Popcuts: Buying Music Has Never Been So Profitable

Popcuts

Popcuts
This morning, I received an email alert from Popcuts:

someone bought a song you already own on Popcuts. And now, your account balance is $1.05: High enough so you can buy some more music.

Nice, I have been checking out my Popcuts’ profile once in a while to see if I could afford buying new sounds, but this alert comes in really handy for the kind of consumer I am.

Popcuts (a Y Combinator startup we first covered back in September) is the Website where buyers get monetary rewards if the songs they buy is sold again after their purchase. The idea is to give back to trend setters who usually go through a lot to promote the music they love.

Of course, this is the first company who launches this type of revenue-sharing model, so it’s all a big test so far. So for the curious ones, here are my stats on Popcuts since I signed up about 6 months ago:<

  • I own 26 songs
  • I made an initial payment of $20
  • 295 people bought music following my purchase
  • I have earned a total of $6.79
  • I have an available balance of $1.05
  • I follow 12 people
  • I have 2 followers (who get alerts when I buy a song)

This is really not bad, considering that if I had made those purchases on iTunes, I would not have any money left. With Popcuts, once you start buying songs, you come back again and again to the site to see how your ‘sales’ are doing. Obviously, unless you are THE trendsetter, Popcuts is not a place to make huge profits, it is not the eBay of music. But the model is very interesting, and if I remember correctly, the company’s ambition is to develop a rev-share technology that could be applied beyond the music sphere. If, for the price of 20 songs, I get 26 songs, then I am not afraid to say that, so far, the Popcuts system works.

Discussing Comments on Disqus

Disqus

Disqus, a Y Combinator startup, is a comment system that enables site publishers/bloggers and commenters to gain more control over their commenting activities. As you can see in the video, Disqus offers a lot of functionality around comments: Customize the look of the comment box, Seesmic‘s video comment, trackbacks, comment moderation, widgets, and so much more.

A lot of bloggers are really enthusiast about their Disqus comment system: Fred Wilson early-adopted the service and liked it so much he invested in Disqus. Seesmic Founder Loic LeMeur chose Disqus as the first remote comment system to integrate Seesmic‘s video comments. When Friendfeed came clashing the market with its promise of syndicating the whole Web discussion on its boat, Disqus created a bridge with the ex-Googler startup to expand the reach of Disqus’ comments. Disqus has developed in such a way that it became the best fit comment system to adapt to the evolution of the social media.

As usual, the buzz comes with a bug. Some voices arose on the Web pointing out to the fact that Disqus “steals” traffic from blogs, because their email alerts send recipients to the Disqus threaded comments interface, instead of linking back to the original post. After acquiring Haloscan a few days back, JS-Kit added a portable profile feature to their own commenting system and CEO Khris Loux made a direct attack against Disqus’ ways:

Despite the fact that this feature is clearly inspired by Disqus, Khris Loux does not hesitate to bash his much-buzzed-about competitor, which he alleges “steals traffic from bloggers” and “is not upfront about its plans to monetize at the expense of its users.

It doesn’t sound very thoughtful to aggress Silicon Valley’s favorite commenting system heads on. Plus you could argue that re-directing email alerts’ traffic to the Disqus platform is actually more convenient, as you can participate to the discussion of several blogs from there.

Disqus is a very reliable commenting system. I’ve been a user since mid-November 2007: It never crashed, never lost a comment of mine, never did weird stuff or got hacked by spamming bots. It’s a very reliable system. For those worried about what Disqus could end up doing to monetize comments, from what I know of Disqus’ CEO, he is very ethical and trustworthy.

Scribd integrates Clickpass, good synergy for both startups

Scribd

This is kind of old news but still super interesting, Scribd has integrated Clickpass in their service. Thanks to this novelty, anyone can use Scribd with their OpenID. It doesn’t come as a big surprise that those two YC startups partnered up. However, Scribd is heading to become a mainstream document sharing platform (thank you iPaper). Thanks to Clickpass, they are now enhancing their site’s accessibility.

On the other hand, this is great news for Clickpass. Their service has gained an undiscussed popularity since launch 2 months ago. Top bloggers support the Founders, and top entrepreneurs are enthusiasts about their product.

HyveUp – Peter Nixey – Immad Akhund – Clickpass

“Why don’t we use more services online?” Here is the most simple question that any Web user, from expert to beginner can answer: signing up over and over again to each and every new service is a pain. The Web is an open-platform, so it doesn’t make sense that users have to jump so many fences to hop from site to site.

Yesterday, I headed to the San Francisco’s Northbeach to interview Peter Nixey and Immad Akhund (and David Cole in the back) from Clickpass. The Clickpass team has developed a super-simplified tool that leverages the power of OpenID. Built on top of OpenID, Clickpass enables any site owner to make their subscription process as easy as logging into an existing account, which in turn leads to a growth of their user-base.

On the business side of things, Clickpass is not planning to gather information about users’ activities across different social platforms to sell it to advertisers (finally one company that respects the privacy of my social graph). Clickpass plans to sell their simple technology to other subscription-based sites. The target market is huge.

Making OpenID simple and accessible is just step one for Clickpass. So much more services can be built on top of their existing tool. The product launched last week, so the team is mainly focused on optimizing its usability and interacting with its early-adopters. Clickpass was seed-funded by Y Combinator, the venture firm behind Reddit, Disqus, Auctomatic, and many more trendy startups. I’ve started using Clickpass on Disqus (example in the video) and for the Hacker News site. Click here for the list of sites you log on using Clickpass.