Customer loyalty programs are a big part of modern retail strategy, especially for brick and mortar operations. The use of streaming audio and video content from the Internet is growing rapidly. It does not seem likely that these two trends could possibly intersect. But they have.
Best Buy’s program is called RewardZone. If you spend $2,500 or more in a single year, you reach the Premier Silver level, which results in some added perks like a free Geek Squad home theater consultation. But two other benefits are a bit surprising. Premier Silver members also get free unlimited streaming and 15 MP3 credits four times a year from Napster, plus a free movie rental download each month from Roxio’s CinemaNow.
Now wait a minute! Free music, including MP3 downloads? Free movie rentals? Doesn’t Best Buy sell music CDs and DVDs? What sort of crazy strategy is this: giving away what you sell?
Clearly, Best Buy sees the market moving to digital delivery for content; remember that they cut down the floor space allocated to CDs and DVDs last year. So why not get their best customers to think of Best Buy when they think about downloading music or movie rentals? And certainly this will help build a good relationship between Best Buy with its partner Roxio. (Oh, Best Buy already owns Napster, in case you didn’t know that.)
The first commercial “gramophone” disc was offered for sale just over than 100 years ago. Floppy disk storage for computers has already gone the way of the dodo, and it looks as though CDs and DVDs may be the end of the line for removable disc storage.