Myxer has been at this weeks TechCrunch conference (the flagship of all the Crunches) showing its wares, when it announced yesterday that Myxer has been hired by AmieStreet to create and distribute mobile ringtones. The Myxer platform simplifies the delivery of any professional or user-generated content (including ringtones, images, audio and video) to mobile devices, no matter which carrier or network the phone is on.
You may be thinking, “So what, there are millions of ringtone providers.” But AmieStreet has a unique pricing angle. While most commercial ringtones are sold at a set price, AmieStreet uses a sliding scale based on the popularity of the ringtones. The price starts at 0, and as a ringtone increases in popularity the price goes up, until it maxes out at $1.99. This creates word-of-mouth advertising for new releases, and bragging rights for the people who get a popular ringtone for free. In effect, the customers drive the discovery, promotion and pricing of music. The first ringtone is “Walk Wit A Limp” by hip hop master Romeo.
“Myxer is making the content world mobile, and by powering AmieStreet’s ringtone offering, we are able to show how quickly and easily that can be done,” said Myk Willis, founder and chief technology officer of Myxer. “Just as Myxer has democratized mobile content distribution, so has AmieStreet democratized digital music and ringtone pricing – allowing the consumers full access to and control over the value of music.”
“When we decided to offer community-priced, a la carte ringtones, Myxer was the logical choice because of its simplicity and established product,” said AmieStreet’s co-CEO Elias Roman. “We are now able to bring social music discovery to the exploding mobile market while staying focused on providing a music retail experience that is totally community-driven.”
This partnership should be good for artists who want to get their music out to a greater audience. All AmieStreet musicians will be able to sell ringtones from the artist store, where mp3s are also sold. Once an artist’s content is uploaded to AmieStreet, it is automatically available to the 2.5 million users who download mobile content from Myxertones.
There may be a million ringtone providers out there, but AmieStreet’s pricing structure could make a breach into a tough marketplace. It is similar to what professional musicians go though in a quest for platinum. You start out giving free concerts, and as you become more popular the band charges more money to perform at larger venues. By mimicking this evolution, AmieStreet has tapped into the competitive nature of listeners and performers.