with the slumping sales of CDs, the music industry is desperate to find an alternative that can boost sales. We’ve heard of their desperate attempts to put anti-piracy devices into CDs (to disastrous results — just look at what happened to Sony’s rootkit fiasco) and digital rights management for electronic formats. The newest tactic has been to present new formats that consumers may get interested in. Because of the rising popularity of digital formats, record companies are looking at the distribution of music on flash drives (the White Stripes have done this already), which makes it easier for consumers to transfer music to their computers and digital music players.
A new distribution method is also being utilized by a growing number of companies — and this is through the so called “ringle”. This is basically an amalgamation of the now unpopular single and widely used ringtones. Each CD will contain three songs — the original hit, a remix and maybe an old track from the artist — as well as one ringtone.
Sony BMG and Universal Music Group will be the first companies to come out with this new product. Some of the big retailers like Walmart and BestBuy have already signified their support for the ringle and it may only take some time before consumers also warm up to the idea. The name “ringle” sucks though, someone should have thought of a better name for the format.