Jamendo logo, used with permission
More than a music sharing platform we are economically supporting and promoting the long tail of music. — Laurent Kratz, Jamendo’s CEO and Founder
Jamendo is a unique music platform aiming to assist artists ‘promote, publish, and be paid for’ their music. Founded in Luxembourg by free culture enthusiasts Sylvain Zimmer, Laurent Kratz and Pierre Gérard in May 2004, Jamendo has established a dedicated international community of followers. Utilising peer-to-peer distribution methods, such as BitTorrent and eMule, coupled with Creative Commons and Free Art licensing, Jamendo emphasises the legal distribution of content. Its business model is based on the concept that the wide dissemination of content across networks leads to popularity and prominence: ‘Be known and recognized. Spread your music worldwide.’
Jamendo is the first site to offer its contributors 50% of revenue gained from advertising. By registering for this optional programme, artists share in the site’s profits according to their page views. In addition, Jamendo offers the ability for users to donate directly to their favourite artists through a PayPal ‘tip jar’ facility. Artists receive close to 100% of moneys donated: a small administrative fee is deducted. This has been the first serious attempt of a file-sharing site to provide a direct way to compensate musicians for their work. Furthermore, by adopting Creative Commons, the site offers the possibility to distribute music freely, while preserving the basic rights of the artist.
As a portmanteau of ‘jam’ and ‘crescendo,’ the Jamendo platform unites:
Each artist is assigned a personal profile which includes links to their works including information about licensing, photos, event announcements, user-submitted reviews, and a discussion forum. As of 5 November, 2007, Jamendo hosted over 5000 albums and 336,000 artists:
|Available hours of music||4592|
|Number of album tracks||70996|
|Number of available albums||5369|
|Number of registered artists||336914|
|Number of registered members||196851|
|Number of known concert dates||2905|
|Total size of distributed files||2.52 TB|
|Number of distributed files||289418|
|Finished BitTorrent downloads||2310084|
|Data transfered with BitTorrent||106.74 TB|
|Number of available languages||26|
|Number of reviews||54288|
By 14 July 2008, Jamendo had significantly increased their offerings, in featuring 10443 albums, 62001 album reviews, and 370283 active members.
Jamendo emphasises that it is:
Jamendo is the first site to offer its contributors 50% of revenue gained from advertising. By registering for this optional programme, artists share in profits according to following formula: total page views per artist (across the album, lyrics, and review pages) divided by the number of page views of the artists registered to the programme. The artist will then earn 50% of the Jamendo shares. In addition, Jamendo offers the ability for users to donate directly to their favourite artists through a PayPal ‘tip jar’ facility. Artists receive close to 100% of moneys donated: a small administrative fee is deducted. This has been the first serious attempt of a file-sharing site to provide a direct way to compensate musicians for their work. The operation of this scheme is depicted below: http://mirrors.creativecommons.org/blimg/jamendo-revenue-share.png
Artists are encouraged to increase their revenue by:
On 29 October 2007, economist Aaron Schiff from 26econ.com wrote on the progress of voluntary donations on Jamendo, providing statistics as follows, in addition to the Excel file of the data. This sits alongside Jamendo’s donation statistics.
On analysis, Schiff found that total donations were small:
Attracting VC funding in July 2007 from Luxembourg-based Mangrove Capital Partners, an early investor in Skype, Laurent Kratz, Jamendo’s CEO and Founder, stated:
The lessons able to be learned from the Jamendo site by other online publishers (particularly e-book entrepreneurs, in this instance) have been summarised by Robert Nagle as follows:
Nagle concludes that ‘Jamendo is an inspiration for people in the content creation field regardless of genre.’
Jamendo’s entire catalogue is available for free download, being licensed variously under Creative Commons or (less commonly) the Free Art Licence, the English-language version of the Licence Art Libre, a French copyleft licence applying to works of art.
Jamendo’s Creative Commons search interface presents thumbnails of the albums which fall into the six Creative Commons licences, clearly showing which albums are available for remix or commercial use. As of 7 November 2007, the distribution of licences was as follows:
|Free Art Licence||229|
As of 21 May 2008,
|Free Art Licence||222|
Jamendo employs the ‘Jamloader’ tool for uploads, a GPL-licensed, Python-based open source software inspired by ccPublisher, as used at the Internet Archive . As with ccPublisher, this tool allows users to select an appropriate Creative Commons licence and to tag audio and video files with metadata through an administrative panel, as shown (explained here):
In addition, each artist’s profile clearly details their licence terms under the ‘Your rights on this album’ section, linking to the relevant Creative Commons deed.
Jamendo allows artists to distribute their work across peer-to-peer networks via legally-recognised means. The site harnesses the power of the Internet for rapid recognition of talent, and rewards the artist for their work through fair compensation mechanisms. In adopting Creative Commons, the site offers the possibility to distribute music freely, while preserving the basic rights of the artist.
Sylvain Zimmer comments about his platform’s choice of Creative Commons licence:
As to users’ individual motivations to license under CC, Dailymotion, a Paris-based video-sharing site, recently called upon Jamendo’s artists and users to provide testimonials and anecdotes of their experience with the site.
Jamendo has implemented 1) a license chooser; 2) the license mark on pages for CC licensed tracks and albums; 3) CC REL metadata; and 4) searching for CC licensed tracks.
1. After registering an account, select Upload your album from the top menu, which will start the upload process. Upload your album's tracks. In the example below, a track named "Test" was uploaded.
2. Finish uploading your album's tracks, following all directions on the page. When done, continue to the Write an album description page.
3. At the bottom of this album description page, you should be able to select Creative Commons license options. Select your desired options and continue with the upload process.
The Creative Commons license mark appears on CC-licensed album pages in the right hand column along with explicit indicators of license restrictions.
For example, here is a CC license mark for a CC BY licensed album:
The license mark also appears on the Download page when downloading albums or individual tracks:
Jamendo has implemented a subset of the CC REL specification by adding rel="license" tags into links to the CC license deeds. They chose to specify the cc namespace in the leading tag, but strictly speaking this isn't necessary; "license" in CC REL has been defined as equivalent to "license" in the xhtml vocabulary (which doesn't require an explicit inline namespace declaration).
For example, see the source to this page for a CC BY album:
<span xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#"> <div style='float:right;width:110px;margin:0px 0px 5px 5px;text-align:right;'> <a rel='license' href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/it/'> <img src="http://cdn.imgjam.com/t/cc/somerights20.en_23241.png" alt="(cc)" onload="if ($PNGFIX) _pngfix(this)" /> </a> </div> You can copy, distribute, advertise and play this album as long as you: <div class='spacer'> </div> <ul style="list-style-type: none;margin-left:5px;"><li><table><tr><td valign="middle"> <a rel='license' href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/it/" style="text-decoration:none;margin:2px;"> <img onload='if ($PNGFIX) _pngfix(this)' src="http://imgjam.com/cc/by18.png" style="border:none;height:18px;width:18px;"/> </a> </td> <td valign="top" style='padding-top:1px;'>Give credit to the artist</td> </tr> </table> </li> </ul> </span>
You can search and browse CC licensed works by going to the Creative Commons page.
You can access that page in the "Music" menu header:
On the CC page you can browse through albums with the various licenses or search for albums by tag with certain licenses using the search box:
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