Sunday, October 21, 2007

Support Independent Musicians with SongSlide



I spent some time with a couple of musicians last week, and though the two have been around for years playing bluegrass, folk and country, we didn’t talk about music as much as we talked about software. Devin Brewer and John Hurd are the co-founders of SongSlide, a music distribution and sales site that lets fans set their own price for what they pay for downloads.

Devin, who is from Seattle, loves to write songs and has been performing his blend of original bluegrass, folk, and country music since 1999. John plays with the The Tallboys who in turn play “Old Time music”. He also lives in Seattle plays at different venues like The Tractor Tavern where they host a monthly Square Dance.

With all their performing and recording experience they discovered that every time they let the fans choose the prices they paid for shows and CDs, they always made more money.

Say they two, “People who wanted to pay more, paid more. And people who didn’t want to pay more were still able to contribute at lower prices. It was good for everyone. The fans were able to express how much they liked the music by showing their support in the most meaningful way. And we walked away with more money, which meant we had a better chance to continue making the music our fans loved.”

They took that principle to heart and spent the last year plus building out SongSlide and signing up independent musicians who provide their fans to help support their art with how they pay for music.

The site is in Beta, but it is getting some notice. They were recently mentioned in a WIRED article that interviewed Jonathon Coulton and locally were just interviewed on NPR.

Jonathon Coulton is one of the top selling artists on SongSlide and has built quite the following using a web based strategy from his own web site when he podcast one new song a week from September 2005 through September 2006, under a Creative Commons license.

As they say on their site, “Our goal is to help independent musicians make more money from their music, and at the same time help millions of fans find new music they never knew they loved.”

SIDE NOTE:
Check out Jonathon Coulton’s song RE: Your Brains. It is very funny year round, but should be a Halloween staple.

1 comment:

mr.lperry said...

Hey, I found that really interesting about your musician buddies. You would think that they would try to make a profit from people downloading music, but I guess you can look at like they are not all in for the MONEY $$$$$$$$$!!! Having something that you work so hard at noticed matters more than the money signs...

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