Amie St. Entices Sony Music to Partake in Fan-Driven Prices

Amie St. has been known for its unique and dynamic pricing model for some time, but in choosing this fan-driven music site you used to have to give up access to much of the artists signed with major labels. That’s all about to change, as Sony is the first major label to introduce some of its bigger artists to Amie St. and it’s notable pricing structure.

If you recall, Amie St. is a music platform where artists can sell their songs and albums, but the price of their products are determined by the people. This means that the more popular your song is, the more expensive it becomes. Artists’ products start low and increase in price as Amie St. users purchase, download and recommend albums and songs.

This fan-driven structure isn’t one that the major labels have been quick to adopt, but as the digital music industry continues to shift and pricing is able to become more competitive across services such as iTunes, Amazon and WalMart, it’s clear that the necessity to evolve with the times could be in the best interest of major music labels.

RED, a division of Sony Music that represents over 50 artists, is making its products available on Amie St. This is a first for both the major music labels and Amie St., as RED is allowing its artists’ products to be subject to fan-driven prices. Artists including Mandie Moore, Third Eye Blind and My Morning Jacket will all become subject to the whims of their fans.

One factor that could be helping to encourage major music labels to turn to platforms such as Amie St. is the fact that they’re able to become more social. With the inclusion of integrated features such as Facebook Connect and other applications, Amie St. has been able to enhance its socially-directed promotional capabilities. This makes it easier for recommendations to become spread across social media sites, meaning organic marketing can occur for the major music labels that choose to participate in Amie St.’s platform.

Seeing how well the fan-driven pricing model goes for Sony on Amie St. will likely determine Sony’s future plans for making more content available on Amie St. as well as other platforms where consumers have even more control over the price structure that can affect artists, albums and songs on an individual level.

Platforms like Amie St. can also be used to a certain extent for marketing purposes, which is a tactic that major music labels have employed on earlier digital models including iTunes. But with a more concentrated feedback mechanism that can determine every aspect of a song’s success on a given platform, perhaps Amie St. has even more to offer the major music labels when it comes to market research.

Most of the other digital music selling platforms have offered some level of fan-driven pricing influence, so with the continued success of sites like Amie St. we’re likely to witness even more consumer affect on pricing across multiple platforms in the coming years, as we’ve already begun to see with MySpace’s acquisition of iLike.