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With more than 300,000 tracks and 50,000 albums released since its inception, the Jamendo music publishing site has one of the largest free music libraries online. A great success story that is partly powered by BitTorrent. From the start, the site embraced P2P downloads to save resources and because artists and fans appreciated it.
When we first discovered Jamendo over 5 years ago, the site hosted 500 albums, mostly by French artists.
Fast forward to today and Jamendo showcases the work of 38,000 artists from around the world, who together have released 315,000 tracks on 50,000 albums spanning a wide range of genres. Impressive statistics that easily beat some established record companies.
Jamendo is also one of the early supporters of using BitTorrent to share free music. According to Jamendo co-founder Pierre Gérard, one of the main reasons for supporting P2P technology was that artists thought it was a good platform to promote their work.
“We were one of the first platforms to provide legal music torrents because Jamendo artists wanted to use P2P networks to share their music and get it discovered. At the beginning, it was also a very good solution, very reliable and economical, ”Pierre Gérard told TorrentFreak.
Even today, where bandwidth is relatively cheap, Jamendo continues to support BitTorrent downloads, in OGG and MP3 formats for most artists. However, the sowing is no longer provided by Jamando, but by artists and fans.
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Initiatives like Jamendo provide a much needed counterweight to critics who say there is virtually no “legal” content on BitTorrent. Jamendo artists gladly post their work on all major BitTorrent sites, and 315,000 tracks don’t seem like an insignificant amount to us.
Jamendo does not see itself as a direct competitor of the majors, but rather as a promoter of a new music industry which allows artists to freely share their music under a Creative Commons license.
“We are a new opportunity for a new generation of artists, we provide new tools and a new legal framework. Every day, new artists join Jamendo. We want to be part of a new organization of music distribution where artists have a choice and can decide how they want to be disseminated, ”said Pierre Gérard.
In addition to offering a publishing platform, Jamendo also allows users to review albums and donate directly to artists if they like what they hear. For some popular artists, that’s good advice, but Jamendo’s real value comes from exposure to thousands of potential fans.
“Jamendo is not American Idol, the promise is not to become a star with Jamendo, we prefer to have thousands of artists who can have new fans, share their music and sometimes make money. The most popular artists on Jamendo have millions of plays, that’s the best reward they can get.
Unlike many major labels, Jamendo prioritizes the interests of artists, helping them escape the obscurity and be heard by a community of over a million passionate music fans. So the next time you hear the RIAA or the IFPI complain about how BitTorrent is ruining the lives of artists, remember that there are tens of thousands of musicians who disagree.