In a world full of digital streaming, online music platforms and instant downloads, it can appear that the more traditional forms of music distributio
In a world full of digital streaming, online music platforms and instant downloads, it can appear that the more traditional forms of music distribution have long become redundant.
Gone are the vinyl and the CDs, to be replaced by Spotify, Tidal, and iTunes, where how well you perform as an artist is no longer determined by record sales than by how many times people clicked on your streaming link.
But, is the dinosaur CD really dead? Or is there still something to be gained by producing those physical, shiny disks?
Here, we’ve taken a look at why CDs are still essential to an unsigned band in today’s music industry.
They’re still a big source of revenue
Although CDs are usually regarded as sitting on the shelves of HMV and collecting dust, physical disks still shift a lot of units every year and contribute massively to the music industry’s annual revenue.
So, it’s well worth investing in some CDs if you can afford to!
They’re cheap to produce
Another misconception of producing CDs is that the production of the disks will usually outweigh any potential profit. However, CDs are very cost-effective to manufacture, especially if you order large quantities.
We spoke to VDC Group, a CD and Vinyl manufacturer, who said: “Many people disregard producing CDs as they’re usually seen as a bit of a money pit within the industry. However, with modern techniques, you can now produce a CD for as little as 65p each, including casing, inlays and booklets.
When you measure this against the potential profit, it definitely works out as a successful investment. For example, if you sold each CD for just £5, you’d be making nearly 8 times what it cost you to produce it.”
They produce better sound quality
With many genres, diehard fans still prefer to listen to a CD over a digital download, due to physical disks producing a better sound quality.
Digital streaming often results in files becoming extremely compressed compared to the original which can really compromise the sound quality. When this is coupled with listening over headphones, many fans will receive a poor imitation of your music.
Plus, when it comes to certain genres that have an older fan base, many people who want to listen to your music are less comfortable with online streaming than they are with CDs and may be put off by digital-only releases.
They get your name out there
Finally, CDs are a great way to get your name out there in the traditional way and gain more of a fan base.
Many fans like to support you as a band and engage with your music through CDs on merchandise stands, which can be increased with things like CD signings which can help your music become more personal to fans. Plus, the act of the band engaging with fans through merch stalls can really help to cement your fan base.
Additionally, it’s widely believed in the industry that many reviewers only feature new bands with physical CDs. Should you release music on a digital-only basis, you may struggle to reach wider audiences in the same way that CDs do.