Weekly AUDIO NEWS for Nov. 12, 2003

CD Pricing Today - Universal Music Group has announced that it will reduce its wholesale price on CDs by top-line artists from the existing $16.98 to $18.98 down to about $12.98. They are also reducing the prices for mid-line and budget product. Industry observers feel that after waiting a while to avoid allegations of price-fixing, the other majors will follow suit. Something like this was tried in the l950s and there wasn’t a large enough sales increase to offset the losses by reducing prices. The public perception is that recorded music is price way too high (although it’s a lot dearer in Europe). The RIAA says that CD prices fell by 32 percent since their introduction in 1983, while the Consumer Price Index rose 78 percent. The average price of admissions to entertainment and sports events rose by 142 percent! Also, back in the 80s the average length of CDs was around 42 minutes, whereas now some have up to 80 minutes, making them even more of a bargain. Price reduction is not an easy decision for the industry; mass reductions will negatively affect retailers since they paid a higher price for the stock they have.

Five Technologies to Watch - The Consumer Electronics Association released their newest edition of Five Technologies to Watch. The publication analyses all five trends and their impact on the consumer electronics market. The five were: hi-res audio, Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) & ultra wideband, Digital Video Recording, mobile gaming, and home operating systems.

Teldec Studios Updated - Berlin’s famous classical recording studio Teldec - the source of many recent DVD-A productions - has been re-built to handle both large scale classical groups and pop music, and renamed as Teldex at the same time. The studio had been closed down in 2001 with the dropping of the Teldec Classics CD label. The 5.1 production facility employs PMC monitor loudspeakers.

DTS Approved for HD Telecasting - A recent agreement with the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) ensures that DTS will have a place in high-def. TV production as an optional alternative to Dolby Digital. DTS says that its technology gives broadcasters new options, including scalable multichannel audio that could equal or exceed DVD-quality sound. Most HD programs currently are still just stereo.

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