30 August 2009
There's much excitement in the music industry at the upcoming release of the remastered Beatles catalogue on CD. For people who own the earlier CD issues, there is some incentive to buy: there's a documentary on the first pressings, and the remastering has been carried out sensitively to enhance the sound without changing the music, according to Mojo magazine.
I can't help thinking they've missed a marketing trick here, though. At the moment, your choices are to buy the albums individually, or to buy a box set of them all for about £200.
What I'd really like to see is a subscription model. What if you could subscribe to The Beatles Remasters, and receive a new one in the post each month for a year? That works for the record label because it can effectively spread the cost of selling a high-ticket item, and so get more sales. It's also good for sales forecasting because the company knows how long the subscription will run for (14 albums). It would be an opportunity for EMI to build direct relationships with customers too, increasingly important at a time when record shops are going to the wall. For customers, it would be a great experience, particularly if accompanied by additional bonuses, such as notes on the Beatles timeline around that release, or period reviews - both cheap to produce.
Retailers could have stepped into this space too, but as far as I (and Google) know, nobody is doing this.
I wonder whether the record industry considered this and discounted it, or whether they it became locked into the old ways of selling music. That hasn't done them many favours in the recent past.
(Don't mind this: swp54kqdah)