Starting an Online MP3 store

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zeromechanism
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Starting an Online MP3 store

Post by zeromechanism » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:58 pm

Hey guys,

I've been debating setting up an online MP3 store to specialise in Dubstep and it's related genres. I was wondering if anybody had any experience in this field as I'm unsure to a lot of the issues involving it.

Firstly, how would I obtain the licenses to do so? I have no intention of ripping artists off/illegal file sharing and want to do this is legitimately and as honest as possible.

Secondly, how would I handle stock. Since obviously there is not any physical goods as such, how would record distributors handle this? I've emailed a few but I have yet to get any response!

It would be appreciated if anyone with any information could give me a hand here! :)

Thanks!

Rickmansworth
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Re: Starting an Online MP3 store

Post by Rickmansworth » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:59 pm

You will need contracts with all the labels or their distros (content providers)... Essentially, you need a contract stating that your website is to receive a license to sell tunes for a label in exchange for a fee... Most shops take 50% and give the label the other 50%, so maybe if you offered a better fee, labels/distros would have some incentive to use your service over the others. It would be wise to have a contract lawyer draft one of these up for you...

As far as handling stock is concerned-- you will need a platform that can handle submissions from all the distros/labels. Beatport, Juno and all the other shops have FTP servers and clean web-based platforms that handle uploading all of the art, wav files etc. You would need a standardized format for submissions so you can easily account for the artist name, genre, ISRC #, label, etc etc for your system.

For a starting point, maybe you should start asking label owners/distros things they would like to see in an mp3 store? As a label owner on nearly every store, the only downside to Beatport, IMO, is their 50% fee.\

Creating an online mp3 store is no simple or inexpensive task... Especially running a successful one. Good luck.

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dopelabs
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Re: Starting an Online MP3 store

Post by dopelabs » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:14 pm

i did this myself... dubsteprecords.com

which i am taking down at the end of the month...

unless the label owners can add and edit the releases themselves its not worth it...
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zeromechanism
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Re: Starting an Online MP3 store

Post by zeromechanism » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:55 pm

Thanks for the solid information guys! I really do appreciate it!

I'm an experienced web developer and I'm backed by a pretty good programmer so the web platform shouldn't be a problem hopefully :)

Dopelabs, out of interest, and I hope you don't mind me asking, but how much money did you originally invest in your store? If you would prefer not to speak about it/not publicly that's not a problem. Also what're your plans for dubsteprecords.com afterwards?

Thanks again!

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s.t. holdings
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Re: Starting an Online MP3 store

Post by s.t. holdings » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:52 am

To start with

1. Relevant license with copyright collection society in your territory. Without this no one will deal with you. eg UK http://www.prsformusic.com/users/broadc ... ences.aspx
2. Your own comprehensive contract with digital distros / labels. Typical split 60/40 (40% to you)
3. Ability to accept content delivery via several methods (direct from distro and digital delivery companies such as Fuga & Consolidated Independent)
4. Comprehensive sales reports (cat# / artist / title / upc / isrc / price / tax / copyright royalty / royalty split / territory etc etc) supplied monthly / quarterly
5. Develop solid IT systems that do as much of the work as possible - a backend interface for labels / distros is essential - giving access to sales reports etc
6. Be prepared to have to pay for the delivery of content.
7. Pay labels / distros on time.

The download business is very competitive. Coming into the market so late in the game you will really need something special to stand out in the crowd and tempt customers away from their preferred stores.

Good luck.

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DFRNT
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Re: Starting an Online MP3 store

Post by DFRNT » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:08 am

My only question would be why really.

As above, unless you can do something unique or different, then I can't see your digital strategy as something worth investing in.

Think of all the smaller mp3 retailers that don't have much market share, and how much effort will have been put in by their owners and workers.

I'd be wanting to come in to the market with some sort of twist - or something unique.

I actually have an incredible idea for a potential mp3/digital store download "system" - but there's a big difference. Not something I'm willing to divulge on here, but I'd certainly be happy to let you know in writing, and maybe we can combine skills/expertise?

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abZ
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Re: Starting an Online MP3 store

Post by abZ » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:39 pm

dopelabs wrote:i did this myself... dubsteprecords.com

which i am taking down at the end of the month...

unless the label owners can add and edit the releases themselves its not worth it...
Why not set that up? I have sold more on your site than some other sites. More than on iTunes lol. But I have been slackin and you have been slackin so shit is just slack. Defo would keep it updated if I could as you say add and edit myself.

Anyway I hardly see why it is even worth it to start one of these sites. There are a million already and only two of them that I work with do any type of volume (Beatport, Juno) It's the internet you know, it's not like a need one closer to home or something. Eventually I think I would like to see myself from my website but I feel like that takes gaining a huge following to make successful, which I am working on but it takes time.

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dopelabs
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Re: Starting an Online MP3 store

Post by dopelabs » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:25 pm

zeromechanism wrote:Thanks for the solid information guys! I really do appreciate it!

I'm an experienced web developer and I'm backed by a pretty good programmer so the web platform shouldn't be a problem hopefully :)

Dopelabs, out of interest, and I hope you don't mind me asking, but how much money did you originally invest in your store? If you would prefer not to speak about it/not publicly that's not a problem. Also what're your plans for dubsteprecords.com afterwards?

Thanks again!
i didnt invest anything.. the site runs off an open source platform called drupal.. totally free.. the only thing i invested was my time.. and way too much of it..

im just going to use the site for my label (Dubstep Records) from here on out...im exploring my options for a new store.. completely custom.. that will be similar to digital-tunes.net where the label owners have the ability to sign up, add, and edit their own releases...

something with alot more automation in place...
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