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Five Reasons Musicians Should Give a Damn about CD Packaging

So you’re just so pissed because one band member is very persistent that you make a really good looking CD packaging. WTF, right? It’s not like you’re already rich and famous. It’s your first time to release an album and you don’t want to spend big bucks because you’re not even sure if people will buy it. You cannot risk a lot of money now that you are just testing the waters. And if you really want to make a creative packaging, you might as well post them on your website so people can download them. That way, the risk is not too big, right?

But I tell you what… I actually am on the side of your annoying band member. Wait, don’t stop reading just yet! I do have solid reasons why you should give much importance to your CD packaging. Read my list below and you might be convinced that CD packaging is indeed very important, especially to new bands. Don’t hate me now.

1. This quote by Jerry Only

“The packaging has to really sell the product today, because kids can go out and buy a CD and then 10 kids can burn them. So you have to really be on your toes.”

CD packaging, Five Reasons Musicians Should Give a Damn about CD Packaging

This is so true and you know it. You know how easy it is to burn and share files. Everybody knows that. So why do you think people will buy your CD? Maybe it’s because they love you so much. Or maybe it’s because they want your signature during your tour, or maybe because they just want to show it off to their friends. Give them one more reason to buy your CD by making a killer CD packaging. This will convince them to buy the real thing!

2. CD Packaging is a Good Branding Tool

Do not just put a forgettable picture. You have to make an impression. You have to be strategic with your CD packaging because it helps build your image. You should know how you want your band to look like in the heads of your prospects. In other words, you should know what image you want to project. Think of words and feelings that you want people to associate with your band and show it in your CD packaging.

You may not see the gains quickly as it takes months (even years) to create a solid image for your band. You might not even notice a solid result. But giving your band a distinct personality will give you a feeling of satisfaction.

3. Some People Buy Albums merely for the Packaging

Yes, this is true. Some people simply like to collect beautiful CD packaging. They want to display their collection in their living rooms for guests to admire.

CD packaging, Five Reasons Musicians Should Give a Damn about CD Packaging

4. The Press will Love it.

If you want to be featured in music blogs and magazines, then give them something to talk about aside from your music. The more things you have to talk about for your album release, the more interested bloggers and journalists will get. They want something worth talking about so if you want them to feature your CD packaging, then it better be remarkable or else forget it. Make sure you prepare your press materials during production. Record a video of how you made your CD packaging, take lots of good pictures, document everything including the materials used and the story behind it.

5. CD Packaging might be a big factor for album sales

I still haven’t read a study or statistics about this but I’m pretty sure the album artwork helps increase album sales. Out of the 5 top-selling albums of 2010, 4 of them have very creative album art. Vampire Weekend’s Contra is one of the most unique (and controversial) album artwork for 2010. Black Keys’ Brothers is nominated for the 2010 Grammy Awards for Best Recording Package.

CD packaging, Five Reasons Musicians Should Give a Damn about CD Packaging

CD packaging, Five Reasons Musicians Should Give a Damn about CD Packaging

Instead of scrimping too much on CD packaging artwork so that you’ll have budget for traditional marketing, why don’t you have an impressive CD packaging instead. That would be hitting two birds with one stone. This way you’re actually adding value to the actual product.


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