Recordstore.co.uk, the online music and merchandise retailer, will this month give artists the opportunity to sell their own music downloads, Apple iTunes Music Store-style.
Recordstore has a online retail outlet and also acts as a UK ecommerce fulfilment arm for Sony, Warner and Universal, and sundry artists. So when, say, a punter orders a copy of the latest record from Robbie Williams' web site, the sale is made and fulfilled by Recordstore.
Its new download service is, for now, targeted at artists and labels with which it already has a business relationship. Recordstore customers get to flog a la carte tracks in DRM-free MP3, DRM-enabled Windows Media 9 format or both. Downloaded tracks count toward the Official Charts Company's download chart, which will be merged into the OCC's singles chart later this year.
Recordstore has signed DX3 (aka Digital Domain Distribution) to store and deliver the songs. DX3 was one of the first European companies to offer digital downloads, signing EMI in November 2000. The better-known European digital music distributor, OD2 (aka On Demand Distribution), signed up EMI round the same time.
Last November Entertainment UK subsidiary, the Woolworths Group subsidiary, selected DX3 as its digital distribution partner. DX3 supplies Woolies' Streets Online e-tail operation with digital downloads at 99p a pop. The site offers tracks from EMI and indie companies Beggars Banquet and XL Recordings. Six months on, it is still touted as a 'beta' site.
Recordstore said its partnership with DX3 was not exclusive and noted that it would add other distribution companies to its list in due course. ®
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