Feeds

Universal readies back-to-basics CDs for iTunes era

Rip-friendly minimal packaging and low price

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Universal Music Group is to bring no-frills CDs to the UK in a bid to match the iTunes Music Store's price point. The scheme targets old, back-catalogue releases rather than new or recent titles.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, Universal will split its CD line-up into three format. The cheapest series is expected to retail for just under £7. The CDs will ship in a simple card slip cover with no booklet.

The new format will be introduced across the UK and Europe from September. The other two are the standard jewel-case package and a double-pack which bundles as DVD with the CD.

Universal trialled the no-frills package in Europe last year, but BMG tried it too, back in 2004 before its merger with Sony to form Sony-BMG. Then, the move was about providing an alternative to free downloads via P2P networks - now, it's about competing with iTunes.

The real test will be how far online retailers discount the new discs. With most etailers selling regular-packaged CDs for less than the £7.99 iTunes charges for most album bundles, clearly CDs are already priced less than downloads. If the new discs retail online for around £3.99 or £4.99, there's certainly potential to grab business from the DRM-encumbered download stores.

Assuming, of course, Universal's discs aren't copy protected. We don't know, but we suspect they won't be. The minimalist packaging, apart from lowering the cost, may well appeal to folk who just want to rip the contents straight to the computer for transfer to an iPod or other MP3 player then archive the disc as a back-up copy. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.