Disney Tries to Enrich Music CDs with CDVU+

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Disney music label Hollywood Records is looking to offset the industry-wide decline in traditional music CD sales by offering up a new CD format which packs discs with exclusive digital extras. Dubbed CDVU+ (CD View Plus), the discs will feature traditional music tracks, but replace the standard CD booklet and jewel case packaging with recyclable packaging on on-disc exclusive content, including images, song lyrics, video clips, and other media. The idea is to convince consumers traditional music CDs are still a good value.

“While the CD is still the primary means by which people consume music, it is also true that music fans are increasingly turning to the internet to connect, research, and consume music,” said Abbey Konowitch, General Manager at Disney’s Hollywood Records, in a statement. “To address the changing consumer expectations, we’ve created a recognizable physical product that also serves as a key to unlock content that is exclusive, interactive, tailored to the band’s fans, and updatable.”

The first album to be released in the new CDVU+ format will be the self-titled album from teen pop-punk trio Jonas Brothers, due for release August 7. The album will feature a 50-page interactive digital package which users can view on screen and print for their own use, and hidden links which provide access to interactive “goodies” fans can use both on and offline once downloaded. The on-disc booklet is based on technology from Zinio, which also produces digital version of mainstream print magazines like TV Guide,PC Magazine, and Macworld.

Disney’s share on the pre-teen and tween audience is strong, with artists like Hillary Duff, Miley Cyrus, Aly & AJ, the Plain White T’s, Jesse McCartney, and franchises like High School Musical), so introducing a new format with an act like Jonas Brothers might work out for them in the short term. However, over the long haul, it’s unclear whether a new music CD format—even if it offers exclusive “goodies”—will have any impact on the wider market. After all, Enhanced CDs have been around—and almost entirely ignored—for years.

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