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February 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 2


Childrenīs Music: Whatīs New for 2005

The savvy childrenīs music retailer in 2005 knows that cassettes are out, and CDs are in. Videotapes are nearing extinction, and DVDs are multiplying. According to Brian Beihl, president of MCE Catalog Ventures and Kiddo Music & Video, these format changes have been slow to implement in the childrenīs market because of the need for parental assistance in handling discs. This year weīre finally seeing the end of tape. Kids must be taught how not to scratch.

Shoving Out Smaller Musicians

Beihl says that mass-marketed, TV-advertised artists will shove out smaller musicians. "The bestsellers of the future will be heavily marketed to parents through television or cable, most likely with a television show tie-in, and with entertaining yet educational content,” he says.

For retailers who wish to carry the little guys anyway, Web sites must offer sound files to sell product. Educational material is in higher demand than ever before. Foreign language and learning CDs will compete with big names in childrenīs entertainment.

"I see major retailers dropping even more childrenīs artists as the major labels drop more childrenīs artists," Beihl states.

Stepping Up Promotion

As the industry consolidates like the publishing world has done in recent years, those at the front will sell and those lagging behind will need to step up promotion. Beihl believes that satellite radio will give a boost to the childrenīs market and adds that recording technology has caused an upsurge in the number of artists requesting distribution through his company.

Ron Brown, owner of Intelli-Tunes, will expand his series of educational CDs in 2005. His focus is the primary grades and home schools. "Publishers and artists now seem focused on producing either educational īteachingī music or traditional songs that offer some form of entertainment value," Brown explains. "Retailers should keep a keen eye on this genre and market it aggressively."

Brown describes the classroom trend as an "explosion." Math and language arts CDs, he says, will be bestsellers.

Writer's Bio: Julia Ann Charpentier is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and an editor for book publishers. Read more articles by this author


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