Magnatune is a small record label that aims at treating both its musicians and its customers fairly. It currently sells music for download through its website magnatune.com, but a print-CDs-on-demand service is planned. Magnatune was founded in spring 2003 by John Buckman, CEO of e-mail software company Lyris.
Magnatune makes non-exclusive agreements with artists, and gives them fifty percent of any proceeds from online sales or licensing . These kind of policies are very unusual for a record label in 2003-2004. Users can stream and download music in mp3 form without charge before making a buying decision. All freely-available music is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license from the Creative Commons .
Even though using liberal licensing is not a new idea in itself, Magnatune is one of the first and most visible companies to try to build a business in music around this idea. It is not yet clear whether this model produces enough profits for Magnatune to run a healthy business.
- Cargo Cult - an electronic musician, whose album consists of beat-driven and ambient styles.
- Roots of Rebellion - a hard rock group