Devin Brewer of SongSlide writes:

Dear Chris,

I thought you might be interested in blogging about a new site that I’ve co-founded called SongSlide that lets consumers pick the prices they pay for independent music. You can check out the site at songslide.com. We’re a small startup founded by two musicians, but we’ve recently been blogged about by Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics, and we have our first celebrity selling music on SongSlide: Coconut Records, aka Jason Schwartzman (star of the movie “Rushmore” and a great songwriter).

Our approach to selling independent music is to let the consumer control the price, and also to pay much higher percentages to the artists. When you buy digital songs or albums on SongSlide, you can slide the price up or down. The higher the price, the higher the percentage that goes to the artist.

The idea came out of an experience my co-founder John Hurd and I had as independent musicians. Every time we let our fans choose how much to pay for our shows and CDs, we made more money than when we used a fixed price model.

The Consumerist wrote that SongSlide, “may be a glimpse into the future of online music.” (Pay What You Want For Independent Music With SongSlide)

Mitch Ratcliffe also wrote a great post about us on ZD Net: Consumer-Generated Pricing: Foundations of a Democratic Patronage

Since we launched our beta site in January 2007, the average price paid for a song is $1.66 (even though the minimum price is $0.59). We feel this demonstrates that artists on the far right of the Long Tail have small but extremely passionate fanbases who want to see them succeed and are willing to pay more to help make that happen.

We’re calling this new pricing method Consumer-Generated Pricing, and we feel it’s a way to empower fans to become patrons of their favorite artists, even on a small scale. We’ve also filed a patent on this invention/business method and believe the pricing method can be applied to many other types of digital media and other products.

[tags]mp3, digital media, download music, indie music, SongSlide, Consumer-Generated Pricing[/tags]