Warner Music Group’s Rhino Entertainment division introduced a “new” digital sales format this week dubbed the Digital 45, in celebration of the 60-year anniversary of the 45-single. I say “new”, because sticking a catchy name on 2-song digital packs is not exactly revolutionary. From Billboard:
Starting today (July 14) the company will release a series of digital “singles”-comprising of the original single, the B-side song, and original sleeve and other artwork-through iTunes and other digital retailers. iTunes for instance will feature a total of 60, compiled in a special Digital 45 section on its main storefront, such as “Take I Easy”/”Get You In The Mood” by The Eagles and “Kiss”/”Love or Money” by Prince, for either $1.49 or $1.99.
Rhino will continue to release another 25 such bundles every month to participating digital retailers. Those sold on iTunes will contain a bonus PDF file containing the original sleeve or label art when available.
Rhino senior VP e-commerce and international catalog strategy David Dorn goes on to tell Billboard the product “is between the single track and an EP. We’re always trying to find ways in the digital world to make sure we’re satisfying every customer we can. You [had] a single track. Now you have a 45 equivalent.” Dorn also expands on this concept, adding, “You’ve got a single album, double album, boxset. We want to find ways to address all those different consumers.”
I’ve said it before, making an all-in-one price to purchase a band’s entire catalog is not the digital equivalent of a deluxe item like a box set. Calling $2, 2-song download packs “Digital 45s” also doesn’t make the product any more valuable. What do you think? Does the Digital 45 sound like something you’d buy, or is it just slick branding on the part of Rhino?