BeatPick is a London based netlabel releasing music under Creative Commons licenses. The website lets you listen to full albums of all artists for free and there’s also a streaming playlist of the month. Music can be purchased and downloaded in wav. ogg and mp3 formats. There are currently around 60 artists to choose from and music genres are grouped into 10 categories for easy browsing.
Fixed Price Levels and Licensing
An album is sold for €6 or £4 and has at least 45 minutes of music or 9 songs. An EP has 4 songs and is sold for €3.50 or £2.50.
Purchased music can be shared with up to four friends using the free mp3-sender provided. There is no DRM and tracks may be freely used in podcasts or elsewhere for non-commercial purposes under the terms of the CC license.
For commercial ventures, music can be licensed instantly online using the licensing options panel via the link on each artist page. Licensees can quickly get quotes, make payments, download valid agreements and CD quality wav files.
Fair to Artists
Earnings are split 50/50 with the artists who maintain the full ownership of their songs, under a non-exclusive agreement which can be terminated anytime with 30 days notice. This means artists retain control over their works and are free to enter into agreements with other parties, including record labels and publishers.
Artists commissioned by producers to do music jobs will get 70% of the fee with 30% going to BeatPick who act as the intermediaries. A ‘Contact the Artist’ link on each artist page opens the contact form so that communication can be made via messages to BeatPick. This also facilitates non-commercial projects, an example of this is the collaboration between Tobor Experiment and HRF-LAB for Lovebytes, an arts organisation based in Sheffield UK exploring the creative and cultural potential of digital technology. The sharing/selling of ‘individual song components’ ie audio samples and loops is also encouraged.
BeatPick makes it easy for artists, producers and fans to connect. The combination of flexible Creative Commons licenses, fast commercial licensing options, full album streaming, low fixed download prices, project collaborations and commissions, potentially offers a fair deal for everyone.
Since it opened in February, BeatPick has seen steady growth in its catalog of artists which emphasizes quality rather than quantity. In the future BeatPick will offer similar tools for VJs and a section for developers of open source software plugins. The aim is to build a network of artists collaborating for commercial and non commercial projects. The fact that they are embracing non-commercial, open source and experimental projects is interesting because it opens the doors to a range of vibrant community opportunities which could be developed and monetized. This could be video/music mashups, music/samples/plugins packages or any type of creative innovation that fulfills a marketing requirement and fosters an audience.
An unique stable of artists and developers selected for their quality and strengths sounds like an interesting proposition. If you’re looking for an alternative music outlet with a FairPlay attitude, BeatPick is worth checking out and a netlabel to watch in the future.
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