Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How can we Legalize It?

The third biggest music website in the world is MetroLyrics and it was founded in 2000 by a 15 year old boy. Milun Tesovic arrived in Canada from Bosnia in 1995 and he could barely speak English.

Tesovic "created a website that would help boost the lyrics literacy of young music fans everywhere, and the legitimacy of the online lyrics business by embracing an above-board, licensed model."

The founder, now 25, mused with his partner that some day they could own a million dollar company. Today they run MetroLeap Media in Burnaby, B.C. with a value much higher than their original figure.

"Song lyrics are widely sought online. Bing – Microsoft’s search engine – released data last year that showed 78 per cent of people it surveyed use Internet searches to find lyrics. There’s a good chance – especially if it’s a newer song – that MetroLyrics will pop up at or near the top of the results for such a search. It’s ranked 26th for overall Google search results, just behind MapQuest, CNN and TripAdvisor."

MetroLeap makes most of its money through advertising including fast-food restaurants, banks and iTunes. Ringtone downloads provide another “substantial” revenue stream, but it’s advertising that pays the bills.

"Song publishers are paid through an aggregator, the Sony subsidiary Gracenote. MetroLyrics posts authorized, “official” lyrics when they can, rather than user-generated ones."

“From day one the core discussion was how can we legalize it?"

It's interesting to peruse MetroLyrics to see how they organize the top tunes and provide readily available official lyrics. Celebrity news, videos, music charts, mobile apps are part of their growing business model.

What are the lyrics to our favourite songs anyway?

Via: Globe and Mail