I think that bands are releasing too many greatest hits albums. Many bands have multiple Greatest Hits CD's as well as multiple-disk Greatest Hits. What I propose is that the artists release all of their songs onto an MP3 player.
This player will have all the songs by them, and can be seperated
by title, album, and year. (I think year should belong, right?) You can create playlists/do not playlists (for songs you do not want to hear, they will be omitted and basically its like they are deleted, though you can remove them from this list and put it back into circulation.) on the go and there is a shuffle/random function. It is a basic mp3 player without any editing capabilities. There is no way to connect it to the computer to add or remove songs. It will run on normal batteries rather than rechargeable ones to keep the cost low.
The reason I believe this will be a better marketting strategy than selling CD's is because CD's are becoming an endangered species. Sure, there are plenty CD's, but there are many online music stores opening up, and there is a great amount of pirated music. There are hundreds of MP3 players on the market and CD sales are decreasing. By selling MP3 players they do not have to worry about people sharing their music through file transfer programs and it would be something that younger people would like to have. (Rather than feeling out of place with a walkman.)
I have thought about this for a long time, and there have been a few reasons why I refrained from posting this. First off is that CD's are primarily bought to play in the car and in stereos. Now, though, there are many steroes out there that come with a headphone cord attached, so all you have to do is simple plug it into the headphone jack on your MP3 player and you can hear the songs over the speakers. Also I have found that some cars have these as well, and if not people can modify the car to include this feature. The only upside that CD's have is that the music can be ripped from that and be put onto mass storage media players, like iPods.
In conclusion, I believe that there is big potential in bands selling mp3 players with all of their music in there, no data manipulation possible, and cool skin for it to boot. They should still sell greatest hit cds though, for the "old fashioned people", collectors, or for people who would not walk around with two mp3 players and would rather rip the music onto their ipod.