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Sony Responds To The Changing Cd Market With Low Priced "Playlist" Cd Line

Sony BMG Music is responding to declining Cd sales, the bad economy, illegal music downloading and other issues by marketing a new line of low priced Cds of classic music from the Sony catalog. Besides a low price often between $6-$8 retail at discount retailers, the "Playlist" series features great 14 song selections of greatest hits that often include the rarer single versions of songs, eco-friendly packaging, high quality remastered Cd sound quality unlike the poor sound quality of those compressed music downloads, plus bonus materials available Online.

elo playlist.jpg

The Daryl Hall & John Oates for example contains eight 45rpm single versions of their songs as well as one video mix version. These tracks are worth having because the normal album versions are different. The ELO 14 track "Playlist" Cd contains the single version of "Roll Over Beethoven" which is much shorter than the normal Cd album version. It's great to find this single version in Cd form. Other acts include Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Judas Priest, Cypress Hill, Cheap Trick, Heart and many other acts. For the low price, rarer single versions and other bonuses, the new Sony line of "Playlist" Cds are certainly worth owning. This is a great marketing and packaging angle from Sony.

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Comments (5)

I remember 25 years ago whe... (Below threshold)

I remember 25 years ago when CD's were selling for $15.95 and vinyl (or cassette) of the same selection sold for $8.95. The record store people said the price difference was due to the increased manufacturing cost for the new CD technology. But they had it on good authority (from record companies, I presume) that once CD technology became less expensive, CD prices would actually fall below the price for vinyl or cassette tape.

Instead, CD's remained at $15.95, then jumped to $17.95, then $19.95, with some new releases selling as high as $21.95. It seems that the recent price drop in CD's at retail music stores has been largely fueled by competition from giant online distributors like Amazon.com, not efforts by record companies to make their product more affordable.

Selling "oldies" cheaply is probably a good sales strategy for record companies, but it doesn't do much for new artists, especially the "yet-unknowns", and those recording for independent record labels.

I fully agree with your obs... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

I fully agree with your observations here, Michael. New artists won't benefit at all from this new price structuring and marketing angle. But, it should help to spur catalog sales of older artist materials, but leaves new artists to face serious consumer issues such as declining Cd sales, a bad economy, and continued illegal song downloading from pirate websites.

Sony should try something really bold and offer some new artists at a lower price and see what happens. At that price some new artists might really take off. Historically, many artists generally .0-.29 cents royalties on a Cd sale from the record companies, which often now charge artists for recording time, production and promotion fees.

If there's one thing I can'... (Below threshold)

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's abridged version of album tracks passed off as singles. No matter how dumb the original was, the AM radio version is dumber-er.
Often you can hear the sound of scissors as they snip ("A Long Way There"--Little River Band).
Sometimes they excise a rad guitar solo only to replace it with a limp one of equal length(!)("Let It Be"--The Beatles).
I would advise not rewarding this bean-counters' mindset. The better sales strategy would be the old 2-for-1. Marvin Gay's best albums are available thusly.
Also, anthologies (50'S, 60's, 70's, blues, gospel, swing, etc) can still be had cheaply at $5/disc everywhere, singly and in threes.

A very good example of what... (Below threshold)

A very good example of what the record companies tearing apart albums, is the early Beatles stuff. Capital Records took the original UK recordings and repackaged them into who the hell knows what. Just to make bigger profit and the Beatles got peanuts, if that much, from these bastardizations.

@Stan:Aye! And to ... (Below threshold)


Aye! And to put the whammy on it, the melvins at Capitol Records failed to include one of The Beatles' most transcendent early recordings anywhere among all that superfluous album vinyl. (It was a fast duet, a true co-written song (as opposed to an L&M(tm) song), sung by the writers "live" in Feb.1963 when they were still best friends. It was on the first UK album. A real exposition of the Beatles sound. Real theater-of-the-mind stuff. Go figure.


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