Universal Music is launching Lost Tunes today, an online U.K. download store focused on deep catalog and rare, exclusive and "overlooked" tracks from the label’s vast catalog.
Powered by digital media delivery company 7digital, the site launch features 134 Universal albums as exclusive downloads, including tracks from subsidiary labels Trojan, Fiction, Decca, Verve, A&M, Motown, Stax, and more. The site was built to help consumers rediscover archive favorites and find new treasures, with a "smart search" facility and music sorted into eight genres and a total of 38 sub-genres.
An additional 500 titles will be made available for download throughout the rest of ‘08. Sept. 1 will bring the first of Lost Tunes' planned exclusives, a new collection of previously unavailable tracks by early 1990s Liverpool band the La's. Plus, Fiction/Universal band the Delays are recording their four fave "lost tunes" to be released on the site on the same date.
All downloads are available as high-quality 320kpbs MP3s and will work with any MP3-compatible fixed or portable device. Individual tracks are priced at $1.96, with albums priced from $11.85 on up.
"We've noticed a gap in the market that we think needs to be filled from a music lover's perspective,” said Azi Eftekhari, head of digital and media for Universal Music Catalog. “It was a question of 'Do we want people only to be able to find this music if they've got it in their heads, or have them spend lots of time on the store and be guided through it'?"
Billboard.com: Universal Unearths Catalog Treasure With Lost Tunes