Music Labels’ CD/DVD-Video DualDisc hybrid faces a few snags

In an aim for the record industry to try and improve CD sales which they
blame piracy for the recent slide, they have tried adding bonus songs, website
content for buyer’s only and bonus DVDs.  One
thing they are working on now is to ship CD/DVD hybrids with a CD layer on one
side and a DVD layer on the other side of the same disc.  However, they are running into legal and
licensing issues.


 


The top music labels have high hopes for these hybrid discs named as
DualDiscs,
but are keeping this quiet at present.  The German based DVD Plus International
claims that the DualDisc is hijacking their technology as there was an agreement
made with the music industry that the DVD Plus logo will be placed on these
hybrid discs.  However, Warner
Music’s Distribution and Manufacturing arm (WEA) that makes the discs call them
DualDiscs for the labels (excluding Sony). 

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Philips
also refuses to allow these hybrid discs to have the Compact Disc logo unless
the record labels take full responsibility for any read issues with the CD
layer.  So far, there have been no
returned discs in the trial hybrid disc stage.  Finally, as each recording medium is
licensed differently, a new licensing agreement must be worked out for these
hybrid discs.  These hybrid discs are expected to start shipping in
2005. 
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Record
makers are enjoying a rebound after a three-year sales slump that they
have blamed largely on online piracy. Efforts to control piracy and the
growth of legal Web music services like Apple Computer’s iTunes have
helped.


The labels also have spurred
sales by packaging “bonus” DVDs with CDs. In February, several began test
marketing the new hybrid discs that are a CD on one side and a DVD on the
other. They see these “DualDiscs” as a next generation product that
marries the booming market for DVDs with declining CDs.


“It’s not like the coming of
the CD, but we did really well with them,” said Greg Harrington, manager
of Tower Records in Cambridge, Mass., which took part in the test.

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Some 13 titles by artists
like David Bowie and Linkin Park were sold in Boston and Seattle. The idea
is to put music on the CD side and videos of a concert, interview or
recording session on the DVD. They were priced at about $ 18.99 in retail
stores.


But before the products can
be ready for the mass market, several issues must be resolved, including a
contract dispute between a technology developer and manufacturer, and
questions dealing with the licensing of “CD” and of music rights.


Read the full story
here.


 


First
we heard of attempts being made to add a DVD-Audio 2nd
layer to an audio CD, but without success.
  Next, an attempt had been made to have a
CD layer on one side and
a DVD-Audio layer on the other.
 
This technology seems to be taking another approach by having DVD-Video
on the second side instead of DVD-Audio. 

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Once (if) this technology does take off, it
will be interesting to see if consumers are interested in the extra concert and
music video extras.  Then again,
music video sales have risen 95% over the previous year in the last sales
report.

Source: CNET News – Music

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