Peter Gabriel is involved with a site called we7.com, an interesting attempt at a new business model for music makers and consumers. Downloads are free, financed by advertising. Music makers get paid proportionally to how many times their product is downloaded by consumers. A subset of consumers on the site are intended to become “tastemakers”, who pre-screen all submitted music and with their votes determine if a submitted piece of music will be accepted into the we7.com catalog.
The fundamental premise sounds sensible enough, however it’s success will not only be determined by market acceptance, but by how well the site can avoid being manipulated. Let’s hope they will have better success at eliminating such manipulations than realworldremixed.com, which is also closely associated with Peter Gabriel.