How To: Get Consumers to Buy CDs Instead of MP3s

MuseI may be alone on this one, but I just noticed a small pattern in my CD shopping habits. Here’s an example:

Over the past couple years, I’ve come to love music from the band Muse. British rockers with some serious talent, they have a great sound that is a mix of britpop, rock, alternative, and electronica.

What I realized is that I own all five of their albums in CD format, and that I made all of these purchases in the last two years (during which time I bought almost no CDs, as I’m more into downloading music). So why did I buy these albums as CDs rather than MP3s?

Simple. Their most recent two albums each come with a live concert on DVD. So I could buy the MP3s via Amazon for $8.99. Or I could get the CD/DVD set for $12.99. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but getting a DVD included for $4 made my brain automatically pick buying the CDs.

As for the other three earlier albums, well, they aren’t as easily available in downloadable form. And once I am “converted” enough to a band, I have no problem buying their CDs. But the key here is that the DVD bundling sold me as a CD buyer in the first place.

Now, on the back end, I have no idea how much it costs to make stuff like this happen. And I’m not about to claim that it’s automatically worth it for all bands to do this. But while Radiohead gets buzz for experimenting with new forms of distribution, I thought I should mention a perhaps overlooked old school method of getting at least me interested in buying music.

Of course, you could argue that DVDs are going away too and will soon be replaced by digital content. But even if that’s the case, it’s at a much slower pace than the same transition happening in music. So, at the very least, I think CD/DVD combos could at least slow down the CD’s death while the industry figures out what to do.

But is this just me? Does anyone else fall for CD purchases when DVDs are included?