Sony BMG is leaving DRM behind and entering the MP3 market … with albums that you can buy in stores. But in a move designed to counteract the ever-shrinking amount of floor space devoted to music, those albums won’t be on CD or DVD-Audio or DualDisc some other sort of disc. No, they’ll be on cards–you know, the sort of dinky plastic gift cards that you now see offering things like iTunes credits and American Express-mediated money at the checkout counters of your big-box retailers in these high fructose corn syrup-averse times! And they’ll also be more expensive than $9.99, natch. What, you thought you were going to get off easy on this?
Apparently modeled on the iTunes digital download album cards, Sony BMG will place 40-50 album cards in about five large retailers. The cards will be a select mix of hit and catalog titles from artists such as Bob Dylan, Pink and Bruce Springsteen, as well as a few compilation releases.
The cards, which sources say are priced at $12.99, will come with a code that can be redeemed at a Sony BMG download store, which is expected to be called musicpass.com. Currently, no such site is live on the web.
The program is scheduled to launch sometime next month–just in time for returns season! or, uh, Super Bowl Sunday?–and so far, it’s the only venture into MP3s that Sony has been linked to. You’d think that for a company with a president who can’t stop talking about “going green” they’d have worked with an all-digital company like Amazon or iTunes before going back into the physical-product world, but that just sounds too logical, I guess.
Sony BMG To Embrace MP3s [Billboard]