BNL HookaWidgets are all the rage these days. The idea is, artists create a little miniature music player you can embed anywhere (MySpace, blogs, etc.) with their tracks. Fans buy music via the widget, and the artist gets a cut. Hometracked has an exceptional round-up of widgets with feature comparison. (It’s about time someone took the time to do that!)

So far, though, I haven’t been blown away by any of the widgets. Often, an overcrowded market is an indicator that no one technology quite has it right yet. There’s also the small matter of getting enough volume in music track sales to make any money. Percentage isn’t the problem: a fan buying a $1 track versus a $20 concert ticket is the issue. On the other hand, I’d personally be thrilled to get the instant satisfaction of buying a track in the same spot I’m playing it.

But, I’m curious: is anyone out there using these things? Even if not, what would you want the widget to do to make it worth your while? Custom embeddable music players are a good idea; I just wonder what the killer app would look like. (Pictured: Barenaked Ladies on BNL is, like CDM, one of PC World’s favorite music sites. Happily, no one throws raw macaroni and cheese at me when I appear live.)

  • dead_red_eyes

    My friends "You.May.Die.In.The.Desert" just blogged about Snocap …

    "First, you have to wait until you have made $20 from people buying your songs before you get a check. Then, SNOCAP takes a "small fee", which is actually .39 cents per song. In addition, there is a $ 30 annual fee.

    I guess if you are selling thousands of songs it might be understandable, but for most small indie bands that seems like way to much.

    you have to sell at least 50 songs before you see any profit."

    Sounds screwed up to me. So that means before you get any money back, you have to sell 70 tracks … that's quite a bit. Idk … seems a bit excessive really.

  • Well, from their perspective, in terms of the business — and compared to other models for artists — that's not so bad. I guess for many, it's about which is the right tool for the job. (And I wonder if these sorts of widgets will really be what we're using a few years down the road…)

    Nimbit I did like in that it looked more featured; then it was more about providing services / expanding outlets.

    This does depend very much on scale. For many smaller musicians, it seems hardly worth it.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Indeed, I think that's what I meant … is that for smaller musicians, it's probably not worth it. What I wonder is this, if you're already on a label and you do the SNOCAP thing, do they still get 39%, while you and your label fight over the rest? Cause that really isn't worth it is it? Our digital distributor doesn't even nearly take that amount as their cut.

    Then again, if they're providing DRM-free tracks … idk, for an independent musician, the 39% is feasible if you don't have a label, as that's close to their cut … if not more. I do see the advantage of having the tracks readily available on your MySpace page and such.

    Hmmm ….

  • The one-girl-band Girl Crusade is experimenting with Nimbit's music widget here:

    Looks pretty good…