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Here’s a first shot at how independent storefronts could work with the new iTunes Music Store, like i mentioned in the last post.


People could pull up independent stores in iTunes via hyperlinks (like subscribing to an mp3 radio stream), with the stores then organized under a “Storefronts” icon.


Expand to view your storefronts….


And then either browse by artist, album, or genre within that store, or have a designed interface like the Apple Music Store.


Simple, and it doesn’t have to conflict with or detract from the main store.

comments 12

Some good ideas Shey. Especially say if an independent artist could create their own store (not just a major label) and make their tracks available for sale/download. It could integrate in a model like Amazon’s used stores

Posted by benry at April 30, 2003 04:13 PM

Hey Shey. I really like this idea as well. It could also incorporate some simple .Mac “Homepage” publishing features to make it simple via a browser. Labels pick from templates,colors, etc.. to get their own branding in there. I could see Dischord, 2.13.61, etc.. doing some cool stuff with this.

Posted by Dan Wascovich at May 1, 2003 02:08 PM

Thanks… Hey, before this goes on too long, everybody, my name is Tim. The only person who calls me “Shey” is my Dad, so that’s kind of freaking me out.

Posting more soon… on the road right now.

Posted by tim at May 2, 2003 01:28 AM

I’m curious - would this be pretty much like is now, or somehow different?

Posted by Phillip Winn at May 2, 2003 11:10 AM

The only problem I see with this is with non-music geeks. Your average person doesn’t care about labels — they only want the music that they’re looking for, regarless of who they’re signed with.

Posted by K at May 19, 2003 12:55 PM

I have K’s problem too. What music store orders their CDs by record label? (What bookshop orders their books by publisher?) What happens if one company (not record company) has an arrangement to sell tracks from two different labels? Buying tracks via iTunes is very convenient; I think you’d lose a lot of the convenience by doing things this way.

Posted by Michael S. at May 19, 2003 06:27 PM

To answer both your comments: this is intended as a tool for record labels themselves to build their own independent online music stores using apple as a platform, not for the apple to organize how they sell records. Fans of the record label (and there are plenty of people who do shop by record label, especially in indie rock, hip-hop, electronic and classical music) would see the link on the label’s website, click on it, and the “Storefront” would temporarily mount within their iTunes window.

Similarly, an independent band could set up its own, branded, HTML-based “iTunes Store” selling just its CDs, and link that storefront off its own website for its fans, to give itself some of the benefits the featured artists currently get in the larger iTunes Store.

There are plenty of precedents for this idea: from independent labels like Matador who build their own online web-based music stores (at great expense to themselves), to independent sellers like Amazon’s z-Shops who sell everything from books to collectibles to electronics on the Amazon platform.

Posted by tim at May 19, 2003 07:32 PM

Sorry, I still don’t quite follow. Is the system you propose functionally equivalent to (say) Matador’s website, where the only records you can search, preview, and buy are Matador records? The iTunes music buying experience might be really nice, but since only 5% of computer users are iTunes users (and maybe 1% of music buyers), I can’t see a small label making iTunes integration a priority. If the iTunes search also searched their products (this is how zShops works) it might be worthwhile, particularly if it was really easy to do.

Posted by Michael S. at May 20, 2003 03:38 AM

Why should independents (or anyone, for that matter) have their own store-within-a-store? Why not just add artists, albums and tunes to the store no matter where they come from and let whoever market their wares via the web or whatever. Apple already publishes the URL that will take someone right from, say, a web page to the track in iTMS.

Posted by pb at May 20, 2003 03:23 PM

I like the idea of being able to search by label (hence, the storefront) but to also have the music included in the global search as well (and genre etc..). Who wants to go to a myriad of web pages when they can stay and jump around directly in iTunes? That may be cool for email notifications, but not as a general browsing paradigm.

Also, the genres supported by iTunes suck. The organization is poor and there are not enough of them. I need more capabilities than being able to choose > Rock and download >Bare Naked Ladies. I find out about a good deal of new bands by checking out other artists on the same indie label. I think music geeks that actually go to shows, hear about new bands from other music geeks, and check out indie label web sites will buy a lot of music this way.

Posted by Dan Wascovich at May 22, 2003 06:12 PM

Yeah digital distribution services like apple iTunes are the future for indies, though I think it’s longer-off than the media hype would have us believe. It’s at such an early stage that it will be years before most of the world
uses it as the main way to get music.

Whatever I hope all independent artists eventually get to feel the benefit not just those on majors or a selected few indie labels. Apple have stated “We want every piece of music ever recorded.” But on the launch of windows itunes hardly any indies can be found in the catalogue.

Posted by lucy at November 11, 2003 11:22 AM

Apple have definitely come up with a winner regarding itunes.

So many albums today have only one or two good tracks the rest just filler. Purchasing individual songs is a great way to weed out the mediocrity, you no longer have to shell out 18 dollars for a 15 songs album just to hear the one or two good tracks.

Posted by Tom at December 10, 2003 10:18 AM

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