“Kid #1: Also, whatâ€™s with this first slate of artists? Celine Dion? Backstreet Boys? Kenny Chesney? Barry Manilow? Are you high?
Sony BMG dude: They appeal to the sort of mainstream consumer who will see the convenience of our revolutionary music cards!
Kid #2: Like my mom? Dude, sheâ€™s not going to buy a card. Sheâ€™s going to buy a CD. Because sheâ€™s at the CD store. Where she can buy CDs.
Sony BMG dude: They also make lovely gifts!”
Kid #1: If she gets one as a gift, all sheâ€™s going to do is ask me how the heck sheâ€™s supposed to use it. And then sheâ€™s going ask me to get the download for her. Like Iâ€™m not busy. And you know what Iâ€™m going to do? Iâ€™m going to return the card for cash, and then Iâ€™m going to download the album off of Pirate Bay, because youâ€™ve confused and upset my mom. And annoyed me.”
Like TechCrunch, he’s also suggesting that they want it to fail, so they can say they tried to sell non-DRMed songs but there just wasn’t demand. But, again, I’m worried that this gives Sony BMG too much credit.
I’d be shocked if they didn’t actually think that this was a good idea. I think they figure this is a brilliant promotion. They see the demand for non-DRM. They also see sinking CD sales. What do they do? They entice those interested in non-DRMed songs into going to the store where — Ta da! — CDs are available. They print these plastic cards for next to nothing as an enticement to increase CD sales.
Of course, they’re still deluded enough to believe that consumers are willing to jump through their hoops, still concerned about their backward and antiquated business model. But, as always, they’ll be proved profoundly wrong.
Try again, Sony.