“Who the fart are still buying CDs? It’s not 1993!
Who would want the square-ish bulky thing with only 12-16 tracks when there’s the no-weight, no –mass (and some no-cost) Spotify? Let’s just skip the CD and go digital full-force.”
Not the wisest decision, buddy.
Apparently, many still buy the good ‘ole compact disc. Sure, not too many that it would beat digital sales but not too few either that CD manufacturing companies would close down. Proof that CDs are still okay? We’re still here. And we’re not struggling. In fact, we’re better than ever this year!
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.
Vinyl has also seen a dramatic 16.3% boost, but remain a niche format at 3.2 million units, according to Billboard.
The loser so far this year is the CD which recently celebrated its 30th birthday. At the same time last year there had been 151.6 million albums sold on CD – now it’s down to 129.7 million, which dragged down the overall album figures.
But why are we still here and why so many artists still making CDs?
We’re here because we don’t just offer CD manufacturing, we do all sorts of stuff from merch printing to vinyl pressing to Flash Drive manufacturing. Diversification is key. And that’s what artists should do, too. Freaking DIVERSIFY. Offer CDs, offer downloads, offer dropcards, offer USB albums, or even a limited edition vinyl record if you feel like it.
But never skip the CD. Here are some reasons why you should still make CDs today:
The CD legitimizes you.
The CD helps create your Image/Brand.
You’ll get more attention from press if you have a CD.
Who tours without a CD?
While you’re making CDs anyway, try to turn it into a marketing tool. You can’t not make regular CDs today. That’s a waste of money! It should have something more than your music or else they’d just download your stuff. Your CD and your CD packaging should be “oh man this is too awesome” awesome. Jerry Only said ““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.”So true!
So how can you turn your CD into a kick-ass marketing tool?
First Things First: Create a Buzz-worthy Packaging
Make a Press Release of your lovely CD packaging
Be featured on blogs
Include QR Codes
Put your website
Add small giveaways
Give away some on Facebook. Much better than a download.
The CD is dead? That’s debatable. We here at Unified are very confident it will never die. But to be safe, make only few and just diversify.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.