Labels are increasingly considering MP3-based sales strategies, though most efforts been experimental and limited to specific tracks.
But that stance could soon change abruptly, according a high-level major label executive. According to the source, who preferred to remain anonymous, a big four major is now preparing a significant, MP3-based push. “The label is going to make a large portion of its catalog available as MP3s,” the executive told Digital Music News during a Tuesday morning discussion. The executive refused to identify the specific label involved, though more information is likely to surface later this week.
Just which label will pull the trigger is unclear, though EMI has been in an experimental mood. The company most recently positioned a Norah Jones single, “Thinking About You,” on Yahoo Music in December. That follows an earlier effort involving Relient K, though EMI is not alone. Earlier, executives at Epic/Sony BMG positioned name-customized, MP3-based singles from Jessica Simpson, also on Yahoo Music. If the MP3 push materializes, iPod competitors would hail the move, as would iTunes Store rivals. Regardless, most consumers stuff their iPods with ripped and shared MP3s, making the move a potential yawn for music fans.