i thought i would pass along this new website that’s a really exciting cog in the ever-changing machine that is the music industry. it’s called noisetrade and the basic premise is that you can either download entire albums for free if you recommend it to 3 friends (via providing email addresses) or you can choose what you pay ($1 minimum, $25 maximum). it’s clear that the music industry is going to be forced to change if it wants to keep up with peer-to-peer models and the digital shift. even beyond shifting music models, many artists are tired of going through the middleman of a record label, where prices are gouged and unfairly pushed on the consumer. with a model like noisetrade, artists can directly upload their music (for a very minimal fee of $250) and then receive 90% of the revenue for those who choose to pay.
one of the founders of the site is derek webb (who i’ve mentioned before…) who, last year, released his album mockingbird via a website called free derek webb. 80,000 downloads later, webb proved that free downloads were a viable option for artists to promote their work and garner a newfound fan base. not coincidentally, both derek webb and his wife, sandra mccracken, have released their latest albums (the ringing bell and gravity | love, respectively) on the site (among several other really good albums, including matthew perryman jones’ throwing punches in the dark). so, go download some really great music for free or for a very minimal (and fair) fee.
UPDATE: i revisited noisetrade today (sunday, june 6th) and there’s already been another 8 albums added. i’m looking forward to checking out most of them, but i wanted to particularly tell you about one of them. waterdeep has added their album heart attack time machine and it’s definitely one of my favorite albums of last year. don chaffer, the lead singer, is an amazing lyricist and this album is a great reflection of that. so, go back, check it out again and support a new kind of artist-to-fan connecting point.