« 100 recent albums | Main | The best things happen in Sweden »

September 27, 2008


Thomas of mystified

Most excellent!


A great idea, in keeping with the magnatune philosophy. Is there any news on the proportion of 3 month memberships from the first wave that were renewed?

Michel S.

Great news. Several questions, though:

1. How does this affect lifetime memberships?
2. Do you have a rough guide for casual users, as to how much would be a nice level to pay? I'd love to have the convenience of not paying per album, but does not use Magnatune regularly enough to justify $15-$20 a month


Brilliant! A while back your membership page actually made me stop because I felt you somehow where tricking me into using more and more money (not making all info available up-front), and when I got to you-have-to-subscribe for a minimum of three months@$18 you kind of lost me.

Not that it's a bad deal, but the way it was presented, for whatever reason, made me really frustrated, so I left.

Thankfully your overall concept really appeals to me, so I stuck around. Great to see that you choose to evolve the site and concept as you go along.


Truly innovative and breaking the rules of music distribution. I SO hope it works for you, and therefore, for us! I've been a fan of Magnatune for about 8 months, and I recommend the site to many friends and clients. I signed up for the unlimited download for 3 months and canceled because 1) I couldn't afford another $54, and 2) I actually felt guilty for all the great music I was downloading (no way the artists could possibly get a fair share at the level I was downloading). I'm excited about the new download rules, but I'm afraid I won't be signing up too soon because I'd feel too guilty paying as little as I can currently afford. I really hope it is successful so I can take advantage of it in the future!! Magnatune ROCKS!

James Reuben Knowles

Thanks for sharing your insights. I learned some new things. Perhaps you'll share some statistics as you gather them? Blog posts like this make me feel like we're alongside you.

I'm a recent member, and was a little skeptical at first. Now I'm hooked on the idea. I wouldn't have minded paying a smaller amount up front to give the service a go, but now would happily pay more. That's one usage pattern not explicitly mentioned in your article, but is now enabled.

As for the redsign, thank you. "Clean and obvious" user interface design is important in software (including web pages).

And, as always, "Thank you for not being evil".

Hugh T

Thank you for your reasoning and for the innovative new system for purchasing music.

As a retired pensioner I cannot afford the initial subscription fees and my interest is only in classical music which limits the number of downloads I might purchase. I have been a fan of your site for a few years now but I must admit my purchases are few in number. I would like to support new artists but have to live within my budget. I also don't want to insult the artists by making purchases that are too low in price so I just don't purchase. Perhaps I can afford a longer membership that would work out better for all of us.
Best of luck on this latest effort to bring affordable music to everyone while ensuring a living for young artists.

Catherine Todd

LOL! Did Allan at Sep 29, 2008" go to the same Catholic School I went to? I felt "guilty" too, downloading so much, but then realized that the music was "there" whether I downloaded it or not, and at least the artist was sure to get SOMETHING from my membership, rather than nothing if I didn't continue to sign up, so hah- I stayed and renewed. However, $20.00 a month is a bit steep for me, so if I did $10.00 per month (or how much for a lifetime membership?) would I be "cheating?" If that's OK... then, hey, I'm in! I'd like to be able to have it charged on my credit card automatically, once a month or every three months, whatever is easier for you.

By the way, the subscription service is GREAT because now I don't have to ask myself "is a whole album worth xxx". It's more like Netflix where I can get as many DVD's as I want. If enough people sign up then the artists get paid. Great idea and I'll stay with Magnatune. Along with "song for the day," you've changed my life!

Peter Mason

I really admire Magnatune and I like the idea of the membership. I don't think $18/ month is an unreasonable amount, either. My only problem is that, with a low income and bills coming up, the three-month-at-a-time payment thing makes it an amount I will always put off until next payday.

Couldn't we do it as a real, $18/ month? At the moment it would cost me £33 to sign up for three months at $20, which isn't money I'd begrudge: I just can't prioritise it. $18, on the other hand, would not hurt nearly as much and I could pay that amount each month with a clear conscience.

I suppose banking fees might be an issue and this isn't a complaint. I choose to do the job I do and understand that that means some sacrifices. It would be nice, though.

Anyway, respects,



I think this is another wonderful step in "not being evil". I really hope you find that this increases revenue, than decreases it. Were it up to me, there would still be a "minimum", but providing suggested values is pretty good.

I'm kind of like Hugh T. I don't have much money right now, but I'll come over to Magnatune to listen to music I enjoyed from time to time, contributing only by referring people to the website. My current poverty is what has kept me from purchasing much here.

While I would now love to get a full download license while paying a minimal fee and get music to my heart's content, I would feel bad about giving the artists so little. Perhaps I will purchase a streaming license for now, to make sure that I am contributing something (rather than nothing), and get a download license later when I feel I can provide a more substantial contribution.

Tom Cloyd

I feel really privileged to participate in the Magnatune experiment. I, too, have no problem with the $18/mo. rate, and automatic renewal. Your decision to change things slightly, and it's relationship to ongoing research on social response to alternative modes of access is fascinating. I know of some excellent research that strongly support the essential goodness of people (most of them), and Leah's ideas appear congruent with this. For me, this is all just another way that the Internet has made my world more humane and humane. I expect to be with you a long time. I have real hope about this. Thanks for behaving with courage and thoughtfulness about all of this.

Tom Cloyd

John, I just lost a longest, modestly thoughtful comment I was sending in because I didn't know I had to have javascript turned on in my Firefox browser until after I tried to make the post. At that point, I cannot return to the previous screen to copy the comment so I don't lose it then the page starts over when I turn on javascript - and it WILL start over. Aggravating. I suggest you put a warning here that one should turn on javascript BEFORE entering a comment (else it'll be lost as mine just was).

Suffice it to say that I said some nice things about you, Leah, and Magnature, but I'm not the patience to reconstruct them. Maybe next time.... Thanks for all.

John from Magnatune

Two interesting blog entries today, about Jamendo's donate-to-musician button, and some hard numbers:




The comments to this entry are closed.