Retailers Applaud Sting’s Alternative CD Package

Horovitz is executive vice president of the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers, a trade association representing the wholesale and retail segments of the recorded music industry.

The National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers would like to go on record as applauding A&M; and Sting for their willingness to try a packaging alternative to the CD longbox. While many packaging prototypes are in development, none have yet to reach the marketplace, and the feedback from the testing of a new package will be invaluable in helping ultimately to steer the industry toward a viable solution for CD packaging.

One of the questions that Patrick Goldstein raised relative to the AGI DigiTrak (Pop Eye, Nov. 25) had to do with the ability to recycle the small plastic struts that are currently part of the packaging design. NARM stands ready to work with A&M; on testing the feasibility of recycling these plastic parts.

We should perhaps note that the DigiTrak, even including these small plastic struts, constitutes a substantial reduction in the amount of waste when compared to the existing 6 x 12-inch package in which 100% of the package is discarded. In fact, the goal of every packaging prototype now in development is to minimize the discarded portion of the package and to maximize the retained portion of the package.

We certainly understand the eagerness of those artists who would like the longbox to disappear immediately, but we appreciate Sting’s willingness to work with us in finding a better package not only for the retailer or the consumer, but for the environment as well. This response constitutes an understanding that problems of this magnitude are not solved overnight.


Criticizing the introduction of a new package because it may not be perfect is a little like saying, “Don’t send food to famine victims unless you can guarantee that every mouth will get a bite.”