In the news:
As the music industry adapts to a changed marketplace, the album is no longer simply a discrete collection of songs but a package that changes size, shape and price depending on how it is sold. And promotion, once the relatively straightforward process of making a video and visiting radio stations, has also been transformed, as labyrinthine exclusive deals are struck with an array of retail and media companies — from Amazon.com and iTunes to Rhapsody, Wal-Mart and Verizon Wireless — eager to make an association with top talent.I find it odd that this article makes no mention of how such marketing undercuts independent record stores (they're not dead yet). Nor does the article consider that such marketing might encourage illegal downloading as an alternative to buying one album two or three times.
For Bands, Bonus Songs Become New Norm (New York Times)
I first became aware of the absurdity of bonuses with Brian Wilson's That Lucky Old Sun, which appeared in at least five versions: Best Buy, Borders, extra mayo, iTunes, and plain. The Best Buy and iTunes versions had extra songs; the Borders version, stamps.