During the past few years, many labels devoted considerable resources to creating nicer, greener CD packaging. Suddenly, it's no longer as high a priority.

"We're thinking about another kind of green right now," says Duncan Browne, COO of the 27-unit, Brighton, Mass.-based Newbury Comics chain. "We're seriously committed to green of the dead president kind."
That's because U.S. album sales continue to fall. As of the end of first-quarter 2009, album sales, including track-equivalent ones, are down 7% from the corresponding period last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"Green packaging is way down on my list right now," says the head of one U.S. independent distributor. "The accounts have bigger problems to worry about."

Three of the four major labels say their progress toward green packaging-and away from polystyrene-based jewel boxes-stands at...

Click here for the full story, including the packaging all four majors are now using, the problems that green packaging causes for distributors, the marketing considerations and more.

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