Posts tagged: CD Sales

Give a Physical Copy of the CD with an Album Download

By chrisbrummund, May 15, 2009 11:24 am

I came across this post on Twitter today and it made me happy:

@melodicart I think you should still get the physical cd sent to you when buying album downloads on iTunes. the artwork people! It matters! Missing out

As an employee at a CD duplication company, how can I not like that statement?  It really makes the point that you should get some more value when buying an album.  There’s really nothing to experience when just purchasing an MP3 download.  It’s just a string of binary code (zeroes and ones).  Of course, you get the music, but you can find many places online to simply stream (or illegally download) the music for free.

Most people who just buy the occasional single are OK with this.  They only plunked down $0.99 for the single song download, and they don’t expect much else other than the song itself.  But if you’re paying $10 for an entire album, I think you should get a little something extra.  A physical CD would go great with your downloaded MP3s.

It’s getting harder to market recorded music to the masses when so many are enticed to illegally download music for free.  That’s why it’s important to add value to the recording you are selling.  Invest in good graphic design services that may end up on a list like this.  Track your CD sales and give your buyers access to exlusive content like videos or bonus songs.  The more value you can add to your products, the more people will be enticed to buy.

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Record Stores Selling MP3 Downloads

By copycatsmedia, May 1, 2009 10:35 am

Posted by Chris Brummund

A couple days ago, I found a three-part series of articles talking about the good, the bad, and the future of record stores.  I wrote up my two cents on the subject and advocated more integration of web-business with their current brick and mortar platform.  It appears I’m not the only one with that idea.

This article from the StarTribune came across my Twitter feed this morning.  The Electric Fetus, a local record store in Minneapolis, is using a digital music distribution service to sell digital downloads with a focus on the local independent music scene.  On top of that, they plan on enhancing their website by including more employee recommendation and employee blogs.

I’d like to think that this is the result of somebody at the Electric Fetus reading my blog post, but I assume that they’ve been working on this for awhile.  Nonetheless, it’s great to see a legendary local record shop utilize all the web tools out there to keep their business going strong.

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Music Services: Pay-per-download or subscription?

By chrisbrummund, April 30, 2009 12:21 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

I started writing up this post for another site, but then I thought, “This is related to music.  I’m going to use it for my work blog and then I can just take the day off.”  I’m kidding about taking the day off, but the rest of it is true.

I came across a good article touting all that is good and great about Rhapsody’s music service. I tend to agree with most of this article. Rhapsody gives you on-demand access to an extensive music library for $15 per month.  That’s about the same as buying 1 or 2 CDs a month.  The only other “cost” is you have to put up with their rarely-updated, buggy software.Rhapsody Logo

This article and it’s accompanying reader comments inspired me to resubscribe.  I actually had a subscription but ended it about a month ago. It wasn’t intentional. Well, it sort of was. My credit card on file had expired and I didn’t update my account with a new number. They e-mailed me a couple times before shutting down my service, but I decided to hold off on submitting payment. I thought I’d use this as an opportunity to explore some other services.

I again tried to get into iTunes. I really dig their store and the software is fairly easy to use. Unfortunately, iTunes does not offer subscription services for their music. That’s kind of a deal breaker for me.  I absolutely love the subscription model and think it’s the best choice for music fans.

As a music fan, I like to go out and explore all types of music. Rhapsody gave me an entire catalog of over 6 million tracks on demand. I could listen to them streaming online, download them to my hard-drive to listen offline, and transfer them to my MP3 player. If I wanted to burn a mix CD, then I would pay the obligatory $0.99 a track. This is perfect for music fans like myself. Unfortunately, music fans like myself are in the minority.

There’s a reason why iTunes is so incredibly popular, and it’s not just because of the iPod’s complete and utter dominance of the MP3 player market. The reason is that the $0.99-per-track model is perfect for the majority of music consumers who have a narrower listening preference. Most don’t care for full albums, b-sides, and live tracks. They are happy with just purchasing singles they hear on the radio.  Most consumers may not hear more than $15 worth of new songs in a month.

That’s perfectly fine for them, but not me.  I want the whole enchilada (sometimes with a side of rice and refried beans), and a subscription service delivers that at the most reasonable price. I wish Apple and others out there would start offering subscription plans. More competition for this market will lead to better products and services for us all.

Some people have said to me, “Wouldn’t you rather own your music?”  Ultimately, yes I would.  But due to my budget limitations, I would never be able to purchase as much music as I listen to through the subscription service.  Plus, if I am to “own” some music, I’ll go out and purchase the CD to get all the added frills.

So what say you?  How do you purchase and consume your music?  Pay-per-download?  Subscription?  Streaming online?  CDs?  Vinyl?

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Save the Record Stores!

By copycatsmedia, April 29, 2009 10:35 am

Posted by Chris Brummund

There’s a great 3-part story about traditional record stores over at CNET’s MP3 Insider blog.  The first and second part dissect both the good and the bad features of the traditional brick-and-mortar record store.  The third part then offers some ideas going forward.  It’s a good read, and I like the ideas presented in the third part.hifidelity

Here’s what I suggest to enhance the value and longevity of these record stores: integrate web business with your regular brick-and-mortar business.  The article suggests a few ideas like offering access to a shared iTunes library through their WiFi network or setting up an inventory database with other area record stores. 

I’d take it another step further and try selling online.  It may take some time and investment to build a fully functional online store, but in the meantime just set up an area on the site where a customer can send a request for a particular item.  A store employee would receive that request, look up the item, and call or e-mail the customer back.  The customer could then pay for it with a credit card over the phone and have it shipped, or the clerk could put it on hold for the customer to pick up.

I actually came across another articleprofiling an online vinyl dealer who is opening up a brick-and-mortar store in NE Minneapolis.  You heard correctly: a new record store is opening.  You can read the article here, but this is the best quote:

If I were just to open up a record store, there’s no way it would survive. But I have the online component, which is the main part of my business.

Integration is going to be key.  There’s still a place for record stores, but they have to embrace the web and digital formats.  They don’t have to build their own iTunes or Amazon.com, but they should be finding ways to use the web to increase sales.

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Good News for the CD Duplication Business

By copycatsmedia, April 28, 2009 2:48 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

By way of @buzzsonic’s Twitter feed, I came across this short article highlighting global music sales.  Most commentary on the subject centers around how everything is on the decline, internet is killing the recording industry, the sky is falling, our pets’ heads are falling off, etc.  But let’s look at the bright side of things.

The thing that sticks out to me as a CD duplicator is that 75% percent of the global music sales are through a physical format.  That’s 75% of $20 billion.  If you’re quick with your math, that’s $15 billion in CD sales being made each year throughout the world.  While those numbers are slowly declining, it’s not time to jump off this ship yet.

We cater to a lot of independent musicians.  To them, the CD is still a key piece of revenue-generating merchandise.  I don’t see the market fading as quickly.  The digital format is good to distribute music and raise awareness of your band, but they don’t earn as much revenue when sold.

Also, by only selling downloads, bands would be missing out on ripe sales opportunities at shows.  When I see a good band perform live, I want to purchase their music instantly while the energy of their show is still pulsing through my veins.  If my only option is to buy their tracks on iTunes, there’s a good chance I’ll forget the name of the band by the time I get home.

The day may come when independent musicians are able to make easy money by marketing and selling digital downloads, but until then, the CD needs to be sitting right there with the T-shirts and other merch at your show.

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Fan Financed Music Business Model In Practice

By chrisbrummund, April 22, 2009 4:14 pm

After yesterday’s post, I came across an article via the @artistshouse Twitter feed.  It also talks about fans financing album releases and tours for their favorite musicians.  The difference is this article sites actual examples of artists using this method and making it work.

Read “Where Will The Money Come From?  The Fans” and hear the stories of how Ellis Paul, Seth Glier, and Jill Sobule used donations from fans to finance their music projects.  It’ll give you some good ideas and inspiration. 

Of course, these artists started with large, established fan bases.  If you’re a relatively new artist, the post written here yesterday might provide some good ideas to start.

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More CD Replication Sales Advice

By admin, February 19, 2009 12:29 pm

Posted by Adam Wachter

It’s all about knowing your client.

This is how I usually dress when meeting customers for the first time.

This is how I usually dress when meeting customers for the first time. I have a lot of clients from the North Pole.

In the CD/DVD manufacturing world you need to learn to adjust to your customers.  You will have a very wide range of customers.  People from all over the nation and world with different backgrounds and different ways of life.  One minute you will be on the phone with a corporate big-wig doing 100,000 units that needs to be done NOW, and as soon as you hang up the phone, you have a local independent musician in the front of the office waiting for you to get their 200-unit CD duplication project started.  Both are equal to me here.

Even if I dont like the cut of their jib, I still need to make them feel comfortable with me and reassure them that I’m going to help them get want they want.  My sales bible really comes from just this one clip:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDWrAwXSVh8]

The main lessons to take from this rabble are:

  • Know your clients
  • Treat them fairly
  • Don’t light crap on fire or you will kill your client relationship

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Always Be Closing

By admin, February 18, 2009 12:03 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

I got a little sales lesson to share.  Here’s the situation:

I went to a local show at bar with three friends.  The show had four bands on the bill.  I was familiar with two of the bands, and even had one their CDs.  The rest of my entourage hadn’t heard of any of these bands.

Despite them not being familiar with any of the performing artists, they still enjoyed the music.  In fact, all three of my friends were particularly ecstatic about one of the acts.  They were so ecstatic about this musician, that they were each wanting to buy a CD.

Surveying the room, we didn’t see any merch table.  I advised my friends that most artists will bring copies of their album to sell at shows, but sometimes there’s no merch table, so you just have to go ask one of the band members.  I also advised to wait until they’re done packing up their equipment, but one of my friends decided to go up and bug them right away.  The person she talked to was very friendly and chatted briefly with my friend.  She came back a minute later.  We were told that they do in fact have CDs on hand that she can purchase once they finish loading up their equipment, or she can buy their album online or in a few different local record stores.

And that’s where the sales error was made.  (Video after the jump) Continue reading 'Always Be Closing'»