Thursday, May 24, 2007

Asda kills the single

Faced with prospect of sales dropping away to nothing, Asda has dropped the CD single from its stores.

It says it can barely bring itself to do so:

"We're reluctantly saying goodbye to one of the most important products in music history," the retailer's music buyer Andy Powell said.

The CD single? Surely not? The 7" vinyl single, unquestionably, had an important part in the history of music, but the CD single... that was just a delivery method, surely?

Woolworths, meanwhile, says its remaining committed to the single:
"They are still an important part of the music business," said the chain's music boss Jim Batchelor. "If you give people what they want, they will buy it."

We don't know what marketing course he went on, but that was worth the money, wasn't it? Mind you, what Woolworths knows about giving people what they want is debatable - their teeny-tiny range and focus on selling just a few titles has helped strangle the singles market and - with about a third of all singles sold in the UK going through a Woolies till - has to take some of the blame for the dull charts we've grown used to. If the people who buy the most singles have the smallest choice, how can you ever hope to have exciting charts?


Anonymous said...

Have you seen Popjustice's occasional photos of their local Woolworths Singles Department? It consists of a shabby yellow cardboard box with twenty numbered slots in, about half of which contain a couple of CDs. a sorry sight...

It's like they're wondering why sales of Pic-n-Mix have dropped off ever since they replaced the big tubs of sweets with a handful of Pink Shrimps pressed into a dog-turd by the back door.

Anonymous said...

It's funny because whenever I think about the history of the CD single (which I quite obviously do on a regular basis) I'm just reminded of that period in the early nineties where every single had five remixes. Truly revolutionary, eh?

Anonymous said...

Great days, yes... Favourites in my collection include:
Ant and Dec - 'Shout' - The Steve Lamacq remix
Super Furry Animals - 'The Man Don't Give a Fuck' - The Howard Marks remix (apparently his role in the remix mainly involved making the tea)

Anonymous said...

...and then there was that point in 1999 when I realised that certain bands had begun to release not just 2 but 3-disc singles. Couldn't have done that with 7"... oh no wait yes you could have. I guess that the 2-disc CD single was really the biggest gimmick since the double-A. How will the digital era manage this sort of thing? I dread to think what they'll come up with.

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