On the side we always keep our eyes open for the DVD Audio format. As many of you know this format is poised to replace our common Audio CD and features multichannel surround sound capabilities among other exciting features. It is not comptabile to the DVD Video format however, and is as a result treated quite differently.
Until recently, hopes were that with the introduction of DVD Audio later this fall, the industry’s leading music publishers would release product on the new format. Now it has become obvious however, that at least three of the five major publishers, WEA, Inc., BMG, and EMI Recorded Music, will not release titles this fall but targets a 2000 release schedule instead.
DVD Audio finally gives publishers the opportunity to copy protect their assets, but at the same time entering the format is as costly and time-consuming as entering the DVD Video market was. It is a new technology and experience is not existent. As a result publishers have to make subtantial investment, both time- and moneywise, to get things rolling, while at the same time no market has yet been established.