Stelios attempts to do for online music what he did for air travel. Budget music downloads from 25p per track with free music from unsigned bands to follow. There’s no mention of Creative Commons licensed music yet.
The homepage gives you the choice of Copyleft or Copyright music. Copyright tracks are supplied by more than 200 labels including major record labels offering current hits and back catalogues. The tracks come in WMA or MP3 formats on a pay as you go basis. Many tracks appear to be priced at 75p although some sell at 45p or less.
The Copyleft arm of the site has yet to go online however here’s a press release from last year that sheds some light on what’s to be expected.
easyMusic introduces copyleft
easyMusic.com will offer online music downloads on a copyleft basis (the opposite of copyright). Musicians will be free to promote their music to an expanded audience without the constraints of a recording contract and members of the public will be free to download and share these music files on the condition that they do not try to make money out of the music themselves.
Initially easyMusic will appeal to musicians who are starting out and may provide a route to a contract with a record label. Additionally, consumers will get wider access to the music of new artists for free.
At the same time as offering copyleft material easyMusic.com will also offer a commercial music downloading service. For wealthier customers, or for those that do not wish to search for the music of their choice on the copyleft side of easyMusic.com, there will be a pay-for-download section of the website offering many of the artists who are currently selling their music online.
"Music is another example of a market which will grow if the price is lowered," said Stelios the serial entrepreneur and easyGroup chairman. "Only this week we have seen that independent labels and artists, accounting for 20% of the UK market, do not wish to join the iTunes penny jukebox for fear of the commercial terms. easyMusic will allow them to advertise their music for free to get a bigger fan base and if they think they have become popular enough they can switch to the pay-for-download side of easyMusic.com. Market forces will decide on the value of their work and the result to consumers is that the price of music will come down, something which will increase the number of musicians and fans in this market place," he concluded.
It will be interesting to see exactly what the deal for unsigned artists may entail. Only time will tell if easyMusic can capitalize on it’s strong brand image and deliver a viable alternative in a highly competitive market.