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In Singapore, site combats music piracy by rewarding users for sharing legal links

Sound & Music

Tell My Friends gives users a way to share music, ebooks, videos and apps legally while getting paid for their efforts.

Piracy has been a persistent problem for content owners over the years, but Singapore-based Tell My Friends thinks it may have come up with a novel solution. Where UK-based We7 sought to tackle the problem by offering consumers free songs tagged with 10-second advertisements, Tell My Friends gives users a way to share music, ebooks, videos and apps legally while getting paid for their efforts. Now in beta, Tell My Friends aims to celebrate music’s inherent “paying it forward” nature, in the site’s own words. Rather than sharing an illegally downloaded copy of a song or other content, however, the company encourages users to share a link to licensed music instead; not only that, but it pays users each time someone else buys from the link they share. How it works? Users begin by signing up for a free Tell My Friends account. Then, each time they make a new music purchase, they can choose to share it on their social networks. When they do, a unique identifier code links their original share to people who subsequently buy the track. Thereafter, anytime anyone clicks on the shared link they get an order page along with a sample and information about the song. Those who directly click and buy from the original link earn the original user a set amount per purchase for up to 10 purchasers; those who buy from links shared by others earn the originator a slightly smaller commission per purchase. The video below explains the premise in more detail: Tell My Friends works closely with societies like Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS), Music Publishers Singapore (MPS), labels, publishers and independent artists to negotiate and determine royalty rates in advance. It also helps promote local musicians by organizing events such as concerts and performances. Typically, at least 50 percent of the revenue from the sale of each product goes back to the people who created it; about 30 percent goes back to Tell My Friends users in the form of commissions, the company says, while the remainder goes toward administration. Music-minded entrepreneurs around the globe: one to emulate for the audiophiles and artists in your neck of the woods? Spotted by: Katharina Kieck



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