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Tuesday, July 14, 2009, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

iTunes goes retro with digital 45s

As a throwback to the old days of the two-song 45 rpm vinyl record, the iTunes Store launched a new “D45” section Tuesday, featuring discounted prices on packs of two digital song downloads.

Just like old 45s, the iTunes D45 selection includes a popular single accompanied by a B-side song. Prices on the D45s range from $1.49 to $1.99.

“iTunes is bringing this concept to a new age with D45s – two great tracks at an equally great price,” the iTunes Store reads.

Music company EMI announced Tuesday that the release of D45s marks the 60th anniversary of the 45 single record. The digital bundles will be sold exclusively by iTunes through July 27. After that, they will be available for purchase from “all major digital service providers.”

“More than 35 digital singles will launch the campaign,” the EMI press release states, “including original 45 single A-sides and B-sides and top hits by Coldplay, David Bowie, R.E.M., Poison, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dean Martin, Duran Duran, Nat King Cole, Blondie, and Billy Idol, among others.”

D45 storefront


The D45 section represents another opportunity for record labels to to restructure pricing on music sold on the iTunes Store. Last year, through negotiations, the record companies leveraged flexibility on pricing.

Then, earlier this year, Apple removed restrictive digital rights management fingerprints from all of the songs it sells, allowing consumers greater flexibility as well.

This year, Apple began charging for music based on what the music labels charge Apple. Songs are available at three price points: 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29. Most albums are priced $9.99.

D45 selection


Artists included in the new D45 selection range from Foreigner to Rod Stewart to the recently-deceased “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson.

The Van Morrison “Brown Eyed Girl” D45 includes the title track, as well as the B-side, “Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye).” Purchased separately, the title track and B-side would cost $2.28, but the D45 will run customers $1.49.