The Return of Physical Media?
The Sony Cards are in!!!! The Sony Cards are in???
"I want my Maypo!!!"
To paraphrase the Doobie Brothers, what was once ridiculous has now become absurd. To the Nth power.
Here's the deal with Sony's latest effort to fight piracy, the piracy by the way that they allowed occur in the first place, an idea straight from the boys in accounting and legal: Platinum Musicpass. You go into a Best Buy, Target or Fred's and purchase a credit card with fancy artwork for each album you want to download in what the press release calls, "high-quality MP3 files." Each card costs $12.99. You then take your card home and scratch the back to reveal a pin number. You then type that pin number into a website to unlock a legal download and extra content, mostly videos, which were not on the original record.
This is blatant sop to retail, the same retail that the labels first, years ago, made partners out of and more recently have cut out like a crazy uncle. And then this isn't even going to record stores; it's going to big box retailers where in theory it has a better chance of success because it will reach the semi-computer literate.
Unfortunately, this is a non-starter of the kind only the record business can devise. First, it's still too damned expensive. Twelve Ninety Nine for catalog pieces? These are records that were paid for years ago. Why not six bucks? Next, it emphasizes entire albums when what downloaders want is the ability to select tracks. This scheme also fails to recognize that getting people to pay for downloads they can steal elsewhere ain't ever gonna happen. And why the claptrap of buying a card so you can go home and plug in a number, blah, blah, blah. iTunes is easy and convenient. This is not.
The ways that this is wrong and unrealistic boogle the mind. The idea that this is going to somehow satisfy anyone's jones for physical media is also crazy although the press release asserts that, "the cards themselves are highly collectible."
I'm in absolute shock that the business is finding ways to make things worse instead of better.