While record labels have been scratching their heads and losing sleep over the MP3 revolution, a small Montreal indie record store Phonopolis has put fourth an interesting proposal that may turn into a solution.
Here's how it goes:
Labels would provide large amounts of codes, instead of CDs, to record stores which will then carry a wide variety of their individual titles as MP3s. The stores then validate the code at the point of sale. Upon validation, the store will pay for the product at the same time as the consumer. Since these are simply codes for MP3s, they have no real value until they are sold.
This means no immidiate cost for the store, small amounts of space to allocate, and endless renewable selection of any given title. This would be particularly effective for indie hits that sell out faster than you can sneeze. Instead of pressing a limited amount of copies of a record, the label can release an MP3 code and let it sell according to its demand.
This is a very promising idea but the logistics remain shaky. How are you gonna market these codes? In the form of cards, like Itunes does, seems to make the most sense. [Coolfer]