Feeds

Universal to revive dead CD single format

Tiny discs to restore single market in turn

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Universal Music's UK wing is to bring the 8cm CD back from the dead later this month, in a desperate bid to revive the singles market. The 'new' format will be called Pocket CD, but is essentially the compact CD developed in the mid-1980s as the format for CD singles.

Alas, all but a handful of CD players were unable to cope with the format, requiring owners to clip extension rings around each disc to take them up to the standard 12cm CD album size.

The 8cm format passed away, at least in the music market, though you do occasionally come across them offered as novelties or as driver discs for small IT products such as USB Flash drives.

Each Pocket CD will contain three tracks and - for the first time - codes that enable buyers to download ringtone versions of the songs. Mobile phone ringtones are seen as the basis for an increasingly lucrative music market - sales have already outstripped CD singles.

Global ringtone sales will total around $3.5bn this year, compared with just $232.5m last year for global singles sales, down 18.7 per cent, the Financial Times notes. In 2003, the value of the UK singles market dwindled 30 per cent to £85.2m.

Of course, since a ringtone is merely an alert, we can't see anyone actually using them as a way to experience music. 'Call me now, please - I want to listen to the new Kylie single.' However, such is the turnover of ringtones, that it's going to be big business whether folk are listening to them or not.

Universal reckons other labels will follow its lead. They may do so, but will it make much difference? If the singles market is going anywhere, it's online. Apple and Napster need not fear the Pocket CD, and they too may make a move into ringtone territory in due course, assuming the major labels can agree to realistic licences. UK digital music provider Wippit already offers ringtones. ®

Related stories

DVD Forum backs CD/DVD hybrid
Universal builds 20TB digital music archive
Napster gives away MP3 players
HMV iPods not compatible with store's music downloads
Papers plan digital music moves
Apple opens iTunes in the UK, France and Germany
OD2 unveils 1p-a-play digital music jukebox
Virgin to open music download service
French music biz staff revolt over downloads

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.