Digital Music News has a short new item here. On the surface, not hugely interesting to the average music punter, but has interesting implications. Basically it looks like Universal (one of the largest record companies in the world) will start selling CDs in just a cardboard sleeve at the price you would expect to get the traditional jewel cased CD. To buy what is currently the norm (i.e. jewel case, lyrics etc with the booklet) you will now have to pay a premium. A back door price rise? It seems so to me at the moment.
Universal also have a deluxe range with the bonus material (DVD etc). The rub for me is that this normally gets released several months or years after the original launch of the main album. Just to try and get the big fans to go buy the album again. To be honest, I would not be surprised to see the deluxe material increasingly appearing on P2P sites and, those who want the deluxe edition, but not prepared to buy the album twice resorting to the illegal downloading.
So how does Universal gain by this? I suspect they think they’ll be able to milk the market for a few more $$. In reality they’re making it easier for people to justify to themselves going to P2P.