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Music Media The Almighty Buck

Music Industry Set To Introduce the "Ringle" 348

mrneutron2003 writes "The RIAA has officially backed a move by the recording industry to reintroduce the CD single. Populated with three songs and a ringtone, this brilliantly clueless idea is to be marketed as a 'ringle,' complete with an even more clueless retail price of $6-7 per CD. Apart from the fact the industry hasn't agreed on how the ringtone is to be redeemed (Sony BMG, the initial proponent of the idea, is the exception here), the pricing puts it way out of line with legitimate digital music downloads." At $7, retailers would enjoy a profit margin they haven't seen since the days of cassette tapes and vinyl.
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Music Industry Set To Introduce the "Ringle"

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  • by Catiline ( 186878 ) <akrumbach@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:05PM (#20559347) Homepage Journal
    Here's a question I'd love to ask the music industry:

    How many times must I buy the same music in order to "legally" hear it on any music-playing device I own? (No, I will not tell you what devices they are, nor what formats they can play.)
    • One more time, of course. Always one more time.
    • by jimicus ( 737525 )
      The same way you always have.

      In the past you bought the LP, then a few years later you bought the cassette. Then the CD, then the AAC, then whatever the next big thing is in 10 years time.

      If you insisted on buying a digital personal audio player which only plays non-DRM'd music - well, I guess you're going to have to find someone who'll sell you that. Good luck if your tastes include anyone who's signed to a major record label.
    • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @04:28PM (#20560883) Journal
      Dear Concerned yet still Valued Customer,

      Although we here in the music industry consist of a collection of the world's greatest and most creative geniuses, we cannot with any certainty predict how many music-playing devices will be invented over the course of your lifetime, so we regret that we are unable to give you an exact answer to your question.

      We can tell you, however, that due to the exciting pace of technology in this century, you can look forward to rewarding your favorite musicians over and over again by sending us money each time you purchase a new electronic device. It's thanks to your efforts that we are able to give songwriters and musicians a small portion of the profit that their hard work results in.

      Thanks for submitting your question via our website, we will keep your ip address on file so that we can compare it to those found on file sharing networks, for your convenience and for the safety of your music.

      The music industry.

  • Midi ringtones are outrageously priced..real tones even more so. The price isn't THAT inflated compared to what we already spend.
  • No way... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:06PM (#20559391)
    One thing hanging over the 'maybe new, maybe not' idea that didn't factor in twenty years ago, is the 'green' factor.

    What is the carbon footprint of three songs on a packaged CD versus three songs purchased over the internet? And to bring it into even sharper focus, the CD packaged songs will end up on a player just like the downloads.

    Game over, man...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by sBox ( 512691 )
      This is Sony. Would you like a rootkit with your order, Sir?
  • Brilliant!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:08PM (#20559433) Homepage
    Brilliant! Finaly, the solution to piracy! Increase the profit margin, how didn't they think of it earlier? ...wait...what???
  • by shystershep ( 643874 ) * <bdshepherdNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:08PM (#20559437) Homepage Journal

    Just when you thought stupid ideas had become an endangered species

    Uh, right . . .

    Thanks for that little gem, which helps prove there's not much danger of that ever happening.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 ( 716938 )
      I only know of one bit of media that would benifit from a re-release in its original format...Cheech & Chong: BIG BAMBU -those liner notes... ya just can't download art!
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      One of these days, I'm going to start up a "Museum of Bad Ideas." Sony will have a hall all to themselves.
  • And in Cupertino and Austin, the iTunes business teams are high-fiving. As the industry insists on implementing 20-year old business models, Apple Inc. no longer really needs to update their iTunes services, as it will be another 25 years before the industry realizes that PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO BUY PLASTIC DISCS ANYMORE......
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I, for one, really do stil want to buy plastic discs. It's just that I can traipse over to any major shop, and get a used or sale copy of the full album for less than they'd like me to spend on three songs.
      • That's Ok, they're still sort of getting money from you.

        Why do you think people "sell" their disks to the used disk stores? Because they're tired of them, and the money offsets the cost of a new disk.

        So, since more disks are bought because you're supporting the secondary market, the labels are richer for your purchase.
        • Why do you think people "sell" their disks to the used disk stores? Because they're tired of them, and the money offsets the cost of a new disk.

          Or, they're out of money to buy weed with, and putting their CDs onto their iPod and then hauling the discs down to the used-record shop is an easy way of getting some cash without having to actually do anything.

          Yeah, there are some people who trade CDs, buying them, listening for a while, and then selling them to buy more music ... but in my experience that's not really the source of most of the discs in used shops. Most of them come from people who just need the cash for something (whether it's to pay th

  • Three songs or two? (Score:3, Informative)

    by hasbeard ( 982620 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:09PM (#20559461)
    The summary says three songs and a ringtone, but the article reads, two songs and a ring tone. Which is it?
    • by FroBugg ( 24957 )
      The article says three songs. "Each ringle is expected to contain three songs -- one hit and maybe one remix and an older track -- and one ringtone."

      Unless you're counting the remix as the same as the main song, which makes sense. They're still separate tracks, though.
    • Ok, I clicked through to the Reuters article linked to from the article linked to by the summary, and the Reuters article talks about three songs and a ring tone.
  • Why not just sell me a sandwich and 3 single download credits for $6? At least then I get something I can use, instead of a piece of plastic containing an exact, permanent copy of data that curiously, I'm permanently not allowed to copy.
  • But I'd only pay $4 for a song I really liked.
  • by okmijnuhb ( 575581 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:11PM (#20559493)
    "Ringle, ringle, coins how they jingle," Scrooge's lustful song of money and greed.
    Quite appropriate name considering...
  • by Dr. Manhattan ( 29720 ) <[sorceror171] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:12PM (#20559517) Homepage
    ...speaking as someone named Ray Ingles.
  • Why do you think retailers will get the lions share of the margins?
  • by CaptainPatent ( 1087643 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:13PM (#20559553) Journal
    I'm going to invent the Pirated ringtone single

    I'll call it a Pringle
  • 1. replace all songs on CDs with the ring tones.
    2. ?????
    3. Profit!
  • ... when one of the soggy Cheerios in my bowl bounced out and landed on the table. Later, when I noticed it, I picked it up.

    But not before it left a ringle on the table. :-|

  • Or 1 song with 2 remixes and an instrumental? $7 is way to much. You can get a solid EP (4-7 tracks) for that price or just a little more. The EP also has new songs that would be otherwise unavailable on the bands LP(most of the time).
  • by warren_spencer_1977 ( 1124617 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:16PM (#20559617) Homepage
    My bet is that people will avoid buying these in droves simply because they can't find a CD slot on their cellphones. Imagine the customer support calls?
    • My bet is that people will avoid buying these in droves simply because they can't find a CD slot on their cellphones. Imagine the customer support calls?
      1) set cd to autorun url to ring tone server
      2) ask user their telephone number
      3) profit

  • by middlemen ( 765373 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:23PM (#20559747) Homepage
    I am single,
    If I buy a ringle,
    With me will women mingle ?

    or will it be an iPod haiku - ( scene: chic sees guy with iPod )

    My Gawd,
    An iPod,
    Must have a big rod.
    • by dstiggy ( 1145347 ) <derrick...steigerwalt@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:31PM (#20559897)
      While absolutely hilarious I'd just like to let you and all of the other science and math nerd here (I include myself in that) know that haikus follow a 5, 7, 5 syllable format. Consider:

      Haikus can be fun!
      But sometimes they don't make any sense.
      • by timster ( 32400 )
        You've confused the English syllable with the Japanese mora. Your first line there has about 8, your second line at least fifteen, and the third maybe 6.

        In English 5-7-5 syllables can make the haiku too long, especially when you use bloated syllables like "sense".
  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:24PM (#20559767) Journal
    Lemme see. I have one of them funky new iPods that holds, what, 40,000 songs? And let's see, I'm going to fill it up with ringles? Hmmm. I don't think I'll bother putting the ringtone on the iPod, but the three songs? Sure. So, let's see. Divide 40,000 by 3 = 13,333.33 ringles. Each ringle is $6? 6 x 13,333.33 = $80,000. And that doesn't include sales tax. Here in Toronto, that's 14%, making it $91,200.

    WTF ARE THESE IDIOTS THINKING??? That I'm going to spend over NINETY THOUSAND DOLLARS to load up my 160gig iPod?

    They must be doing some mighty fine crack, because THAT is pure unadulterated BULLSHIT if they think I'm going to spend even 1/2 of one percent of $80,000 loading up my 160gig iPod, and it certainly isn't going to be spend on ringles...

    Good god. What a bunch of losers. Left curve of the IQ bell chart. Morons. Mafiosi. Dead enders. Feh.


    • While advertised based on the songs they hold... basically 4mb = 1 song. You will notice that the iPod database becomes bloated and the iPod becomes more and more unresponsive and slow when you get past 12,000 to 15,000 songs. It haven't tried it, but I believe the iPod would cease to function usefully if loaded with a full 40,000 songs (it would probably still function to the extent that you can't sue Apple, as they make no guarantee of usability when loaded to the advertised maximum).

      I imagine the on
      • I haven't put that many tracks on my gigaPod yet. I do have a 160gig drive with 147gigs / 25,543 songs of audio on it. itunes seems to run just fine. I am curious as to how well the iPod will respond when I really load it up...


    • Well, the RIAA feels that you don't have to load up your iPod. You can go outside and do something useful, like jump in a lake and drown yourself. It is their songs and they don't give a rat's ass about your iPod.
  • Falken: I never could get Joshua to learn the most important lesson.
    Lightman: What's that?
    Falken: Futility. That there's a time when you should just give up.
  • by Nonillion ( 266505 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:26PM (#20559809)
    They want their marketing and manufacturing excuse back. 6-7 dollars? Don't you think that's a little steep?
  • by Zelocka ( 1152505 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:27PM (#20559821)
    This pretty much is the usual from the music industry. Badly thought out plan that has no chance at all of succeeding spearheaded by some management guy that lives in a fantasy world of catch phases. I will bet that this will be dead before first quarter 2008.
    • Dead? Of course not, they'll simply blame illegal ringtone downloads for the lack of sales and use it to promote more cracking down on pirates. They long ago showed that their view of the world is that the only reason someone wouldn't give them money is because they're a thief who should be sued, don't expect that to change just because of one badly thought out idea.
  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:28PM (#20559843) Homepage
    No thank you, RIAA. I'll just take songs I currently own (either ripped from my purchases CDs or bought from AmieStreet.com) and use Audacity to cut/re-encode them. Then I'll use BitPIM to transfer the files to my phone for use as ringtones.

    Cost for the music: Free (raiding old CD collection) or Free to 98 cents (AmieStreet.com)
    Cost for the ringtone: Free.

    (Expected a "priceless" joke here, didn't you? ;-) Well, it's the end of a long day and I'm not feeling witty, so I'll leave that to anyone replying to my post.)
  • We don't want to play with your ringaling...

    With apologies to Chuck Berry.
  • by hirschma ( 187820 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:32PM (#20559907)
    Sure, this seems stupid, but consider some consumer behavior I've seen recently:

    - A household where every family member has a Mac and an iPod. Family members often buy the same song instead of using sharing because it is "too difficult".

    - A household where working computers are thrown out on a yearly basis and replaced with new ones because that's "easier".

    - A household where computers with sensitive records are just left out on the curb.

    Different households, all fairly affluent, all in the NYC area. So while ringles may be stupid to the Slashdot crowd, they'll sell to the people that are even dumber than the record execs.
    • by flynt ( 248848 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @04:24PM (#20560815)
      Totally. All those stupid affluent New Yorkers. They are probably spending time on their boats instead of spending all weekend troubleshooting their old Macs! God, if they'd just have put in 8 hours working on it, they could have saved 2 grand and gotten a decent meal at Alain!

      My point is, I don't think this behavior makes stupid "stupid" ipso facto. It just means they have more money than you (or me), which might mean they are not so stupid.
  • I'm pretty sure I know someone who has Ringles. I think produces a rash on the taint.
  • "At $7, retailers would enjoy a profit margin they haven't seen since the days of cassette tapes and vinyl."

    The profit margin on $0 in sales is 0%.
    • I paid $3.32 for my Sgt Pepper vinyl. How can this ringle nonsense be a better profit margin than the current CD which lists for $18.98? Exactly what are the costs associated with the CD?

      - Promotion? None. The album is already is legendary
      - Production costs? Maybe a nickel.
      - Copyright costs? The label owns that
      - Anything else? Doubtful.

  • For a while now I've been wondering what type of brain cancer the RIAA and their members suffer from. Finally I figured out the logic in their actions.

    Big Music is no longer in the business of making music. That's not news, they've long been in the business of selling music, which just happens to require burning some trash onto CDs. But they're not in that business any more, either. They now intend to make suing people their primary business. At 5000 dollars a song, the profit margins are pretty damn hig
  • Let me explain this to you in simple terms:

    Wikipedia -> Massive success
    Youtube -> Massive success
    GoogleTunes -> a question of time.

    Now unlike video, music doesn't need gigs and gigs of storage space. Several thousand tracks fit easily on a standard drive, and even the most shitty dsl connection can stream it these days. You have at most a year or two before it happens, and when it does you are fucked. Really, just picture yourself directly competing for attention against the worlds biggest advertis
  • But for it to work they will have to offer far more then just music. They would have to bundle some good artwork thereby making the CD a package that just can't be downloaded. In fact, why not include a little illustrated book. I'm sure there is plenty of possible content that big fans of a band would enjoy. They have to make their product special if it is going to sell.

    Of course there is nothing wrong with adding ring-tunes to the CD, but this won't be enough. People need something that they can hold
  • The industry is supposed to try raping our wallets every day, and the consumers are supposed to be trying to rape the industry by piracy every day.

    And hopefully we meet somewhere in the middle. Jungle rules, people, don't be surprised.

    Of course it could all be more civilized and honest, but then the industry will lose edge and stop innovating, and consumers will grow even more trusting and dumb in just few short generation.

    No one forces people to buy "ringles" for $7 the piece. If they buy it, it's not indu
  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:52PM (#20560273) Homepage

    Lose market share because customers don't perceive value.

    Remove even more value from the product and raise the margin.

    Profit !!!!

    Who says this business thing is hard!

  • the canned potato chips

    so that after eating the potato chips, you can use the can to amplify your wifi signal, and download the balance of the value of the $7 you spent on their crap, with the added bonus that the base owner gets the riaa lawsuit instead of you

  • by PaulMorel ( 962396 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @03:55PM (#20560325)


    Each ringle is expected to contain three songs -- one hit and maybe one remix and an older track -- and one ringtone, on a CD with a slip-sleeve cover. The idea is that if consumers in the digital age can download any tracks they want individually, why not let them buy singles in the store as well? It also enables stores to get involved in the ringtone phenomenon.

    Wow. Only the recording industry and the government can write contradictions like that and not see the logical fallacy.

    Apparently, the industry understands that consumers want their tracks individually, and wants consumers to get their individual tracks from retail outlets. So to facilitate this, they package the individual track with 2 other unwanted songs and a ringtone. Then they double the price of downloading the songs individually and force you to drive to the store?!?!

    Wow. That logic is shocking. I just have to repeat it to actually believe that some executive thought this up: Consumers want songs individually, so lets package 3 songs together with a ringtone and double the price!

    The person who came up with that idea probably makes more money than everyone who reads this post put together. JSDFKGLHADFYGUHQO@W*%ORILU@#WERLJKC!@%$)*

  • by Laxator2 ( 973549 ) on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @04:08PM (#20560543)
    In addition to the "ringle" CD, the following must be included:

    1. - A self-destructing DVD, which will auto-destruct after a week, or 3 viewings, whichever comes first.

    2. - A Blue-Ray DVD player with a slef-destruct mechanism which activates in case the inserted disk is not deemed "genuine" by the SONY servers (broadband connection required).

    3. - An additional CD containing only the mandatory rootkit, without which the 3-song + ringtone CD cannot be played.

    4. - A Betamax tape, just for the heck of it.
  • The crappy value is there purely to distract you from the even more menacing facet of this:

    Meanwhile, label profit margins for the format are considered slim. The majors are gambling that the ringle can instill in consumers the mind-set to connect to the Internet via the CD.

    So, for Joe Consumer to redeem his ringtone, he pops this CD in his windows computer, and it RUNS A PROGRAM THAT CONNECTS TO THE INTERNET to obtain the ringtone. It does nothing else, honestly. It doesn't scan your computer or talk t

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