Looking at the world of media: from music to RIA.


August 23rd, 2006 Posted in Distribution, General Media / Stuff, Music

Sometimes your initial impression of a service is just off. When I first heard of Magnatune a few years back I thought they were a digital music store that worked with unsigned artists. Too be perfectly honest, they where a huge influence on our goals and design of Fake Science.  I mean, how can you not love their slogan "We are not evil"?

Over the last month I have become friends with John and Jan, the founders of Magnatune, and this is where I learned that my initial understanding of their role in music was actually far off.  Magnatune is first and foremost an Internet based label that happens to provide a revolutionary way of selling their music from the site.  But, and this is a big but, they also work other other distributors to make sure their artists music gets out there.

When I found this out I had to step back and try to figure out where I got my original impression.  I realized a lot of it had to do with the press.  Because Magnatune is looking to really support the artists and not screw them they have taken some cool approaches to selling music.  They pioneered the concept of pay what ‘you’ feel it is worth (in a range of $5 – $18) with notes expressing how much you spend translates to how  you feel towards the artists.  Brilliant.

This aspect was so new, and in a lot of ways incomprehensible to the mainstream music world, that the press really latched onto this.  After reading a few articles and quick browsing of the site this is where my initial impression was defined. Somehow, the fact that they license the music, work with other distributors, etc all slipped by me and I just assumed (you know what that means) that they were another digital store and they were our direct competition.

So, when my other friend Jon Phillips decided to introduce us at the CC Salon I was a wee bit freaked out to meet them.  It ends up that Jan is a fan of our store and had bought Carbon Based Lifeforms and loved it!  We had dinner that night and that is when I found out that I had been mistaken all along about their model.

Since then I have had an amazing time getting to know John and his insight into the music industry, that and his technical know how. speaking of which check out his newest project BookMooch.  Its an interesting endeavor into trust networks and books…

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