John Buckman is the founder of Magnatune Records, an online record label with the slogan "We Are Not Evil." As a company, Magnatune has embraced Creative Commons licensing, internet streaming and distribution of music, and introduced innovations such as customer-chosen pricing for albums. As of this writing, their catalog consists of 185 artists with 356 albums available and climbing.
Buckman is the CEO of the email software company Lyris, and has previously managed teams of programmers at the Discovery Channel and Logika. He founded Magnatune out of frustration with his wife's experiences with the major labels of the record industry. He details many of the operational statistics and discusses issues of the label in his Magnatune weblog.
In this interview with host Dave Slusher John discusses his motivations in forming Magnatune, his experiences and surprises in the first years of operation, why classical music is their highest-selling genre, the potentials for online distribution of music, where the major music labels have gone wrong and much more.
This free podcast is from our Voices in Your Head series.