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On the Chopping Block: CcMixter

Music-Focused Marketers Should Consider a Proposal

By Published on . 0

ccMixter screen grab

For sale: CcMixter

Hey marketers: Looking for a cheap way to engage music fans? Remix contests and free remixes as value-added promotions have been around for a while, but what if you could buy into a community full of experts who are constantly making (re)fresh(ed) music content?

CcMixter was launched in 2004 as a remix contest sponsored by Wired magazine that allowed DJs to freely use and abuse Creative Commons songs without fear of retribution from the RIAA. These days, it's a pretty successful resource for free music and averages a respectable 120,000 visits a year.

However, Creative Commons has been struggling to support it and has decided that putting it up for adoption might give its baby the best hope for the future. Last November, CC founder Larry Lessig wrote an e-mail to the remixing community over at ccMixter and laid out the terms of the proposed sale:
This new site (call it ccMixter-Plus) will be for commercial purposes and require that the artist signs a (non-exclusive) contract with the company to participate. By signing with the company, the artist will allow the company to license music for the financial gain of both the company and the artist. Registered users of the free ccMixter site will be NOT automatically be signed to the business site, That decision will be between the artist, company and fellow artists. No one will be required to sign. No one's rights to use ccMixter.org will change depending upon whether they sign. The only change would be to offer to artists who want it a way that they might commercialize some of their (and everyone who wants) creativity. And its aim would be to enable this opportunity with minimal hassle.
Lessig specified that the new owner would keep the site both free and ad-free, along with several other caveats. So it wouldn't be easy, and if a brand wanted to purchase ccMixter, it'd have to bring in a lot of music expertise and even more transparency about its intentions. But if a nonprofit like the CC can afford to run the site for this long and keep the turntables spinning, then a large brand should be able to operate it as a public service and an in-house resource for music-branding opportunities.

This wouldn't work for Wal-Mart or Staples, but, with the right brand, it could be awesome. In an informal survey of users taken by CC, 46% indicated they'd be open to a new owner, provided it was a good fit, 25% said it didn't matter who owned it and a further 25% said they'd be excited for a commercial entity to improve the site.

CC has just opened up an RFP and submissions have to be in by July 29.

[Via Listening Post]

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