Many have been wondering what is to become of the music industry with the seeming demise of the CD as a delivery format.
Yahoo!tech is now speculating that the CD could see itself replaced by low cost flash memory cards such as those used by digital cameras, cell phones, and mp3 players. The movement is being pioneered by SanDisck Corp and four major record labels (Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group Corp. and EMI Group PLC). The microSD memory cards carrying music content will be marketed under the moniker, slotMusic.
Both Best Buy and Wal-Mart have signed on to carry the new format.
The microSD cards used will be 1GB in capacity, more than enough for a full album and related liner notes, cover art, or other content. The cards will not be locked, allowing consumer to utilize any remaining space by loading songs or photos of their own to the card. A small USB dongle will be included for use with computers.
slotMusic cards are expected to sell for as little as $10. I couldn’t even find a Sansdisk 1GB card on Amazon.com. Empty 2GB cards are $2.95.
I like the idea. I have speculated in the past that a band could potentially sell “downloads” at a live show strait from a laptop to a flash memory card. Every fan at the show is bound to have a digital camera with one or more cards readily available.
The most telling part of the article on Yahoo!tech is the last two paragraphs.
NPD Group entertainment analyst Russ Crupnick sees a potential for slotMusic to emerge as a compelling format. He said the industry needs “desperately” to give people a new reason to head back into the music sections at brick-and-mortar stores.
“Not that we want them out of the gaming section, but once they’re done looking at `Guitar Hero’ we want them to come look at the music section,” he said.
To my mind, that is the main issue with the music industry. Consumer are choosing to spend their money on DVDs and video games rather than music. We must give them a product (the music, not the format) they desire and hold as valuable once again.