"Do well by doing good," is by no means a new business concept (Newman's Own, Tom's Shoes, Stonyfield Farms, etc.). But with the exception perhaps of Bono's broader (RED) shopping for charity site, it's not one that's been tested on any grand scale by the music industry. As of today, however, ReverbNation is putting the axiom to the test on behalf of independent artists with its new offering, "Music For Good".
UPDATE: Since quietly launching the platform in late December, 2012, over 50,000 artists are selling tracks and supporting charities using the program.
"ReverbNation's mission is to give musicians all the tools they need to compete, cooperate, and differentiate in the new music economy," ReverbNation president Jed Carlson told Hypebot. "Being able to tie the sale of their music to a shared cause gives their fans a new reason to engage with them, and a new reason to buy their music."
Thirteen charities are currently beneficiaries including CARE, Heifer International, charity:water, The Fender Music Foundation, Zac Brown's Camp Southern Ground, Sweet Relief and Oxfam.
Will artists sell more downloads? Will ReverbNation gain more fan traffic? Will the 5 cents per download plus increased user loyalty add up to enough to make this philanthropic experiment worthwhile?
I'll be watching and telling you what I see, but admit to hoping that it works. In fact, I hope that it works so well that every music company is encouraged or even embarrassed into finding their own ways to "do well by doing good".
Learn more and sign up here.