Amie Street always made sense to me. The idea is to show demand for music via variable pricing. Songs start off free and move up in price (up to 98 cents) as more people buy them. I first wrote about them in 2006 when the founders were still living in a dorm at Brown University. In 2007 Amazon invested in the company.
Big labels have mostly shied away from Amie Street, although they’ve had success with independent labels, and there are more than 1.5 millions songs on the site. Today, though, the company is announcing their first deal with a major label, Sony.
New and catalog songs will be available at set prices of $.69, $.99 and $1.29 per song. That isn’t Amie Street’s normal model, but at least it shows that Sony is willing to experiment with variable pricing. Perhaps in time they’ll be willing to move to a purer model.
Some of the more popular Sony artists are listed here.