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Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 12:32 GMT
Britney 'spearheads' new discs
Britney Spears
Britney Spears: Getting behind new format
Britney Spears, 'N Sync and R Kelly are to release their music in a new format intended to replace the CD, it has been reported.

The artists' record label, Jive Records, will become the first label to commit their roster to the new DataPlay medium, according to the Hollywood Reporter.


The feedback to DataPlay has been overwhelmingly positive

Pete Jones, BMG Distribution

The DataPlay format is designed to store almost any kind of information in a disc which looks like a large coin in a clear plastic shell.

The availability of three of the world's biggest-selling pop artists will be seen as a vote of confidence in the new medium, due to go on sale in the US this summer.

Universal Music Group, EMI Group and BMG Entertainment have also announced plans to distribute music on DataPlay discs, but have not yet named specific artists.

'Benefits'

The BMG group called the new format "a great opportunity for our industry".

Pete Jones, President of BMG Distribution, said: "The feedback from both retail and our labels to DataPlay has been overwhelmingly positive, and the consumer benefits are many."

N'Sync
N'Sync's Celebrity is one of the US's fastest-selling CDs
Each disc should be able to hold more than 11 hours of compressed music files, or the equivalent of five complete pre-recorded CDs.

But they will also be able to store hundreds of high-resolution photographs, 100 e-books or dozens of games.

The makers of the disc say they will resist piracy but will permit consumers to make their own personal copies and compilations.

This feature is seen as essential to make the new format attractive to buyers yet acceptable to the music industry.

The record labels hope DataPlay will enable music to be combined with videos, interviews, photos and more on the same disc.

The discs can also contain internet links to more content, such as previous releases from the artist's catalogue.

DataPlay discs and music players are set to go on sale in the US in the summer, with players likely to cost $280-$450 (195-315).

Blank discs are expected to cost $5-$12 (3.50-8.40).

See also:

18 Mar 02 | Sci/Tech
Discord over digital music
11 Mar 02 | Showbiz
Britney denies split
26 Feb 02 | New Media
Piracy blamed for CD sales slump
12 Mar 02 | New Media
Trouble ahead for music industry
02 Aug 01 | Music
'NSync celebrate sales surge
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