A rhetorical question for the music industry

Sony could not help but hear the commentary on its decision to release DRM free music in the worst way possible, just about every media outlet and blog panned them severely. Less than a week later they have announced they will be also releasing DRM free tracks on Amazon.com. If I was Best Buy, Target and other retailers I would be a bit annoyed (to say the least). It is a better move by Sony though.

While I am not rushing out to get the new Britney Spears album, it is again annoying that they have released to a store that is US only.  If they want to limit themselves to only 25% of the market when they could scale with miniscule-to-no incremental cost then far be it for me to call them crazy.  It does bring to mind the whole iTunes or Amazon decision the big labels seem to be making.  My question to the music industry is:

Would you sign an exclusive contract for your entire catalog with a single, or limited number or retail chains to sell your CD’s?

Not in a million years, so why do that online?  If you told the product manager of Sony PlatinumPass that he could only stock those cards in one store he would laugh at you and call you a moron, yet the actual product it represents is limited in its available channels.  Oh irony, thy name is again the recording industry.

Your product needs to be where your customers are, not where you want them to be.  If the customers are on iTunes you need to be there.  You bent over backwards when WalMart presured you on price because you realised this but are blind to it online.  In the context that the last decade since Napster started this is not an unexpected thing.  The story of the recording industry over that time has been about them trying to control a market rather than serve their customers.