Illegal music downloading has long been an incendiary topic among music fans and industry suits alike. Some artists, like The Black Keys, aren’t so keen on free range streaming and will withhold new albums from being picked up on services like Spotify. Then there are those like Joss Stone, who once stated in an interview that “piracy is great,” saying “music should be shared…I don’t care how you hear it, as long as you hear it.”
While I can’t help but agree with Ms. Stone myself, there are countless numbers of people who would rather bypass all the fuss and pay for their music downloads, fair and square. Unless you’re especially intrigued to buy a new album, the $10-15 shot to your wallet is hard to appreciate. Enter Lee Cannon and Jonny Woolf: a pair of friends in the music industry with a passion for charity that want to turn that frown upside down.
Launched in June 2010 by Lee Cannon and Jonny Woolf after a joint venture at Warner Music, FairShareMusic boasts a collection of over 17 million songs, starting at 69 pence (the website works in pounds and pence; they are based in London, after all). With each “Feelgood download,” as the creators like to call it, 50% of the net profits will be donated to a charity of your choice.
It isn’t exactly a cut-and-dry split down the middle, since it’s 50% of the net profit, not the sales price. FairShareMusic’s website provides a breakdown of one scenario:
Downloading one album at £7.99
–£1.33 goes to the Tax Man as VAT
–£5.75 goes to the record label and music publisher
–26p goes to the bank to process your payment
–32p goes to your charity whatever our other costs are
Our pledge is to give 50% of our net profit to charity, but no matter how much our other costs are – and even if we make a loss – we will always guarantee a donation of at least 4% of the track price.
And remember, the more music you download, the more we donate.
With 18 charity partners to choose from, including Amnesty International, British Red Cross, RSPCA, War Child, and Youth Music, FairShareMusic makes every purchase feel good.
“By embedding generosity into the enjoyment of music, fairsharemusic is helping to change the way people think about giving.”