BIRMINGHAM, AL (Hypebot) – The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) recently launched their ThinkIndie online download store. The site was conceived as an answer to the revenue lost to iTunes by independent brick and mortar music stores, as well as, a place for online music discovery. Traffic will be driven by and profits shared with participating indie retailers. Just days after the launch, CIMS' Jim Fahy answered a few questions about the new online store:
Q: Is the ThinkIndie.com only partnering with CIMS stores or can other indie stores get involved?
FAHY: A healthy portion of AIMS stores are also among us. Other stores may be involved in the future.
Q: The selection is currently all indie. Do you ever intend to sell music from the major labels?
FAHY: Of course. One of our major label deals is about to be finished. After tha,t it's just a matter of uploading the content that makes sense. We're hoping our other deals will work out soon – especially as they see how it runs. Lawyers are a bigger problem than people.
Q: Does all of the music come from individual labels. Which of the indie digital distributors like The Orchard, IODA and INgrooves do you have have deals with for ThinkIndie?
"iTunes' magic lies in its integration.
Our magic is knowledge."
FAHY: Some of it does. Our deals with Sub Pop, Merge and Matador, for example, are all direct. As far as the digital distributors you mentioned: Yeah, we have deals with all those guys.
The Orchard are still involved in the physical business and employs several people who have been friendly with us over the years during their respective tenures at other labels. We're hoping that we'll be going forward together – especially since, unlike iTunes and Amazon, we'll have brick and mortar stores to run promotions in.
As much as we hope to do great business online we still wanna find creative ways to get people into the stores. That's what it's all about. iTunes' magic lies in its integration. Our magic is knowledge.
Q: Most of my readers are industry professionals, Who would they contact (including email) about having their music featured on Think Indie?
FAHY: They can get in touch with me and / or Tony Davis ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). Tony runs the day to day operations of the store. He's a former record store guy, too. He and his partner, Andrew, both used to work at Lou's in San Diego. They've worked their asses off.
Q: What has the reaction been so far to the store – to your pricing, selection and the higher file quality?
FAHY: So far, so good – especially within the industry. We just launched the site on Friday so we're still waiting to gauge what customers think. We wanna know what's buggy and what's great. It's just getting started and we have more surprises to come.