Release EP on hardcopy or online only (or.. downloadcards)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by dnp41, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. dnp41


    May 10, 2016
    Hi Guys,

    I started a new project a couple of months ago and we will start to record our first EP coming December/January, set to be released in February '19.

    We will use the EP to get our project on the radar and move towards some gigs. We will of course release it on Spotify and iTunes, however the question is: what other media should we use? Is a hardcopy (CD) still a valid medium in this day and age? Also are download cards a thing?

    We are a power duo, both in our 30's with a non existing fan base (currently under development) besides our friends and families.

    Thanks for all the input.
  2. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    I buy all my music digitally, but will throw money at local bands for a CD. I would rather purchase a CD than a download card, but I know they’re popular.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    CDs still give you the cover arts, and gives people something to look at. I would do both and give people the option.

    Can you imaging Sgt. Peppers without the cover?
    Bunk McNulty and mrcbass like this.
  4. bearfoot

    bearfoot Inactive

    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    A few CD's on hand is good, but don't expect to sell them like it was 1999. (once held a band together in 2000 on the road with a hastily-pressed live CD, selling all of them as we went...covered van repairs and gas!.....came out +$8 at the end of the tour on CD's alone....)

    Don't forget Sound Exchange and CD Baby. Merch items perhaps. You may well sell more tshirts etc. than CDs.
    Bunk McNulty likes this.
  5. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Especially if you're working at getting attention.
    As of today, I have 1200+ albums in my digital media store.
    Maybe it's because I'm a dinosaur, or maybe it's because I'm visually oriented, but as I look through the directory listing, I have no idea what about half of them are...
    The half I can remember are CD's I (paid for,) ripped, and squished myself - and I can remember the cover art for just about every one.
    When I see a random title like 'Gently Disturbed' show up, I have to look at the MP3 tags to be reminded that it's a jazz album by bassist Avishai Cohen.
    I keep seeing ads for personalised USB thumb drives. I don't know if those are cost-effective, but it's another option.
    I can't say for sure, but I imagine that if you sent a download card to a radio station, it'd never get used - one more time-consuming level of indirection between a potential listener and your music. With a thumb drive or a CD, I can pop it in and give it a listen Right Now.
    Bunk McNulty and buldog5151bass like this.
  6. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    Punk player, we always do vinyl, not suggesting that's the way you want to go, but...

    We also do digital download cards, and we include those with the purchase of any physical media, they are also for sale separately.
    sqlb3rn, knumbskull and bearfoot like this.
  7. bearfoot

    bearfoot Inactive

    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    +1 for weird/obsolete media if your music & fans fit the niche. Vinyl has been increasing in recent years, against all predictions. Cassette is making its mini-comeback now too.

    Who knows, maybe one day CD's will be retro enough to be cool again as well.
    knumbskull likes this.
  8. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    I don't know, CD's don't have any of the charm of analogue recording techniques, and they fall well short of the quality of lossless compression codecs that we take for granted now. They are a solution in search of a problem...
  9. sean_on_bass

    sean_on_bass Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    If it were my band, CD's would never enter the equation. I'd try to release it on as many streaming and digital download platforms as possible though within reason. Maybe even Youtube for free.

    Only physical medium i would consider is vinyl, but that might be something to come later after you have a meaningful fan base.
  10. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Just wondering what a "Power Duo" is?
  11. dnp41


    May 10, 2016
    It's just bass and drums. You can listen to royal blood or death from above 1979 for reference.
    sqlb3rn likes this.
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Selling merch is advertising for the band as much as anything else. Just a download card means it will be tossed. Maybe a CD with the card if your people are "beyond" physical media.
  13. sqlb3rn


    Apr 6, 2016
    I wouldn't even know where to buy a compact disc in my city. Walmart and Best Buy is about it. Unless you just plan on selling these at gigs or something. And even then, I don't even have a CD player.

    I do like the idea of vinyl and think that might be a better way to go than CDs... just from an interest standpoint, idk how that works out financially.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  14. sqlb3rn


    Apr 6, 2016
    You should never ever insert a thumb drive from a stranger into your computer. I supposed some people would if you were distributing music on a label... but I think you would lose sales from people like me, and I wouldn't want to promote a bad security practice like that. If a band is thinking about distributing music on a USB drive, why not just put it in the cloud and let the consumer throw it on a USB drive if they want. Saves you money on thumb drives anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    pipFunk likes this.
  15. brocket


    Sep 12, 2017
    Coastal NC
    We recently did an album release. We got 100 CDs from CDBaby for around $370 and sold them for $10 and included a download code through Bandcamp so they got physical and digital versions. We went through them in about a month and ordered 100 more using proceeds from the first 100. Since the CDs are self funding after the first order, there's not a lot of pressure to sell them. We've also been selling download codes for $5. Having physical and digital formats available to buy with physical or digital payments (we use a Square reader) covers all of the bases.
    AaronVonRock and dnp41 like this.
  16. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    THIS would be my answer as well. Although I would add- download cards that would allow your folks to "trade" their email address for a download of your "hit single". Gives them something to take home, you (hopefully) get to add them to your very valuable email list and they get some of your music. Hopefully you can then convert them to"fans", get them to another show, with their friends ;-) and maybe sell them a CD and a t-shirt.
  17. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I'm looking at using CD Baby with a new band I'm in. Can you elaborate on the quality and packaging of your CDs, like artwork/inserts? Or even post a pic or two?

    In addition to ordering CDs from CD Baby, did you also use their service for getting your music on digital platforms and distribution like Spotify/iTunes?

  18. pipFunk


    Feb 1, 2005
    Nothing you could say would persuade me to put a thumb drive, from some random stranger, in my laptop/pc... but maybe that's just my paranoia?

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