|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (April 2011)|
|Opened||October 1, 2009|
|Pricing model||streaming / on demand|
|Platforms||MP3s downloadable in any platform, streaming on web browsers|
|Features||Free Streaming, Subscriptions, Direct-To-Fan Sales|
gogoyoko.com was an online music store and social networking music website where artists can sell directly to their fans. The site offers free streaming of all tracks, which is subsidized with advertisements in the music store. The focus of the site is on independent music both from independent artists and labels and distributors working in the independent music sector. The aim of the site is to have artists paid fairly for the sale and distribution their music on the Internet, without having to go through a record label or digital aggregators.
Gogoyoko is known as a "forward-thinking" company due to their focus on artists' rights and the concept of "Fair Play in Music", which is term that gogoyoko uses to describe its business model and as a general slogan for its activities in organizing concerts for charity and to promote grassroots musical movements. gogoyoko partners with other companies with a focus on artists' rights and fair business models in the music industry.
Gogoyoko was founded in Reykjavík, Iceland, in December 2007 by musicians Haukur Magnússon and Pétur Úlfur Einarsson. Reynir Harðarson, one of the founders of CCP Games and the original art director of the massively multiplayer online game Eve Online, is also a founding member of the company and one of its owners. Their headquarters are located in the downtown Reykjavík area.
On November 15, 2008, gogoyoko launched its Alpha test mode. On May 1, 2009, it launched its Beta version. The Beta version became open for everybody in Iceland, where the company is based. On October 1, 2009, the site launched in Scandinavia. For those located outside of Iceland and Scandinavia an invitation to the page was needed.
Gogoyoko claims to provide artists and record labels with a greater control of their work in the digital age and a "ground-breaking revenue split" when selling their digital music online. A 10% transaction cost is charged by the company for music sales of downloaded music and the artists receive the rest of the revenue from sales after applicable sales taxes and royalties are paid by gogoyoko. The company also shares 40% of advertisement revenues made from their website with artists and copyright holders of the music, which is based pro rata on how much each artist (or label) streams on the site.
gogoyoko uses the slogan "Fair play in music" and that it is "made by artists for artists". gogoyoko is not the only formation in the music scene to use the term "fair play". The recently established Featured Artists' Coalition, which members include Radiohead, Kate Nash, Iron Maiden and Kaiser Chiefs, has issued a whole campaign based on the "fair play" concept.
"We want all artists to have more control of their music and a much fairer share of the profits it generates in the digital age. We speak with one voice to help artists strike a new bargain with record companies, digital distributors and others, and are campaigning for specific changes."
Ralph Simon, CEO of the Mobilium Advisory Group and co-founder of the Zomba group and Jive Records, made notice of gogoyoko after his visit to Iceland in October 2008 in an article on his MidemNet blog, Hot Topics in Iceland at You Are in Control Conference.
Artists and record labels are able to sell their music on gogoyoko through a customized music store and a widget player that can be embedded to other websites, such as a blog. Artists and labels decide the price of songs and albums, although they are not able to give songs away for free due to Icelandic copyright law. Artists and labels are able to monitor sales and streams of their music in real time a music manager tool on the site. Payout to artists and labels is made every three months by bank transfer.
The music catalog that is available on the gogoyoko site is a combination of music uploaded by individuals and music from large independent distributors, such as Phonofile, Paradise Distribution, AWAL and Kudos Digital.
Apart from being a music store, gogoyoko is also a social network platform where music fans, music professionals, artists and record labels can make an online profile and interact, similar to MySpace but with a focus only on music. Users are able to rate and review albums in the store, which makes that content more visible to other users through the site's recommendation engine. The focus of the site on independent and grassroots music movements means that the recommendations that the site makes to users are substantially less mainstream than those made on other sites that sell music like Amazon MP3 and iTunes. Users can also "scrobble" their listening history to Last.fm.
According to the website, users can discover new music and dig "deep into music based on your taste, genres, countries, release dates etc. and find music shows in their hometown or elsewhere. The site was founded in Iceland and has a very high representation of the independent and underground music of that country and other Nordic countries.
gogoyoko pledges to donate 10% of all advertisement revenues to charity and environmental organizations. Artists and record labels can also choose to donate a portion of their earnings to the gogoyoko's partner charities. Other registered users and browsers are able to donate directly through the site.
gogoyoko is partnered with five major charities: UNICEF (Iceland), Médecins Sans Frontières, Refugees United, Witness, and the Icelandic Spinal Cord Institute. As part of their involvement with the grassroots movement in Iceland, they also organize concerts with up-and-coming artists and for special charity project. Their partnership with UNICEF (Iceland) and an Icelandic music venue raised 250.000 Icelandic kronur (approximately 2100 USD) in January 2010 for the Haitian Relief Fund.
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