It's half-vinyl, half-CD and all gimmick. We want one!M¸ritz, Germany (October 22, 2007)--Over the past 12 months the entertainment industry has launched a variety of innovative shiny disc formats in an attempt to attract illegal downloaders back to physical product. News has emerged of the latest 4-inch piece of plastic, VinylDisc, which combines a CD on one side with vinyl--yes, vinyl--on the other.
The Guardian newspaper in the UK has reported that former Busted frontman Charlie Simpson's new band, Fightstar, will release a limited edition single next month on the new disc format. VinylDisc pairs a standard, 70-minute CD layer with a vinyl layer that can hold up to three minutes of music.
A German company, Optimal Media Production, which also offers colored, vinyl-look and perfume-scented discs in its catalog, along with 7-, 10- and 12-inch vinyl options, developed the new disc. According to Optimal's web site, the format was launched at the Popkomm convention in Germany last month with the distribution of a sample VinylDisc by Berlin dance music collective Jazzanova to attendees.
VinylDisc is unlikely to save the music industry, but it is already proving its worth as a marketing tool, which is pretty much what physical discs have been reduced to with the rise of illegal downloading. Guy Holmes, the chairman of Fightstar's label, Gut, told The Guardian, "It can only work as a gimmick because we don't actually know how many fans have record players."
According to the newspaper, Holmes has demonstrated his marketing abilities in the past, having revived the career of Tom Jones, introduced the world to Right Said Fred and popularized Crazy Frog. He also commented, "The music business desperately, desperately needs to invent new formats; the CD is an antique, it's 20 years old."
The head of marketing for Optimal Media Production, Grit Schreiber, is quoted as saying that "we have seen enormous growth in the area of vinyl production. Nothing seemed more natural than the idea of combining the worlds of digital and analogue sound."
Optimal Media Production GmbH