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An under-the-radar London startup is trying a new-ish take on music retail – let the users do the sales and promotion for you. Started by the founder of electronic label Warp Records‘ innovative Bleep site, Ged Day, PeoplesMusicStore encourages members to create their own free storefront, populated by their favourite tracks from across the catalogue, each at DRM-free 320Kbps.
After selling 10 tracks priced at £0.99, the store owner gets a credit to buy another track for his or herself. Day, who left Warp in 2006, told me 80 percent of site users had already become store operators, too, suggesting a good slice of income for the site itself.
It’s not all about sales. Sticking to its Bleep roots, PeoplesMusicStore’s userbase are committed fans (so far, mostly of abstract electronica) who serve as passionate curators or guides to the latest releases in their chosen genres. In this sense, it’s a cross between eMusic and Pitchfork – ie. let a thousand indie muso review sites bloom. Isn’t that just MySpace with knobs on? “MySpace doesn’t capture the bit that’s interesting, which is the fan’s perspective,” said Day (pictured left). “It doesn’t see a fan as a fan of lots of bands.”
Though electro-centric, PeoplesMusicStore is currently negotiating with one major label and one big indie label, adding to its current lineup of Ninja Tune, kranky, Domino Records and others. Aside from Day, the site counts another Warp/Bleep refugee, operations manager Ed Underwood (pictured right), and Ruby On Rails developer Dan Webb on the team.