Mp3 downloads are responsible for probably the biggest change in music buying habits since the invention of vinyl. Whether it will be good or bad for the industry is a matter of some dispute, but it has happened, and a period of adjustment is inevitable whilst the old guard find their feet. Into this turbulent market have entered Megabop; comprising of two arms, MBop Global and MBop Digital, they are poised to take on the big boys in the brave new world of digital music. With a philosophy of community spirit and openness, MBop are trying to connect with consumers in a way that the major players have not yet managed. This direct connection is crucial, both to consumer and retailer, and this has not changed since the days of physical record purchases.
What has changed, however, is the amount of choice available to mp3 purchasers. This is best explained by the theory of "The Long Tail", first theorised by Chris Anderson; to paraphrase, the internet is about selling small amounts of many goods, rather than large amounts of a few goods. To help customers through this huge amount of independent and often undiscovered content, MBop are creating a true community network.
In conjunction with many well known experts and major players of the industry, MBop are getting the consumer involved like never before. Along with handwritten editorial content from some well known music legends, they are planning download-only mp3 albums curated by renowned experts and cutting edge tastemakers. This will help guide people through the huge array of music on offer. Personal recommendations from music's finest, available at music lovers fingertips will be a massive draw for MBop Megastore. Selling to the "Long Tail" or niche market is where MBop Megastore really comes into its own.
With a large collection of back catalogue mp3's, some unavailable anywhere else, and indie labels clamouring to join the MBop Megastore, there is music from Every Genre for Every Generation. A big difference between the online and physical music worlds is the ease with which it is possible to obtain illegal goods. This, as with so much else on the internet, has probably as much to do with the corporate world's unwillingness to truly embrace the technology as it does with users willingness to thieve. The easy availability of illegal downloads can be turned to the industry's advantage, and that is another thing MBop are attempting to do. Where possible the music from the Megastore is offered in non-DRM high quality mp3 format, as MBop believe that consumers do not like to be treated as criminals from the start.
High quality mp3's are worth paying for, and MBop believe that this will be enough to stem the tide of illegal downloads. Music will also be offered in DRM-enabled WMA format to appeal to the Major labels, as this is a business necessity. Aiming to mix both massive choice with personal recommendations, MBop has a mission to bring the experience of the small high street record shop back into the forefront of consumer's minds, and maybe bring back the love of hearing and discovering new music all over again.