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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Michael Jackson’s latest album will be in stores two weeks from tomorrow. There’s controversy surrounding whether Jackson, who died last year, wanted the songs released, or whether some of the vocals on it are fake. One thing we do know the record company’s looking for it to provide a Christmas boost.
Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins reports.
JENNIFER COLLINS: First, you have to hear this cut from the new album.
MICHAEL JACKSON: This life don’t last forever — So tell me what we’re waiting for?
It’s a song. And Sony, the company releasing it, hopes its a sales pitch, too. Bob Lefsetz, a recording industry veteran, says the posthumous album is a classic buzz builder.
BOB LEFSETZ: Everybody from Jimi Hendricks to Elvis Presley — ah — what’s his name, the rapper.
JENNIFER COLLINS: Tupac?
LEFSETZ: Tupac! Tupac made more albums dead than he did alive.
Record companies still rely on CDs to keep their business alive. Sixty percent of their revenue comes from physical album sales. Keith Holzman, a recording industry consultant, says Jackson is a sure bet.
KEITH HOLZMAN: The nature of the Jackson fan, they’re collectors. And yeah they may download some, but they’ll probably want to buy a CD to get whatever graphics they have with it.
After all, an earlier Jackson album was the nation’s third biggest seller last year. And it was only a compilation of old hits.
I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.
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