Internet music retailer Juno (www.juno.co.uk) offers the largest range of dance music titles of any shop in Europe. And, despite never having promoted the site, the company ships around 1,000 orders a week, with an average value of between £25 and £30.
'We attract around 20,000 user sessions a week,' says partner John Atherton.
'Some are fairly obsessive and visit more than once a day - this is stuff they'd struggle to get elsewhere.' The site was launched two years ago, with the aim of providing a listing of every UK dance release. To this end, Juno buys a copy of every release - around 300 a week - from all of the UK's 30-plus importers and distributors and maintains a complete archive of releases from the past four years.
'We started off just providing information,' says Atherton. Publishing it on the internet was the most appropriate format because of the quantity of information and the need to update it five or six times a day. 'We soon realised that if just 3% of the people who visited the site bought something, we'd have a business on our hands.' He was right.
Juno does 70% of its business abroad, mostly with Australia, Brazil, South Africa and the US, and manages to achieve next-day delivery with costs starting at £1.60. The company employs 12 full-time staff, from a mixture of business and music backgrounds.
The site recently doubled its traffic when it introduced downloadable music samples. The next challenge, says Atherton, is to sell music for digital download. But he adds: 'The problem is that there are 6,500 record labels we'd have to do licensing deals with.'.