Whymusicmatters.com provides fans with a "grid" to learn about 50+ online music outlets available in the United States. This includes services such as mp3 download stores, audio and video streaming services, various mobile phone offerings, digital radio outlets, services that sell physical CDs and LPs online and more.
The website also includes a popular feature of the original U.K. and Australian/New Zealand versions of the Why Music Matters sites: various educational videos about the value of music featuring artists such as Robert Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Jay-Z, Janis Joplin, Kate Bush, Thin Lizzy and others.
"For the first time, in 2011 digital music revenues surpassed those generated from physical sales and that marker was reached because of a breathtaking array of services and platforms embraced by music companies. We understand that with so many options for accessing music online, users are eager for more information about which services are legitimate and what kinds of functionality they offer. That's why we're excited to be partnering with NARM and digitalmusic.org to launch whymusicmatters.com, which will hopefully make it easier for fans to access and discover sites that offer their favorite music," said RIAA Chairman & CEO Cary Sherman.
The services and retail outlets listed on whymusicmatters.com are offered online or via a mobile carrier. All listed services have an agreement with at least one of the three major record companies in the United States and most offer catalogs of independent music. The web site will also list a service even if it does not have agreements with all three major record companies so long as the service is not using the copyrighted music of a major record company without authorization. The list also includes services that have signed up for the statutory license available to certain types of radio services, such as SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, and Pandora.