I have felt uncomfortable about downloading music from iTunes and Amazon for a while now… while easy and convenient I am well aware of how little money makes its way back to the hard working artists who produce the music.
If it is a smaller artist then I will check their website first to see if I can download from them direct, that way more of my cash gets into their hands, with less going to a massive company. Websites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud make it easy for artists to control who can download their music and how much they pay for it.
When it comes to bigger artists this isn’t always an option so after putting out the question of alternatives to Twitter the ever knowledgable Hannah at From Desk till Dawn came up with fairsharemusic as a suggestion. The tagline for their business is: “Award winning music download store doing good things with great music. You Download We Donate.”
That pretty much sums up the ethos behind what the are doing at fairsharemusic, you download what you want and 50% of the profit goes to charity. You can pick a specific charity to benefit from your purchases, there is a comprehensive list that covers most bases, or you can choose to spread the love and donate to all.
The fairsharemusic website itself is easy to use and has a wide range of music available, the backend being powered by the well established 7Digital download site. You don’t get any automated import tools but there is plenty of guidance available if you should need help getting your downloads into your player of choice.
For those of you interested in such things the files come in MP3 format at 320 kbps so you know you are getting a pretty good quality. The site also offers wishlists and giftcards which are both useful features.
Price wise it falls inline with iTunes, taking the new album from Lianne La Havas as an example it is £7.99 on fairsharemusic and the same price on iTunes. It is slightly cheaper on Amazon at £4.99 but obviously you are only lining their pockets and not helping a charity along the way by using them.
So if you are looking for an ethical alternative to iTunes or Amazon then I definitely recommend that check out fairsharemusic.com for yourself.