John Jones (BuyWidget) – Interview (Part 2)

This is the second and final part of the interview I had the pleasure of conducting with John Jones from Buy Widget. I’m sure you’ll like it as much as the first!



When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?

At a very young age – growing up in Toronto in the late ‘60s, I listened to radio all the time. First single was Badfinger – No Matter What and first album was The Best Of The Guess Who. Probably the Canadian influence on the last one, but it actually purchased on a trip to the US!

Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a clip on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?

Never in a band. However, I’ve had the good fortune to work as a producer in both live and studio environments and have worked with some incredible talent across genres from rock to alternative to jazz to blues to world. Here’s a link to some of my productions:

Also, as a radio and TV producer I got to work or interview with just about everyone I had ever hoped to work with at some point. Here’s a link to a subset of TV productions: Continue reading

John Jones (BuyWidget) – Interview (Part 1)

Back in May I wrote a post about a system for the monetization of music named BuyWidget, and just last week I managed to talk with its CEO, Mr. John Jones. I did wish I could have featured him before on MusicKO, but now I know that the saying “Good things come to those who wait” couldn’t be truer – just look at his answers. Incredibly insightful, rich in content and a joy to read.

But enough of my chatter. On with the interview!


Full Name: John Jones
Age: 50
Startup: BuyWidget
Position: CEO



Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What gives it an edge?

BuyWidget was conceived as a means of allowing any site, blog or portal to quickly set up their own music download sales store. The core idea was to give sites a means of enhancing their visitor’s experience, increasing their user engagement, and increasing their revenue. The significant advantage is that the signup, and build process of creating a BuyWidget only takes a few minutes – less than it takes to watch a video explaining it actually! And it works on WordPress, TypePad, Blogspot and any HTML site. BuyWidget is a product from our parent, fortyninegroup, a digital products and services company.

What was the original launch date?

The service launched in beta in May 2010.

What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?

Great, thanks for asking! BuyWidget is now on more than 250 sites. The US has the most installations.

What features can we expect to see implemented in future revisions?

We recently added a PayPal payment process. All site owners who host a BuyWidget can be paid through PayPal. We are working on a number of new additions. The great thing, from the beta launch, is that the code has been stable, and our hosting provider is fantastic, so reliability has not been an issue! Continue reading

BuyWidget – The Perfect Way To Monetize A Music Blog


Name: BuyWidget

There is no end to the number of ways in which you can sell and market music online. If anything, these services become more and more direct as time goes by. A case in point: the Buy Widget website.

In general words, Buy Widget is a generator of playlists that you can place in your blog or website in order to sell music. These playlists take the shape of widgets – hence, the name of the service. If you want to sell something else, you will have to browse. But if you want to sell your own tracks this will do the honors.

You can upload entire albums and then have people buy them right away. The widget is also somehow configurable, and you can tweak with more aspects than one – you get a chance to modify the logo that is displayed and so on.

Of course, a system for direct monetization is always preferable to other revenue models that adhere to a “one size fits all” ethos. Buy Widget simplifies the way in which your own music can be sold so notably that just any person can get down to it. All he needs is having a website or blog. If he does, he will be able to get this system working for sure – WordPress, Blogger and TypedPad blogs are fully supported. So is HTML, of course. Continue reading