The record industry persists with the wacky idea that rebranding existing merchandise with little in the way of value-added content–and selling it at a higher price–is going to save us all. The most recent initiative is a series of “digital album cards” from iTunes, which are being released through coffee shops and grocery stores and which offer listeners, well, not much.
The glossy plastic cards measure 4.5 inches by 6.25 inches and display the album cover on the front under a black strip, which contains an iTunes logo and a description of the album. The backs of cards list the albums’ songs and bonus material — in the case of Tunstall, six music videos, a digitally accessed CD booklet and a behind-the-scenes video — as well as a scratch-off that reveals the code to be used in redeeming the card at the iTunes store.
To get the “six music videos, a digitally accessed CD booklet and a behind-the-scenes video” you pay approximately $5.00 more than Tunstall’s album already retails for on iTunes, It’s hard to see how this differs from the standard, already quite popular iTunes gift card, except for the fact that it’s tied to a specific album. Which means it will be interesting to see how the plan fares when gift card buying ramps up for the holidays, the time when grandmas and grandpas everywhere are forced to admit they have no idea what kind of music their grandchildren actually enjoy. In other “please God, help us” news, retailers and biz folks alike are still holding out hope that the ringle won’t sink like a stone.
Brick And Mortar Stores Eye New Formats [Reuters]