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Advice > Articles > Does Physical Product Still Matter? Vinyl, CDs, And More

Does Physical Product Still Matter? Vinyl, CDs, And More


Copyright©2013 By Bobby Borg


At the time of this writing, there has been a lot of talk about whether an independent artist should incur the extra costs to manufacture CDs and other physical products like download cards, vinyl, or USB flash drives containing music. In the digital world in which we live, why bother with the expense and hassle? Why not cut costs and increase the potential profit margin by releasing digital downloads or streaming music? Do people even care about physical records anymore? What about the future? 


Sydney Alston, a representative at Disc Makers

According to Sydney Alston, a representative at Disc Makers, physical products make for a nice memento to fans at your band’s concert. Furthermore, they are still useful for certain promotional avenues, like submitting to college radio (a format that still prefers submissions by CD). 


Michael Eames of Pen Music 

Michael Eames of Pen Music, a song-plugging company, says that there is still a need for both physical and digital copies when it comes to submitting music to music supervisors and advertising agencies. It depends on each person’s preference. 


Clepto, Independent Artist

The independent band Clepto, a group known for living out of their van for years on the road, said that if it wasn’t for having a physical product on hand to sell after their performances, they might not have had enough money for gas or food. In their words, “Physical product is a face-to-face immediate cash transaction.” 


Brian Perrera of Cleopatra Records 

And finally, Brian Perrera of Cleopatra Records says that physical product allows for companies to create some really cool box sets, which could include a vinyl record, CD, button, and sticker. The sets can even be numbered and manufactured in limited quantities to make fans feel they are getting something extra special and exclusive. On that note, Perrera even knew one band who sold raw cassette recordings of its rehearsals. Okay, so cassettes might be going a little too far, but you get the point.  

So in conclusion, does physical product matter? Answer: It’s probably a good idea to cover all bases and have all formats of your music available. Keep this in mind when writing your marketing plan.



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