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Music DVD — What's Taking So Long?

28 Mar, 2005 By: Stephanie Prange

I wrote the following in a column in August 2003: “The music industry's downfall has been its unwillingness to move beyond the present, to evolve with technology and its consumer. … As the DVD rises in popularity, the music business is only tentatively entering these new waters. Had the video business held onto the VHS cassette with such tenacity, DVD would have had a much harder time gaining acceptance. Maybe the CD's time has come — but you'll have a heck of a time convincing the music business to abandon that life raft.”

More than a year and a half later, I could say the same thing about the current situation. While the music industry has hopped onto the download bandwagon tentatively with iTunes and other download offerings, the music DVD segment still remains a small part of the music business — with the CD still dominant. Yes, packaged media has moved forward a bit with CDs packaged with DVDs and the DualDisc (with CD on one side and DVD on the other), but DVD launched in 1997. Should it take eight years for the music business to incorporate its technological appeal?

I see a future for packaged music media on DVD. While singles will always be a download phenomenon, music DVD is a more permanent record of an album — with visuals. It is an art form unto itself. Certain artists will be singles artists, and certain artists may be music DVD fodder.

The pace of music DVD growth is certainly nice — somewhat tracking the TV DVD market — but it could be much more.

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