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More For Less

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Regardless of how you feel about the legality or morality of file sharing, there is no question it has forced the recording industry to increase the value of CDs with add-ons and bonuses, and reduce the price of CDs in general. Check out all the bonuses on the new P.O.D. release:

    PlayStation 2 game that comes included on a DVD. Or the one who wants it for the trading cards packed in the cover. Another P.O.D. fan is after the documentary about the band, also on the DVD. And the last wants the CD because it offers access to unreleased P.O.D. music online.

    Bundling a album with a raft of value-added extras – while charging just a dollar more than the standard price for a CD – may sound like a costly move for P.O.D.’s label, Atlantic Records, part of AOL Time Warner. But it is a testament to just how desperate music companies are to stoke consumer interest and reverse a three-year sales slump by pulling fans away from making free downloads of music from Internet file-trading sites.

    While the P.O.D. album, scheduled for release Nov. 4, is unusual in the amount of extra material it will carry, it is just one album in a flood of new CD’s promising extras. Recent discs from artists representing a broad cross section of genres – from R.& B. diva Mary J. Blige to singer-songwriter Elvis Costello to punk band Pennywise – have come with extra material.

    ….The bevy of bonuses continues even as Vivendi Universal’s Universal Music Group, the world’s largest record company, put into effect plans to slash CD prices up to 30 percent on coming releases.

    ….But some music industry executives say price cuts are necessary. “We would not be reducing the price of music if we were not fighting” free music, that is, popular file-sharing services like Kazaa and Morpheus, said Jim Urie, the president of Universal Music and Video Distribution. [NY Times]

Read again what the Universal executive just said. Extraordinary.

About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    As an Uber Geek superfan of music, I have enjoyed a lot of these extras already. The new Dashboard Confessional album came with a cool DVD of acoustic performances. The Early November CD had a video of the lead singer performing one of the songs acoustically on handheld video sitting on a bed in a band member’s house. I eat this kind of stuff up. I can do without trading cards, but I love all the other stuff.

  • Eric Olsen

    Well then it’s working my friend – thank the file sharers. I’ll trade you five P.O.D. cards for a Barry Bonds.

  • Eric Olsen

    Hey Craig, you should come over and borrow CDs and help me file.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    i think this is a great thing. my Neil Young Greendale cd came with a dvd containing a performance of the whole danged thing on acoustic guitar.

    i don’t think a video of the whole cd is necessary….maybe even one is enough.

    heck, they don’t have videos on mtv anymore…why not send ‘em direct to the consumer?