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Jamendo S.A.
Industry Music
Founded 2005
Founder Pierre Gérard
Laurent Kratz
Sylvain Zimmer
Headquarters Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Key people
Samuel Devyver, General Manager
Products Jamendo PRO
Parent MusicMatic
Website www.jamendo.com
Old logo

Jamendo is a music website and an open community of music authors. It bills itself as "the world's largest digital service for free music".[1]

Since the beginning in 2005, Jamendo's music has been licensed under Creative Commons licenses. Applied to all songs, these licenses allow artists to publish their music and preserve their rights while providing users the freedom to download it for free and redistribute at least noncommercially, with other permissions varying by license. The goal of Jamendo is to be the link between artists who want to share their music and audiences around the world, both private and professional.[1]

At the center of Jamendo is an economic model that grants free music downloads for web users, while at the same time providing revenue opportunities for artists through commercial uses, via the licensing platform Jamendo PRO which sells licenses for music synchronization and background music.[1]

Based in Luxembourg, the website has a community of 1.4 million members.[2]

At the end of 2013, the catalog comprised 410,000 tracks by 30,000 artists from 150 countries.[3] The site is available in 6 languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Polish.

The name "Jamendo" is derived from a fusion of two musical terms: "jam session" and "crescendo".[1]


Jamendo S.A., originally created under the name Peermajor SARL in 2004, was launched in January 2005. It was funded in June 2007 by Mangrove Capital Partners,[4] Skype's investors. Starting in January 2007, Jamendo tested an advertising revenue sharing program which was later dropped.[5] In December 2007, the second version of the website was launched, offering a new design and new functionalities.[6] On June 18, 2008 the platform reached 10,000 albums.[7]

At the end of 2008, Jamendo launched Jamendo PRO,[8] which is a music licensing platform for commercial uses. It allows the use of Jamendo music for the synchronization of audiovisual projects (ads, web videos, corporate videos, films, etc.) and as background music for public places (stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.).[9]

In June 2009, Jamendo launched its mobile applications for Android[10] and iOS[11] platforms. That same month, one Jamendo's founder, Sylvain Zimmer, received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in Luxembourg.[12] In December 2009, a partnership was formed with Deezer, allowing Jamendo artists to put their music on this platform.[13]

In January 2010, Jamendo faced financial difficulties and was seeking investors,[14] however, stability returned as MusicMatic, a company specialized in background music, entered in Jamendo's capital.[15]

In August 2011, Jamendo obtained the "PUR" label from French authority HADOPI,[16] which was renewed the following year.

On April 24, 2012, the third version of the website was launched. It offered a new design, new functionalities allowing for more artists promotion, ten new genre-specific radio streams, etc.[17]

Sharing music[edit]

Jamendo offers artists the ability to publish their music under the Creative Commons licenses (and in the past, the option of the Free Art License) of their choice. Artists who register to Jamendo cannot be members of a collecting society, such as ASCAP, BMI in United States or SACEM in France, as they are often granted exclusive rights. Some of these collecting societies are more flexible and allow artists to publish their music under Creative Commons licenses as long as commercial uses are excluded. This is notably the case for the SACEM.[18]

Each artist has a profile displaying albums, artist information and reviews. These profiles are managed by the artist, who use a special dashboard that gives them access to various tools like stats, fan messaging, blogging, etc. They also have other built-in promotional tools at their disposal, like generated widgets for each album and social media buttons (Facebook, Twitter). Lastly, artists can receive donations directly from Jamendo users.

Use of the website[edit]

Users can listen to MP3 encoded audio files (96 kbit/s) and download in MP3 (192kbit/s) and Ogg Vorbis[19] formats. Listening and downloading is free, unlimited and without advertisements.

Each user has a personal account in which extended features are available, for example creating playlists, bookmarking songs and albums, becoming a fan of an artist, sharing on social networks, reviewing tracks or albums, and donating to their favorite artists. The latest version of the website features more promoting abilities with an artist focus, charts and genre-specific radio streams. The website allows searching by artists or titles and also by tag which are chosen by artists to describe their songs (genre, instrument, etc.). Jamendo is integrated within media players like VLC media player, Songbird, Clementine and Amarok 2. It was integrated into Rhythmbox from version 0.9.6 until 2.9x, at which point it was removed for technical reasons, but the library can be accessed from Rhythmbox's Grilo plugin. Jamendo is not integrated into Banshee by default, but can be integrated with a plugin.

Business model[edit]

According to one article on Jamendo's business model,[20] Jamendo's use of voluntary donations represents the first serious attempt for a file sharing site to provide a direct way to pay artists. In January 2007, Jamendo provided an advertising revenue sharing model for artists.[21]

While sites such as YouTube are still implementing plans to offer artists a share of their advertising revenue, Jamendo claims to let artists keep 50% of the revenue generated, and almost 100% of the donations that Jamendo visitors give go to individual artists.

Jamendo works with Musicmatic[22] to offer services to professionals on the freemium model.[23]

Jamendo PRO[edit]

The Jamendo PRO licensing platform is an intermediary between artists and third parties who wish to use the music in their projects. Based on the CC Plus[24] concept, the licenses are granted mainly for the uses not covered by Creative Commons licenses. Jamendo’s artists are free to use this service which allow them to receive 50% of the revenues generated by the platform. The Jamendo PRO offer is made of two parts: Jamendo PRO Track,[25] which licenses music for synchronization in audiovisual projects (advertising, film, television, video games, mobile applications, etc.) and Jamendo PRO Flow,[26] which licenses background music to be used in public spaces (stores, shops, hotels, restaurants, etc.). The Jamendo PRO platform features classical music by the Italian independent label OnClassical[27] · .[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Jamendo Press Kit". Jamendo. Retrieved January 2013. 
  2. ^ "2012 Jamendo Wishes". Jamendo. December 21, 2012. Retrieved January 2013. 
  3. ^ "400,000 Tracks on Jamendo: the Free Music Platform Keeps Growing". Jamendo. October 2, 2013. Retrieved November 2013. 
  4. ^ Jérôme G. (July 18, 2007). "Jamendo : levée de fonds pour la Musique Libre" (in French). Génération NT. Retrieved January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Jamendo launches its advertising revenue sharing program with its artists". Jamendo. January 15, 2007. Retrieved January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Jamendo has turned 'Orange': Launch of the new version". Jamendo. December 7, 2007. Retrieved January 2013. 
  7. ^ Paul Glazowski (June 21, 2008). "Free-Music Champion Jamendo Nets 10,000 Albums, Adds Partners". Mashable. 
  8. ^ Jamendo PRO, available at pro.jamendo.com
  9. ^ Éric Dupin (February 6, 2009). "Jamendo lance officiellement une alternative concrète à la SACEM" (in French). Presse-Citron. Retrieved January 2013. 
  10. ^ "The first Jamendo mobile application available on Android!". Jamendo. June 2, 2009. Retrieved January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Jamendo finally available on the iPhone and iPod Touch!". Jamendo. June 19, 2009. Retrieved January 2013. 
  12. ^ Sarah Brock (June 29, 2009). "Jamendo monte enfin sur la première marche" (in French). L'Essentiel. Retrieved January 2013. 
  13. ^ Guillaume Champeau (December 9, 2009). "Musique libre : Jamendo signe avec Deezer un accord commercial" (in French). Numérama. Retrieved January 2013. 
  14. ^ Robin Wauters (January 7, 2010). "Digital music startup Jamendo runs out of steam, mulls sale". Techcrunch. Retrieved January 2013. 
  15. ^ Robin Wauters (April 8, 2010). "MusicMatic buys Mangrove's share in Jamendo, intends to raise more funding". Techcrunch. Retrieved January 2013. 
  16. ^ Jacques Franc de Ferrière (August 21, 2011). "Hadopi : Jamendo sera labellisé PUR " dans l'intérêt des artistes "" (in French). ITespresso. Retrieved January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Jamendo Has A New Look!". Jamendo. April 24, 2012. Retrieved January 2013. 
  18. ^ "La Sacem et Creative Commons signent un accord pour la diffusion des œuvres" (in French). SACEM. January 2012. Retrieved January 2013. 
  19. ^ Ogg/Vorbis files are available for albums published before a certain date. To download an Ogg/Vorbis ZIP archive, use the following link with “ALBUMNUMBER” replaced with the album number: http://www.jamendo.com/get/album/id/album/archiverestricted/redirect/ALBUMNUMBER/?are=ogg3
  20. ^ TeleRead
  21. ^ Jamendo site
  22. ^ blog.jamendo.com
  23. ^ Sylvain Zimmer in "Les enfant du web" podcast #62 on Oxyradio http://www.oxyradio.net/podcast-163.html - 17th may 2010
  24. ^ "Creative Commons - CC Plus". Creative Commons. Retrieved February 2013. 
  25. ^ "Stock Music Library". Jamendo PRO. Retrieved February 2013. 
  26. ^ "Royalty free music for your shop or business". Jamendo PRO. Retrieved February 2013. 
  27. ^ "Jamendo goes classical!". Jamendo. February 18, 2009. Retrieved February 2013. 
  28. ^ "Jamendo chose OnClassical!". OnClassical. February 18, 2009. Retrieved February 2013. 

External links[edit]