Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ringle - the worst idea since ripped bread?

"Ringles" (groan) is basically the new version of the old 45... a song you want (A side), a song you don't (B side) and a ringtone sold on physical media at retail. The difference...you are paying for physical media (the CD and packaging) that is basically trash as soon as you copy it to your computer for something that is better delivered digitally in the first place. The upside? You have the privilege of spending $7 for it....

Music industry betting on 'ringle' format | Tech&Sci | Technology | Reuters.com: "Each ringle is expected to contain three songs -- one hit and maybe one remix and an older track -- and one ringtone, on a CD with a slip-sleeve cover. The idea is that if consumers in the digital age can download any tracks they want individually, why not let them buy singles in the store as well?"

I've got to be honest, I've never understood the success of the ringtone market. At least at the beginning we were talking about a separate MIDI composition (generally speaking) so I understand the incremental work required to enable the market and can see the argument for incremental fees since you were actually buying a different recording. For some reason consumers seemed happy to shell $2 for 30 seconds of a bad mono or polyphonic MIDI-version when they wouldn't pay $1 for the actual song. But now we are talking about using the actual master recordings being triggered by an event. How on earth does anyone (even Apple) rationalize that you have to spend extra if you want a song to play when your phone rings?

What's next? If my phone isn't on vibrate I'm going to be charged a public performance royalty?

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