Target, the big-box retailer, is finally moving into digital music, with the low-key launch of a Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG album. The new album from John Legend, “Live From Philadelphia” launched exclusively in Target stores last week, and is also available in MP3 format through Target.com.
The site/company has been looking to get into digital music and movie downloads for almost three years now, though Wal-Mart’s (NYSE: WMT) less-than-stellar digital experience with video may have held it back from making a full jump.
This new promo also ties into Target’s deal with SonyBMG, where the music label is debuting DRM-free MP3 music cards. The site also says the store is powered by digital music provider HipDigital. Not sure if Target will add other such promotions from here on and make this into a full-fledged music service, or will just restrict itself to SonyBMG digital music for now. My guess: mainly digital promotions. Full fledged music services from rivals aren’t thriving, and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has the download market to itself.
Pricing: The 19-song download is retailing for $9.99, which for a full MP3 album is certainly on the lower side. No singles at this point. By comparison, the Eagles’ 20-song Long Road Out Of Eden sells exclusively at Wal-Mart for $10.88 as an MP3.The Legend album is slightly higher quality — 320kbps compared with 256kbps for Wal-Mart.