They let you listen to any and all of their music for free. If and when you want to buy, you can download or download and get a physical CD. You can burn your downloads. You can GIVE COPIES TO THREE OF YOUR FRIENDS. You can podcast their music. And the split with musicians is 50/50.
I definitely need to do some more exploring though, as I haven’t browsed through their selection in a while.
Oh, I almost forgot. This approach that Magnatune is taking is something I talked about a few of years back. I call it the “give model” (versus the normal business “take” model) and it touches upon my notes of In Giving You Make Yourself Stronger. You want to reward the artists for all of the great music that they are giving you as an investment in them. In doing so, you’re giving them the ability to sustain themselves, so that they can continue doing what they love and you can continue enjoying their music.