Is There a Future Beyond iTunes, Spotify & Amazon? reKiosk Is Betting On It

We thought concepts like micro-stores and fan-based reselling got washed away years ago.

After all, isn’t the world increasingly conglomerating around the likes of iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify, instead of spreading towards the digital bodega?  Isn’t this story about a few, gigantic winners, not a sea of specialized sellers?

Maybe there’s an angle we’re missing here.  Enter reKiosk, a startup whose model revolves around user-created digital stores, for independent music and ebooks, as well as other assets like short films.

“We wanted to recapture the personal, independent, and knowledgeable experience of visiting a corner record shop or local bookstore, and bring it to the online world.”

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The idea is pretty much what you’d expect: start a customized store, pick a bunch of eligible items to re-sell, and take a much larger cut.  Which means instead of Apple taking 30 percent, the smaller reseller takes 30 percent (costs and fees make the actual payout closer to 25 percent).

So what’s the void here, the problem being solved?  One is personality, or lack thereof at larger outlets.  There’s certainly curation and content guidance within massive music applications, but maybe not enough: for example, indie content is available on iTunes, but for all practical purposes is often completely buried in an avalanche of 28 million songs.  Which means that a charismatic blogger can bring out these works, and get a much better cut than a referral fee.

Then again, bands sell their own stuff on their own sites, not to mention outlets like Facebook.  And fans of targeted blogs and bloggers are oftentimes in for the tastemaking, not the purchasing.  Indeed, if there is a purchase to be made, it often goes where the credit card is already swiped – ie, iTunes, Amazon, etc., which is part of the story on why startups like Snocap, Passalong Networks, BurnLounge and others became carcasses.

Other brave re-selling ventures are still alive, including ReDigi.  And one backer behind the reKiosk concept is Benji Rogers, CEO of another once-exotic idea, Pledge Music.

4 Responses

  1. TUNE HUNTER

    Yes, there is! Stop free music ID, we do not need to please S. Jobs anymore. (Shazam, Sound Hound, Gracenote are your saviors providing services for free and starving themself and the investors)

    Stop lirics search too!

    Now it is up to the labels to reward folks who provide the biggest goodwill that ever existed.

    Brick stores with CDs never got close to this hidden power. So lets stop this industrial prostitution and convert all those free apps to cash!

  2. whatever

    Isn’t this what People’s Music Store did? And failed, unfortunately . . .