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DualDiscs to Debut Oct. 19

24 Aug, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

SAN DIEGO — Attendees at this year's NARM convention got to get up close with the newest product to hit the home entertainment market — the DualDisc, with CD content on one side and DVD content on the other.

BMG, Sony Music, EMI, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and 5.1 Entertainment unveiled the disc with a presentation on the final day of the convention and sponsored a demo room stocked with every DVD and CD playback system imaginable — from home theater systems to portable DVD players, PlayStation 2, walkmans and even a car to test the CD side. Many from the packed house of the presentation made their way to the testing ground, handling the discs and navigating the highly interactive menus.

The first round of DualDisc product will arrive Oct. 19 at an approximate $20 price point. The first batch to hit the market includes David Bowie Reality, Five for Fighting: The Battle for Everything, Good Charlotte: The Young and the Hopeless, Miles Davis: Kind of Blue, Incubus: A Crow Left of the Murder, Train: My Private Nation, Usher: 8701 and Yo-Yo Ma: Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone. Each disc includes the full album on the CD side, a 5.1 mix of the album on the DVD side and an assortment of special features from behind-the-scenes tour footage, artist interviews, live performances, music videos, lyrics, artist diaries and more.

The custom DualDisc packaging is a jewel-sized case with a rounded outer edge that has a push-button opener. Reps from 5.1 Entertainment said the box is designed to fit in all CD racks.

The packaging also includes inserts that describe the disc and answer questions consumers might have about playability and content.

Consumers want flexibility, interactivity and a richer music experience, said Paul Bishow, VP of marketing, new formats, for Universal Music Group. The DualDisc can offer all of that, he said.

“This product promises to reconnect artists to consumers in a way that will excite the music business,” he said.

Singer John Ondrasik from Five for Fighting showed up to plug the disc and perform his “100 Years” and “Superman.”

“For me, as a fan, I think the coolest thing is the opportunity for making-of footage,” he said.

Ondrasik also said he's looking forward to using the DualDisc as a way to introduce fans to a different way to hear his music, by including live performance footage on the DVD side.

It's a product that the labels, big and small, believe will create a surge of interest in the music industry, said John Esposito, president of Warner Music Group/WEA.

“It's a new opportunity for artists to connect with fans and retailers to connect with music buyers,” he said.

Presenters asked the retailers in the audience to work as partners in promoting the DualDisc to consumers.

“Music just came home,” said John Trickett, CEO of 5.1 Entertainment.

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