iLicenseMusic - subscription music licensing - our newest Magnatune business
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We're also at facebook.com/iLicenseMusic.
-> We've been licensing music like mad for 10 years...
At Magnatune, we've licensed our music to over 5000 projects, of which almost 3500 were indie films! Two of these films have won "best film music" awards. I'm really proud of this, and part of what made this possible was being way out ahead of everyone else with what was (for many, many years) a one-of-a-kind model. Our success helped inspire the CCPlus license at Creative Commons as well has 3 copy-cat businesses.
10 years ago, there was no online music licensing : I grafted the stock photo licensing idea from Getty Images onto the music business. There had been one famous attempt by Gerd Leonhard (who is now a good friend, and who tried the idea with his licensemusic.com), that crashed and burned rather spectacularly.
Magnatune's licensing model has been to sell each different use of our music separately, so people only pay for the rights they need. Ask a musician for all rights, forever vs 30 seconds in a film for a festival and you'll get a very different idea of what the price should be. For many years, this unbundling worked well, and it got rid of the dreaded "music lawyers crafting a custom agreement" which has killed music licensing revenue for so many labels (well, the lawyers liked that arrangement).
But... in recent years we've found that almost all videos go on the Internet, and they also go global. The notions of restricting media types and distribution territories no longer make any sense.
Film festival organizers have been asking for complete clearance of the music, for all uses forever, in order to simply submit a film for consideration at a festival. Our unbundled approach no longer works.
In recent years I've also provided music to the same film makers year after year, as they're a very committed bunch, and keep making movies one after another.
Finally, and unexpectedly, I always thought that Magnatune would be a money-losing idea, and that the real profit would be working with businesses. Much to my (happy) surprise, Magnatune as a consumer business has done just fine. We're just about to work on a total rewrite of Magnatune, and a good part of that is having it only be a consumer-music-service, and not do double duty as a business-to-business service.
These thoughts and more were going through my mind, as I came up with the idea for ...
--> The new idea
So... what if we were to change Magnatune's music licensing approach to encourage repeat customers to stick with us, to use more of our music (and of course, less music from the competition), by having a low-cost subscription service? They pay a monthly fee, and all their music problems go away.
Magnatune and its musicians win, since we get a dependable income stream.
Film makers win by lowering their music costs, not having to negotiate, and having all the rights cleared so there aren't any troubles later on.
So... that's how iLicenseMusic works -- for $89 per month, a film maker (or anyone else who needs a music license) can use our music in their projects and products, and there are no other fees. They can cancel at any time: after which they can't use our music in new projects or products. Seems fair, no?
Nobody else is trying this business model with music licensing. I thought it'd be interesting to be the first, and to see how it works out. Our old way of doing things worked great for many years, but now it's time for something new.
As of this week, all music licensing goes to either:
1) iLicenseMusic: film, video, internet, games, presentations, etc...
2) MoodMixes: background music for restaurants, stores, offices, etc...
I'll let you know how it all works out!
Clementine music player has excellent support for Magnatune
I decided to play around with the Clementine music player today and was favorably impressed.
Clementine has current releases available for Windows, Mac OSX, and a variety of open source OSes.
The level of polish is fairly high: on OSX I only needed to drop an App to my desktop -- there was no need to install other libraries, or run an installer, and the download was a fairly trim 23mb.
They've done an excellent job of "keeping things simple", so it makes a nice antidote to the mega-featured iTunes.
The Magnatune support in Clementine "just works."
Magnatune is listed by default on the left hand side. When you click on it the first time, a list of albums is automatically downloaded from us, and after a few seconds, you're ready to go.
You click on artists to see their albums, and then simply play them.
They've also built support in for membership, so it's easy to download albums that you like, and you can set your preferred download file format.
Web site idea... chart a number over time
This is a super simple web site idea I had, and wanted to know if anyone else would find such a web site useful.
I often want to keep tabs on something on the internet. How many new subscribers/day on magnatune, or how many backlogged requests there are on my web site, how many google hits there are for the word "magnatune", etc...
So... I was thinking of a super simple site, where you:
- go to chartanumber.com, to create a daily chart
- indicate a url to fetch and a text pattern to use to extract the number you're interested in
- the web site then fetches that number daily and makes the chart for you on demand.
This seemed like something I could personally use, and maybe others could too.
There are a bunch of chart-creation widgets out there -- I could potentially let you choose which one you like best (i.e., google charts, a flash-based widget, etc...)
I haven't found anything like this on the internet. Do you know of anything like it?