This article was written by our very own Mysticgeek, a huge music fan.
As many of you know I am a huge music fan and have covered several music applications and websites. Today we will take a tour of Amie Street, my favorite music site on the web… there are several things that make this such a great site, but most important is that all music starts out free!
The prices are determined by the popularity of the music – the songs start off free, and then as more people download them they increase in price to a maximum of $0.98. All of the music is in DRM-free MP3 format, and will work on pretty much any music player anywhere.
I think what makes browsing their music collection so nice is the way the site is set up. You can simply listen to samples of album tracks and continue to browse around the site with a separate player on the bottom of the browser, making for a very enjoyable experience.
Adding money to your account is a very simple process and you can add as little as $3 at a time, using credit card or Paypal. If you find new cool music $3 can go a long way!
Another cool feature they added is an online music player where you can listen to your entire music library.
Also once a week I get an email from Amie Street suggesting new music, and every so often they include free music downloads.
If you are a musician or have a band to promote, there is an Artists upload page for you to get your tunes on Amie Street. Here you can upload your music, create album art, and give details about your music.
As if everything so far wasn’t cool enough, Amie Street will add credit to your account to purchase new music when you invite friends who join or recommend music that becomes popular.
If you are a casual or hard core music fan, you’re going to have a lot of fun at Amie Street discovering music!
We sat down and talked with Joshua Boltuch, the Co-Founder of Amie Street, to find out more about their service and what they have to offer. Here’s what he had to say:
HTG: Let’s start with your position or title at Amie Street and how long have you been working with it?
I am Co-Founder and CMO of AmieStreet.com. I started Amie Street in 2006 with two college friends while we were all seniors at Brown University.
HTG: What kind of background do you have proceeding up to launching Amie Street?
We started Amie Street our senior year, so as far as formal training or experience in my industry, not much. I worked for Warner Bros for a summer during college and have a bachelor’s degree in Literature from Brown. I’ve always been an extremely avid music fan, listening to all types of music and going to see lots of shows. I think this passion for music is what led us to start Amie Street.
HTG: What is your vision for Amie Street? What do you see it as now and how would you like to see it in future years?
When you need new music, you head to Amie Street. And whether you want to spend two minutes or two hours, you’ll easily find great new music that you can play from any device at any time.
We will always have to focus on acquiring new content for our customers, making sure we’re doing our best to have everything they could possibly want. In terms of new features, design, and services, we’ll continue to listen to our customers needs and wishes, as they are always the final word.
HTG: Personally I love how the site is set up for listening to tracks from artist while still being able to browse the site. Was this part of the plan? To make the user have an enjoyable experience while at the site.
Yes, indeed! We are a discovery service, and that feature really helps people find new music fast. You can be bouncing around from the Amie Street Charts page, to your personalized recommendations page, all the while listening to a playlist of the top Jazz songs of 2008. Then as your browsing the song your listening to catches your attention, and it’s right there at the bottom of your screen for you to click on and download. We actually did a major site redesign this past summer, basing our improvements on rather extensive “Voice of Customer” research. That was an idea that came from a number of our customers.
HTG: Everyone is critical of the music industry these days and their slowness to adopt Internet technology, how do you negotiate with record labels to offer albums that will be free from the time they are listed?
There was certainly some education involved, explaining that having the first downloads be free ensures that the music gets in the hands of the most passionate fans who are going to evangelize, so it’s going to help your sales not hurt it. And as Amie Street has grown it’s become more of a no-brainer for labels as they see there competitors making money on Amie Street, but that didn’t come right away. So for all the criticism of the industry there were labels who were willing to put their music on Amie Street when we were just starting and didn’t have a track record, and they deserve credit for being open to new ideas and trying them.
HTG: I noticed the new Web Player that will let you listen to all the songs downloaded, is there any plan for a downloadable player?
A downloadable player is not currently in the works, but we are thinking about how we can position Amie Street on the desktop and tap into the music people already own to better help them find new music.
HTG: Is there anything else you would like to add or explain to our readers?
Well, I think it’s worth mentioning that Amie Street is absolutely a home-grown D.I.Y. company, and that it was started and is maintained by a group of young music geeks; we see Amie Street as a unique music service that empowers both fans and bands to participate in a fair and dynamic marketplace. It’s a fun and easy way to discover music, without raiding your wallets, and people know they are directly supporting the artists they enjoy.
HTG: Thank you very much for your time in answering our questions!
Editors Note: This is a review of a commercial service that also offers free indie music. This is not a sponsored review and we make no money from referring you – this is just a web site that we happen to really like.