Linux Journal has a great interview with John Buckman from Magnatune, the non-evil record label that sells Creative Commons licensed music on a sliding scale. It’s turning out to be lucrative for the artists involved, with the average musician taking in $1,500 in royaltes last year and the top artists making over $6,000 in royalties (which are 50% of sales).
While six thousand dollars won’t buy you a Bentley or a mansion for MTV Cribs, most artists listed at Magnatune are independent musicians that record at home. Considering that for most Magnatune artists, it means sending a few high quality recordings to a server and later getting thousands of dollars in royalties, it’s a pretty good system for the struggling musician. Combined with the services of something like Pump Audio, today’s independent artist has a lot of avenues to make money off their music while still letting others share it freely online.