Sony's marketing wizards have cooked up a new format for Christmas — the ringle. Sold at retail, each ringle CD will contain three tracks, and… a ringtone. Price: $5.98 to $6.98.
The idea is that if consumers in the digital age can download any tracks they want individually, why not let them buy singles in the store as well? It also enables stores to get involved in the ringtone phenomenon.
Don't expect to see them around for Christmas 2008. Ringles might make an interesting novelty stocking stuffer, but whoever dreamt this dodo up doesn't understand instant gratification. People download because they can have the tracks they want, now.
Why doesn't the music industry build an online music store, or cut a deal with Apple, and then market ringle gift cards at retail, allowing the consumer to download three tracks of his or her choice, plus a ringtone.