The Humble Music Bundle asks you to pay what you want for six albums.

I’ve always maintained that pay-what-you-want packages are brilliant for the music industry – so long as you happen to be Radiohead, or some band that already has a large enough following. Underground artists on Bandcamp or other sites that debut material this way, however, often have a very hard time breaking through or even really supporting themselves. It’s a shame, because it’s a release system which seems so perfectly suited to the little guy in theory.

Well, tha may all be about to change. The now-famous Humble Indie Bundle is a deal which allows the buyer to pay whatever price they want for a collection of indie games. The games themselves tend to be underground passion project of dedicated, small teams, and the internet seems to love them. Steam users and game lovers in general get a great sense of community by giving their money to these developers – and it helps that a good deal of the money made goes to charity as well. How successful is the Indie Bundle? Well, they just released their (I believe) seventh bundle this year, in which Notch, the creator of Minecraft entered a “donating war” with another patron to see who could pay more. It was a good day for charity.

Now this formula is being applied to the music industry with The Humble Music Bundle. The site is asking you to pay what you want for a bundle composed of five albums with the possibility of a bonus album; Favortism by MC Frontalot, Album raises New and Troubling Questions by They Might Be Giants, Calling All Dawns by Christopher Tin, Best of The Valkyria Chronicles by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Jonathon Coulton’s Greatest Hits (Plus 13 Other Songs). If you choose to pay above the average price (currently $8.07) you also receive OK Go’s Twelve Remixes of Four Songs. It’s a smart mix of the indie and the more well-known, with a video game soundtrack thrown in for good measure to appease some of the original Indie Bundle supporters.

You can choose how much of your donation goes to the bands vs charity Child’s Play and Electronic Frontier Foundation) when you pay. The sale is looking to be a success, as of the time of writing the bundle has been sold 26,000 times, with the average amount being paid eight dollars and seven cents.


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