A core concept of sales and marketing is the innovation adoption curve. If you are in either industry, attended business school, or read Wired religiously, there is a good chance that you’ve heard of it. It’s used to describe the entire spectrum of people who incorporate a new technology or idea into their lives. Those who are the first to adopt a concept are called innovators, they are followed by the early adopters, then the early majority, and so forth. Being that I am still a college student with limited resources, I can’t say that I fall into the innovator category, but I think it’s fair to label myself as an early adopter.
Needless to say, I have been meaning to share one of the treasures I discovered about two years ago. Like most early adopters I don’t really care for the stuff that is hyped up or super popular, so I am a big fan of indie music. For those of you who don’t know what indie music is, it’s a term used to describe musicians who don’t have a record deal and have produced their music independently. Why pay $13 for the new Coldplay album when you can get an album from an equally talented indie musician for $2?
I realize that finding a good, new indie artist to listen to can be challenging and time consuming even with all the search features the iTunes store has. Back in 2006 Derek Webb, former Caedmon’s Call headman, launched NoiseTrade as a way to give away digital albums in exchange for an name, email address, and zip code. The site rapidly grew, as indie musicians uploaded their music to the site to get some information from potential fans. I began actively using the site back in early 2008 after I had heard about it on one of my many trips to Atlanta. I was instantly hooked on the fact that I could pay whatever I wanted (if anything) to download some good music from some very talented individuals.
I would encourage you to check out NoiseTrade for yourself. It’s a great place to access and download great music from musicians from all over the world. The site lets you explore the artists in its database, sample their music, download it for free, and tip the artists if you feel compelled. You don’t even need to create an account to download the music! You simply provide your name and email, and download whatever you want. I’ve come across some great musicians like Tyler Lyle, Michael Shoup, Tallest Trees, jenny&tyler, Red Shepherd, and Stephen Delopoulos thanks to the site.
I look at what Derek has accomplished through the site by allowing hundreds of artists to share their music and feel that it’s fair to say that he has successfully innovated indie music. I’ll be fascinated to see where NoiseTrade heads in the future; I think it may be the future of music sharing. But in the meantime, check out the site, download some music, and support indie artists!