Magnatune Switches to Unlimited Membership

Magnatune, the online music label has recently switched to the unlimited membership business model from the pay-per download model. This change was announced in the official Magnatune blog written by the founder John Buckman’s.
Magnatune as we all know is a service to share DRM free music with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike  license. Wikipedia defines Magnatune as,

Magnatune aims at treating both its musicians and its customers fairly. In May, 2008 Magnatune launched all-you-can-eat membership plans, and is believed to be the only online music site to offer a DRM-free unlimited membership. Magnatune was the first record label to license music online and as of May 2008 had sold over 3000 licenses in its five years of existence.

The reason for this change as given by Buckman is that the main source of revenue for Magnatune is its paid membership. It registered a huge hike in revenues from unlimited accounts, which made 74% of the total revenue. Album download revenue on the other hand, has declined sharply.

Other changes at Magnatune include the removal of the CD sale service and disallowing registration of any new streaming members.

Magnatune is an awesome service and is beneficial for both the musician and the listener. The site provides a 50% revenue share to the musicians and gives DRM free music. Magnatune is the pioneer in this field and is sure to stay. The change will have no effect on existing members and will simply benefit those who are new to Magnatune.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

  • A couple of our clients use the Magnatune service and haven't heard anything bad about it. Companies, especially web 2.0 entities need to start billing for services properly to survive. Were not in the 2K era where as long as you had a .com on your name you were invincible. Companies need to bill for their services correctly and at the end of the day the businesses needs to be profitable to survive.

    Just my two bits….