The CD is dead. We keep hearing it every day since 2001 but here we are, 12 years later, still alive and making hundreds of thousands of CDs each year. Many things changed because of the internet but one thing never changes: fans still want to take home the physical format. The mp3 is too soft (pun intended) for the hardcore fans and the flash drive and vinyl are still quite expensive. When they go out to see you play, they want to take home something with them to listen to and show off to everyone. And, surprise surprise, it’s still the CD, not the download card or the more expensive USB. Yes, the CD is still what the real rock and rollers and music lovers want.
But we’re not blind. We know that digital sales go up year per year. It’s cheap, it’s convenient, and it’s much easier to store, play, and transfer.
Here are the digital vs CD figures in 2012:
In 2012, Digital album sales in the US are up by 15.3%, and have sold over 1 billion units for the first time over this period.
Albums sold on CD went down significantly. In 2011, there were 151.6 million albums sold on CD – now it’s down to 129.7 million, which dragged down the overall album figures.
But it’s not about which one is dying or rising, is it? The fact that there are still 129 million CDs sold should be a reason for any musician to still make CDs. Of course you have to offer digital downloads on your website but if your band plays on bars and you’re planning to tour, good god, you can’t be without your CDs! You simply can’t miss opportunities of selling your music to your fans. If you have a CD, at least you have something to hand them during gigs. The point is, make both. Don’t skip the CD.
Aside from direct sales, CDs are a great way to brand your band. Make your artwork and packaging reflect what image you want to be known for -choose the colors that reflect you, make the design that speaks volumes about you and your music. If you want something more than a CD jewel case or a digipak, make Limited Edition CDs in special packaging, from custom boxes to bubble foil wraps or anything at all. If you need inspiration, here are 20 unconventional ways to release music. Special Edition packaging are a bit expensive to make but the returns are HUGE. Here are some reasons why you should give a damn about CD packaging.
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