Sadly, the UK based specialist legal download service for folk and folk-related music, Woven Wheat Whispers, has closed for good this week. The final straw was problems the site experienced with hackers, but it seems that the writing has been on the wall for a while - mainly because it seems that most people who want to get their music off the internet either want it for free or won't stray beyond the confines of i-tunes... coupled with generalised apathy towards the idea of a download service for folk music.
What a shame. In my opinion, this was a truly innovative service and had the potential to be just the sort of thing the folk world of the 21st century needed. The catalogue was getting better all the time, too, with more and more artists and labels coming on board.
I certainly discovered some great music via WWW and was truly puzzled by the lack of interest in and support for the site - sales for May this year, for example, were considerably lower than sales for the same month a year ago, despite there being an increase in the number of users and a stronger catalogue.
Too late now, I suppose. It may be that the folk music world wasn't yet ready or willing to download music from a dedicated site. It doesn't alter the fact that the concept was superb - if maybe a little ahead of its time. If anyone takes up the baton, as I'm sure they will, here's hoping they get a more positive response than WWW did.
Here's Mark Coyle of WWW's comment:
Woven Wheat Whispers Blogspot
Finally, I just want to say cheers, Mark! Thanks for all your hard work and enthusiasm...