Amie Street

Amie Street

Infobox Online music service
service_name=Amie Street
"music lives here"

opened=flag|United States: 2006-07-04
flag|Japan: 2007-12-11
pricing=Demand-based, variable, à la carte [ Amie Street - Help » FAQ] ] [ Amie Street - Help » FAQ] ] cite web|url=|title=Fan interest is the price of popular songs and determine "Amie Street"|date=2007-12-21|accessdate=2007-12-26|language=Japanese|author=Maki Miyamoto|publisher=ITmedia]
platforms=Web-based, platform-independent (Microsoft Windows, Mac OS/X, or GNU/Linux)
format=MPEG Layer 3 (.mp3)
catalogue=10,000+ artists, 850,000+ songs [cite web|last=Gallaugher|first=John|title=The Week in Geek - Sept. 6, 2007|url=|date=2007-09-06|accessdate=2007-09-06|work=The Week in Geek] cite web|url=|last=Van Buskirk|first=Eliot|title=Amie Street Expands into Anime and Manga with Japanese Store|date=2007-12-11|accessdate=2007-12-26|work=Listening Post|publisher="Wired"] [cite news|url=|title=Amazon Helping To Change The Business Of Music|first=Michael|last=Arrington|authorlink=Michael Arrington|publisher="TechCrunch"|date=2007-12-19|accessdate=2007-12-26]
preview=Streaming song clips (85 seconds)cite news|last=Cheng|first=Jacqui|authorlink=|title=Amie Street signs major artists to sell DRM-free music|publisher="ArsTechnica"|date=2007-03-07|url=|accessdate=2007-03-28]
streaming=Previews and purchased songs
trial=Free credit and REC(s) with initial signup, many songs are free
protocol=HTTP, Flash, RSS
availability=Worldwide for most tracks, some tracks are only available in the United States or Japan
features=Demand-based pricing, DRM-free, ability for users to earn money through RECs
homepage= []

Amie Street is an indie online music store and social network service created in 2006 by Brown University seniors Elliott Breece, Elias Roman, and Joshua Boltuch, in Providence, Rhode Island. They have since graduated and moved the company to Long Island City in Queens, New York.cite news|last=Gonzalez|first=Nick|title=Amie Street Closes Series A Financing Led By|publisher="TechCrunch"|date=2007-08-05|url=|accessdate=2007-08-05]

Their vision for Amie Street is to become "the most fun way to discover and buy music online", keep music social, and support the artists. [ [ Amie Street - Featured Music] ]


Founded in early 2006, Amie Street opened to the public with a pre-alpha version on July 4 2006 and was quickly scooped by Michael Arrington of TechCrunch. [cite news|url=|title=Amie Street: Awesome New Music Model|first=Michael|last=Arrington|authorlink=Michael Arrington|publisher="TechCrunch"|date=2006-07-23|accessdate=2007-05-26] However, because the site was so young there weren't many artists available and there was frequent downtime. Amie Street's catalog and stability have grown steadily since then, adding nine members to the team and creating partnerships with various record labels including CD Baby, The Orchard, [cite web|url=|publisher=Ars Technica|date=2008-06-25|accessdate=2008-06-25|first=David|last=Chartier|title=Amie Street inks deal with indies, will add 1 million songs] Nettwerk Music Group, and Daptone Records. [cite news|title=AmieStreet's CrunchBase entry|publisher="TechCrunch"|work=CrunchBase|url=|accessdate=2007-08-06] A few weeks after the initial crush of traffic an alpha version was completed and a beta version was launched on October 4 2006.cite news|last=Robinson|first=Blake|title=Amie Street Takes Innovative Music Model Into Beta|publisher="TechCrunch"|date=2006-10-04|url=|accessdate=2007-01-31] On December 11 2007, Amie Street Japan launched in partnership with Turbolinux. They announced that they will experiment with applying the variable pricing system to other digital media products including anime videos and manga comics.


As reported by TechCrunch on August 5 2007, Amie Street announced a site redesign and, led by, closed their Series A round of venture capital funding. They began negotiations for the round in January 2007. [cite news|last=Arrington|first=Michael|authorlink=Michael Arrington|title=Amie Street Begins Data Mining and Artist Promotion|publisher="TechCrunch"|date=2007-01-26|url=|accessdate=2007-01-27] Notable angel investors include Robin Richards, former president of and David Hirsch, director of Google's B2B vertical markets group. [cite news|url=|title=Amie Street Has Amazon Money. What's The Plan?|last=Kafka|first=Peter|publisher=Silicon Alley Insider|date=2007-08-06|accessdate=2007-10-03]

Website features

Artists upload tracks onto the site, which allows users to purchase them at a price that varies according to demand. Website users earn credits by recommending ("REC"ing) songs to their friends. If the REC was for a good song and leads to users purchasing it, the price of the song will increase. The user will earn credit based on the increase in the price of the song after making the REC.

Demand-based pricing

Amie Street uses an algorithm to determine song prices based on demand. The price for a track starts at zero when a song is uploaded onto the site. It then rises according to the increased demand and purchase of the song. The maximum price any song will rise to is 98¢. A [ pricing calculator] showed the simple model used to determine pricing, but it is no longer available. The price curve changes based on the overall volume of songs purchased on the site. As of August 5 2007 15 buys yielded a price of 1¢, 25 buys yielded 15¢, 50 buys yielded 50¢, and 84 buys yielded 98¢.

The "pricing structure has the potential to benefit both listeners and artists." It is "revolutionary" and unique in the industry. [cite web|url=|date=2007-03-07|accessdate=2008-06-26|title=Free Music Meets Free Market|first=Karl G.|last=Nelson|work=Existential Blues|publisher=Blogspot]

elling music

Artists can upload their music directly to the site in MP3 format at whatever quality bit rate they choose, but when a record label or music distributor requires Amie Street to encode the music, they strive to achieve an average bit rate of 256 kbit/s using a variable bitrate. [ Amie Street - Help » FAQ] ] (Other formats such as AAC, FLAC, and Ogg are "on the way.") [ [ More Amie Street News | Listening Post from] ] [cite news|last=Arrington|first=Michael|authorlink=Michael Arrington|title=Barenaked Ladies: New Album. Free. No DRM. Now.|publisher="TechCrunch"|date=2007-03-05|url=|accessdate=2007-03-28] As users buy songs, the artist is credited quarterly. Artists keep 70% of the proceeds after US$5 in sales for each song.cite web|url=|title=For Artists|accessdate=2007-10-03|publisher=Amie Street] Albums are priced at the current total cost for each individual song on the album, capped at US$8.98 in most cases. PayPal, Payoneer prepaid MasterCards, [cite news|url=|title=Greylock Partners Leads $4 Million Series A Investment In Payoneer|last=Chowdhry|first=Amit|date=2007-03-27|accessdate=2007-10-03|publisher=Pulse 2.0] or checks are used to make payments to artists. There is some speculation that Amazon's new web service Amazon FPS would be a good match for the site as well. BitCash is used for payments in Japan.

A ringtone service was announced on September 17, 2007 [ [ and Myxer(TM) Partner to Bring Demand-Based Pricing to the Mobile Ringtone Marketplace] ] through a partnership with Myxer. Pricing for ringtones is also variable, starting out free and climbing to US$1.99. [ [ AmieStreet adds ringtones « LI Biz Blog] ] This service "doesn't appear to be available yet." [ [ Amie Street To Sell Ringtones with Demand-Based Pricing | Listening Post from] ]


Non-artist users can earn credit as well. They do this by RECing a song. When a user finds a song they believe will be a hit, they can REC it. If the song price increases from the moment they REC it, they will receive compensation based on the price increase. For example, if one RECs a song currently at 5¢ and it rises to 95¢, the user will cash out half the nowrap|spread: 45¢ ( frac{95-5}{2}), just for RECing the song. If a user RECs a song when it is free, they are compensated with the full spread. RECing also differentiates more popular music from less, as songs that are believed to be good will be RECed more often. Users get approximately 1 REC for every US$1 of Amie Street credit they purchase. []

ocial networking

Users can connect with other users through the "friend" feature. "Friends" on Amie Street are intended to be based around musical interests. RECs are sent out to friends to make it easier to find new music in a music "news feed". Users can message each other and post comments on freely customizable (including Meebo integration) user profiles. There is also a "fan" feature so users can easily connect with bands on the site. All of this information is neatly organized on each user's dashboard [ [ Your Dashboard] ] and available as separate RSS web feeds.

Facebook Application

Amie Street launched a Facebook Application in October 2007 called Fantasy Record Label. [ [ Fantasy Record Label | Facebook] ] [ [ Fantasy Record Label | Facebook ] ] This application allows Facebook users to create a "record label" with a collection of songs that is linked with an Amie Street account and post the label on their Facebook profile page. Songs are ranked and as their score changes, each user's label will gain or lose points. These points can be converted into Amie Street credit and can be used to purchase music. [ [ Facebook app: Fantasy Record Label from Amie St. | The Social Web |] ] Labels are also ranked and users can compete against each other for bragging rights.


AmieTV is a weekly post on the company's blog that highlights eight popular music videos on YouTube from Amie Street artists. The videos are loaded into a playlist and embedded on a dedicated page on the website. [ [ AmieTV] ]

Benefit media: Download To Make A Difference campaign

On November 6 2006, Amie Street introduced four benefit media tracks to the site. [cite news|url=|title=Free The Children|first=Elias|last=Roman|publisher="Amie Street Blog"|date=2006-11-06|accessdate=2007-02-03] These songs are priced at 50¢ and all proceeds from sales go to the charity Free The Children. [cite news|url=|title=Amie Street cranks out cool tunes to benefit Free The Children|publisher="Voices International Newsletter", Free The Children|date=November 2006|accessdate=2007-02-03] The tracks are "Rushian" and "Waitress" from the album "Us Against the Crown" by State Radio and "Awakening" and "From Now On" by Sonny Fortune.

On March 28 2007, Amie Street expanded their benefit media program with six more tracks to boost donations for Boomer Esiason's Foundation and the Blubrry Jam campaign to fight cystic fibrosis. [cite news|url=|title=Buy Brother Love, Fight Cystic Fibrosis|publisher="Blubrry Blog"|date=2007-03-28|accessdate=2007-05-26] [cite news|url=|title=Buy Good Music, Fight Cystic Fibrosis|first=Joshua|last=Boltuch|publisher="Amie Street Blog"|date=2007-03-30|accessdate=2007-05-26] Also priced at 50¢, Brother Love and HER and Kings County each contributed three tracks to the cause.

On July 16 2008, Amie Street launched "Download To Make A Difference", a new benefit media campaign. [] [] With each free download of Peter Buffett and Akon's single "Anything", Amie Street will donate US$2 to the Creative Visions Foundation. [cite web|url=|title=Creative Visions : AmieStreet|publisher=Creative Visions Foundation|accessdate=2008-09-01] [cite news|url=|title=Walkmen album to fight cancer|publisher=The Guardian|date=2008-07-30|accessdate=2008-09-01] On July 29 2008, Amie Street expanded their benefit media program with the exclusive pre-release of a new album, "You & Me" by NYC indie rock band, The Walkmen. 100% of proceeds from the album, sold for US$5, are being donated to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. [cite web|url=|title=Amie Street - Featured Music|date=2008-07-29|accessdate=2008-09-01|publisher=Amie Street] During its first week of sales, the album charted at #29 on Billboard's Top Digital Albums. [cite news|url=|title=Get The Walkmen Album Early, Help Charity On Amie Street|publisher=TechCrunch|date=2008-07-28|accessdate=2008-08-08] [cite news|url=|title=Top Digital Albums|publisher=Billboard|date=2008-08-06|accessdate=2008-08-08]

lonelygirl15 partnership

On May 15 2007, lonelygirl15 teamed up with Amie Street to sell music featured in episodes of the show. [cite news|url=|title=LonelyGirl15 Soundtrack Will Use Amie Street Artists|first=Eliot|last=Van Buskirk|publisher="Wired"|work=Listening Post|date=2007-05-15|accessdate=2007-05-26] [cite news|url=|title=LonelyGirl15 featuring Chase Emery|first=Peter (treetops)|last=Asbill|work=Amie Street Blog|date=2007-05-22|accessdate=2007-05-26] [cite news|url=|title=LonelyGirl15 Soundtrack Will Use Amie Street Artists|author=modelmotion|publisher=LG15 Today|date=2007-05-16|accessdate=2007-05-26]


Amie Street has been mentioned in several notable media organizations. [ [ Amie Street Press] ] [ [ Amie Street Buzz] ] These include "Rolling Stone", [cite news|url=|title=Master P’s Latest: So This Is What Profanity-Free Hip-Hop Sounds Like|first=Erica|last=Futterman|publisher="Rolling Stone"|work=Rock & Roll Daily|date=2007-07-03|accessdate=2007-08-05] "The Wall Street Journal", [cite news|url=|title=Online: Music At new Web store, many songs sell for a few cents|first=Jamin|last=Warren|publisher="Wall Street Journal"|date=2006-10-14|accessdate=2007-02-02] "BusinessWeek", [cite news|url=|title=America's Best Young Entrepreneurs|first=Jeffery|last=Gangemi|coauthors=Douglas MacMillan|publisher="BusinessWeek"|date=2006-10-30|accessdate=2007-02-02] NPR, [cite news|url=|title=Web Sites Making Music for Your Ears|first=Melody Joy|last=Kramer|publisher="NPR"|date=2007-01-11|accessdate=2007-08-05] "The Washington Post", [cite news|url=|title=Goodbye,|first=Rob|last=Pegoraro|publisher="The Washington Post"|work=Faster Forward|date=2007-07-06|accessdate=2007-08-05] "Los Angeles Times", [cite news|url=,0,1024533.story?coll=la-opinion-center|title=CD or not CD?|first=Jon|last=Healey|publisher="Los Angeles Times"|work=Opinion Daily|date=2007-05-14|accessdate=2007-08-05] "Entertainment Weekly", [cite news|url=|title=How much is the Game worth to you?|first=Chris|last=Schonberger|publisher="Entertainment Weekly"|work=PopWatch Blog|date=2007-06-06|accessdate=2007-08-05] TechCrunch, [cite news|url=|publisher="TechCrunch"|title=Amie Street articles on TechCrunch|first=Michael|last=Arrington|authorlink=Michael Arrington|coauthors=Blake Robinson, Nick Gonzalez|accessdate=2007-08-05|date=Various: 2006-07-23, 2006-10-04, 2007-01-02, 2007-01-26, 2007-03-05, 2007-06-03, and 2007-08-05] Boing Boing, [cite news|url=|title=Online label only charges once songs are popular|first=Cory|last=Doctorow|authorlink=Cory Doctorow|publisher="Boing Boing"|date=2007-01-05|accessdate=2007-02-02] Ars Technica, and "Wired". [cite news|url=|title=Amie Street & Inclue Allow Outlook Access to RSS Feeds of Music Promos... Wha?|first=Eliot|last=Van Buskirk|coauthors=Sean Michaels|publisher="Wired"|work=Listening Post|date=2006-11-02|accessdate=2007-02-02]

Ashley Alexandra Dupré

In March 2008, the site received additional attention due to the availability of two singles by Ashley Alexandra Dupré, the call girl at the center of the prostitution scandal with Eliot Spitzer. An unsigned singer, her single "Move Ya Body" set a recordcite news |first=Jonathan |last=Lemire |title=Hooker's an online hit - to tune of $200G |url= |work=Daily News |date=2008-03-15 |accessdate=2008-03-16 ] for how fast it commanded the top price on the site following Dupré's identity as the call girl "Kristen" being revealed by "The New York Times" on March 12, 2008.cite news |first=Gillian |last=Wee |title=`Kristen,' Linked to Spitzer, Becomes Pop Star on Web (Update1) |url= | |publisher=Bloomberg L.P. |date=2008-03-15 |accessdate=2008-03-16 ] While some speculated that she may have earned as much as US$300,000 - US$1.4 million from download sales of her singles on Amie Street,cite news |first=Rachel |last=Sklar |authorlink=Rachel Sklar |title=Millionaire Call Girl? Spitzer's Hooker Rakes In A Fortune Online From Her Music |url= |work=The Huffington Post |date=2008-03-14|accessdate=2008-03-16 ] others estimated her earnings to be as low as US$13,720.cite news |first=Peter |last=Kafka |title=Ashley Alexandra Dupre: Not Rich Yet. Will She Ever Be? |url= |work=Silicon Alley Insider |date=2008-03-17|accessdate=2008-03-17 ] Official sales numbers have not been released.

ee also

*Silicon Alley
*Social commerce
*Web 2.0


External links

* [ Amie Street]
** [ Newsletter]
** [ Music Blog]
** [ AmieTV]
** [ Development Blog]
* [ Amie Street Japan]
* [ Interview with Amie Street Founder Joshua Boltuch]
* [ Amie Street: Awesome New Music Model] - TechCrunch article that first broke the company back in July 2006 after being open to the public for less than 20 days.
* [,1697,2070636,00.asp New Ways to Get Music] - ExtremeTech review of Amie Street.

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