The UK's first digital music download aggregator, Comparedownload.com, launched in the UK yesterday (August 4th).
Users who log on to the site can search the Comparedownload database for tracks that they would like to purchase, and the site will display the current prices with all of their registered retailers. Currently the site has deals with iTunes UK, Amazon UK, 7 Digital, Play.com, Tesco Digital and We7, which means that the total Comparedownload database holds over 10 million tracks, with another 1,000 added each and every day. As well as linking to a short 30-second clip, users will be able to add their own reviews for tracks both new and old, and even has some video content linked in to the site via a content deal with Youtube.
CompareDownload.com founder James Bott explains the reasons behind launching the company, stating that he was, "surprised at how much prices varied from one download store to another. The inspiration for the site was born out of frustration at having to search through a range of stores to find the music I wanted at the right price. As the site developed, it was clear it could be so much more than just a price comparison site: to get everything that I wanted as a music fan I used to have to hunt through dozens of sites – now it’s all available at CompareDownload.com." To get a further idea of the website, its services, and how it will cater to dance music buyers, we asked James some questions via e-mail.
How will your service work?
When anyone searches on the site they automatically search through millions of tracks across all our partner merchants’ sites in a matter of seconds. When the artist is found on the site, the rights owner will automatically display the price in price-comparison format, videos, reviews, images, blogs, news stories, images and concert information, so you’re guaranteed detailed information from each search conducted on CompareDownload.
Will users be able to purchase from multiple sources at once using the service, and download all tracks via Comparedownload?
As Comparedownload acts at the central search hub, once your searched artist appears, you can click through and buy instantly from the online retailer’s website.
Do you think that your service will force retailers to be more price competitive?
It’s unlikely that CompareDownload.com will have any immediate effect on the cost of downloads. Prices on the market are not a secret and heavy downloaders will know that certain companies have some tracks cheaper than others and that even those companies can also be more expensive at times. Our aim at CompareDownload.com is to increase the amount of music bought via legal downloads by giving the consumer a snapshot of a vast amount of information on their chosen artist or band. When they then choose to buy, they can decided what price they want to pay and from which merchant. It saves them time and money as well as giving them all the relevant information in a matter of seconds.
Would artists and labels get less money from a file purchased via Comparedownload instead of directly through the retailer?
No. The commission is paid out by the retailers, not the labels. The artists/labels will still get the same revenue from each sale if they buy it from Comparedownload.com or directly from the merchant.
Which dance music retailers are currently available on the site?
We are in the middle of arranging products from Beatsdigital.com. DJDownload.com and Juno. We are also in discussion with Xpress Beats and Twisted downloads who will hopefully be on the site soon.
Are you looking to get involved with more dance music specialists?
Absolutely, we want to get as many dance music stores and independent music stores as possible. The aim is to make www.comparedownload.com a website for everyone. We will be speaking to as many independent stores as we can.