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For the Record An online music retailer builds Indie cred with exclusive, limited-edition releases.

By Gwen Moran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Insound, the Amazon.com of indie rock, was having adifficult time reaching its target audience in 1999, co-founderMatt Wishnow dreamed up a new way to get heard. With his team'shelp, Wishnow, 31, who started the New York City music seller in1998 with Ari Sass, 32, periodically chooses promising, activelytouring independent rock bands and requests at least four free,unreleased tracks to put on a limited-edition CD. Insound thenpresses 1,000 copies of the exclusive tracks, giving 500 copies tothe bands to sell during their tours.

"The bands keep the money they earn as an incentive toparticipate, and Insound gets exclusive merchandise to sell,"explains Wishnow. Even better, branded Insound goods get into thehands of the company's key audience--people who love indie-rockbands. This promotion is hitting all the right notes: It hasdelivered at least 20,000 new customers to the $4 million companyin less than three years.

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