Hi all, Justin here. Today I ended my contract with Magnatune.com, and to what has truly been a valuable partnership for the past six years. I’m grateful to John Buckman (and Jan, in the early days) for all that they’ve done and I wish everyone at Magnatune the best as they continue to fight for the artists they represent in the face of a tumultuous market.
It’s no secret, though, that I wasn’t ever comfortable with their shift to a subscription-based model. I blogged about it two years ago, got some really helpful feedback (then a mean-spirited commenter showed up and ruined the whole thing—this is why we can’t have nice things.) Still, I gave it some time, waited to see the results, and in the end I found that it was contributing to an overall lack of enthusiasm and a dampened creativity for making music that’s probably evident by almost as long a period without significant news updates on this very site. I didn’t and still don’t think that any artist’s discography is worth a tiny slice of a $15/month subscription, and I’d rather make no money at all than get paid one penny at a time.
I want to be clear, though—I think the subscription model is a bad one for musicians, I don’t think that Magnatune is bad.
During this same period of transition I also quit my day job and became self-employed, finding creative satisfaction in helping to create a sheet music reader for iPad rather than making music directly. I had maintained this site independently of my other work until I realized, recently, that this isn’t justinbianco’smusic.com (yes, I know an apostrophe wouldn’t work in a URL anyway, but just go with it,) it’s justinbianco.com. Who I am and what I’m passionate about may have shifted somewhat, but it’s still all part of who I am.
As such, I’ve started making some changes to this site and you’ll be seeing a lot of new content go up over the next few days. I hope you like it, and if you have feedback please don’t hesitate to contact me on the About page. Just know that albums will be coming down and going back up on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers as I work to make everything available on my own terms.
I’ve got a new album of solo piano compositions coming out soon, I just released my first novel, and I’m almost finished with my next brand new app. It feels like the beginning of an era, not the end of one, and I hope you’ll join me as I continue to explore what I love to do and how it can brighten the lives of anyone who hears my music, reads my book, or uses my app.