The Philadelphia-based company offers more than 165,000 pieces of music-related merchandise for sale at its Web site (http://www.cdnow.txt). The site gets 210,000 visits per month, leading to 8,000 purchases. Revenues average $325,000 per month, yielding a profit of $20,000 to $40,000 per month.
Credit all this success to Jason and Matthew Olim, 26-year-old twins who wanted to create more than an online storefront.
"It's a concept of knowing who the customer is, knowing what it is that they like and want to know about and then packaging for them what they might see in a straight entertainment broadcast," said Jason Olim.
CD Now features reviews, artwork, ratings and a cross-referenced database of related artists. This depth of information is appealing to 25- to 45-year-old consumers who don't have time to read about CDs before they go to a record store, said Donna Hoffman, a Vanderbilt University associate professor of management who has studied the company.
Jason Olim strongly believes traditional business models won't work on the Internet.
"There are a lot of people who have traditional business concepts and traditional business models. What they see the Internet as is a new medium to present the same old business. And that can't work.'