Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stick! Stick!

Because the labels want it; because the shops want it, and because, frankly, hardly anyone cares any more, the Official UK Charts has drawn up an exciting new set of rules which sees USB Memory Stick releases count towards the top 40. "For the first time ever", they say, as if the 1970s saw millions of USB memory sticks being sold and not counting towards the sales charts.

More interestingly is the creation of a pointless new format - the one-track CD:

Under the new rules, the 2-track single will also be replaced with a 1-track + single to allow labels to divide content between a physical release that includes two songs, plus additional content available as a download from a microsite; or one song with a ringtone or video, and the download track. A one-track CD single is also being introduced with a minimum price of 60p.

Is there anything more environmentally dubious than encouraging labels to produce physical CDs which contain only one track; one track with all the packaging, transporting, storage and so on. It wouldn't be so bad if it was likely to inspire people to buy more physical product - but who's going to bother stocking such a low-margin item? Who's going to bother buying it?