not long ago that iTunes is now the largest music seller -- Apple announced in September that iTunes had sold 3 billion downloads since
it started selling music. The massive move from hard copies of music to digital
downloads has the record companies looking to sell its own digital singles.
Rather than offer the digital singles as downloads like
iTunes, Universal Music announced that it would begin to release its singles on
USB flash drives this month in an attempt to gain more sales volume. One reason
Universal wants to stay with a physical product rather than a digital download is
that the retail margins are better on physical copies of music.
The first digital tracks to be released from Universal will
be from Keane on October 29 and Nicole, the lead singer of the Pussycat
Dolls. The USB singles will retail in the UK for about $10 USD. A CD
single of the same tune retails for about $6 USD.
Universal UK’s commercial director Brian Rose told The Times Online UK that, “This is
aimed at the younger, 12 to 24 year olds, who no longer believe that the CD is
as cool as it used to be.” Many music fans in that age group won’t be swayed to
a new digital format that is more expensive and less convenient than a digital