The Beatles still aren’t selling music online, so the group’s estate has hooked with some unexpected shops to hawk the forthcoming remastered catalog on CD.
7-Eleven, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Restoration Hardware, Ralph’s, Pathmark and Blockbuster will all be selling the forthcoming albums, due Sept. 9 (09-09-09), in addition to the regulars like Target and Best Buy.
According to Brandweek, the move comes as part reaction to record stores falling off the map, and appealing to a demographic of buyers that might not have noticed the release of the 14 digitally remastered albums (and “The Beatles: Rock Band” game) otherwise.
“The Internet’s the ultimate distribution mechanism, but [labels] haven’t quite figured out how to monetize that well or how to still sell their shiny plastic discs,” says Bill Gagnon, SVP, catalogue marketing for EMI Music North America.” When you look at a place like a 7-Eleven or a supermarket where you can get that impulse buyer who’s spending $100 on groceries, they might buy the Beatles remastered instead of US Weekly.”
How does a store like, say, Restoration Hardware, sell music when it’s generally used to pushing faucet fixtures instead? The group gets its own display on store floors, with the boxed set, a Beatles book, the “Rock Band” game and a Beatles-themed Trivial Pursuit game. The Fab Four will be on the cover of the holiday catalog. And so forth.
The adorable thing about this whole get-up is that part of the original dispute between The Beatles’ estate and iTunes et al. is that the former feared its bounty would be devalued by the $1 price tag on each song.
Yet, what’s to be said about the value of “Abbey Road” when it’s stuck in the basket next to some beef jerkey and crunchy Cheetos (TM) whenever somebody gets the munchies?