Target Steps Into Digital, Starts With a Legend

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Despite an important presence in CDs, Target has been less aggressive on the digital side.

That is now changing, thanks to a number of competitive and licensing shifts.

Just recently, Target started offering an exclusive, MP3-based download of the latest John Legend album, Live From Philadelphia.  The ecommerce collaboration with Sony BMG is happening on johnlegend.com, and is being powered by Hip Digital Media.  According to a Target representative, the initiative offers a template for future, artist-focused digital promotions.

But strategic details remain vague.  On Monday evening, the representative referred to the retailer as a “sleeping giant in the digital space up until now,” and promised to “take music and content to the forefront of the digital world.”  That is certainly the right spirit, though it remains unclear if Target will launch a comprehensive digital music store, one that locks horns directly with Amazon, Wal-Mart, and iTunes.

The Legend album download, which contains 19 tracks, retails for $9.99.  A-la-carte downloads are not available.  Physical versions of the release are also part the exclusive.