BIRMINGHAM, AL (Hypebot) –
Thinkindie.com launched as the music download destination for Coalition Of Independent Music Stores' (CIMS) indie music retail outlets. The catalog comes entirely from indie labels with tracks encoded as DRM-free 320 kps mp3's; among the highest bit rates of any download store. Album downloads are generally $9.99 with individual tracks at $1.11 though many exclusives and specials are priced much lower.
"This launch has been a long time coming and we are stoked that the big day is finally upon us," says an enthusiastic CIMS head Jim Fahy. Still one can't escape the feeling that Fahy and his member stores would rather you came by in person and bought a CD. "If you gotta buy an MP3 then we want you to do it from us," continued Fahy. "What's best is that you can buy said files from the record store of your choice, enabling you to still shop digitally and locally. It's all the convenience and twice the snark… Just how we like it."
Independent music has long needed an alternative online download destination to eMusic, which is only accessible via subscription. Think Indie, which was built by a group of indie record stores to compete in the digital age, could eventually fill that need. These stores are located across the United States and much of their success stems from the sense of community that they foster. Most indie stores are active participants in their local music scenes hosting in-store performances, signings, art openings, and other events. With Think Indie the CIMS stores hope to expand that spirit and knowledge of music into the digital space.
Think Indie may suffer from the lack of major label product since many consumers care about artists more than they care about the labels that put them out. Amazon and iTunes have all of the same catalog and much more often at lower prices. But 320 kps and a deep range of exclusives and freebies may help Think Indie find its own niche.
Early believers include Yep Rock Records. Park The Van Records and artists like My Morning Jacket and Gaslight Anthem.