The online shop delivers sounds and exclusive content so people all over the world can enjoy Oe’s music, as well as being the first bilingual MP3 shop in Japan. “But our goal is not to sell music, but to tell a story,” he says.
Oe doesn’t see his site as another MP3 download shop, but a ‘specialty music boutique’ in the digital arena. “I want the site to have uniqueness and depth, and to achieve a ‘one and only’ shop and community, just as if it were a club.”
Having performed as the opening act for David Bowie and Kraftwerk and known as the Japanese Fatboy Slim, Oe designs, programs and produces his websites himself as he considers website development and branding as equally important creative and communication expressions. “The creativity expressed in the making of music should also be displayed in the distribution channels,” the DJ says.
“I think you should make your own creative world – just like you do on the album, or at a live event. I can’t understand why musicians take the situation for granted that the audience goes to mega shops like Amazon or Borders to purchase music, as these are commodity markets offering similar worlds. I’m very conscious of differentiation and thinking differently,” Oe states.
Rather than the traditional sales route, Club Model Electronic is Oe’s way of keeping his own world. A way to correctly tell his story. “Musicians need a stage to tell stories through their music. Building my own shop let’s me take back control. The distribution and sales process is too strong. Music is alive . . . it needs air to breathe . . . not to be kept in a glass box. The mega shops offer boring scenery. They’re perfect in efficiency, but that’s not enough for creativity and communication. It’s important for artists to keep their own world in all elements of music production and distribution.”
Oe says that often musicians have to obey the music industry as the system is so big, unwieldy and complex; but that social networking sites have accelerated the need for the music industry to change with the times and adapt to the current trends. “I like that today I can finish a song and tomorrow I can sell it.”
In the future Oe hopes that Club Model Electronic can be a space for customers to network and connect. Rather than a shop, he envisages the site to be more like a concierge that provides and entertains. “Like a nightclub where people are excited when they open the door wondering what type of party it will be tonight . . . what type of music will be played . . . who else will be there. It’s all about inviting the guest in, guiding them and entertaining them. A fun, real world feeling of excitement and discovery.”
While the club and concierge feel is on the way, all the MP3 files can be purchased from the site today. All files sold from Club Model Electronic are 320Kbps (LAME encoded) – the highest quality available at present – and are all NoDRM, meaning downloads contain no digital rights management software. And that’s something we can all dance to in our living rooms around the world!
This is a post by David Report contributor Kristina Dryza.