I just found a new music site where musicians can sell their wares and public can browse and discover. Check out http://amiestreet.com. What's different is the way music is priced... according to demand. It's free to register so anyone can browse.
When songs are first posted they are available to download at no cost. This rises with demand for the track, up to a theoretical 98 US cents per track... 1c less than a track off iTunes or Napster. Smart idea number 1. Smart idea number 2 deals with the way on most similar sites, there is such a huge selection of material, it is difficult for anything to rise to the top and make any money. Amiestreet have tried to solve this problem by an incentivised recommendation system. If youREC a track and it gets popular, you get rewarded...albeit with credit to spend on the site, not money. So the game is to successfully predict what people will like and buy. You get to be allowed to REC tracks by spending on the site.
Muzos/bands get 70% of their sales... after an initial 5 bucks off the top for setup fees.
Smart thinking from the designer of the business model. Could that be win-win-win?
So what about the site and content? Site is well designed, easy to figure out, good nav, well thought out genres (unlike the pathetic MySpace genres!) and quite deeply layered. There's a lot of stuff about an awful lot of people, and you can dig in quite far. I followed a REC and got to Jets Overhead,
Any good? Well, like much unsigned material, competent but kinda generic. Did I spend any money:?.... uh, naaah. Will I go back? Sure.
PS a further visit turned up Ilana, a UK soul artist. Check out her MySpace