3/23/08

I Like Saving Money

I was reading an interview with Sam Simkoff of Le Loup today at BrightestYoungThings when I came across this line in one of his responses about a show they did at the Black Cat with Bellman Barker and the Ruby Suns:

i’ve only ever seen bellman barker’s live show once, and it blew me away. anybody familiar with the DC music circle knows why they should see bellman barker.
As much as I love music, I guess I'm not as familiar with the "DC music circle" [Editor's note: "circle"??? WTF?] as I should be. So of course I went to some of my favorite bittorrent sites in search of this band. (If you're curious, sometimes when I use bittorrent, I try-before-I-buy, and other times I just outright steal.) Well it seems that the users of those sites aren't familiar with the DC music circle either, because I struck out. Much as I loathe MySpace, I headed over to the band's MySpace page to see where they sell their CD (no point posting it to my lala "Want List," they haven't sent me anything in months). I was only half-surprised to see that they are selling it via Amie Street.

Amie StreetI looked at Amie Street a couple years ago when they first opened shop, and at the time, I couldn't find any music I was interested in. Time has passed, and now there is a ton of great music up on the site, all priced using their innovative "demand-based pricing" model: the more demand (i.e. downloads) there is for a particular track, the more that track costs, topping out at 98¢. That's a pretty cool model, especially when you factor in that if you recommend a track on the site (by writing a little review for it) and the price for that track subsequently rises, you can earn a credit that you can apply to downloading more music. And free money is the best. (I don't know if the prices ever go back down if an artist gets less popular - that would be funny).

At the moment, the site only has MP3s (uploaded in various bitrates by the bands themselves, for the most part) but supposedly higher-quality formats are coming soon. All tracks are DRM-free, or else I wouldn't bother posting about them. If you want to sign up, please let me know in the comments and I'll send you an invite code. I don't want to miss out on the 50 cent credit I could be getting!

Bottom line: I got the album for $2.68. Upon several listenings, I would give it a B-. But hey, it cost me less than $3, and I got a blog post out if it. Woohoo!

1 comment:

John A said...

I hadn't heard of Amie Street until it start getting some press as the spot where Spitzer's hooker was posting her music... selling for 98 cents a track incidentally. :)

If you google the phrase "DC music circle" (with quotes) the only hit is this blog post.

I love the Amie St model... and hope the costs would go down eventually... the nature of most music is fad based, and I'd hate to spend 98 cents today for a copy of a Right Said Fred single or something. As an econ-boy, I love the idea of maximizing consumer surplus by allowing demand to factor into pricing in a previously inelastic market.

Pardon me while I go masturbate on a stock ticker.