NoiseTrade: Variable Pricing and Viral Marketing Widget

While browsing Mashable's Open Web Awards list of finalists (which I highly recommend giving a quick look-through), I noticed one music widget company I was unfamiliar with, called NoiseTrade.  Like all the finalists, it was voted by Mashable readers to be one of the best three applications in its category, in this case, "music".

NoiseTrade is awesome.  Literally, for two years, I've been dreaming about a simple widget that could offer both 1) variable pricing for music downloads, and 2) a "tell-a-friend" viral marketing option.  NoiseTrade's widget does both.  Halleluah.  Check it out:

BandCamp comes extremely close to providing the ultimate music widget functionality by offering variable pricing, multiple formats, and full scale management...but lacks an email address capture feature.  Personally, as a relatively unknown artist, exposure is MUCH more important than income at this point.  If NoiseTrade's word-of-mouth option were included in BandCamp's list of options, it might win out. The NoiseTrade widget lacks a clear, visual call-to-action to actually play the music. At a glance, I didn't realize an entire album was playable through it. That said, I still think NoiseTrade offers unsigned bands the best option for promotion.

Very cool.

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Agree this this is an incredible opportunity for bands and musicians.

It's a bit scary to put something like this up, where people could download your music for way less than retail (or even wholesale) price, but I've studied situations like this in other markets for years and there is a psychology behind it that, from what I've seen, almost always gets the seller about the same amount of money that they would have had with a fixed price.

David: I remember reading something similar from Magnatune's experiences with self-pricing, as well as Radiohead's self-pricing experiences -- the average price was usually close to online retail. Perhaps it would be a little lower for a completely indie artist...but even then, getting 5 new referrals is a great exchange for a free download.

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