Private label began, after all, in commodity categories, and few things are less commoditized than music. It's easy to substitute generic creamed corn for the branded product, but less so one singer for another.
And yet, it seems that a form of private label -- exclusive distribution deals -- is increasingly hot in the music biz.
USA Today reports here on several such deals:
As national music chains dwindle, big-box retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart are taking cues from Starbucks and iTunes by adding more exclusive music to their shelves. Target's new Spotlight Music Series offers 15 discs, including new adult-contemporary music, genre compilations and mixes handpicked by Avril Lavigne, Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews and others.This is the first article I've seen, by the way, that references the private label analogy:
"It's private branding," says Christman. "How many companies make their own cereal for a supermarket chain? How many companies make their own detergents for a discount retailer? That's a set retail strategy."You read it here first.