Original Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13845_3-57377283-58/does-it-still-make-sense-to-buy-cds/?tag=mncol
Great post, thank you, Mr. Broida!
Time and changes are the only constants in life and in no other place has this been felt as heavily as in the physical media market. We live in an "on the go" society, with phones in cameras, tablets that will fit in a large purse, and cars that can play our favorite songs digitally by our mere command. It is also evident in the pricing of CDs and movies, which have chronically dropped to well below the $10 threshold, even for Blu-Ray.
As a small entertainment company (est. 2007) that works in booking live gigs, selling music online, and working with radio stations to stream selections, we learned as early as the middle of this past decade that the future resided with digital downloads and the ability to stream music to attract new listeners. However, because we specialize in a jazz market, we have also chosen (for the time being!) to continue to offer music on CD as well. Part of this is generational; most of our listeners are of the Baby Boomer Generation and older, if not born just after that, and accostumed to playing physical media. By this I don't wish [to] offend anyone - many Boomers are *extremely* savvy when it comes to digital sites and could teach the rest of us a thing or two, but others are completely mystified by it and often don't even own a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Either way, we wanted to make our music accessible to both styles and cater to our audience.
Another reason to consider why digital media works so well is due to avoiding higher physical media overhead and storage costs on the supply side (sellers).
A case in point: about 3 years ago, seeing that our CD stock was running low, I called several replication houses for a quote. Once artwork, packaging, compact disc media, and shipping were added, at the lowest-priced one, I was told that it would be easily $1,200 to duplicate 500 discs. That meant that with each disc, I would already be in the hole by at least $2.40, and again, most discs now and even then priced around $5-10 max. The helpful lady on the phone said that my price would go down with greater volumes ordered, which makes sense when considering setup costs for the copy house, but that didn't help me! Less than 5% of the worldwide music-buying public is made of jazz fans, and being independent artists, we'd have to start winning Grammies and getting other major press to sell at these 'higher volumes.' Eventually, right or wrong, I decided that it just wasn't worth it, and once the CDs in stock are gone, that would be it. To testify of the power of digital media, we have made a little money in streaming songs and more in online sales, and still have that little stack of CDs in stock (CDBABY, Amazon) from 3 years ago.
Anyway, thanks for reading - great topic. Should you wish to connect with me to discuss more, I'd be happy to chat at any of the links below.
Kathryn Ballard Shut /shoot/
TIMKAT Entertainment, Inc.
MySpace Music: http://MySpace.com/timkatent
Album Sales on CDBABY: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/TimBallard