Pioneering Net Label Gives Away Christmas Albums

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Leader in "free culture movement" celebrates the season with free holiday music.

Magnatune Records, the pioneering Internet-based record label and mover-and-shaker in the fair trade music movement, today announced a free album giveaway of its newly released Christmas music compilation. The giveaway will raise consciousness about the growing presence of explicitly pro-consumer record labels online.

"We wanted to let people know about continuing alternatives to the RIAA and the traditional music industry model," says Magnatune Director of A&R Shannon Coulter. "A free album download is the perfect way of reflecting a more generous mentality around music not only because the holiday is about gifts and giving, but because Christmas a part of the overall fabric of culture, and we think that people should be able to access culture for free."

The free Christmas compilation features 62 minutes of traditional music of the season performed by ten of its best selling artists including classical guitarist James Edwards, viola da gamba soloist Ralph Rousseau Muelenbroeks, and the renowned women's vocal ensemble, Kitka, which has been featured on A Prairie Home Companion, Crossroads and the Putumayo World Music Hour.

The album is being offered in five different audio formats including CD quality WAV files and is completely free of DRM (digital rights management) technologies.

Coulter says that the free album giveaways do not cut into regular record sales.

"Just the opposite, actually," she explains. "We find that these free compilations help introduce new people to the Magnatune site. Once they realize that the money they pay will actually end up in the artists' hands, they usually pay more for the other albums on the site than they have to."

The free Christmas music compilation is available at http://magnatune.com/holiday

About Magnatune Records:
Established in 2003, Magnatune Records (http://magnatune.com) is a forward-thinking record label and online music store that offers music for sale in every genre: classical, jazz, new age, electronica, world, rock and more. Site visitors can preview albums in full before buying a download or CD, and can choose how much to pay for music. Magnatune emphasizes a musician-friendly approach that includes forming non-exclusive agreements with artists, sharing profits equally with them, and allowing them to retain full rights to their music. Magnatune has been profiled by Boing Boing, Slashdot, the New York Times, Wired, Inc, and The Economist.

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SHANNON COULTER
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