Thursday, April 02, 2009

New Indie Store on Itunes

Hmm, not sure how I feel about this yet. On one hand it sounds like a great way for indie bands to reach more fans without the help of a major record label, or a record label period, but on the other hand what about all the record stores that are already struggling? How will this affect them? You could always count on the your favorite record shop to have the obscure titles that the big guys won't, or at the very least be able to get them for you. Sure they are often more expensive, but it doesn't hurt the wallet as much when you know more of your money is going to the artist and not the many companies involved from the label to the distribution, to the 8000 sq foot record store, leaving a few cents per unit for the song writters.

iTunes Launches Indie Store
Oh tiny independent record store, now you have even more competition. The good people at Apple have apparently decided that it isn't enough that independent artists seem to get a pretty decent share of the normal iTunes Store homepage, so they've gone and created this "Indie Spotlight" feature, which only features independent artists. The feature is currently only in its soft launch phase, so there's a possibility that we're going to get some new features out of this, but currently there's a list of indie podcasts, indie artist playlists, and not much else.

The homepage prominently features Vetiver, bloghouse/New York Times golden boy Wavves, Neko Case, Fever Ray, Lemonade, Cut Copy, and Animal Collective. The artist playlists include Bon Iver, Hercules and Love Affair, Diplo, Switch and Digitalism. What does this all mean, since it's not like these are things that aren't avaiable through the normal iTunes store? Well, it could mean that the people at iTunes are genuine lovers of independent music who just wanted to show some love for "the most innovative aspects of music... coming out on indie labels all over the world," like it says on the page of the store dedicated to Wavves. It could also mean that Apple has got a bunch of cool dads sitting around in the office, who've recently become aware of the money to be made in marketing independent artists to an increasingly "hip" demographic of music consumers, and the importance of looking cool.

Whatever the reason, if this results in independent artists and labels getting a little more cash funneled their way, or the Indie Spotlight feature being used to break new artists, then Apple deserves a pat on the back.
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