How should paid downloads be priced?
Apple believes in a uniform pricing scheme, majors want a tiered structure, and most music fans want everything for free. Somewhere in-between lies Amie Street, a company that sets download pricing based on user demand.
That means that songs start at free, and ramp to 98-cents if the demand is great enough. But is the model working? Just recently, the group announced the addition of catalog from Beggars Group, Matador Records, and Polyvinyl Recording Co. The list of bands includes Interpol, Sigur Ros, Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Devendra Banhart, Belle and Sebastian, Architecture in Helsinki, and other indie luminaries.
But it remains unclear if the sales story is developing, at least at this stage of the game. In a discussion Monday, company cofounder and chief marketing officer Joshua Boltuch declined to offer sales figures or average pricing data. Boltuch did point to strong album purchasing, and an album-to-single sales ratio of 1:1. “We attribute this incredible ratio to our fan-driven pricing model finding the best market price for albums, and therefore maximizing sales,” Boltuch explained.