Amie Street aims to make it easy and affordable for consumers to discover new independent music. What makes it unique? Every song sold at the ‘fly little music site’ starts off being free and the price increases to a maximum of USD 0.98 depending on how many people download it. The more popular a song, the faster its price will increase to 98 cents. Besides giving early buyers a better deal, the market price system gives them the added pleasure of seeing they’ve discovered a song or artist before everyone else has.
Members are also rewarded for recommending music. As explained by Amie Street: “We know music is social, and the process of music discovery is stunted by traditional digital music retail sites because they are not social (or fun). Music discovery is best catalyzed by communication between people, so we reward fans for recommending songs to their friends by giving them credit to buy more music.” If a member reviews or otherwise recommends a song, they’re credited with the song’s price increase. So, if you recommend a song while it’s priced at 10 cents, and the price goes up to 90 cents, you earn 80 cents worth of credits. Promotion isn’t left solely to the community, though. Amie Street does its part, from interviewing bands and posting their videos, to organizing showcase concerts in New York.
Artists maintain full ownership of their work and receive 70% of every sale after a first USD 5 to cover storage, bandwidth and transaction costs for that song. All MP3s sold through the website are DRM-free, so can be used on any music player, without restrictions. Combined with the knowledge that artists are getting their fair share of a song’s revenues, that should make consumers more willing to pay for music downloads. One to watch!