Friday, August 22, 2008

The New Muxtape

While Muxtape sits in legal obscurity, I've been looking for other options. I discovered the website 8tracks this morning and it's looking the best so far. Unlike Mixwit, you can upload your own songs, which is exactly what I need. Mixwit is simply an aggregate of existing links on the internet -- you are not allowed to upload your own music. Most of the music that I own is not available through existing links because of its obscurity, so the ability to upload the music I own is essential. 8tracks also seems to be on more solid legal ground:

At current royalty rates, the hourly cost per user is just over $0.02 per listener per hour in 2008, increasing to nearly $0.03 per listener per hour in 2010. This means that 8tracks must earn a net CPM from advertising of at least $20 in 2008 (i.e., $20 per 1000 ad impressions = $0.02) and nearly $30 in 2010 (i.e., $30 per 1000 ad impressions = $0.03) to cover the cost of streaming sound recordings. In addition, 8tracks pays musical works royalties to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, which generally comprises 3%-5% of revenues.

8tracks is taking 2 steps to reduce its royalty liability so can sustain itself as a business. First, it is opting into a Small Webcaster license offered by SoundExchange (at the request of Congress). This license provides for royalty payment on the greater of a percentage-of-revenue or percentage-of-expense basis, subject to a minimum fee, which will allow us to grow our user base -- and our potential for advertising -- before having to pay the more onerous compulsory rates owed on a per song, per listener basis.

Second, 8tracks is seeking direct licenses with independent record labels and artists who generally see greater promotional value in internet radio -- given relatively few alternative channels for exposure -- and are thus more willing to consider the percentage-of-revenue terms common to all other forms of radio (traditional, satellite, cable).
My 8tracks page can be found here, and I've created a test mix called The Longest Songs:
  1. Public Image LTD - Theme (First Edition LP)
  2. Pg. 99 - A Sonnet to Both Ugly and Murderous Living in the Skeleton of a Happy Memory (Document #7 LP)
  3. City of Caterpillar - A Little Change Could Go A Long Ways (S/T LP)
  4. Pissed Jeans - My Bed (Hope for Men LP)
  5. Portraits of Past - Bang Yer Head (S/T LP)
  6. Lightning Bolt - 2 Towers (Wonderful Rainbow LP)
  7. Big Business - I'll Give You Something to Cry About (Here Come the Waterworks LP)
  8. The White Mice - SEWERcide (BLasssTPhlEgMEICE LP)
The cool thing about 8tracks is that users can upload more than one mix at a time. I also like it's simplicity and minimalist aesthetic; although, Muxtape is still more visually appealing. One thing that 8tracks is lacking is the "stumbling" part of Muxtape -- only recent mixes are shown on 8tracks' home page. There is a search option, but that isn't quite the same to me, as I'm likely to just find music I already listen to. And there doesn't seem to be a "Favorites/Fans" feature like Muxtape has; however, I still haven't figured out how the "Following" feature works, so maybe that is something like Muxtape's "Favorites/Fans."

I'll have an 8tracks link in my side bar while I await the verdict against Muxtape. Click the 8 track tape to the right to listen any of my existing 8tracks mixes.

[EDIT]: So it seems that 8tracks has a 10 minute per song limit, which poses a problem for the Pg. 99 track that I had selected (it's 11 minutes long). I've switched it out with another song on the Document #7 LP, "Living in the Skeleton of a Happy Memory."


The Baltimore Babe said...

A friend is on Muxtape. Her link to her Tumblr blog is on my page.

illegal youth said...

Cool. Muxtape is still lingering in legal ambiguity, though. Have you tried 8tracks?

The Baltimore Babe said...

I visited 8tracks via your links on your page. Looks like a great site.