Ropeadope, a seven-year-strong record label... has announced that it is going 100% pure digital. Every release will be available on ropeadope.com in the MP3 format, as well as the major online music retailers...It will be interesting to see if other labels pick up on this. If that's not just PR talking -- if they really do make money on each track sold from day one -- that's not just better, that's revolutionary. Fantastic.
I asked Ropeadope founder Andy Hurwitz why he's taking his label digital, and what he expects the pluses and minuses to be.
"Why digital? It's funny, I almost feel like this is what they asked Rykodisc back in the '80's when they started going exclusively with CDs over vinyl. [Digital is] not just the future, it's the present, at least amongst our fans. We've seen our traditional sales plummet and our digital sales skyrocket. But on top of a purely economic decision, it's an amazing opportunity for us to find and expose tons of great music and fantastic artists.
"Advantages? We now make money on every single project from record one. We don't have to deal with returns and reserves, we can sign and release a new band in a matter of weeks, and it helps bring traffic to our website.
"Disadvantages? I'm really searching for some here. I guess the only disadvantage is the learning curve--folks are still trying to understand why we're doing this and how it works. But once we're up and running I think it will become obvious."