| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N) music label Hollywood Records is offering a new CD format with extra features to encourage compact-disc purchases in a bid to reverse declining CD sales.
Hollywood Records on Wednesday unveiled its new CDVU+ (CD View Plus) format with digital magazine extras, song lyrics, band photos and other extras to boost fan loyalty.
The new format also replaces the traditional CD booklet and plastic jewel case with recyclable packaging.
Teen punk band Jonas Brothers will be the first act to use the technology when they release their self-titled album on August 7.
Music companies have been seeking new ways to give buyers more value from recorded music sales in hopes of turning around declining sales trends of regular CDs.
U.S. CD sales were down nearly 20 percent in the first half of 2007 as more young buyers digitally download music and piracy runs rampant.
Disney executives hope to hold the interest of fans by offering content similar to the extras on movie DVDs and convince them that pure music products still offer good value.
Recorded music is also competing with video games and other forms of entertainment for a share of consumers' disposable income.
The content on a CDVU+ can be downloaded and accessed online and off. The label said the extra content had been produced for the new format rather than using the band's outtakes or widely available material, such as existing music videos.
"We really believe if you're going to give consumers what they want, we should do it in a way they're used to," said Ken Bunt, Hollywood Records' senior vice president of marketing.
Hollywood Records is a label within Disney Music Group, which last year had the two biggest selling CDs in the U.S., the High School Musical soundtrack and country singer Rascal Flatts' "Me And My Gang."
Other acts include Hilary Duff and Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus. Bunt said the company is already making plans to release albums from Duff and two other big selling acts -- The Cheetah Girls and Atreyu -- on CDVU+.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)