A Supposed Answer to Declining Physical Album Sales: The MVI

Recently, on a semester trip with MEISA, I had the pleasure of meeting with CEO John Esposito, and others from the various departments of WEA. During our visit, the executives at WEA showed us their newest innovation, the MVI, and asked for our personal opinion of the product. The MVI, short for Music Video Interactive, is a twist to the standard physical album, and is the newest attempt by a major record label to boost physical album sales.
Unlike the traditional album that contains audio and a booklet with pictures, the MVI contains interviews, behind-the-scenes footage of the band, an audio mixer called UMYX, as well as a ringtone maker(1) . One of the most creative features on the MVI is the UMYX audio mixer, which allows the consumer to create remixes by altering the songs on the album. The MVI also contains the standard audio that can be transferred to a computer (2).
The MVI is creative, but has come out at a time where all the special features on it are easily obtainable online through various website. The MVI is priced only a couple dollars more than a physical CD, which means it is still priced higher than a digital album. Logically, consumers are not going to pay more for an album when they can purchase it considerably cheaper on iTunes or any other online retailer.
After looking at the MVI, it seems as though the product could become outdated quickly. Like any physical album these days, a consumer would transfer the audio onto an mp3 player and stash the MVI on his or her shelf.
Labels are struggling because they are not focusing on what is popular. Digital music is in and physical albums are going out. Sadly, the time where the MVI could have blossomed is long gone.
(1) “The Basics.” Music Video Interactive MVI. Warner Music Inc. 30 Nov. 2007 .
(2)”The Basics.” Music Video Interactive MVI. Warner Music Inc. 30 Nov. 2007 .



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