“Many of the Rolling Stones’ classic rock ‘n’ roll songs will be available starting today to subscribers in North America of the Rhapsody music service operated by RealNetworks Inc. In two weeks, the Stones’ post-1971 recordings also are expected to start appearing on rival music services, such as Roxio Inc.’s Pressplay and Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes Music Store,” reports Jon Healey for The L.A. Times.
Healey writes, “The move – potentially a watershed moment for label-authorized services – means that hundreds of the Stones’ songs will be available online for $1 or less per track in a digital format similar to MP3 files but scrambled to limit copying. A major promotional campaign for the Stones and Rhapsody is planned by electronics retailer Best Buy Co.”
Healey continues, “Holdouts among top-selling artists – such as the Stones, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin – have made it harder for label-authorized services to compete with file sharing. Although such rock luminaries as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and the Beach Boys have made their catalogs available over the last year, other stars have pulled back, imposing new restrictions on Apple and others that want to sell individual tracks from CDs.”
“In its 560 U.S. stores, Best Buy plans to demonstrate Rhapsody on kiosks, some of which will be placed near discounted Rolling Stones CDs. The outlets will offer shoppers free trials of the service. Scott Young, vice president of digital entertainment for Best Buy, said the company decided to throw its weight behind Rhapsody after a five-month test in stores on the West Coast. ‘We saw numbers that indicated there was a mass market for this service,’ he said,” Healey reports.
Full article here.