It's one of the oldest formulas in the record business, but some things never go out of style: Take a dozen or two of the biggest radio hits and bundle them as a handy, snapshot-of-the-moment compilation.
One series of such albums - "Now That's What I Call Music!" - has been a reliable blockbuster for 10 years by sticking to a simple, recognizable brand. With a festive, uniform design aimed at the young, especially tween girls, the "Now" CDs each contain 20 "chart-topping hits" - Britney Spears has been featured 12 times - and its 28 volumes have sold 61 million copies in the United States.(...)
To offset this decline, the executives behind the albums are expanding the basic product line. They have introduced a series of supplemental CDs, like "Now That's What I Call Country," and are moving into an array of media.
New CDs will allow access to a Web site featuring acts below the usual superstar radar, and a deal with Dada, a cellphone-services company, will offer extra promotion of songs and ring tones from "Now" artists.
In addition, the "Now" team is in talks to create a network television show to highlight its acts, according to people close to the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly.
Volvemos a insistir sobre lo mismo: la música está más viva que nunca, aunque mueran los viejos formatos y las compañías anquilosadas que se aferran a ellos como violinistas en el Titanic.