Barenaked Ladies, Amie Street Offer Pricing Experiment

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The Barenaked Ladies furthered their digital experimentations this week by brokering a distribution deal with AmieStreet.com, a destination that offers demand-based, variably-priced downloads.

The pricing move is the first of several for Barenaked management company Nettwerk Music Group, headed by Terry McBride.  Tracks for the album, Barenaked Ladies Are Men, are being offered for free initially on Amie Street, though price points will edge upward with increased demand.  If the track is particularly popular, price-points are capped at 98-cents, just shy of the 99-cent iTunes Store sticker.  Amie Street, which largely focuses on independent and musician-uploaded music, offers a 70 percent artist royalty after the first $5 of sales.

Additionally, all music on Amie Street is sold without DRM protections.  “By giving fans the opportunity to own the music they purchase without DRM, as well as to determine the value of that music and interact with the artists, Amie Street hopes to pleasantly surprise those jaded with the current state of things,” commented company chief Elliott Breece.  For Nettwerk, the Barenaked Ladies push is part of a larger move towards alternative pricing concepts.  Just recently, McBride lent his support to a variable pricing initiative being crafted by white label service PassAlong Networks and demand-based pricing provider Digonex Technologies.  Both are early moves away from the 99-cent standard download price point, largely cemented by the iTunes Store.