Russian music site of questionable legality AllOfMP3 may well be close to breathing its last. Credit card companies Visa and Mastercard have stopped accepting credit card transactions for the site. AllOfMP3 have persistently sailed as close the wind as is humanly possible and claim legality through some creative interpretation of Russian copyright laws that the music industry refutes. Without going into too much detail, the dispute centres around the authority of the new media license granting body in Russia to grant license on behalf of record labels and also around the much smaller license fees paid compared with standard licenses. Though AllOfMP3 claim to be catering for a Russian audience, they have clearly got their sights set on a wider audience and indeed usage is driven from Western Europe and beyond.
Though this is likely to be the beginning of the end for AllOfMP3, the Russian outfit is part of a broader revision of digital music that is going to ramp up in early 2007, driven by legal start-ups such as QTraxx and Spiral Frog, accompanied by the likes of Last.FM and YouTube. The music industry is beginning to accept that free, ad supported services are the most realistic way of generating cash off the mainstream online population.
Jupiter will be writing a major report on the future of music in the coming months and will be conducting a survey of stakeholders in the music value chain as part of this research. We’ll be addressing a range of issues that look beyond the current landscape and look at what is round the corner. If you would like to participate in this survey then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you an invite to the survey when it is live.