Since we launched this July, Native Shout has become an ever-evolving project starting from a non-profit digital media store to a online resource for perspectives on culture, art and politics.
Our decision to shut down the digital music store was simple. It was no longer a viable and effective way to raise funds for art related non-profits. Digital media, especially music is currently in a tug-of-war between consumers and the record industry. With the internet it has never been easier to share media. This ease of use has threatened the record industry and publishers as they were gatekeepers in what was accessible to consumers.
Now you can create your own music, cut your music video and have an outlet to share/sell your work while receiving 85% – 90% of profit (based on revenue sharing on bandcamp).
While starting Native Shout it was very hard to work with the record industry and publishers. We were forced to agree to terms that restrict how you can promote your service (including press releases) and how long it will take to have an album/e-book in your catalog. These stipulations were required for any agreement, while either paying a $1000 per month (7digital) or giving up 70% – 90% of every sale (MNDigital). These restrictions make it difficult for Native Shout or any creative start-up without cash-on-hand to make progress. This is not exactly the digital distributors fault but the record labels and publishers who supply the catalog, as they normally require an upfront fee or a large portion of every sale.
Frustrated with these issues Native Shout decided that we want to be a part of the solution, not the continuation of failed policies. Currently some ideas are being tossed around, and we’ll see what sticks. You can expect some type of store in the future but we are not sure in what capacity.