Leading Australian online music retailer Chaos.com has turned 10 years young.
The milestone marks Chaos’ position as the country’s longest standing online music retailer. This unique and independent Australian business has survived and grown through the tech bubble, market crash, an MBO and the ‘war on terror’. With over 300,000 members (Chaos Agents) and counting, you can be certain that there’ll always be Chaos.
In a market dominated by international corporations, mega chains, global portal’s and ISP monopolies, Chaos.com represents one of the few independent voices in Australian online music. Chaos CEO and founder Rob Appel reflected, “the history of Chaos has been predictably volatile but at the same time exciting and ground breaking. We have survived by focusing on knowledgeable friendly customer service and the creation of a genuinely independent channel for Australian music.” The tech bubble of the late 90s swept Chaos into the mainstream and could’ve driven it to the dark realms of sanity. The brand however has proved resilient, continuing to grow a loyal customer base of Chaos Agents. Appel said, “Chaos paid a price for being an early mover on downloads. It is only now that the Australian market is ready to support a commercially viable independent music download e-tailer. We will continue to focus on Internet retail for the 95% of the market that is still buying CDs but look out for the upgraded Chaos download service coming soon.“
Chaos opened Australia’s first online music store in the mid 90s with supply through the iconic Sydney label Phantom Records. Customers took up the local alternative with enthusiasm, shifting away from US operations like CDNow and Amazon. Way ahead of its time, the company launched Australia’s first commercial DRM in 1998, releasing Skunkhour on the Liquid Audio format at the Millennium Hotel in Sydney. More recently, Chaos has teamed up with Stomp Entertainment to expand imports and integrate books onto the site, and Destra Media to offer a WMA download catalogue. Stomp CEO Drew Jorgensen stated that, "Stomp is excited to be in partnership with such a progressive organisation as Chaos. Management’s ability to steer Chaos through the last ten years shows the strength of the brand and loyalty of the Chaos agents. Chaos has a great future and we’re excited to be a part of it."
Also a major player in online DVD retail, Chaos plans to expand into movie downloads in the future. Appel comments, “the Chaos brand and customer base are ideally suited for digital distribution of movies but a viable model in Australia is some way off. For content businesses like Chaos the procrastination of Government and telcos built on public money has been extremely frustrating. When true broadband arrives Chaos and our Agents will be well and truly ready.”To mark the anniversary, Chaos.com will be pumping up the promotions for 10 days starting Monday, July 23. A major prize pack, 10% off everything*, $10 sales, 10 Chaos staff picks, Chaos Top 10 best sellers of all time and a commemorative re-release of the hugely popular and sadly still relevant Chaos T-shirt ‘Make Music Not War’. There will also be a retrospective following the evolution of the Chaos website.