Buyers to benefit from back-catalogue battles

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The Independent Online
THE PUSH for cheaper compact discs will continue despite yesterday's ruling. Two recent initiatives in the music industry make this certain, writes David Lister.

Firstly, Woolworths has bought up back-catalogue material of people like Abba and Jimi Hendrix and is selling them for under pounds 10.

As different record chains begin to compete and buy up old material, there will be a likely price war.

The second factor is the link-up between the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the independent record company, Tring, to produce 125 classical albums with top class conductors at under pounds 4.

Paul Findlay, managing director of the RPO, said yesterday: 'This is a challenge to the big record companies. Why are you charging so much for your compact discs when we are showing that they can really be produced for a very low price?'

Michael Infante, head of product development at Tring, said: 'Part of the secret is that we sell in non- traditional outlets such as Tescos, garage forecourts and Happy Eaters. Admittedly we do not have to break new acts we deal with evergreen artists. But on the other hand the big record companies have big back catalogues yet they often charge full price for them. Why are The Beatles' CDs full price when all the development costs were paid off years ago?'