Amie Street is a new website lets users discover new music from new, little known artists. This obviously means that if you want to listen to a chart topping number, this isn't the place to go.
Amie Street lets independent artists upload their music onto the site. Users and their friends can then listen to and purchase this music. There is a social networking feel to this site too - users can gather themselves into networks and recommend/suggest songs.
You're probably wondering why I am wasting my time writing this post. Amie Street, at first glance, looks like one of those half-a-dozen or so companies launched in the past coupla years that allow independent artists to publish their music online. In fact, MP3.com did just that way back in 2000 or whatever... right?! And the worst part about those companies is that there is very little that differentiates one from the other. So where does Amie Street fit in in all this web startup noise?
As I ventured a little deeper into the website, I realized that there are a number of cool, refreshingly new ideas behind Amie St.
For starters, the pricing model is unique. All songs submitted to the site are initially free. However, the price begins to fluctuate based on the demand for the song. I haven't seen such a model being used for selling music before and I think that it just might work!
You can listen to the songs for free but need to pay to download the song. An interesting point to note is that all the tracks are DRM-free. This makes perfect sense, especially considering recent events that probably suggest a move away from DRM-protected content.
Artists get 70% of all proceeds after the first 5$ of sales. And of course, unlike big music labels, the artists are not subjected to any agreements of exclusivity. They can publish their content through any other online/offline publisher.
Another interesting feature is the recommendation and reward system that they have in place. Each user only gets a limited number of recommedations or 'RECs' (users get 1 REC for every 1$ they add to their account). If the price of the song goes up after a user recommends a song, the user is then paid half of the change in price of the song. This is an excellent way to encourage the users to actively take part in discovering and recommending new music.
The guys behind Amie Street seem to have done their homework. They have done a nice job of linking social networking to music discovery. And they have backed this up with a solid business model.
I see good potential in this company.