Open music model

The open music model is an economic and technological framework for the recording industry based on research conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It predicts that the playback of prerecorded music will be regarded as a service rather than as individually sold products, and that the only system for the digital distribution of music that will be viable against piracy is a subscription-based system supporting file sharing and free of digital rights management. The research also indicated that US$9 per month for unlimited use would be the market clearing price at that time, but recommended $5 per month as the long-term optimal price.[1]

Since its creation in 2002, a number of its principles have been adopted throughout the recording industry,[2] and it has been cited as the basis for the business model of many music subscription services.[3][4]


The model asserts that there are five necessary requirements for a viable commercial music digital distribution network:

# Requirement Description
1 Open file sharing users must be free to share files with each other
2 Open file formats content must be distributed in open formats with no DRM restrictions
3 Open membership copyright holders must be able to freely register to receive payment
4 Open payment payment should be accepted via multiple means, not a closed system
5 Open competition multiple such systems must exist which can interoperate, not a designed monopoly

The model was proposed by Shuman Ghosemajumder in his 2002 research paper Advanced Peer-Based Technology Business Models[1] at the MIT Sloan School of Management. The following year, it was publicly referred to as the Open Music Model.[5]

The model suggests changing the way consumers interact with the digital property market: rather than being seen as a good to be purchased from online vendor, music would be treated as a service being provided by the industry, with firms based on the model serving as intermediaries between the music industry and its consumers. The model proposed giving consumers unlimited access to music for the price of US$5 per month[1] (as of 2002), based on research showing that this could be a long-term optimal price, expected to bring in a total revenue of over US$3 billion per year.[1]

The research demonstrated the demand for third-party file sharing programs. Insofar as the interest for a particular piece of digital property is high, and the risk of acquiring the good via illegitimate means is low, people will naturally flock towards third-party services such as Napster and Morpheus (more recently, Bittorrent and The Pirate Bay).[1]

The research showed that consumers would use file sharing services not primarily due to cost but because of convenience, indicating that services which provided access to the most music would be the most successful.[1]

Industry adoption

The model predicted the failure of online music distribution systems based on digital rights management.[5][6]

Criticisms of the model included that it would not eliminate the issue of piracy.[7] Others countered that it was in fact the most viable solution to piracy,[8] since piracy was "inevitable".[9] Supporters argued that it offered a superior alternative to the current law-enforcement based methods used by the recording industry.[10] One startup in Germany, Playment, announced plans to adapt the entire model to a commercial setting as the basis for its business model.[11]

Several aspects of the model have been adopted by the recording industry and its partners over time:

  • The abolition of digital rights management represented a major shift for the industry. In 2007, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, published a letter[12] calling for an end to DRM in music. A few months later, launched a store single individual DRM-free mp3's.[13] One year later, iTunes Store abolished DRM on most of its individual tracks.[14]
  • Open payment was relatively straightforward to implement, and the iTunes Store offered gift cards, which could be purchased with cash, from its launch in 2003.
  • In 2010, Rhapsody announced a download ability[15] for their subscribers using iPhones.
  • In 2011, Apple launched its iTunes Match service with a subscription model, supporting file-sharing between a user's own devices.[16] However, the subscription price did not include the cost of acquiring content, which would still have to be purchased on a per track basis from the iTunes Store.
  • Pricing close to the model's suggested $5 per month price, or its $9 per month market clearing price, has been adopted by many platforms:
    • In 2005, Yahoo! Music was launched at $5 per month with digital rights management.
    • In 2011, Spotify introduced a $5 per month premium subscription in the United States with digital rights management.[17]
    • In 2011, Microsoft Zune offered a subscription service for music downloads with digital rights management known as a Zune Pass, at $10 a month.
    • in 2012, Google Play Music launched unlimited music streaming for a subscription price of $9.99 per month.[18] Users can upload their own MP3s to the service and download them, but cannot download songs they have not uploaded themselves.
    • In 2014, Amazon added DRM music streaming to their Amazon Prime service.[19]
    • In 2015, Apple announced Apple Music, which would offer unlimited streaming of songs encrypted with FairPlay DRM for a subscription price of $9.99 per month, and compensate artists on the basis of song popularity. Apple reportedly wanted to enter the market with a lower price but was pressured by record labels to adopt a higher subscription fee.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Shuman Ghosemajumder (May 10, 2002). "Advanced Peer-Based Technology Business Models". MIT Sloan School of Management. hdl:1721.1/8438.
  2. ^ Gautham Somraj Koorma (November 27, 2015). "On-Demand Music Streaming to battle Piracy". iRunway.
  3. ^ Marco Consoli (July 3, 2014). "Spotify, il business folle sbarca a Wall Street". L'Espresso.
  4. ^ Karol Kopańko (June 5, 2015). "Dla użytkowników streaming muzyki jest spełnieniem marzeń, a dla wytwórni – źródłem obaw".
  5. ^ a b Ruth Suehle (November 3, 2011). "The DRM graveyard: A brief history of digital rights management in music". Red Hat Magazine.
  6. ^ Emanuele Lunadei; Christian Valdiva Torres; Erik Cambria (May 18, 2014). "Collective Copyright". International World Wide Web Conference 2014.
  7. ^ Sungwon Peter Choe (2006). "Music Distribution: Technology and the Value of Art in Society". KAIST.
  8. ^ Andrew Traub (November 25, 2009). "Open music model". US Intellectual Property Law. Archived from the original on January 1, 2011.
  9. ^ Yrjö Raivio (December 4, 2009). "Mobile Services and the Internet: A Study of Emerging Business Models" (PDF). Helsinki University of Technology.
  10. ^ Matěj Myška (December 2007). "Flat Fee Music" (PDF). Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 18, 2011.
  11. ^ Playment. "Playment – Our Solution".
  12. ^ a b Steve Jobs (February 6, 2007). "Thoughts on Music". Apple Inc.
  13. ^ Marshall Kirkpatrick (September 25, 2007). "Amazon MP3 Launches DRM-Free Music Store". ReadWriteWeb.
  14. ^ Peter Cohen (January 6, 2009). "iTunes Store goes DRM-free". MacWorld.
  15. ^ Kit Eaton (April 26, 2010). "Rhapsody First Subscription Service in U.S. to Offer Offline Music on iPhone". FastCompany.
  16. ^ Erik Rasmussen (November 16, 2011). "Cloud Music and iTunes Match".
  17. ^ Charlie Sorrel (July 14, 2011). "Spotify Launches in the U.S at Last". Wired.
  18. ^ Jefferson Graham (June 24, 2015). "First Look – Google Play Music has 1000s of free music playlists". USA Today.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Popper, Ben; Singleton, Micah (June 8, 2015). "Apple announces its streaming music service, Apple Music". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 8, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
Content delivery network

A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to provide high availability and high performance by distributing the service spatially relative to end-users. CDNs serve a large portion of the Internet content today, including web objects (text, graphics and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications (e-commerce, portals), live streaming media, on-demand streaming media, and social media sites.CDNs are a layer in the internet ecosystem. Content owners such as media companies and e-commerce vendors pay CDN operators to deliver their content to their end users. In turn, a CDN pays ISPs, carriers, and network operators for hosting its servers in their data centers.

CDN is an umbrella term spanning different types of content delivery services: video streaming, software downloads, web and mobile content acceleration, licensed/managed CDN, transparent caching, and services to measure CDN performance, load balancing, multi-CDN switching and analytics and cloud intelligence. CDN vendors may cross over into other industries like security, with DDoS protection and web application firewalls (WAF), and WAN optimization.

Digital distribution

Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delivery or distribution of digital media content such as audio, video, software and video games. The term is generally used to describe distribution over an online delivery medium, such as the Internet, thus bypassing physical distribution methods, such as paper, optical discs, and VHS videocassettes. The term online distribution is typically applied to freestanding products; downloadable add-ons for other products are more commonly known as downloadable content. With the advancement of network bandwidth capabilities, online distribution became prominent in the 21st century.

Content distributed online may be streamed or downloaded, and often consists of books, films and television programs, music, software, and video games. Streaming involves downloading and using content at a user's request, or "on-demand", rather than allowing a user to store it permanently. In contrast, fully downloading content to a hard drive or other form of storage media may allow offline access in the future.

Specialist networks known as content delivery networks help distribute content over the Internet by ensuring both high availability and high performance. Alternative technologies for content delivery include peer-to-peer file sharing technologies. Alternatively, content delivery platforms create and syndicate content remotely, acting like hosted content management systems.

However, the term is also used in film distribution to describe distribution of content through physical media, in opposition to distribution by analog media such as photographic film and magnetic tape (see digital cinema).


FastTrack is a peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol that was used by the Kazaa, Grokster, iMesh, and Morpheus file sharing programs. FastTrack was the most popular file sharing network in 2003, and used mainly for the exchange of music mp3 files. The network had approximately 2.4 million concurrent users in 2003. It is estimated that the total number of users was greater than that of Napster at its peak.

Free music

Free music can also mean free improvisation: improvised music without any rules, and not in any particular style.

For information on swapping of (non-free) music see File sharing, Napster or eMule.

Free music or libre music is music that, like free software, can freely be copied, distributed and modified for any purpose. Thus free music is either in the public domain or licensed under a free license by the artist or copyright holder themselves, often as a method of promotion. It does not mean that there should be no fee involved. The word free refers to freedom (as in free software), not to price.The Free Music Philosophy generally encourages creators to free music using whatever language or methods they wish. A Free Music Public License (FMPL) is available for those who prefer a formal approach.

Some free music is licensed under licenses that are intended for software (like the GPL) or other writings (the GFDL). But there are also licenses especially for music and other works of art, such as EFF's Open Audio License, LinuxTag's Open Music License, the Free Art license and some of the Creative Commons Licences.

Freedom of information

Freedom of information is an extension of freedom of speech, a fundamental human right recognized in international law, which is today understood more generally as freedom of expression in any medium, be it orally, in writing, print, through the Internet or through art forms. This means that the protection of freedom of speech as a right includes not only the content, but also the means of expression. Freedom of information also refers to the right to privacy in the content of the Internet and information technology. As with the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy is a recognised human right and freedom of information acts as an extension to this right. Lastly, freedom of information can include opposition to patents, opposition to copyrights or opposition to intellectual property in general. The international and United States Pirate Party have established political platforms based largely on freedom of information issues.


iMesh was a media and file sharing client that was available in nine languages. It used a proprietary, centralized, P2P network (IM2Net) operating on ports 80, 443 and 1863. iMesh was owned by American company iMesh, Inc., who maintained development centers around the world. As of 2009, it was the third most popular music subscription service in the US.iMesh operated the first "RIAA-approved" P2P service, allowing users residing in the United States and Canada to download music content of choice for a monthly fee in the form of either a Premium subscription or a "ToGo" subscription. This subscription-based approach is advocated by theories such as the Open Music Model. A third option was also available for users (residing in either country) to permanently purchase tracks for 99 cents (USD) each, without a subscription.

In September 2013 the website of iMesh was hacked and approximately 50M accounts were exposed. The data was later put up for sale on a dark market website in mid-2016 and included email and IP addresses, usernames and salted MD5 hashes.


LimeWire is a discontinued free peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) client for Windows, OS X, Linux and Solaris. LimeWire used the gnutella network as well as the BitTorrent protocol. A freeware version and a purchasable "enhanced" version were available. BitTorrent support is provided by libtorrent.

On October 26, 2010, U.S. federal court judge Kimba Wood issued an injunction enforcing LimeWire to prevent "the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality" of its software in Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC. A trial investigating the damages necessary to compensate the affected record labels was scheduled to begin in January 2011. As a result of the injunction, LimeWire stopped distributing the LimeWire software, and versions 5.5.11 and newer have been disabled using a backdoor installed by the company. However, version 5.5.10 and all prior versions of LimeWire remain fully functional and cannot be disabled unless a user upgrades to one of the newer versions. The program has been "resurrected" by the creators of WireShare (formerly known as LimeWire Pirate Edition).

Morpheus (software)

Morpheus was a file sharing and searching peer-to-peer client for Microsoft Windows, developed and distributed by the company StreamCast, that originally used the Opennap protocol, but later supported many different peer-to-peer protocols. On April 22, 2008, distributor StreamCast Networks filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a long legal battle with music companies; all of their employees were laid off and the official download at stopped being available, though for a small period the website remained online. As of October 29, 2008, the official Morpheus website is offline, including all other websites owned by StreamCast Networks, specifically, and

Music download

A music download is the digital transfer of music via the Internet into a device capable of decoding and playing it, such as a home computer, MP3 player or smartphone. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyrighted material without permission or legal payment. According to a Nielsen report, downloadable music accounted for 55.9% of all music sales in the US in 2012. By the beginning of 2011, Apple's iTunes Store alone made US$1.1 billion of revenue in the first quarter of its fiscal year.

Napster (streaming music service)

Napster, known as Rhapsody prior to June 14, 2016, is an online music store subscription service based in Seattle, Washington. On April 6, 2010, Rhapsody relaunched as a standalone company, separate from former parent RealNetworks. Downloaded files come with restrictions on their use, enforced by Helix, Rhapsody's version of digital rights management enforced on AAC+ or WMA files. In the past, the service also sold individual MP3s without digital rights management restrictions.


OMM may refer to:

O'Melveny & Myers, a US law firm with a worldwide practice

Object memory model, a structure model for digital object memories

The Observer Music Monthly, the British monthly music magazine found in The Observer newspaper

Obstacle mobility model, a type of mobility model

Of Mice and Men, a novella written by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck

Of Mice & Men (band), (often abbreviated OM&M) an American metalcore band

Of Monsters and Men, an Icelandic indie band

Old Man Murray, a gaming website

OMM, a godlike character with a visual representation resembling Jesus in the film THX 1138

One Magnificent Morning, an American programming block that airs Saturday mornings on the owned-and-operated stations and affiliates of The CW

The One Million Masterpiece, the world's largest collaborative art project

The Original Mountain Marathon, a multi-day running event and a precursor to adventure racing

One Million Moms, a U.S. conservative group

Open music model, a business model for the digital distribution of music

The QualiPSo OpenSource Maturity Model

Order of Military Merit (Canada), a Canadian military honour (post-nominal letters)

Organisation météorologique mondiale, French for World Meteorological Organization

Osteopathic manipulative medicine, a core technique of osteopathy and osteopathic medicine in the United States

Outer mitochondrial membrane

Open admissions

Open admissions, or open enrollment, is a type of unselective and noncompetitive college admissions process in the United States in which the only criterion for entrance is a high school diploma or a certificate of attendance or General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

Open collaboration

Open collaboration is "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." It is prominently observed in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists and online communities. Open collaboration is also thought to be the operating principle underlining a gamut of diverse ventures, including bitcoin, TEDx, and Wikipedia.Open collaboration is the principle underlying peer production, mass collaboration, and wikinomics. It was observed initially in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists, Internet communities, and many instances of open content, such as creative commons. It also explains some instances of crowdsourcing, collaborative consumption, and open innovation.Riehle et al. define open collaboration as collaboration based on three principles of egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-organization. Levine and Prietula define open collaboration as "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." This definition captures multiple instances, all joined by similar principles. For example, all of the elements — goods of economic value, open access to contribute and consume, interaction and exchange, purposeful yet loosely coordinated work — are present in an open source software project, in Wikipedia, or in a user forum or community. They can also be present in a commercial website that is based on user-generated content. In all of these instances of open collaboration, anyone can contribute and anyone can freely partake in the fruits of sharing, which are produced by interacting participants who are loosely coordinated.

An annual conference dedicated to the research and practice of open collaboration is the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (OpenSym, formerly WikiSym). As per its website, the group defines open collaboration as "collaboration that is egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist), meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes)."

Open university

An open university is a university with an open-door academic policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. Open universities may employ specific teaching methods, such as open supported learning or distance education. However, not all open universities focus on distance education, nor do distance-education universities necessarily have open admission policies.

Peer production

Peer production (also known as mass collaboration) is a way of producing goods and services that relies on self-organizing communities of individuals. In such communities, the labor of a large number of people is coordinated towards a shared outcome.


Podsafe is a term created in the podcasting community to refer to any work which, through its licensing, specifically allows the use of the work in podcasting, regardless of restrictions the same work might have in other realms. For example, a song may be legal to use in podcasts, but may need to be purchased or have royalties paid for over-the-air radio use, television use, and possibly even personal use.

Podsafe music gained modest popularity in the early days of podcasting, largely because of podcaster resources like the now-defunct Podsafe Music Network. Most podcasters were just hobbyists at that point. In the early 2010s, the podcast industry professionalized with the advent of podcast-oriented media companies such as Earwolf. Some traditional media organizations such as NPR started making podcasting a major part of their strategy. As more money started pouring into the industry, the content diversified and podsafe music faded into obscurity.


Puretracks was a Canadian online music store, which launched officially on October 14, 2003. Puretracks works as a behind-the-scene music partner. Now a division of Somerset Entertainment, owned by Fluid Music, Puretracks has U.S. and Canadian licensing agreements with all major labels and hundreds of independent labels worldwide—enabling them to offer well over three million top music tracks across every genre. The majority of music is sold at 256 to 320 kbit/s MP3 files.As of February 20, 2007, Puretracks started offering the majority of its collection in MP3 format without DRM, an approach advocated by theories such as the Open Music Model.

Puretracks shut down in August, 2013.

Shuman Ghosemajumder

Shuman Ghosemajumder (born 1974) is a Canadian technologist, entrepreneur, and author. He is the former click fraud czar at Google, the author of works on technology and business including the Open Music Model, and co-founder of TeachAIDS. He is currently Chief Technology Officer for Shape Security.

Yahoo! Music

Yahoo! Music, owned by Yahoo!, was the provider of a variety of music services, including Internet radio, music videos, news, artist information, and original programming. Previously, users with Yahoo! accounts could gain access to hundreds of thousands of songs sorted by artist, album, song and genre.

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