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One Of Music's Last Holdouts Putumayo Goes Digital

(image from (UPDATED) One of the last holdouts, Putumayo has finally made its music available via digital download. “I’ve built a business focused on creating compelling physical packages that combine music, culture and travel, that make great gifts and that sound very good,” label founder Dan Storper told the New York Times. Putumayo’s colorfully decorated, compilations, like “Acoustic Brazil” and “French Café,” have sold a total of 27 million copies worldwide, but it's transition to digital may not be easy.

How can Putumayo translate its colorful packaging, which often let to impulse buying, into the online retail environment?

Former Amazon executive Scott Ambrose Reilly, now heads the US operation for with the X5 Music Group, which has sold some 150 million tracks mostly in through digital compilations. He warns that many of the traditional marketing methods don't work online where covers are the size of a postage stamp. “You don’t have the luxury of people picking it up and looking at it for even 15 seconds,” Mr. Reilly said. “You have 2 or 3.”

UPDATE: Putumayo tells Hypebot that  "we're only available in a la carte download stores only initially – iTunes, Amazon, 7digital, and selected retailers such as, HMVdigital and CDON in Europe."