Today on Blogcritics
Home » Retailers to offer Digital Downloads

Retailers to offer Digital Downloads

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Hardly a business day goes by it seems without some kind of blockbuster announcement involving the music industry. Major retailers have been having as hard, or harder, a time as the labels: Wherehouse just filed for bankruptcy – again, Tower is reeling, the holiday season was a disaster with no end in sight.

Now six major chains are banding together to form their own digital download service, called Echo, which will

    offer individual tracks for downloading to portable devices and computers.

    The stores are Best Buy, Tower Records, Virgin Entertainment Group, Wherehouse Music, Hastings Entertainment Inc. and Trans World Entertainment Corp., operator of FYE, Strawberries and Coconuts stores.

    “We’re trying to make digital music work in a mass market way, for millions of people,” said Dan Hart, chief executive of Echo. “That hasn’t happened yet.”

    ….The Echo consortium members hope to leverage their existing relationships with customers and the record labels to package off-line and online music.

    Individual retailers will decide how to use the technology and music provided by Echo, Hart said. For example, stores could offer digital music tracks on a handout CD, allowing customers to access some of them for free and charging a fee to listen to the rest. Portable players could come pre-loaded with music that customers could listen to for a fee.

    Retailers also could allow customers to download tracks at in-store kiosks or over Internet sites, such as Radio Free Virgin. [AP]

Yet more pressure on the labels to make everything available for a reasonable price.

UPDATE
Great minds think alike (see last sentence):

    But some analysts suggest that no matter how much creative and marketing muscle is behind such efforts, they will not catch on unless the music is priced right. The average cost of a compact disc, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, the lobbying group which represents recording companies, is $14.21. Many critics say that is expensive when compared with other media, like DVD’s, which offer loads of extra features and programming.

    “Any opportunity retailers have to find additional revenue in a time of falling sales is a positive,” said Michael Nathanson, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “Yet we continue to think that pricing has to come down to get pirates off of the free sites and onto legitimate ones.” [NY Times]

Powered by

About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.greeblie.com/jimspot Jim S

    this could be one of the most significant moves in the music industry in many, many years. If the actual distribution channels are forcing the record labels into a compromising position, it’ll force them to step up to the plate……

  • http://orsoithought.blogspot.com Bat Boy

    Heres the thing, if you make it easier to buy than steal (which isnt the case now) then people will go for it.

  • cephusj

    I agree with Bat Boy. it must be easier to buy than steal AND its use must be unimpeded. You must be able to do what you want with it when you want to. Otherwise the darknet will grow stronger and more powerful day after day after day after day… The future of the music industry is now in the hands of the consumers. Now hows that for a switch – its exactly how it always should have been.