Now for all those who’ve been downloading music illegally, here’s an alternative way to get the music you want. Singapore-based startup, Tell My Friends (TMF), is a service that allows you to purchase music for less than S$2 (US$1.60) per song, and earn some cash from them as well.
So how does it work? All you need to do is to purchase the song you want, share a unique purchase referral link on your favourite social networks, and earn when friends and extended networks share your link. At the end of the day, you could possibly earn a profit from that song you bought.
The startup aims to combat piracy by providing an easier way to purchased licensed songs. TMF sells only songs from music labels, artistes, owners of digital products who have given TMF distribution rights in return for an agreed royalty. Hence, when a user shares, the individual is sharing a link telling friends where to get a legal copy of the music from.
Ben Looi, CEO of Tell My Friends, elaborates:
[It] is something which will change the way people get music. The real world problem we are trying to solve is online music piracy (and other piracy of digital products). People love music, but they just don’t want to pay for it because it is freely obtainable through alternative, less-than-legal ways like torrents, and Megaupload-like sites.
We have created a system that gives consumers a value proposition over free. “Why pay for something when you can get it for free?” Well, the answer to that is because you will be rewarded. Consumers can earn back even more than what they paid for a song, simply by doing what they have always been doing – sharing songs with friends.
We aim to counter piracy NOT by technology or enforcement, but by positive reinforcement of the right behaviour. So, if you were to click on the “Commissions Earned” figures that are underlined on your page, you will be able to see the breakdown of who bought from your link, and subsequent referrals.
Ben also tells us popular local Singapore artistes such as Nat Ho and Thomas Ong will be its star artists for its launch, on top of having local independent artistes such as Jessica Irawan (an example here) and The Gladstones on board with them.
He also has great vision for his startup:
[We] are different in a sense that we are not jumping on the bandwagon of copying trailblazers like loyalty programmes, novel apps and games. [What] we want to do is to save music. At the same time, we are also a social enterprise. Our system is incorporating a “Secret Angel Programme,” where consumers can direct their commissions to a charity or a cause.
It is also interesting to note the partners listed on its website include Universal Music, EMI, and Sony ATV. If you wish to find out more on how it works, you can see the brief demo video below: