes during the festival without accreditation, and there wasn't much you could do but visit the "hospitality rooms" of various indie film makers who also weren't accredited.
Magnatune was approved this year, as we've licensed music to 4 films in the past 2 months, and this was enough for their selection panel to put us on the "permanently approved" list. Woohoo!
If you're reading this and also planning on being at Cannes, drop me an email so we can meet.
We're releasing our albums for this week a few days early, so we can party^H^H^H^H^H network effectively over the week.
New company: MoodMixes
Today we're launching a new company: MoodMixes.
MoodMixes provides background music for business.
Restaurants, offices, clothing stores, hotels, bars, spas, trade shows, theaters, supermarkets, parking lots, art galleries, coffee shops: these are the kinds of businesses who might play our music.
Magnatune has always been in this business, and indeed we've licensed to mall chains in countries such as Italy and Sweden, to chain stores across the UK and America, and to countless small stores. What's changed is that we're now focussing heavily on this use of our music.
MoodMixes has a number of interesting aspects:
2) all rights are included: there's no need to pay any collecting society to play music in your space. We provide an incredibly strong legal guarantee which indemnifies our customers. Even better, if you ever were to have any problems, we'd immediately take over and handle the dispute for you.
3) Free music for your web site. Any blog, shop or restaurant web site can use our music. This isn't limited to companies: anyone who wants music on their web site can use this.
4) a brand new music player which helps you browse the collection, but also rank it (with 1 to 5 stars) and make your own playlists
I'm planning on migrating this player into Magnatune over the summer.
5) an automated "show making" technology which creates multi-hour single shows with seamless cross fades. In addition, each song is volume matched using a technology which analyzes how loud a song is perceived by human beings rather than its mathematical loudness.
6) ten pre-made playlists across ten genres which you can use immediately, or make your own playlists.
and we'll be making more professionally-vetted playlists over time, across many different genres and moods.
7) Both streaming and downloadable files, at any audio quality from 128k MP3s to WAV files.
8) Full album downloads: something no other "music-for-business" company provides
9) Fair-trade-music : our musicians are paid 50% of revenue, just as they are with Magnatune, and this is determined by which songs our clients choose to play.
Drop by and visit MoodMixes!
And, if you like what MoodMixes is about and want to help, I've made some graphical ads you can put on your blog or web site.
Library uses Magnatune for All-you-can-eat music
The Library system of Ann Arbor, Michigan is now making all of Magnatune's catalog available to all its 107,000 library members.
Essentially, what the Library has done is negotiated with Magnatune for a download membership for all their library members.
In an article in the Ann Arbor Chronicle, the journalist wrote:
|One of the most promising new digital offerings is available through Magnatune, a digital music publisher. AADL recently negotiated a deal with the firm for about 12,000 songs – or the equivalent of about 1,200 albums, Choate said. The service offers unlimited, simultaneous downloads with no waiting. The Magnatune page on AADL’s website describes it this way, in what appears to be an oblique reference to Overdrive: "You shouldn’t have to jump through 17 flaming hoops in order to access digital content, so we’ve tried to make the process as simple as possible."
Since launching about three weeks ago, over 11,000 tracks have been downloaded, Choate said.
Especially impressive is the fact that the Library's IT department has made a gorgeous browsing/streaming/downloading interface, with social networking features and musical categories from our information data feeds. They even noticed the Creative Commons licensing that applies to our paid downloads and applied that same license on their library music site and allows the library members to reuse our music as they see fit.
Here are some screen pictures of the fine work they've done:
The article goes on to say:
|AADL has the infrastructure in place to provide these digital services, Choate said. They’re pursuing deals like the one with Magnatune, with fixed costs, unlimited downloads and annual licenses. The library is interested in getting the most use out of its collections, she said, while containing costs – they don’t want to pay per download.
Responding to a board member’s query, Parker said there’s never enough exposure for what the library offers, but that when they launch something like the deal with Magnatune, there’s no shortage of information about it. Social media networks are playing a huge role in spreading the word about AADL’s deal with Magnatune, and earlier in the day, Parker said, they got a call from Library Journal, which is interested in doing an article about the agreement.
People who are only interested in mainstream music – like the kind licensed by Sony – might not be interested in what’s available via Magnatune, Parker said. But it’s not worth it for the library to strike a deal with Sony – it would cost them almost as much as retail.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled about both the license ($10,000/year is good money for us), the fantastic job the library did in presenting our music, and look forward to working with more libraries in the future.