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May 19, 2004


Local Music Sales

As major label-produced CDs become less and less viable methods of reaching new audiences, or of turning a profit, local musicians in New York are recording and producing their albums themselves, and putting them up for sale in neighborhood bodegas for $6 a piece. The company that burns the discs and distributes them to the bodegas is Urban Box Office, and they decided to bring their albums straight to the places where young people hang out--the local market. Artists also receive $1.50-2.50 per album sold, more than most major labels can offer. In-store visits are part of the marketing plan, just like at Tower: a girl group from Sunset Park, Gemz, visited a bodega where their album is sold and performed some songs, to the delight of a local fan: "They were here singing! They were outside the bodega and I was talking to them." Urban Box Office also remembers that not everybody has a computer to download music from iTunes. (special tidbit: the founder of Urban Box Office, now dead, was also the producer of New Jack City.)

In a city like New York, kids know there is a lot more out there than what they hear on corporate radio. Giving them access to local music at an affordable price will help keep the power of the music industry in the hands of musicians and music fans, and not in multinational communications companies. Plus we get to hear bands with names like Nemesis Yankee, who have one of Urban Box Office's most popular releases, "Mi Bandera."

categories: Business, Music, NYC
posted by amy at 2:25 PM | #