The dual disc is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month.
For those not familiar with the format, it's a two-in-one CD-DVD combo disc with a CD-format album on one side and a DVD of video related to that album on the other.
Some touted these discs as the next wave of digital music entertainment, but so far only one major label is pushing the format: Sony BMG. Sony has released over 100 dual disc titles sold over 13 million units, and in 2006 the company hopes to release even more. Already this year, artists like Pink, the Dixie Chicks, and American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken are set to release dual discs.
Other major record labels like Warner, Universal, and EMI haven't been releasing as many of these discs, though the technology is also available to them. The biggest disincentive to producing dual discs is cost. "The price of manufacturing a DualDisc is double the average CD," says Reuters, "about $1.20, versus 50 cents - 60 cents for the traditional CD with jewel box and booklet, distribution sources say." The consumer only pays up to $3.00 more for the disc.
The other labels have opted to release audio-visual material for albums on two separate discs, a CD and a DVD. The major labels will be watching consumers this year to see which format they prefer.