Home The New Magnatune: $5 to $10 for a Month of Unlimited Music

The New Magnatune: $5 to $10 for a Month of Unlimited Music

Successful Creative Commons music store Magnatune announced today that they have made another radical transformation in their business model. Customers can now pay as little as $5 per month for unlimited streaming and $10 per month for unlimited DRM-free downloads, they can purchase as little as 1 month of membership and they can use Paypal’s recurring payments feature to stay subscribed if they wish. The company, whose motto is “we are not evil,” then gives 50% of revenues to the artists.

We really like what Magnatune is doing and we think this business model is great, but we’re concerned that the service is still too antiquated in its music delivery to get customers beyond the fact that it has a really obscure catalog.

The Problems With Magnatune

Unfortunately, Magnatune doesn’t offer much in the way of discovery of the best music on the site. There’s some playlists by genre and that’s good. You can see a handful of the top sellers. In this era of recommendation technology, though, the company should really facilitate discovery better than it does. Millions of people are now used to visiting Last.fm, entering a known artist’s name and then getting hours of high-quality related content. It’s going to be hard to get too many of them to go back to a black box point and click catalog.

That’s especially the case when you’re looking through a catalog of items you’ve never seen or heard of before. Independent music stores are at a huge sales deficit because their products have no name recognition. Additionally, and no one likes it when I say this (but it’s true), most of the music on sites like this isn’t any good! If you’ve ever looked for Creative Commons music before you know that’s the case. I dare you to post links to your favorite independent and CC music in comments.

None the less, you’ve got to admire what they’re doing at Magnatune. For fans of classical music and new age piano, there may be a lot there for you. Otherwise, we’re not so sure.

Additionally, it’s going to be hard for even a business model this cool to top the all around awesome new music service that Lala just rolled out, for example.

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