ArsTechnica has some interesting thoughts on the challenges facing indie music labels in the digital age:
“Bands have always sold CDs at concerts, and nearly every indie label has some sort of online storefront these days (see, for instance, Fall, Suicide Squeeze, and Rough Trade). What’s more recent is the trend toward offering digital distribution, often in fan-friendly formats like MP3 and FLAC. Reuters has a piece this weekend on three indie labels (Merge, Def Jux, and Sub Pop) that are examples of the trend, and it points out the obvious problem that such sites face: most music lovers will never visit a label-specific store.But in the digital, long-tail era, such stores can succeed by targeting a niche fan base with exclusives, rarities, and out-of-print material. They can also cater to online buyers concerned about audio fidelity by offering lossless versions of tunes, something that the major stores don’t even make available.”
Yes, the digital age is all about spotting the opportunities and looking for what is not yet being offered – or finding a way to offer the same things in a “better” fashion.