Our site, NewTunes, will be live within two weeks (barring catastrophe). If you haven’t read our “about” page, it’s a music search engine that allows one to enter a song they like and find lesser known, similar songs.
Once you find a new song that you want to buy, you will have the choice of purchasing it from either Amazon or iTunes.
We debated a bit whether or not to choose one or the other, but ultimately decided that if we only had Amazon, then many managing their music on iTunes would be unhappy that they can’t conveniently purchase from the iTunes Store. At the same time, if we only had iTunes, then those who are adamant about wanting DRM-free music would be mad we were forcing them into the iTunes store (and possibly iTunes).
Both Amazon and iTunes have pretty easy-to-use affiliate programs, so setting this up was not a challenge.
However, NewTunes will also have a rewards program that will award points to users who engage in preferred behaviors (participating in forums, inviting friends, playing our MusicStreaker game, etc). When you accumulate enough points, you can redeem those points for free music.
Ideally, you’d have your choice between redeeming the points for music on Amazon or iTunes. However, while Amazon was able to work with us to enable the program, iTunes was not (as of this writing, anyway). Amazon is allowing us to purchase unlimited promotional codes, in $1 increments, that will be passed on, electronically, to those redeeming points.
iTunes will only enable this with select companies of their choosing – like Ticketmaster. The only way we could do this with iTunes would be to purchase, in bulk, $10 gift cards. (One of the things I learned, by the way, is that if you wanted to purchase 10 gift cards for your 10 favorite relatives or friends for Christmas, iTunes wouldn’t allow you to and they would freeze your account. Go figure).
So, the end result is that though you can purchase songs you find on our site off either Amazon or iTunes, you will only be able to redeem the free songs you earn on Amazon. I know this will be inconvenient or annoying for some, but it is the best we’ve been able to do to this point.
This process has truly been a learning experience, and if this is the way it’s going to remain, I’m not too upset. But we’d rather give people as many options and be as accommodating as possible.
Looking forward to unveiling the site to you all. Thanks again for paying attention this summer as we near launch date.