Innovation That Matters

Viral music sales through widgets

Publishing & Media

Anyone can get in on the music business with GoodStorm’s MixTape, a hot new widget that users can add to their personal websites, blogs or MySpace pages to promote independent music acts—and make a cut of the profit for selling downloads. Music lovers who want to impress their friends by discovering cool new musical acts—and make a little pocket change in the process—can sign up for a free account. They can hand pick songs from GoodStorm’s collection of more than 2.7 million indie tracks to create their MixTapes, or they can upload their own music, provided they hold the appropriate copyright. Each MixTape can contain up to 100 songs and can be posted on any web page, where visitors can listen to clips and purchase downloads via the widget for USD 99 cents, 65 cents of which goes to the artist and 5 cents to the seller—modest amounts that can add up quickly. For instance, a band would make USD 6.50 for an album of 10 songs, and the seller would make 50 cents just for recommending it on his or her blog or site. GoodStorm takes its own cut of 29 cents per download. Essentially an affiliate sales program built around widget technology, MixTape offers a new way for artists to get noticed, and for fans to support independent musicians and become a force in the music industry. It’s an innovative approach that’s already creating quite a buzz—Amnesty International is using it to promote viral sales of their Instant Karma CD, which features re-recorded John Lennon tracks to raise money for aid to Darfur. Of course, the concept will only work if consumers are willing to buy digital music outside stores like iTunes. But we love the practice of giving customers a revenue cut for their marketing efforts. See’s Generation C(ash) for more examples of how businesses are rewarding consumers. Spotted by: Bill McMahon



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