Buskers have played on city streets for hundreds of years, working on the premise that people are willing to pay for a decent performance. Operating on a similar model, Anjuno could be seen as returning music to its pay-what-you-want roots. Launched in May, Anjuno allows creators of music, games and ebooks to post their work on the site, which fans can download and enjoy, then pay the artist whatever they think it’s worth. The system accepts payments at any level—including free. Anjuno takes a commission of 15% per sale.
Anjuno aims to make the economics of digital media better for both the producer and the consumer. Summing up the advantages for both the artists and their fans, Anjuno urges: “Instead of pirating that new album because you don’t feel like paying $15, pay $2 here on Anjuno. And since we don’t take huge cuts of the profit like record labels and publishers, the artist ends up making more from your small payment on Anjuno.”
Up until now, similar (un)pricing schemes have predominantly been used as a promotional tool. Does this this mark the beginning of a shift towards pay-what-you-want pricing models becoming more widely adopted as the basis of a business? Will we see more new businesses fundamentally eschew traditional pricing models in favour of letting their customers decide the prices? One to watch. (Related: pay-as-you-want magazines, restaurants, hotels and ad agencies.)