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Should Artist Still Use CD's to Release Their Music?

Getting Ready For Your Next Project?

If you’re a musician getting ready to release an album, you’re probably wandering should I online release it online or also purchase CD’s to release physical copies as well?

In today’s day and age, music streaming can be a dominating factor for how you reach your fans, as Spotify has reported to have over 170 million users.

Yearly listeners on spotify chart

With that being said, you might be quick to think that CD Duplication services are worthless. But there is still a lot you need to understand, especially if you’re an indepedent artist.

Independent Artist's Making Money on Streaming Services

It’s quite easy to be blinded by these large number’s of users on streaming services. But you have to remember, how are most artist getting the most reach to these users?

  1. They either have labels dropping tons of money to do external promotion.
  2. Labels that support them in paying thousands of dollars for playlisting opportunities.
  3. They are using their own hard earned money to pay for those services.
Spotify playlist promotion2

Just to give you some insight on how much you would pay for these playlists, Rolling Stone released an article saying this:

“The cheapest campaign, which costs $250, will put an artist on playlists with a total of 50,000 followers, while the most expensive option, which costs $4,000, promises a playlist reach of one million, which the company says should generate around half a million streams.”

To further break this down for you, if you were to choose the cheapest option of $250 for playlist promotion, in order to make your money back, you would need to get 62,500 streams.

spotify stream calculator

And if you were to choose the most expensive option of $4,000, you need to get 1,000,000 streams to make that money back.

1 million streams calculator

Indepedent Artist's Making Money with Selling CD's

It’s important to remember when buying CD Duplication online, you are investing in yourself to make even more money. These CD’s that you purchase will be going out to your fans, who will pay you their own money.

And just so we’re clear, many indepedent artist can sell their CD’s for $10-$20. We will actually talk more about what the top artist’s are doing with their own packaging, but some are bundling items and selling them for even upwards of $40.

Tom Mcdonald with Cd Dulication

The photo above is Tom McDonald, an indepedent artist who puts much of his focus in creating physical connections with his fans and someone who has a diehard fanbase.

In the picture, we can say that there is at least 5,000 CD’s shown, and Tom sells his CD’s for $15. To do just some quick math, that’s $75,000 Tom is standing infront of. And remember that is just from reaching 5,000 people, in order to make that money on Spotify, you would need to get 19,000,000 streams. (yeah that’s A LOT) 

That’s a very LARGE comparision because of the $0.003 Spotify pays you per stream. And just to make sure you understand, yes that is 1/3 of a penny.

Where streaming takes a lot of upfront invest and gambling, selling CD’s is a much more safe and sure way to make your money back.

Many artists can afford to gamble with streaming promotion because they aren’t the one actually paying for it. Record labels are the ones supporting them, infact if you didn’t know, record labels worldwide spend over $5 billion on the marketing aspect.

I’m sure no indepedent artist has the same budget to work with when promoting their music.

How Artists Promote Their Music with CD's

Many artists whether indepedent or currently signed, all got their start by making a name for themselves in their hometown.

They did all of that by doing small shows, big gigs, or finding anywhere that they can perform or play their music.

But what those artists did after the show was over or how they got people to listen and become fans is the most important.

musicians promoting their music with cds

They gave them a physical item that couldn’t be forgotten. A physical item that couldn’t be mistyped or mispelled on a search bar.

They gave them a physical CD.

Fans are STILL Listening to CD's

While many might believe CD’s are dead, the numbers never lie. According to Nielsen’s 2017 year-end music report, CDs still make up 51% of total album sales.

For some genres — like holiday music, jazz, classical music, Christian/gospel music, and children’s songs, CDs are the #1 best-selling format.

When it comes to other genres like country and rock, CD sales are just right below streaming in terms of consumption, while genres like pop, hip-hop, and EDM have less CD sales.

Here’s a breakdown of popular music consumption rates in 2017:

  • Rock: 33% physical albums, 40% streaming
  • Country: 31% physical albums, 39% streaming
  • Pop: 15% physical albums, 55% streaming
  • R&B/hip-hop: 11% physical albums, 69% streaming
  • Electronic/dance: 7% physical albums, 69% streaming

So why you may believe that CD’s are a dying business, many musicians are still reaching their fans and musical goals by using CD Duplication Services.

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