Johnny Beirne very softly launched Downloadmusic.ie recently. It’s a download service allowing you to download the music of unsigned Irish artists.
Johnny and the other folks behind the site are a group of 3 people with various backgrounds, primarily in e-business and music. Johnny puts it nicely:
If we were on a road trip, there would be a driver (me, the guy answering these questions), a mechanic (the guy who makes sure things work) and a guy that keeps changing the radio station (the music guy).
To download the music you click on the song, listen to a sample if you want and then add it to your basket. When you go to the checkout, the process is nice and simple. If you haven’t registered it will make you do it there and then but it’s quick and it remembers what you want to purchase. Payment is using paypal for now. Fine for net users but paypal takes a fairly percentage from the seller for small transactions. Once that’s all done you are directed to a download page. You have 24 hours to download the files you’ve purchased and you are allowed to download them up to three times.
Johnny believes the main difference between what you hear on the radio and what you donâ€™t is “money not talent”. It’s been a dream of his for years to have an Irish “Irish Top 30” Music Chart and he believes the Internet has made this possible.
By speaking to the artists and surfing the web Johnny researched the market. He initially sees fans and friends of chart artists as the core customers, but as word spreads, all music lovers. On how Downloadmusic.ie will distinguish itself from the rest of the sites out there, Johnny said:
Firstly, the site is for Independent Irish Artists. Secondly, the chart aspect, with sales figures published, introduces healthy competition and also provides direct feedback to the artists on their marketing efforts.
The mp3s are DRM-free allowing them to be played and moved to and from any mp3 player. Something which many techs would probably agree is a good thing.
we try to provide a mechanism for artist to get their music heard. If easy movement helps this then so be it. Artists already give a certain amount of their material away for free in return for exposure.
From the beginning says Johnny, the artists have been promoting the idea, telling their friends, recruiting other artists etc. He also noted there are also quite a number of activists who are doing great work for the independent music scene in Ireland and abroad, and they have also been promoting the site.
It’s a great idea and it deserves some support since it’s a local operation. Have a look at DownloadMusic.ie yourself.