The Rolling Stones, holdouts against the great digital music revolution, have joined us in the new millennium. Besides the obvious significance of Stones songs finally being legitimately available in digital file format, this should also inspire other holdouts, most notably the Beatles, to get with the program.
- Starting today, subscribers to RealNetworks’ Rhapsody music service will be able to listen to streaming versions of more than 500 songs by the Stones, one of the last big-name rock acts to permit its music to be distributed digitally.
For an additional 79 cents a song, Rhapsody subscribers can record on CD more than 200 Stones songs that have been released since 1971 by EMI Music’s Virgin Records label. The 300 or so songs the group recorded before 1971 on the Abkco label cannot be downloaded but will be available for listening through streaming audio.
Abkco is very foolish in this regard, just giving away money for burns that will be made anyway.
- RealNetworks will have sole access to the Rolling Stones music for two weeks, before other online services can start selling the songs. During that time, RealNetworks intends to promote its sales program for Rhapsody in partnership with the consumer electronics merchant Best Buy.
Starting today, shoppers at the 560 Best Buy stores in the United States will be able to sign up for Rhapsody. Each store will have as many as 10 interactive kiosks with Rhapsody demonstrations, and Best Buy clerks are expected to promote the service when selling computers or high-speed Internet connections. In the past, most people have subscribed to music services while online, not in a store. [NY Times]
This marketing aspect is key: the time has come to get out there and beat the bushes in the real world and see which of these services can inspire consumers.