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Jamendo S.A.
Industry Music
Founded January 1, 2005; 10 years ago (2005-01-01)
Founder Pierre Gérard
Laurent Kratz
Sylvain Zimmer
Headquarters Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Area served
Key people
Alexandre Saboundjian (CEO)
Samuel Devyver (General Manager)
Products Jamendo Licensing
Parent Storever (formerly MusicMatic)
Website jamendo.com

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

Jamendo was origionally introduced as a service for releasing music under the Creative Commons licenses. As of October, 2015, Jamendo no longer advertizes its music as Creative Commons but rather free to play and download for personal use. 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 music licensing platform Jamendo Licensing which sells licenses for music synchronization and background music.[1]

Based in Luxembourg, the website has a community of over 2 million members.

At the end of 2013, the catalog offered over 400,000 tracks by 30,000 artists from 150 countries.[2] As of January 2015, the Jamendo homepage shows a count of 460,000 tracks available, and a total of 250+ million downloads since the launch of the platform. 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 former logo (2007-2012)

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,[3] Skype's investors. Starting in January 2007, Jamendo tested an advertising revenue sharing program which was later dropped.[4] In December 2007, the second version of the website was launched, offering a new design and new functionalities.[5] On June 18, 2008 the platform passed the 10,000 albums milestone.[6]

At the end of 2008, Jamendo launched Jamendo PRO, a music licensing platform for commercial use, making Jamendo music available for the synchronization of audiovisual projects (film, TV, advertising, web & corporate videos, video games, apps, etc.) and as background music for public places (stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.).[7]

June 2009 saw the release of Jamendo's first mobile applications for Android[8] and iOS.[9] That same month, Jamendo's co-founder and CTO Sylvain Zimmer received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in Luxembourg.[10] In December 2009, a partnership was made with Deezer, giving Jamendo artists the opportunity to release their music on Deezer as well.[11]

Jamendo faced financial difficulties in early 2010 and started looking for investors.[12] Stability returned when MusicMatic, a Brussels-based company specialized in music solutions for businesses and public places, entered Jamendo's capital.[13]

In August 2011, Jamendo obtained the "PUR" label from French authority HADOPI,[14] 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 channels, etc.[15]

On December 8, 2014, Jamendo PRO turned into Jamendo Licensing,[16] showing an entirely reshaped version of their commercial service.

Sharing music for free[edit]

Jamendo offers artists the opportunity to publish their music for free under Creative Commons licenses (and also the Free Art License in the past). Artists joining Jamendo cannot be registered to any collecting rights society, such as GEMA in Germany or SGAE in Spain, as such organizations are often holding exclusive rights on artists' works. More flexibility is observed in other collecting societies, recognizing music under Creative Commons licenses as long as commercial use is excluded. This is notably the case for SACEM in France.[17] In the United States, ASCAP and BMI even recognize the use of Jamendo by their registered artists.

Each artist has a profile displaying uploaded albums and singles, along with artist information. These profiles are managed by the artist, with access to various features and tools like stats, notifications about interaction with the music, fan messaging, blogging, etc. They also have other built-in promotional tools at their disposal, like generated widgets and social media sharing buttons (for Facebook, Twitter, Google+). 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 formats. Listening and downloading is free, unlimited and without any 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 website also promotes new music through an editorial feed on the homepage, along with top charts and genre-specific radio channels. A search engine allows to look for specific artists or titles, but also search by tags, which are chosen by artists to describe their songs (genre, instrument, mood, theme, 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, then 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,[18] 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 2007, Jamendo provided an advertising revenue sharing model for artists.[19]

While sites such as YouTube are still implementing plans to offer artists a share of their advertising revenue, Jamendo used to pay artists 50% of the revenue they generate. however this has recently been dropped to 30% rising slightly depending on volume of sales. Almost 100% of the donations given by Jamendo web users go directly to the artists.

Jamendo works with Storever (formerly MusicMatic)[20] to offer music solutions for chainstores and public places.[21]

Jamendo Licensing[edit]

The Jamendo Licensing service is an intermediary between artists and third parties who wish to use the music in their projects. Based on the CC Plus[22] concept, the licenses are granted mainly for the uses not covered by Creative Commons licenses. Jamendo’s artists are free to opt in and out of the service, which grants them 50% of all income generated by their licenses sold on the platform.

Jamendo Licensing answers different needs in music licensing : Catalog[23] offers low-priced music licenses for synchronization in audiovisual projects (advertising, film, television, video games, mobile applications, etc.), while In-Store[24] offers background music solutions for public spaces (stores, shops, hotels, restaurants, etc.). Finally, Composition[25] is a crowdsourced songwriting service: professionals can ask the community of artists to compose tailor-made tracks for their special needs.


  1. ^ a b c d "Jamendo Press Kit". Jamendo. Retrieved January 2013. 
  2. ^ "400,000 Tracks on Jamendo: the Free Music Platform Keeps Growing". Jamendo. October 2, 2013. Retrieved November 2013. 
  3. ^ Jérôme G. (July 18, 2007). "Jamendo : levée de fonds pour la Musique Libre" (in French). Génération NT. Retrieved January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Jamendo launches its advertising revenue sharing program with its artists". Jamendo. January 15, 2007. Retrieved January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Jamendo has turned 'Orange': Launch of the new version". Jamendo. December 7, 2007. Retrieved January 2013. 
  6. ^ Paul Glazowski (June 21, 2008). "Free-Music Champion Jamendo Nets 10,000 Albums, Adds Partners". Mashable. 
  7. ^ Éric Dupin (February 6, 2009). "Jamendo lance officiellement une alternative concrète à la SACEM" (in French). Presse-Citron. Retrieved January 2013. 
  8. ^ "The first Jamendo mobile application available on Android!". Jamendo. June 2, 2009. Retrieved January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Jamendo finally available on the iPhone and iPod Touch!". Jamendo. June 19, 2009. Retrieved January 2013. 
  10. ^ Sarah Brock (June 29, 2009). "Jamendo monte enfin sur la première marche" (in French). L'Essentiel. Retrieved January 2013. 
  11. ^ Guillaume Champeau (December 9, 2009). "Musique libre : Jamendo signe avec Deezer un accord commercial" (in French). Numérama. Retrieved January 2013. 
  12. ^ Robin Wauters (January 7, 2010). "Digital music startup Jamendo runs out of steam, mulls sale". Techcrunch. Retrieved January 2013. 
  13. ^ Robin Wauters (April 8, 2010). "MusicMatic buys Mangrove's share in Jamendo, intends to raise more funding". Techcrunch. Retrieved January 2013. 
  14. ^ Jacques Franc de Ferrière (August 21, 2011). "Hadopi : Jamendo sera labellisé PUR " dans l'intérêt des artistes "" (in French). ITespresso. Retrieved January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Jamendo Has A New Look!". Jamendo. April 24, 2012. Retrieved January 2013. 
  16. ^ Jamendo Licensing, available at licensing.jamendo.com
  17. ^ "La Sacem et Creative Commons signent un accord pour la diffusion des œuvres" (in French). SACEM. January 2012. Retrieved January 2013. 
  18. ^ TeleRead
  19. ^ Jamendo site
  20. ^ blog.jamendo.com
  21. ^ Sylvain Zimmer in "Les enfant du web" podcast #62 on Oxyradio http://www.oxyradio.net/podcast-163.html - May 17th, 2010
  22. ^ "Creative Commons - CC Plus". Creative Commons. Retrieved February 2013. 
  23. ^ "Jamendo Licensing Catalog". Jamendo Licensing. Retrieved February 2015. 
  24. ^ "Royalty-free background music". Jamendo Licensing. Retrieved February 2015. 
  25. ^ "On-demand composition". Jamendo Licensing. Retrieved February 2015. 

External links[edit]