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New ‘Slot Music’ Concept to be Launched in October

It seems that with the ever expanding music technology that is available, major music labels are constantly seeking new ways to generate a source of revenue to replace what is being lost on CD sales. The new “Slot Music” concept was recently announced by SanDisk and the Big 4 (Sony BMG, Universal, Vivendi and Warner Music Group) at a press conference on Monday, September 22.

The new venture will see the Big 4 partnering with SanDisk, the world’s leading supplier of flash memory cards. The concept: making memory chips preloaded with full MP3 music albums available for sale to the public. The new concept makes music easily available and quickly accessible – simply purchase the card, slot it into your phone or mp3 player and get ready to enjoy the music. The new concept has been branded “Slot Music” and will only set you back around $15 per a chip. A full 29 albums are scheduled to be released in the experimental music format and they will be available from several major retailers including Wal-Mart and Best Buy. The pre-loaded memory chips are set to hit the shelves in mid October. The cards will be 1GB in size and any extra space on the cards will be filled with liner notes, cover art and similar extra features. The cards will also be made even more accessible through a USB connector/adapter, which will be sold with the cards, making it possible to use them in computers and a number of car stereos.

So now the million-dollar question: will it catch on? The concept seems simple enough. But it seems that the target market may prefer to stick to downloading their favourite singles on the internet for a fraction of the price of a full Slot Music album. While the small, postage stamp sized cards offer convenience, they are also easy to loose. The product concept makes sense for the Big 4 and for SanDisk, but it may not make as much sense for targeted consumers. For the concept to be a success it has to appeal to more than just a few interested persons who find the novelty aspect appealing. However the fact that person buying the cards gets a few great extras may be just the kick that this product needs for it to become the next big thing. Only time will tell…

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