Minneapolis music store Electric Fetus launched music-download service ThinkIndie, which is aimed at brining you the music of the local, unsigned bands that iTunes and Amazon won’t touch with a ten foot digital pole.
ThinkIndie is looking to fill the void that the bigger digi stores leave by ignoring smaller acts, and will also offer higher-quality MP3s, longer audio samples and the expertise of a retail store that has been in the music business since 1968. For instance, the Electric Fetus virtual storefront promotes local bands and staff recommendations. Staffers will eventually have mini-blogs to share their opinions as well. Other independent music stores around the country also will have ThinkIndie portals for their customers.
"We're not just a site," said Chris Hall, the Electric Fetus' webmaster. "We have 40 years of record-store experience here. That's what's been missing from the digital stores. There are a lot of customers who just don't buy CDs anymore. For that customer, who likes our store and likes what we're about, this is a way for them to still do business with us."
ThinkIndie is the result of a five-year effort by the national Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS). The song selection is about 300,000 at start-up, all from indie labels. The cost is $1.11 per track, a bit pricier than the 99 cents at Amazon and much of iTunes…but you are contributing to the longevity and growth of independent music, which is a good thing. Do you think it's worth it for that extra cost or would you rather stick to iTunes and pay less...but have less access to local or indie music?