Music Industry News Network [09-18-2004]

TMBG LLaunch First Artist Operated Download Site


In a move currently uncharted in the electronic downloading game, Brooklyn alt. rock legends They Might Be Giants have created their own artist owned and operated downloading site. offers 99 cent downloads, and exclusive bundles of TMBG albums prorated for $10, along with exclusive songs only available online. TMBG enjoy a unique spot as one of the most downloaded bands online, often popping into top ten download lists on Soundscan thanks to heavy traffic through iTunes and other corporate download sites.

The site's unique "artist owned" status clears up many ethical issues for users. Guitarist John Flansburgh explains, "Audience habits are changing quickly, especially online. We find their comfort level with dealing directly with the band's site is actually greater than through a lot of on-line stores. Our fans don't need a filter, and respect the value of our effort. To be honest, we love having our CDs distributed through the big guys (note: Rounder/Universal distributes TMBG label Idlewild in brick and mortar stores). We couldn't do it without them, but we'd rather handle the digital side ourselves. The TMBG download site seems like a pretty natural solution for bands trying to deal with the current web sprawl. I think is a pretty good model for the future."

In another move breaking away from industry practice, TMBG's MP3s are free of encoding gimmicks and electronic watermarks. They can be transferred from computer to computer effortlessly. The MP3s on the TMBG download site are mastered in extraordinary fidelity (far superior to even last year's technology).


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