"Ringles" Latest Brilliant Scheme From Recording Industry

Starting next month, you can get your fill of ringles in major stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy. Brainstormed by Sony, the ringle is a sort of souped-up CD single—”one hit and maybe one remix and an older track—and one ringtone, on a CD with a slip-sleeve cover.” Sony BMG will release 50 titles in October and November, while Universal will release 10 to 20. Each ringle will cost between $5.98 and $6.98. (Wanna bet which price point the labels will go for?)

Nobody knows why anyone thought “ringle” was a good name for a consumer entertainment product that’s supposed to appeal on a basic emotional level to the youth market, but it’s already been approved by the RIAA and there’s an industry-wide logo “to help brand it.” Then again, other questionable names like “iPod” and “Wii” have turned out okay, so go figure. We also wonder whether, this being Sony, they’ll do something horrible to the product to dissuade piracy, like lacing the sleeves with razor wire or smashing the discs to pieces before shipping them off to stores.

Oh, and please marvel at our awesome Photoshopping skillz.

“Music industry betting on ‘ringle’ format” [Reuters]
(Original photo from Leonid Mamchenkov)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Galls says:

    so 2 songs for 6 dollars?

  2. nidolke says:

    It’ll be fun watching this tank.

  3. dbeahn says:

    @Galls: 2 songs, sorta. Remember 45’s? And “B” sides?

  4. Kaneohe7 says:

    I predict this will go over about as well as the Edsel. The price is too much for what they are offering.

  5. drjayphd says:

    Is there any way I can sell this short right now?

  6. stubblyhead says:

    i guess those are supposed to be pringles? they look kind of like slices of pineapple to me. but yeah, this sounds like a pretty dumb idea.

  7. evilrobot says:

    it’s like a hot dog. i guess there is some beef in there, but then to pad it out with lips, beaks, and @sshole to somehow justify $6.98.


  8. Caroofikus says:

    Are they gonna be supporting ringtone formats for ALL of the different phones out there?

  9. spinachdip says:

    The worst part – well, besides the whole concept – is that it’s on a frickin’ CD. This take is pretty much spot on:
    “What a great combination: inconvenient and expensive. Hard to believe they’re actually this stupid.”

  10. monkey33 says:

    I’m moderately impressed by your Photoshop skills; when I saw the article, my first thought was how the hell they got Pringles to play music.

  11. chili_dog says:

    45’s are all well and good, but when that was the ONLY option for getting music other then just hoping it would play on the radio when you had it on. With the available options for music that exist today is there anyone who still believes (other then the labels) that the music business model as-is will continue to work?

  12. supra606 says:

    It is really starting to seem like every day some record company executive wakes up and thinks, “How can I do something that makes the stupidest thing that’s been done pale in comparison?” Nothing these people do, not matter how completely out of touch (like trying to sue people into buying their products) will surprise me one bit anymore. What I am wondering is when they will finally run out of money and disappear.

  13. chili_dog says:

    @monkey33: Me too!! On another note, how much DRM and rootkits will there be included to make these things even more useless?

  14. jaredgood1 says:

    I’ still still horrified that people buy ringtones…

  15. Trai_Dep says:

    Closer to 1.5 songs for $6, the B track being an OLD B track and all.

    Yeah, and I fully expect Mission: Impossible pyrotechnics on your media device after inserting due to over-aggressive DRM. But the labels will charge an additional $3 “entertainment” fee for the fireworks that melt your player into plastic goo.

    Kind of funny how it gets close to the $5.99 price point that NBC got booted from iTMS for trying to force down our throats. Coincidence? Or the same vat of Kool-Aide?

  16. cedarpointfan says:

    @jaredgood1: I share your horror…

  17. scoopy says:

    There’s also a new pet product called Ringbones where you get a DRM crippled song barked by dogs that comes on a bone which you can feed to your pet.

  18. MeOhMy says:

    Let’s see here…going out of business b/c nobody buys CDs. So put even less music on an even more expensive-per-song CD. That will fix everything.

    Maybe if these guys spent a little less money on CRACK they’d be having a better time of it.

  19. bohemian says:

    They actually spent money on this? $6.98?
    You can get a very low end mp3 player for about $20.
    Songs can be downloaded for about 99 cents, ringtones are pretty much free.
    Anyone so technically out of it that might want such on a CD is going to be too old to care.

  20. lowlight69 says:

    i love reading stories like this, it helps me laugh so hard i forget my troubles. :):):)

    worst idea ever…

  21. Then again, other questionable names like “iPod” and “Wii” have turned out okay, so go figure.

    But the Wii is cool so the name is forgiven or overlooked. The iPod name was overlooked/forgiven because the iTunes store has indivdual songs for $0.99. Plus, the name doesn’t sound like a junk food.

    Why don’t they just call it an “Enhanced” single or a “Special Edition” single. That might still be dumb but it won’t sound like it’s been deep fried.

  22. arachnophilia says:

    @dbeahn: yeah, i was thining 45’s too. for a brand-new 7″ 45rpm single these days (yes, they still make them) 6 bucks is about the going price.

    but that’s because they charge through the nose for vinyl because it’s an unpopular format (in comparison with cd’s).

  23. chstwnd says:

    Amazing. They keep trying to come up with better ways to market their product, and are probably spending BILLIONS doing it, when the easiest solution would be to……lower prices. By half or more. But I guess then they couldn’t pay those advertising guys those billions, so the ad guys tell them it’s a bad idea. Nice market research.

  24. Caroofikus says:

    @bohemian: Napster will actually give you an mp3 player with one year of Napster to go, or whatever they call it. That’s just the cost of one CD monthly. If you go to [www.brightspot.tv], they’ll actually pay for your Napster subscription from money you get watching 30 second commercials.

  25. philipbarrett says:

    So for 50% of the price of a Walmart rack CD you get almost 2 songs? Can I get in line now?

  26. lestat730 says:

    I can’t see how these will be successful. It’s a rip off every way I look at it, I mean… we live in a world where most people buy music for 99 cents or less per track so how does this make any sense? Also I know that I can’t ‘install’ downloaded ring tones onto my Samsung SCH u740 handset so I don’t know how the majority of consumers would be able to do so on theres.

  27. Genocyde says:

    @ LESTAT730: Is 2 seconds on Google really that much to ask?


  28. ChaosMotor says:

    Why does anyone give these idiots money in the first place?

  29. Ncisfan says:

    2 songs = $6 ? since when was that even considered remotely reasonable? since on Itunes I can get 2 songs for $1.98 or for 6 bucks i can get 5 songs (with $.94 left over). And I doubt the ring tone was that expensive to make. hey Guys at Sony BMG Cut down on the Meth.

  30. Nick says:

    What a joke. Why would anyone in their right mind buy this?

    This is no deal even for people who actually pay for music. As you can see, it’s such a tough choice: get the entire CD for $10 on Amazon.com, or get just two tracks for low, low price of $7.

  31. thepounder says:

    Wow… I’ve paid $10 in Austin, TX, to see a band play live for over two hours.

    In about 20 years there will be folks on eBay selling these “ringles” (“rongles” if you ask me) for upwards of $500 because so few escaped being fed to a shredder immediately after release.
    Ooh, but can I get a Barry Manilow Ringle of Copa Cabana? That’d be the bomb.

  32. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    People do realize they can simple copy songs from their computer to their phone?

  33. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    @Ncisfan: You are kinda under exaggerating it. CD singles have always been about $5. All they are doing now is including a special mix for the phone. I am not claimning its a great marketing plan. I am just poinging out that 1) you omitted 1 song (mix) and you completely lefgt out the manufacturing of the packaging, the shipping of the packages, and the (re)stocking costs of having handred of said packages on a store shelf. The physical CD has many more middle men than a digital download. Including many union-types.

    Union-types and Democrats want every one in that distribution chain to earn enough money to be a single parent of several children, with health care, dental, vision, child care, and a 3 bedroom house. How do you get a $2 CD from that equation?

  34. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I’ll wait and see how this goes. Believe it or not, people actually pay for ringtones. And those things aren’t cheap. From what I hear, the business of selling ringtones is quite good these days.

    I figure most people don’t know how to make their own, or they simply would rather pay for the convenience of buying them. Or if you’re a Verizon customer, you’re forced to buy only from Verizon because your phone has been crippled.

  35. lizzybee says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: “Union-types and Democrats want every one in that distribution chain to earn enough money to be a single parent of several children, with health care, dental, vision, child care, and a 3 bedroom house. How do you get a $2 CD from that equation?”

    How is this relevant to the subject or in reply to the original comment?

  36. Jesse in Japan says:

    This is a great idea! Or at least that’s what I would have said if this was still the 1990s.

  37. courtarro says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: The reason the ringtone market works well is that it’s 99% profit. The trick for Verizon is just to figure out how to decripple one’s phone.

  38. JMH says:

    @thepounder: Hey, maybe that’s the RIAA’s angle. The execs are all going to buy up boxes of these, and then sell them on eBay in 20 years. Profit!

  39. Echodork says:

    Hmm. They’re SELLING music now?

  40. neithernor says:

    This makes me miss cassingles even more.

  41. wring says:

    this angers me. i hate singles, and they’re tossing in a RINGTONE for 3 dollars???? sheesh.

  42. magus_melchior says:

    Wanna bet which price point the labels will go for?

    That’s easy. 12 bucks (the MSRP for a CD single).

  43. GamblesAC2 says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: he said 2 songs not 2 cds