defining a new marketplace for media

mediAgora - home

Publishing business models assume costly production and distribution, and expect a few hits to fund the misses. Going digital changes this.

Perfect digital copies make distribution cheap; digital editing and recording tools make production cheaper too. It is easier than ever to create and give away work, and Creative Commons will help you do that.

Getting heard and getting credit are great, but wouldn't you like to get paid too? mediAgora defines a fair, workable market model that works with the new realities of digital media, instead of fighting them.

Principles and goals

mediAgora defines a new market model, based on coherent principles and goals.





A Work is a creation that can stand alone, embodied in digital form. It may be a song, a poem, a novel, a photograph, a video sequence, a computer program, a learned article or a combination of any of these.

It may have sprung fully formed from the mind of the creator, but in many cases it will be based on Source Works and will refer to these explicitly.

The work will have a list of Creators associated with it, and their relative contributions.

A work will have a price, set by the creators. This will include the prices of any source works.

When a Customer pays the price and receives a copy of the work, it is divided between the creators in the defined percentages, and the prices for the source works are similarly divided.

While this can fulfil the 'getting credit' and 'getting paid' aspects, getting heard is still a problem - as works are abundant, easily created and easily copied, the competition for the customers' attention becomes more important.

This is where Promoters come in. They are paid by the creators for sales. A promotional fee is fixed as part of the price charged for each work. If I buy the work from the original artist, they earn this fee. If I buy it through a promoter, he earns part of the fee. If I tell a friend to buy it, I receive a part, the promoter I bought it from also receives part of the fee and the original artist keeps the remainder. Whoever the customer hears about the work from, she pays the same fee.

Each person adding value and creating a new work can specify their fee and promotional fee, so there is competition at that level between works, but they can't reduce the fee or promotional budget of their source works (except by subsidizing it themselves).

As well as specifying this fee, the creator specifies a sales target and accounting period. At the end of the accounting period, the promotion fees are distributed by the ratio of the number of actual sales achieved by each promoter and his downstream promoters divided by the sales target, and passed down the line.

A small percentage of each purchase is also paid to the operator of the marketplace.

Copyright Kevin Marks 2001-2002