7Digital has improved its iPod-friendly indiestore service for unsigned artists and indie labels, adding new fan-focused features to boost the connection between musicians and their followers.
No longer a beta service, Indiestore is a bespoke solution that lets independent artists and labels create their own music download sites.
Artists can elect which format to sell their music in — including the DRM-free MP3 format — and receive the lion's share of sales. 7 Digital provides the tech infrastrucure, billing and backbone.
Community-boosting features to the service include: comments, blogs, SMS payments, star ratings, new download site styling tools, and the flash-based indiestore music player, which lets music fans explore tracks, and allows artists to promote their music on their own MySpace pages, websites and blogs outside of indiestore.
7 Digital managing director Ben Drury said: “The fast-paced download market means that it’s essential for every band to have a sales presence online, whether they are signed, unsigned or independent. With indiestore anyone can fully exploit the opportunities opened up by digital music — artists can sell to a worldwide audience, use SMS payment for viral campaigns and even have a crack at the charts.
"In terms of getting signed, it’s not about sending your tape to a label anymore, it’s about establishing yourself online and proving you’re already selling."
Two levels of service are available: indiestore Starter and indiestore Pro.
indiestore Starter is a free service that allows artists to upload and sell four tracks, with 70 per cent of revenue generated going to the artist, who can use the Flash player to promote their songs.
indiestore Pro costs £75 per year and lets artists upload and sell 20 tracks, bundle their music into albums, sell via SMS and submit their music for synchronisation opportunities.
Tracks sold through the Pro version are eligible for the official singles charts in the UK, US and over 20 other countries.