Magnatune has exceeded Mr Buckman’s expectations in music licensing, another side of the business that has played a big part in helping it reach profitability. For non-commercial use, such as a school project, the site allows music to be used under a “Creative Commons” license, a concept devised by Lawrence Lessig, a law professor and crusader for internet freedom. For commercial use, Magnatune makes licenses available quickly and cheaply online. This business is growing at 30%, as Magnatune has become popular with independent filmmakers looking for soundtracks.
The article also contains a key challenge and opportunity for Magnatune, Creative Commons, and the Internet:
Magnatune’s weakness is that it does not have the resources to propel its artists into the mainstream via radio and television.
It will only take one rock star born on the internet, after all, for everyone to pronounce the old model completely dead.
It’s about discovery now.