Sony, the last of the major labels without a non-handcuffed version of its recorded music, finally relented, announcing something called “Platinum Music Pass.” Business Week broke the story last Friday, and Guardian Unlimited elaborated on it this morning.
With only the Guardian details to go on, I’m decidedly unimpressed. The Platinum Music Pass is a credit card-type product which, according to the article, is only sold in stores.
Sony BMG, home to artists including Beyonce, Britney Spears and Celine Dion, said on Monday it will launch a gift card service on Jan. 15 called Platinum MusicPass that will feature digital albums from its artists in the MP3 format. The format does not use DRM protection. Fans will be able to buy the digital album cards in stores and download full-length albums from a MusicPass Web site after they type in an identifying number. The cards will be available at U.S. retail outlets such as Best Buy and Target. “The introduction of MusicPass is an important part of Sony BMG’s ongoing campaign to bring its artists’ music to fans in new and innovative ways, and to develop compelling new business models,” said Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG president, global digital business & U.S. Sales.
This is innovation to Sony, the worst consumer electronics company on the planet.
This means, apparently, that you’ll have to drive to a Best Buy, plunk down your cash, take your purchase home (be green, please – don’t ask for a bag!) and then log on to download your unprotected songs.
As far as missing the point entirely goes, it don’t get much worse.
To paraphrase the washed up English rock star from “Love Actually,” let’s just let this festering turd of an idea sit and sparkle for awhile, shall we?