Digital downloads may be on a downward slope in North America, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a strong demand for digital music ownership.
That’s the bet that new digital store Bwaytunes.com is making in launching as a niche destination for fans of musical theatre, a place that - according to the site - “Recreates The Experience Of The Specialty Store - Online.”
Bwaytunes plans on differentiating itself thanks to its curation - fans will not have to navigate thousands of entries on iTunes to find their favourite rendition of a classic musical - and the thorough information it provides. Musical theatre fans will rejoice in knowing that the company will include with the music a complete list of credits including Performers, Composers, Lyricists, Book Writers, Choreographers, Musical Directors, Producers and more. All this information is lacking from iTunes making this a compelling option.
The company will also provide direct links to purchase sheet music downloads and links to Wikipedia. It is also working on providing exclusive scores and songs from shows that are still in development, as well as rare recordings from private collections.
Bwaytunes is clearly a niche product but it is made possible by 7Digital, the UK-based digital music provider that allows third parties to utilise the catalogue it has licensed. 7Digital will also be dealing with all customer support and all purchase enquiries.
The fact that Bwaytunes doesn’t have to deal with building a complex tech infrastructure and closing deals directly means that it can focus on providing the best possible experience to consumers and do so cost-effectively. Time will tell if the site can gather enough users to become sustainable given that the margins on sales are bound to be quite thin.
Since pricing and availability are likely to be very similar to what users can normally find on iTunes or Amazon, Bwaytunes will have to rely on creating a community that deeply cares about the genre and the data provided in order to compete with those well-established giants of the digital music space.
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