The Future Of Music Downloads?

is a new music-download portal. The difference to your average online-store is that all the songs featured on the site are free, and there’s no DRM on any of the tracks! Nonetheless the artists will get paid by WE7. The concept is pretty simple: on every song, the first few seconds (not more than 10…) will contain a commercial message. So the brands pay WE7 for the message, and WE7 pays the artist. It’s of course no problem to cut the message from the song with a standard mp3-tool, so you can really get just the song. WE7 pays the artists based on the amount of downloads.

But WE7 takes another step forward for those who don’t want go and cut their files: if you want the song without an ad, there’s a possibility to buy it straightaway. The other solution is that after 4 weeks, you’ll automatically get the choice to download the track ad-free, and you don’t have to pay anything for it!

So what about sharing the files? No problem with WE7! All the music you download is free to share with whoever you want. WE7 will create a “MediaBox” where all your downloads will be stored and can easily be shared. The MediaBox is not working yet, so I wasn’t able to try it out.

The site is still being built up, but you can already get some stuff (like Bananarama… yeah… or Coolio… hm-hm… or Herbie Hancock… ahem). I’ve read that Peter Gabriel is another supporter of WE7, and once they’ll finally take off, I guess this system could attract even more big names. The plan is to start going large in June 2007. It remains to be seen if they manage to get some more artists on board until then.

I kinda like the concept though. It all sounds fair and pretty easy. If it all works out as good as it sounds, this could well be real alternative. What do you think about it?

Here are links to three songs already available. As the MediaBox isn’t working yet, I’ve posted the direct link to the file. We’ll see how linking to files will work after the MediaBox is up and running. For more information, visit the site.

Dave Matthews – Dreamgirl

Dave Matthews – American Baby

Public Symphony – Stronger


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