Why you should still release CDs
Although the collective wisdom of the music biz purports that CDs no longer sell, the reality is that CDs can still generate a significant amount of revenue for artists, as well as being useful in several other ways. Here, we look at how.
Guest post from the ReverbNation Blog
The conventional knowledge in the world of music today is that CDs do not sell anymore. Yes, CDs are no longer the mainstream media for releasing new music. However, this does not mean that as artists we cannot generate revenue from CD sales. In fact, a lot of artists today still depend on CD sales for their merch revenue. Along with merch revenue, there are other potential avenues where releasing your new music in the CD format can prove useful. In this article, we’d like to outline five reasons why you should still release your new music in CD format.
1. It’s a great touring/concert revenue source
Whereas music stores are replacing their CD sections with vinyl or other items, CD sales are still an important source of revenue during concerts. In fact, we can argue that today the greatest advantage of CDs is that it is simply great merchandise income, especially during concerts and tours.
Of course, during the pandemic, the concert CD sales have stopped. However, with the post-pandemic world being near, it is possible to think that regular concerts are not so far away. This means that a big opportunity is coming for musicians, and it’s time to bring those boxes full of CDs to sell them in concerts again!
If you’ve never sold your CDs in a concert before, give it a try – it’s really not that hard to set up! Just ask a friend to hold up the merch table, announce that you are selling CDs before your last song and watch what happens after the show! It’s not like people are going to rush to your merch table to buy all the CDs, but if you make good music and you have a good crowd, you’re gonna make some extra money that you wouldn’t have made otherwise.
2. Online sales are an important source of income
During the pandemic, streaming numbers and downloads have increased for many artists. Similarly, CD and Vinyl sales also continued. As people spent more time at home, they wanted to not only explore more music but also wanted to support their favorite artists, who were stripped away from their touring revenue. Online sales became a significant source of revenue for many artists, and CDs were no exception to the boom in these sales during this time.
3. People listen to CDs in cars more
Perhaps CDs have disappeared from our laptops, computers, and from our home music systems. However, a lot of cars still have a CD player and a lot of people listen to music on them. It is especially pleasant to listen to CDs during road trips or long commutes, as there is something special about listening to a whole album during a long trip.
As we are getting out of the pandemic life, one can imagine that we will get back to spending more and more time inside cars, which should make CDs an attractive purchasing option for many people once again. This means there is a rising opportunity in selling CDs, which I think every artist should capitalize on.
4. It’s nice to look at the artwork and have a physical copy
I think one of the reasons vinyl has made a huge comeback is that it really creates a nice experience in terms of looking at the album artwork, reading the lyrics, and putting them in the corner of your living room. CDs are not so different from vinyl when it comes to having a physical copy. Actually, CDs are much smaller and much easier to use compared to vinyl, which still makes it an attractive factor to purchase music. Moreover, CDs are more mobile and you can throw them in your backpack and travel with them if you like to have a copy of your favorite album. It’s a really nice collectible item.
5. Major radio campaigns use CDs
A great reason to create CD versions of your new release is for pitching to radio stations. Despite operating digitally today, many radio stations still prefer CDs when they are pitched new songs or albums. There are some radio stations that accept digital copies, but major radio stations will want to have CDs submitted for pitching new songs on their air streams.
On a related note, some music magazines also prefer CDs for new music pitches, but it’s becoming less and less these days.
These are the five reasons why you should create CDs for your releases. Granted, CDs are no longer going to sell millions of copies and they are not the mainstream form of releasing music anymore. However, just like vinyl or cassette, they continue to exist because people still buy them. And as long as there are people burying them, there is still a chance of revenue for musicians. So, take a look at options for making some physical CDs next time you release music and try out selling them on tour, online, or both!