Tamago recently launched a peer-to-peer commerce system that enables people to sell digital media directly to customers. It's designed for semi-professional and amateur people who publish music, videos, photos, e-books, etc. to earn royalties whenever their creative content is downloaded. Meanwhile the buyers can also earn commissions, for distributing media to others.
Tamago was founded in 2005 by Sony Music Executive Joel Floyd. On Joel's LinkedIn page, he is listed as being a past Principal Architect/Developer at Sony Music. Tamago is based in San Francisco.
Tamago claims it is the only Peer-to-Peer eCommerce market. The service is described on the homepage:
"Built by artists for artists, Tamago connects its members' computers into one big network, giving each member the power to sell the things they create and to make money from the stuff they buy.
Tamago ensures the publisher of a file receives a royalty every time it is sold. Members who distribute files to other members during a sale earn commissions."
The royalty rates are set by the artists. There is also security around copyright, which Tamago says prevents artistic works from being re-published and stolen. To participate in this system, you need to download the Tamago P2P software and register for the service. Tamago requires a PC running Windows 2000 or XP or an Intel based Apple Computer running Parallels Desktop or Boot Camp from Apple Computer.
I do like the concept of customers being not just consumers of media, but distributors too. In fact I kind of wish the mainstream P2P music systems like Napster worked like this - giving the 'consumers' a commission for distributing an artist's work! Perhaps that will be reality in the future, but for now I really like where Tamago is heading with this product.
It has to be noted that currently the Tamago website looks like a work in progress - and it's not clear whether they have many artists or customers on board yet. But they've just launched, so I am certainly willing to cut them some slack on that. Tamago is a promising application of P2P, so it'll be interesting to see if it gains any traction.