or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › iTunes goes retro with digital 45s
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

iTunes goes retro with digital 45s

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
As a throwback to the old days of the two-song 45 rpm vinyl record, the iTunes Store launched a new “D45” section Tuesday, featuring discounted prices on packs of two digital song downloads.

Just like old 45s, the iTunes D45 selection includes a popular single accompanied by a B-side song. Prices on the D45s range from $1.49 to $1.99.

“iTunes is bringing this concept to a new age with D45s – two great tracks at an equally great price,” the iTunes Store reads.

Music company EMI announced Tuesday that the release of D45s marks the 60th anniversary of the 45 single record. The digital bundles will be sold exclusively by iTunes through July 27. After that, they will be available for purchase from “all major digital service providers.”

“More than 35 digital singles will launch the campaign,” the EMI press release states, “including original 45 single A-sides and B-sides and top hits by Coldplay, David Bowie, R.E.M., Poison, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dean Martin, Duran Duran, Nat King Cole, Blondie, and Billy Idol, among others.”



The D45 section represents another opportunity for record labels to to restructure pricing on music sold on the iTunes Store. Last year, through negotiations, the record companies leveraged flexibility on pricing.

Then, earlier this year, Apple removed restrictive digital rights management fingerprints from all of the songs it sells, allowing consumers greater flexibility as well.

This year, Apple began charging for music based on what the music labels charge Apple. Songs are available at three price points: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29. Most albums are priced $9.99.



Artists included in the new D45 selection range from Foreigner to Rod Stewart to the recently-deceased “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson.

The Van Morrison “Brown Eyed Girl” D45 includes the title track, as well as the B-side, “Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye).” Purchased separately, the title track and B-side would cost $2.28, but the D45 will run customers $1.49.
post #2 of 38
Cool, the return of B-sides.
post #3 of 38
so it's just an album that contains 2 songs?
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

so it's just an album that contains 2 songs?

Essentially, you get better pricing than for 2 singles.
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

so it's just an album that contains 2 songs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Essentially, you get better pricing than for 2 singles.


YES
NO
You get the old style > B < SIDES . Some 'B' sides never made it to the albums so they got lost. Pink Floyd has a bunch of these.

9

Apple keeps on trucking
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #6 of 38
this is a great idea. 45's were two great songs for a neat price.

also, it will give people a good deal on exploring more of an artist than just a single song. often times in the past, there were gem's as b-sides. also... once in a blue moon a b-side would become a classic favorite of fans in concerts.
post #7 of 38
Neil: I believe it was the studios that convinced Apple to allow variable pricing, not the other way around. As AI reported previously, Apple only agreed to variable pricing in exchange for DRM-free songs. Since the beginning, Steve had been pretty adamant about everything being fixed at 99 cents, if I remember correctly. It was the studios that wanted different (higher) prices for certain (popular) tracks.

Here's that article.

Quote:
Around the same time, Universal Music Group and Apple were in a showdown over fixed 99-cent pricing as the chairman of Warner Music Group stated the labels' position (speaking about their own artists) that "not every song, not every artist, not every album is created equal." The labels wanted to price hot new tracks at higher prices to maximize profits at the height of their popularity. When Apple refused to budge, Universal threatened to pull its songs once the contract expired.
AppleInsider contributor
Reply
AppleInsider contributor
Reply
post #8 of 38
go amazon.
post #9 of 38
The article has one fact wrong:
It was the record companies that finally convinced Apple to offer variable pricing.

Apple fought hard to keep the single-price for all music. They finally caved due in part to other online music stores came online (namely Amazon), as well as the labels weren't letting Apple let go of DRM without the variable pricing, etc...
post #10 of 38
There is nothing new under the sun. For you young ones, 45 records were the major way artists released new material from the 50's until the advent of 8 track and cassettes. (Replaced 78's if you curious.) Personally I like the idea.
post #11 of 38
Interesting. Hopefully a new way to try different music, etc. But the key difference is in the days of the 45s, you couldn't buy just the A side. You essentially bought the A side and the B side was free, like the prize in the box of Cracker Jacks (sometimes you got a cool prize, sometime you got garbage). But now you can just buy the A side.

So it will be interesting to see how many people, when given the choice, will either just buy the the A track for $1.29 or pay a little extra to get the B track, too.

Of course, they could stop selling the A track as an individual purchase and only offer it in conjunction with the B track package. Which gets us to the "bundling" that Apple always fought so hard against.

We'll see what happens...
post #12 of 38
How could they misspell "Billie Jean"?
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

How could they misspell "Billie Jean"?

Because they were probably popping pills just like the 'king of pop'.
post #14 of 38
I guess this is a neat idea for some of the older folks, but it strikes me as an obvious marketing gimick.

To me, it's a shame that this is generally being reported as some kind of "new format" instead of what it really is, which is a way to get older folks onboard the big iTunes train by appealing to their nostalgia.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
post #15 of 38
This is a great idea for modern artists too...because it gives them the opportunity to release non-album tracks (b-sides) packaged with album tracks...sometimes the B-sides end up being great. It allows the artist to keep the integrity of the original album, while at the same time getting some alternative tracks out there.
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I guess this is a neat idea for some of the older folks, but it strikes me as an obvious marketing gimick.

To me, it's a shame that this is generally being reported as some kind of "new format" instead of what it really is, which is a way to get older folks onboard the big iTunes train by appealing to their nostalgia.

On the contrary, I think it's a way to get the younger "folks" to have a better and broader taste in music. To play something other then brown eyed girl for the millionth time and maybe move into an artists back catalog.

See, like my mom, this marketing ploy goes both ways.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

YES
NO
You get the old style > B < SIDES . Some 'B' sides never made it to the albums so they got lost. Pink Floyd has a bunch of these.

9

Apple keeps on trucking

Last time I checked $1.49 < $2.28, So yes you DO get better pricing buying the D45 than the songs separately.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Last time I checked $1.49 < $2.28, So yes you DO get better pricing buying the D45 than the songs separately.

The b sides were sometimes great long lost songs . Like sleeping on the ground .. blind faith
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsgravy View Post

On the contrary, I think it's a way to get the younger "folks" to have a better and broader taste in music. To play something other then brown eyed girl for the millionth time and maybe move into an artists back catalog.

See, like my mom, this marketing ploy goes both ways.

Your missing the obvious here in that "singles" and "EPs" and similar formats have been available on iTunes almost since the service started. They also perform that function. However, while the "EP" is a nostalgic format from the 80's and 90's, and the 45 is the nostalgic format from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. That's the only difference.

Further, the EP was the prevalent format for this kind of thing when iTunes first started up so there is some logic to continuing with it, whereas the 45 was already 20 years obsolete at that point. This is the resurrection of an artificial format into the digital realm, that does nothing different from digital formats that already exist, and only for the purposes of nostalgia.

For most of the titles I looked at, it seems like they are recreating particular 45 records from the past complete with the B-Side, even if the B-side never sold very well. Almost all the titles seem to be between 35 and 50 years old. It's great for collectors, and a boon to the older folks but this is not something intended for the kids at all.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
post #20 of 38
But are the b-sides the same songs that were actually on a vinyl release of an old single? Historically accurate, in other words? And what do you get for artwork?
post #21 of 38
First you seeing the generation gaps between the people here on this subject. In the old 45 day it was away for record companies to make money on a artist who might not be able to crank out a whole album or who had an album that was not selling well but had one good song on it an people were willing to buy that one song, If you did the math that one 45 cost you more per song than entire album of songs cost you. Many times the b-side suck really bad since they need to fill the space and it did not cost extra to make the b-side since the press both sides at once anyway.

Every once in awhile there was a charm on the b-side or because people played the a-side all the time then would listen to the b-side and begin to like it or see the value in it.

What it looks like apple is doing is take those song in the catalog which are not selling making it a b-side and mark the price up more for the a-side song and make you think you getting more. It just another way for apple and the record label to make money on idle assets sitting on their servers not making money for them.
post #22 of 38
Why go back to the retro way or vinyl way of calling them 45's? Why not just a "single"? If memory serves, we've had cassette singles and CD singles with 2 songs on them.
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsgravy View Post

See, like my mom, this marketing ploy goes both ways.

Does your mom have video to prove it?

(Hey you started it!)

But I agree it goes both ways.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

But are the b-sides the same songs that were actually on a vinyl release of an old single? Historically accurate, in other words? And what do you get for artwork?

That is hardly possible. In many cases, singles had a different B-side for other countries. And totally different artwork. Often when a single was re-released it had a different B-side and artwork than the first release.
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roos24 View Post

That is hardly possible. In many cases, singles had a different B-side for other countries. And totally different artwork. Often when a single was re-released it had a different B-side and artwork than the first release.

Sure but they could pick from among actual historical releases. discogs.com
post #26 of 38
Very sweet idea!

I would love to see Apple create a section on iTunes where aspiring artists can sell their music directly to the consumer. I think they would have already, but I bet the bastard record labels won't allow it.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post

Why go back to the retro way or vinyl way of calling them 45's?

Really?
"the release of D45s marks the 60th anniversary of the 45 single record."
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Every once in awhile there was a charm on the b-side or because people played the a-side all the time then would listen to the b-side and begin to like it or see the value in it.

It probably depends on the band. I liked the B-sides that I listened to, but the odd thing is that the original concept of a B-side was long obsolete by the time I cared to listen to music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post

Why go back to the retro way or vinyl way of calling them 45's? Why not just a "single"? If memory serves, we've had cassette singles and CD singles with 2 songs on them.

Right, but the CD singles I had usually had four or five tracks, usually two different songs, and the remaining tracks were different versions or mixes of the title song.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Really?
"the release of D45s marks the 60th anniversary of the 45 single record."

Still, it's a concept that doesn't even apply to the current technology. I might as well start marketing keyboard & mouse bundles as Quills.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I guess this is a neat idea for some of the older folks, but it strikes me as an obvious marketing gimick.

To me, it's a shame that this is generally being reported as some kind of "new format" instead of what it really is, which is a way to get older folks onboard the big iTunes train by appealing to their nostalgia.

The labels will never give up on forcing you to buy content you don't want. CD's writ small.
For every great 'B' side, there were a thousand crap B's.
post #30 of 38
Funny, I wonder how many young people understand this concept, let alone vinyl records!

It's an interesting idea, but, falls a bit short. The original 45 concept essentially got you two songs for the price of one in an effort to promote a not-so-popular song. Sometimes those b-side songs became number 1 hits due to being distributed with another hit song.

But, with the iTunes pricing, you're essentially paying for the two songs with a bit of a discount for the second one. $1.99 isn't much of a bargain for an a-side and b-side song, IMO. So, to me, this totally misses the idea of the Original 45 record. But, it's a cute marketing idea.
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

But, with the iTunes pricing, you're essentially paying for the two songs with a bit of a discount for the second one. $1.99 isn't much of a bargain for an a-side and b-side song, IMO. So, to me, this totally misses the idea of the Original 45 record. But, it's a cute marketing idea.

Is this any surprise? I mean, the RIAA made such a big deal about variable pricing about providing lots of cheaper as well as more expensive tracks, and when variable pricing comes out, it turns out that the list of cheaper tracks is so short that they are barely token tracks.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Is this any surprise? I mean, the RIAA made such a big deal about variable pricing about providing lots of cheaper as well as more expensive tracks, and when variable pricing comes out, it turns out that the list of cheaper tracks is so short that they are barely token tracks.

I know, there are very very few 69-cent songs in the iTunes Store, but PLENTY of $1.29 songs!

Recording companies seem to be trying the same old techniques to "package" or "bundle" music together so they can force you to pay more money for crap you don't want. This is essentially why 45s disappeared while LPs remained. The same principles were then applied to cassettes and then CDs. With CDs, you were able to buy a "maxi-single" (sounds like a feminine product) which had one song with a few other mixes of that same song, but sold for $6.99. Fleeced again!

Already in the iTunes Store you see a lot of songs that can only be purchased with the full album. I'm sure we'll be seeing more and more of this as time goes on. Apple will lose the will to fight this because they will actually benefit from this financially, too.
post #33 of 38
Too bad the teenagers that use iTunes today don't even know what a vinyl record is, or a 45 single. Most of them don't even know how to spell if you look at their idiotic and pathetic reviews.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

Funny, I wonder how many young people understand this concept, let alone vinyl records!

It's an interesting idea, but, falls a bit short. The original 45 concept essentially got you two songs for the price of one in an effort to promote a not-so-popular song. Sometimes those b-side songs became number 1 hits due to being distributed with another hit song.

But, with the iTunes pricing, you're essentially paying for the two songs with a bit of a discount for the second one. $1.99 isn't much of a bargain for an a-side and b-side song, IMO. So, to me, this totally misses the idea of the Original 45 record. But, it's a cute marketing idea.

Agree completely.

The real value of the B-side (on vinyl) was to the record company, not the consumer: people are initially attracted to a catchy song they hear on the radio (or elsewhere), and bought the single just to get that song. The B-side was an opportunity for the label to sell the consumer on the larger product of the artist ("see, he does love songs, too!")

Once again the "geniuses" in the record business are more focused on squeezing every drop of blood from a nickel, so instead of a pretty good idea of offering 2 songs for $1.29 (the hit and the b-side) in order to develop artists (and to spur sales of A-sides by including for free stuff that hardly anybody would pay for anyway), we've got another transparent marketing gimmick that does nothing for anybody.
post #35 of 38
Jeez, enough with all the whinging and griping, music lovers these days don't know they're born.

Music has never been cheaper to buy than it is today and these D45s actually cost less than they did 30 years ago.
In real terms their cost today is negligible; a far cry back in the 70s when you had to save up to buy music or had to forgo a Saturday night out in order to buy a couple of 45s.
You can buy a couple of these for less than the price of pint, or you could if they were available on UK iTunes; I can't find them
post #36 of 38
It looks like they're including original single artwork and legitimate b-sides, for example, the "Billie Jean" Digital 45 (now with correct spelling!) b-side is "Can't Get Outta the Rain" which according to discogs was the b-side of the US 7-inch vinyl. AFAIK it hasn't been released digitally before.

So it looks like they're doing it right. I hope this takes off.
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenbw View Post

Music has never been cheaper to buy than it is today and these D45s actually cost less than they did 30 years ago. In real terms their cost today is negligible; a far cry back in the 70s when you had to save up to buy music or had to forgo a Saturday night out in order to buy a couple of 45s.

Yes, and it's also never been cheaper for music companies to make and distribute music today, too. Digital distribution saves a HUGE amount of money on packaging, shipping, renting stores, hiring employees, etc. etc. Yet the price of music keeps going up!

When CDs first arrived, they sold for about $7.99. Now they sell for double or more. So, how do you figure that it's never been cheaper to buy music?
post #38 of 38
How is this a new thing? There are already lots of these singles with b-sides included on iTunes, have been for a very long time.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › iTunes goes retro with digital 45s