$45 Tool CD Gives Indie Record Stores Unexpected Boost
A funny thing happened last week with the new Tool album" says Coalition Independent Music Stores (CIMS) executive director Michael Bunnell, "indie retail had an old-school moment."
"Several stores had well-attended midnight sales on Thursday (it was my store's first midnight sale in 10 years)," continues Bunnel. "When we returned to work on Friday morning, there were lines at the door. We had to shut down online sales because we feared we couldn’t supply our local customers with a new release that was literally flying out the door. The sales from this one release dramatically changed our CD sales numbers for the month of August.. We scrambled to get product from all sources, and we were still under-supplied by at least a hundred copies, maybe more. And all this for a $45 CD."
"Yes, the Tool release was the biggest thing to hit retail in years. And the whole experience spoke volumes about the fact that the buying public still has uber-fans who will rush to pay their hard-earned money for an artist they believe in and care about. Physical retail still matters, and if the content is good and the packaging is carefully considered, anything can happen."
"Now, how do we get that word out to artists and managers who for some unknown reason have abandoned the physical art form?" asks Bunnell.
As of Thursday, the new Tool CD "Fear Inoculum" was also the #1 new release on Amazon.
We would LOVE to make CDs – we love the sound quality, we love the artwork etc. However, for us very small artists, it is simply not financially viable to press up even a few hundred CDs to only sell a handful. Our last CD was in 2008 and we got to a point where we literally couldn’t give them away. No-one had anything to play them on by a few years later. It may be differ in the USA, though (we’re in the UK).
I suspect the physical product option works better for long established artists with fans above a certain age who grew up buying physical products.
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