Vinyl, Cassettes & Retail

Want To Release Digital Only? Think Again

image from (Update) Wish you could save some money and release your next product digital only?  That one decision could cut sales by 65% and more, according to some analysis by Glenn Peoples of Billboard. While digital's share is growing around 3-6% a year, even the smallest releases still sell more physical product than digital. Here's the proof:

2010 New Release Sales

  • 500,000+  – 17.7% digital
  • 100,000 to 500,000 – 20.4% digital
  • 50,000 to 100,000 – 23.8% digital
  • 10,000 to 50,000 – 27.2% digital
  • 1,000 to 10,000 – 33.7% digital
  • 100 to 1,000 – 48% digital

More @ Billboard

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  1. Thank you Bruce for the figures. I’m one of those guys who still only buys physical releases of music – and if there is no such version available of the album in question, which is the case increasingly often with self-releasing independent musicians, I have contacted them or their label with an inquiry to buy the album on CD-R in all its lossless glory. So far, I feel lucky that all of the artists and labels I got a reply from have been selling me a “burnt CD” of their album that way. It’s great to communicate with them personally, but it also takes a whole lot of effort on my behalf, which is something I’m not normally willing to invest into a the purchase of an album, remembering that 10 years ago, I used to get new music by just going to that huge music megastore in town which was pretty easy when compared to contacting the artists or their management directly.
    Bruce, you’re so right that exclusively non-physical released music misses out on a large chunk of possible sales. Me included, well, somewhat.

  2. Hey Guys,
    I would be interested to see how much profit you would make even though your sales would be down with just digital.
    I guess I’m wondering if it makes sense to loose the physical sales for the reduction in risk and investment upfront?
    Let me know what you think.
    – Chris

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