30 March, 2005

Thanks to IT Conversations, I just found a website that may fulfill all of the criteria from my last post on the need for an easy online music licensing system. Right now, I'm listening to a conversation on the Future of Music with Gerd Leonhard and David Kusek, the authors of a new book called, coincidentally, The Future of Music.

Leonhard runs According to their about page: was founded in 1996 in San Francisco and quickly became the default destination for the online licensing of pre-cleared library and production music.

Now, "pre-cleared library and production music" are not exactly the popular sample sources that makers of mashups and remixes want to access. However, again according to their about page, they are about to release a new version of the site which will include the following services:

  • * An online marketplace for music of all genres for any licensing application.
  • * Instant licensing of pre-cleared tracks via a licensing matrix incorporating tens of thousands of deal variations.
  • * A sophisticated music search engine providing almost limitless search options
    and automatic prompts to assist users in locating, hearing and storing tracks.
  • * A Subscription Service, providing unlimited flat-fee access to over 20,000 tracks of pre-cleared music.
  • * Over 100,000 major artist recordings and 10,000 chart hits, negotiable online using a unique automated negotiating tool.
  • * A virtual music licensing "office" providing filing, project planning, track search, streaming, downloading, negotiating, transactional and email functionalities.

I especially like the sound of the "unique automated negotiating tool" for determining prices for licensing from the "major artists" and "chart hits". This could be exactly what's need to open up the Long Tail of licensing. I'll keep an eye on it when it comes online and report back on how well it works.

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