“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use, do the work you want to see done.” Austin Kleon
One of my favorite new music distribution services turns one year old today – Amie Street.
Amie Street’s business model is dead simple – Artists upload their music for download on the site. Users download songs, with the starting price at free. When downloads pick up for popular songs, the price starts to rise, all the way up to $0.99. If a song gets to $0.30 or so, you know its popular. The artist keeps 70% of revenues after the first $5 in sales. Songs are sold DRM-free in MP3 format. Users can also generate credit in Amie Street by recommending songs. Only a few recommendations are allowed, but if the song you promote does well, you get credit in your account that you can use to buy other songs.
Well known artists are starting to use the service. Barenaked Ladies, Master P, Romeo and the Meat Puppets are all distributing music on the site, which has now sold over half a million tracks to users.
Their pricing model encourages music lovers to discover and buy new music. If a song is free, it hasn’t been discovered by a wider audience. If a song is 98 cents, it’s already a must-hear hit.