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February 22, 2006

Comments

Ryan Sawhill

All great improvements John. I don't see anything wrong with having the three paths to buying... I don't think it'll be confusing.

Nathan Jones

A CD costs $4.97 ($7.97 to ship outside the US) more than a download.

Multiple paths to buy is fine. All three -should- allow you to buy:
1. A direct link on the artist page is good - how many people actually click through to the Details page?
2. People who do visit Details are showing interest - help them buy.
3. The key word here is "continue" to buy. Why make people go back and click another link?

While you're soliciting feedback, I'm going to try to put into words some thoughts that have been with me for a while. I feel harsh giving critical feedback, but the only reason I care in the first place is because I want to see Magnatune succeed.

A lot of web sites/services/applications are springing up that feel "dynamic" and "fresh", perhaps because they're interactive, or because they are participatory, or they develop a community, or they allow ratings and comments. By contrast, Magnatune feels, to me at least, a little static. Each artist page features: the same colour scheme and layout; the same level of detail (one page, nothing to highlight the occasional updates); no interaction with the artist (no blog, mailing list, feedback, etc.).

You could argue that it is not Magnatune's role to provide this and you'd be absolutely right. Much of it should be on artists' own websites. However:

- There's no guarantee that Magnatune is linking to artist websites when they exist.

- Many people find out about the artist from Magnatune and might think of the Magnatune artist page as the main place to keep up to date with and learn more about the artist.

Some suggestions to help build the artist-fan relationship:

- Encourage artists to update their own pages frequently. They should be linking to their own sites (if they have them), posting news about gigs, upcoming releases, etc. It may help to allow a little HTML to highlight some info and split stuff into sections.

- Provide artists with some HTML or guidelines for integrating a "buy through Magnatune" function into their own sites.

- Consider adding RSS/Atom feeds for artists, so that fans can find out when the page is updated. Some artists might even be interested in hosting a blog at Magnatune - an idea that would probably be more useful than the original "forum for each artist" idea.

Mike

I'd make a bigger noise about the copy protection; maybe even on the first line. ("We sell complete albums, with no copy protection") Together with listen-before-you-buy I consider it _the_ biggest selling point for Magnatune. I have hundreds of CDs, but have never bought digital music online anywhere but here.

Roy Blumenthal

Hiya John...

It's a good mini-FAQ. The one thing I'd change is the placement of the line about giving three copies away to friends. Coming just after the 'purchase a cd' explanation, it sounds as if only people who have bought a cd can give copies away. Also, it's a really important feature.

So, I'd propose that you shift it nearer the top, and expand the line to read:

You can legally give 3 copies of the music to your friends, whether you've bought a cd or downloaded the music.

Blue skies
love
Roy

John Buckman

A lot of web sites/services/applications are springing up that feel "dynamic" and "fresh", perhaps because they're interactive, or because they are participatory, or they develop a community, or they allow ratings and comments.

I agree with you, and that's the focus of a set of changes I'm rolling out in a few months. Specifically, I'm creating a "magnatune love" page, where you can build playlists of your favorite music (much like an amazon wish-list) and those playlists are public and shared, so it's easy to get recommendations from others. I'm also planning a web-forum for each artist, where the artist can choose to participate.

I may also make those playlists generate a "store" and enable an affiliate kind of system, except instead of paying the affiliates cash, giving them credits for downloads (ie, if your playlist causes 3 album sales, you get a free downloadable album)

Yes, Magnatune currently is more the old model of "publisher" rather than an interactive Internet community, which is the newer model, and I'll be adopting parts of that into Magnatune in the near future.

-john

John Buckman

The one thing I'd change is the placement of the line about giving three copies away to friends.

I agree, I made that change. Thanks!

-john

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