gogoyoko logogogoyoko is a startup building a new social music marketplace, founded by a group of artists, who after years of selling music got tired of middlemen eating most of the sales revenues. The company is based in Reykjavik, Iceland. gogoyoko’s music service was launched in closed Alpha on November 15, and is said to be launched in March 2009.

gogoyoko offers a platform for artists and audience to interact around music. Most importantly, naturally, it is possible to buy music from the service. gogoyoko creates a direct channel between the end users and artists, letting artists price their own music and keep 100 % of the sales revenues (after transaction costs). The music files will be DRM free.

gogoyoko screenshotAn interesting feature is that via gogoyoko’s custom web player, users will be able to stream tracks and albums for free, which is apparently supported by ads (sounding similar to Spotify). gogoyoko states they pay artists and right holders 40% of the advertisement revenue made from the streaming of their music. Also, each artist can get an own customized store and music player, which can be embedded to the artist’s own blog and homepage, or any other site.

There is more than just a music store, however. Each artist can create a personal site, and allow the users to view latest news, blog entries, newsletters, discography, pictures, and videos while visiting the store. Artists will also be able to enter gigs, which will be placed on the service’s map. gogoyoko plans to provide also mobile access to the map in the future. The visitors and fans can also contribute to the community by rating and reviewing songs, blogging, and even getting their articles published in gogoyoko’s own online Music Magazine. gogoyoko will publish the Music Magazine announcing for example new releases, exclusive interviews, reviews, and special offers.

Similarly to Equal Dreams covered earlier, with gogoyoko an artist can also choose to automatically donate 10 % or more of their revenues to specific charity organizations, while the consumers can also choose to donate a sum of their choice. gogoyoko promises to donate 10% of its advertisement income to their partner international charity and environmental organizations.

gogoyoko’s introduction video:

Gogoyoko from Gogoyoko on Vimeo

gogoyoko boasts it offers artists the control of the sales, promotion and distribution of their music at single location without middlemen. This setup is becoming more and more used in different content services (online games, iPhone apps, etc. etc.), and of course offers the artists maximum the revenue, but on the other hand, it also hands them over all the work. Especially if you are not a professional artist and make music on your free time, the question is whether you’re able to devote enough time to market yourself to generate sales. Probably some lucky ones will get lots of fans by almost by accident, but the majority will probably would have to spend considerable amount of time marketing themselves to generate fan base and revenue. And that’s time away from creating new music, so the question is what will be the best trade-off these kinds of direct-to-consumer services can offer?