Ged Day, the founder of Bleep.com, has now launched People’s Music Store, a music store “entirely powered by music fans”. People’s Music Store launches with a seed round of funding from media entrepreneur Paul Higgins and a licensing deal with Beggars Group. After running in alpha mode for a while it now has 650 stores and 250,000 songs in the catalogue from Beggars’ catalogue and other indies.
After trying to run Bleep, which only stocked quality music, Day decided that no company can maintain constant music expertise at a large scale. So why not leave it to the fans? This way the fans sell the music themselves – which is scalable. Fans can add widgets for their stores to their social networking profiles or blogs.
You can set up your own record store, design the storefront, pick what music from the catalogue you want to sell, and market your store online. You earn points for everything that’s sold which can be used to buy more music. Users keep 10% of the proceeds from sales made through their stores, although rather than cash, they get credit to spend on music downloads. That percentage seems pretty paltry to me and I can’t see anyone going for this other than naive teenagers. You’d probably have to sell a LOT of music to get enough for an album. This reminds me of the deal years ago where you could earn points to buy some glasses from a gas station, just so long as you filled your car about 100 times. Better then nothing maybe? Maybe.
I daresay early adopter fans will like it. But the site will need major label deals if it is to properly flourish. I cant see it lasting forever without those crucial deals.
Update: As commenters point out below, Apple only hands over 5% for iTunes sales while Amazon does 10% for MP3s.