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Sounds On-Line Says Business Better Than Planned

Timing right for music site launch

Sounds Online may have hit the music e-commerce market just at the right time if a recent report out of the US is anything to go by.

According to e-Marketer, a leading US online news magazine, Internet sales of music are expected to total 11 per cent of global music sales by 2005.

Local music retailer Sounds and its New Media partner Hyperactive announced the Sounds joint venture entertainment Internet site on Monday of last week (December 6 1999).

In its first week of trading, the site attracted 36,000 page views with sales 300 per cent above expectations the company says.

Among other things, visitors to can buy music CDs, listen to the site’s own radio station, listen to live concerts, download music, interact with the site and watch video and movie clips.

The e-Marketer report says online music sales in 1998 represented a mere 0.4 per cent of all music sales. That figure was predicted to leap to 11 per cent — a 2,650 per cent increase — within six years.

The report quotes Market Tracking International, a London-based research firm which says in dollar terms, the figures translate to sales growing from US$170 million to more than US$5 billion.

“The figures really confirm what our research has been telling us,” commented Sounds Online’s Sean Coleman. “In New Zealand terms, if the same trend occurs here, we can expect an online music market of somewhere round $20 million. We expect to own at least half of that.

“It’s early days but we are very pleased with our initial week’s results.”

Coleman’s fellow director Mark Tierney said 36,000 page views in the first week was “music to my ears”.

“Page views is the most important e-commerce statistic representing as it does how many times people have viewed at least one page in the site. It’s also pleasing that about 10 per cent of our visitors are from outside New Zealand.

“But the bottom line is how many CDs we’re moving and frankly I’m pleasantly surprised our sales are three times what I thought they’d be after the first week.”

Already visitors to the Sounds site have access to 20,000 record titles and by March next year Coleman says visitors will be able to select from more than 600,000 titles world-wide.


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