It would appear that Peter Gabriel as got involved in edging the electronic frontier forward again when it comes to music. et was heavily involved in the development of OD2. OD2 was later sold and now Peter is getting behind a DRM free music service called we7 (he does have a perchance for unconventional names).
we7 manages to ensure artists still earn revenues whilst music becomes free by prepending adverts to the MP3 download, the revenue from the advert then contributes to the artists fee. It seems to be very much like the audio equivalent to Salon.com’s business model. This does suggest that each download should generate about nearly £1 (~ $2) worth of advertising revenue – that seems like an awful lot to me.
But as a model to get hold of music to try before you buy in a manner that suits the consumer it seems like a great idea. You also get the option to buy the music advert free if you like it.
The catalogue at we7 is currently very small – but does try to cover a broad range of genres from hip-hop to jazz with household names e.g. Coolio, Dave Matthews etc. As a registered member I hope to see good developments and will hopefully have reason to blog more about it in the future.