See Things Differently
MusicGlue, who have been shortlisted for a BT Digital Music Award, offer a solution to distributing music via P2P and social networks. They quite rightly highlight the fact most aggregators do not take advantage of these channels and do not pass data back to the artist. (I’ll say it again, email capture should remain one of an artists highest priorities, something which is increasingly being overlooked in the rush to create networks).
An artist can sign up to either a ‘Starter’ or ‘Professional’ pricing plan, the difference being in the Pro account you pay bandwidth charges, which is only 1p per 5MB track. The interface to set up a track is very well designed, and it was simple to add a product. Unfortunately, the site is BETA and therefore prone to bugs, in fact, we couldn’t get a product live, despite checking over the details several times.
The major downside to MusicGlue.com, similar to eListening Post, is that to employ the sophisicated DRM required to enable artists to specify how many times a track can be played, requires the dreaded Windows Media format. For instance, having gone through the entire process I couldn’t test the track because I use a Mac and the player is an .exe. I appreciate why artists & labels employ DRM, but the fact remains, consumers detest it and want MP3, especially for new artists. And whilst it is reasonable to ask for an email in return for being entitled to play the track, it is now so easy to get free music, or leave a false email, we wonder how many people will bother.
MusicGlue.com are right to highlight the flaws in the current distribution system and have sought to overcome them with a creative solution. However, this should only be considered by artists as part of their overall retail & distribution strategy – it’s definately not the only solution they will need.