Target is finally pushing its presence in the digital music space with a promotion around a new album from John Legend, "Live From Philadelphia." The disc was launched exclusively in Target stores last week and is also available in DRM-free MP3 format through Sony BMG on Target.com. The album download -- a la carte purchases are not available -- contains 19 tracks and retails for $9.99.
The launch is featured on interactive subway billboards in the NYC subway that have fully functional headphone jacks embedded into them; plug in your earbuds, and you can hear samples of various tracks on the disc as well as a short message from the artist himself. Songs for Soap found one of the Peterson Milla Hooks-designed displays at the Third Ave. L-line stop, where it was flanked by more enormous (non-functional) John Legend posters. Pepsi has used similar technology in Canada, and Target had a nearly identical display last year for an exclusive dance compilation.
Target has maintained a steady presence in the physical album market but has thus far stayed away from digital downloads, an arena in which other giant retailers like Amazon and Borders are now stepping into. According to a story in Digital Music News, a Target representative said the initiative may serve as a template for the future and that the retailer has been "a sleeping giant in the digital space up until now."