Magnatune Sticks It To The Record Industry
Meet John Buckman, founder of the revolutionary e-label Magnatune. Haven't heard of Magnatune yet? You will. Buckman has become a guru in the cult music scene by teaching musicians How to Overthrow the Music Industry. In fact, that is the name of the book he is writing now.
Magnatune's tagline, "We Are Not Evil," pretty much sums up their philosophy and their business strategy, though record company executives will not see it that way. Buckman's philosophy is simple: 1) Fully utilize digital and Internet technology in artist development 2) Conduct honest business that supports (rather than castrates) the artist 3) Trust the music fan and give them some control over the music.
"The CD is already obsolete" Says Buckman "CDs cost too much, and artists only get 20 cents to a dollar for each CD sold. If they're lucky." Add to this the fact that online sales often cost the artist more than 50% royalty and you've got a system that makes it next to impossible for the average artist to make any money, even if people love their music.
"Record labels lock their artists into legal agreements that hold them for up to seven years." Says Buckman "If it's not working out, labels don't print the band's recordings but nonetheless keep them locked into the contract, forcing them to produce new albums each year."
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