Apple’s iTunes digital album cards get high marks in early rollout

Apple iTunes“iTunes digital-download album cards highlighting specific titles are getting high marks in the early part of the rollout,” Ed Christman reports for Billboard. “On October 2 the iTunes digital album cards for KT Tunstall’s ‘Drastic Fantastic’ and Eddie Vedder’s soundtrack to Into the Wild, priced at $14.99 and $11.99, respectively, debuted at Starbucks. And a few weeks earlier, the Safeway grocery chain–which represents a new frontier for music merchants–began merchandising eight other titles: single-artist albums from Maroon 5, Norah Jones, and Kelly Clarkson, priced at $14.99 each; plus five compilations, priced at $19.99 each: ‘Best of Comedy Central Stand-Up’ and four greatest-hits collections themed by decade from the ’60s through the ’90s. Safeway is testing the cards in 1,000 of its 1,800 stores.”

“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,” Christman reports.

“Retailers pay nothing for the cards, which are not activated until paid for at the register. So far, ‘people are pleasantly surprised by the results,’ Sony BMG Music Entertainment senior vice president and general manager of U.S. digital sales Adam Mirabella said. The Vedder card comprises 6 percent of overall scans for Into the Wild,” Christman reports.

Christman reports, “iTunes Vice President Eddie Cue said that Apple views the cards as ‘a way to leverage digital in the physical space.’ Conventional music merchants are open to the concept as well. ‘We would carry both the CD album and the card,’ one retail executive at a traditional chain said.”

Full article here.

13 Comments

  1. “iTunes Vice President Eddie Cue said that Apple views the cards as ‘a way to leverage digital in the physical space.’ Conventional music merchants are open to the concept as well. ‘We would carry both the CD album and the card,’ one retail executive at a traditional chain said.”

    Marketing coup!

  2. Apple needs to start charging the labels for the cost of marketing their releases.
    $9.99 for the Album tracks alone to $14.99 to $19.00 for the Album tracks plus all the bonus tracks, special content, exclusive unreleased content, and a physical glossy plastic type album art.

    Guess this is Apple’s way of tossing the retailers of physical music media a life line.

    MDN Word: final The music industry’s final days.

  3. It seems eventual to me, especially if the likes of Universal keep getting uppity and cause problems, that Apple will skip the record labels and sign bands directly. It seems as though Apple’s trademark resolution with Apple Corps would allow them to sign artists now.

  4. “Why is this flimsy card / digital album thingy $14.99 when albums are $9.99 on iTunes?”

    I saw the KT Tunstall one at Starbucks the other day. Seem to recall buying the card gave you the album, plus a video and some extra tracks and a digital booklet. Guess that’s what the extra $5 is for…

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