Apple has moved to support US independent labels and musicians with the soft launch of a dedicated arena for indie music within iTunes, dubbed the “Indie Spotlight”.
The page will offer music fans an easy way to explore the catalogue of the world’s non-major labels as offered through iTunes.
It offers an indie podcast, playlists and label samplers and a featured artists section. It’s not yet available through Apple’s UK store – unusual given independent music’s relatively buoyant position in the UK’s music market.
Indie label group A2IM’s Vice President Jim Mahoney welcomed Apple’s move, saying, “A2IM applauds the iTunes Music Store team for remaining engaged and communicative with A2IM and our independent label members tapping our collective expertise as they enhance the indie experience for their customers.
“With independent music making major strides in the digital market place, on the charts, and winning over 50 per cent of this year’s Grammy Awards it’s great to see iTunes recognizing the opportunities that independent music offers. We are very excited with the additional exposure being provided the independent community at the iTunes Music Store.”
Thomas Silverman (founder and CEO/Tommy Boy Records Entertainment and founding A2IM board member) was even more effusive in his praise, saying, “Aye Aye iTunes! They’ve taken it to the next level with a big up for the independent music community. The lifeblood of the music business will now be easier to find. Everyone will now be able to unearth the buried treasure of the world’s best independent music. Look for an even bigger independent market share with this smart move.”
Relationships between leading digital music services and the indie labels are fraught at times, with some complaining for example at the unattractive terms offered indies seeking to participate in MySpace Music download service, for example.