ShareMusic -- Share Music for Charity, not iTunes

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With the economy in a tailspin, we all need to remember to help each other, and ShareMusic.com is the perfect way. Austin Washington, eureka-like, while singing in the shower, came up with the only serious challenger to iTunes since its inception: ShareMusic.com - "Share Music for Charity".

Austin Washington and George Washington.

monetize communities centered around sharing music

Rather than another copycat site allowing people to buy and sell music (iTunes, Amazon's download service, emusic, Napster,etc.), Austin Washington has built a better mousetrap. ShareMusic.com allows people to share music for charity.

ShareMusic provides the tools, and a forum, for everyone, from major label artists to those artists too cool to be major label artists, to share music for charity.

"No one wants to steal from their favourite artist," says Austin. "And everyone wants to help others. But no one really feels guilty stealing from Sony, or big music corporations. This is the real reason so many people, guiltlessly, download music. But what if they were, instead, stealing from starving children in Africa? Or, what if, they were stealing directly from their favourite artists? Radiohead proved people happily give money, even to millionaire artists, who give them music they value. And what kind of kid cracks open their UNICEF charity box, or would steal from a starving child?"

ShareMusic is in preview mode for now, and will integrate tools more fully over the coming months.

How it happened:

Last summer, Austin received an offer of $25,000 for the domain ShareMusic.com, from Silicon Valley types wanting to "monetize communities centered around sharing music".

Singing in the shower the next morning, while thinking of the monetary value of ShareMusic.com, and of the emotional and spiritual value of music, which saved Austin's life during a very dark period, Austin started thinking about how many other people sing, not just in the shower, and make music, and record it.

Musicians around the world pay services such as SongCast.com, TuneCore.com, Nimbit.com and others 5-20 dollars a month to maintain their songs on iTunes. Some services upload 5,000 new songs a week. Almost none of these musicians make up their hosting fees from sales -- they do it for their pride -- they feel if people give them a few dollars for their music, their music has value.

On the other side of the coin, many people don't like to pay for music downloads, as they feel they are supporting Sony et al, and not the musicians themselves -- people who wouldn't dream of stealing from a starving baby, or even from their favourite artist, think nothing of stealing from Sony/Apple.

But ShareMusic.com offers a better way.

ShareMusic.com provides the tools for musicians around the world to satisfy their pride, and music lovers a way to reward musicians, with a clear conscience. ShareMusic.com is a site where people share music with the world -- and raise money for charity.

The musicians will end up financially better off, as at least they won't be blowing their money on iTunes intermediaries. Also, many many more people will actually pay to download these songs, as people who would not consider paying one dollar for an mp3 will gladly give five or ten dollars to a charity.

Everyone is better off.

Long-tail like -- 5,000 songs a week on just some services -- it's a huge number of people -- huge. When these musicians are searching for things to do with their music, they will discover ShareMusic.com, and it will encourage them to promote charities, and even to give to charity themselves, as well as encouraging their listeners to give, too.

Everyone benefits.

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ShareMusic.com
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Austin Washington

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