The future of band CD's

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by John Brooks, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
    I purchased several recordings over the past couple of years by download rather than buying the CD and incurring shipping costs. For various reasons I was not entirely satisfied and, with the ongoing WoB sale, have been systematically buying the CD's.
    Which brings me to the question - What is the future of band CD's? It's a niche market and I think we can all agree on that. Many CD sales occur at concerts, either by individual bands or by larger scale events where trade stands can be found. If production of CD's is discontinued and that outlet is lost, what impact could that have on sales of recordings? From the opposite perspective, has there been an impact on CD sales at concerts due to download options?
    I've yet to try FLAC as an option but will likely give it a try soon.
    I'll be very interested in reading any comments.
  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Do you mean CDs by the 'major' bands - Cory, Black Dyke, Fodens, etc etc - or the local village band? Because the market (and marketing) differs for each.

    I could imagine the market for download of recordings by the major bands will grow - some of this might well take sales from physical CDs but often the appeal of download is that you can pick a particular track that you like, whereas if you buy a CD you get the whole lot, like it or not! I've done both recently.

    However if you're not recorded by World of Brass, there's no easy outlet for download sales, so the CDs by smaller bands are going to continue to be sold at concerts and through their websites for the foreseeable, I'd imagine.

    Actual production of CDs isn't difficult or expensive, so I can't imagine it being discontinued anytime soon. Even if it is, it's fairly easy to acquire the kit to do duplication (as opposed to replication - I think it's that way round!) in your garage., so it can be a cottage industry for an awfully long time yet.
  3. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Andy's pretty much on the nose here, although if you have a decent web developer it's not that difficult to make your own recordings available for download via your own website - you just need to make sure that you sort out the appropriate licensing.

    An easier option is to use an aggregator or iTunes / Amazon.

    As has been said, it depends who your target audience is...if the bulk of your sales are going to be at your own gigs then you'll still need something physical to sell...
  4. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the replies. When I asked the question I hadn't considered the disparate target audience you've both referred to. In my experience very few band websites support downloading. Also, as I also discovered recently, in order to buy a CD direct from Fairey, you have to live in the UK!! One of the problems I've encountered with downloads is where a piece of music is divided into three or more sections that are played without interruption. CD's handle the transition of tracks seamlessly whereas downloads don't (eg: Red Priest - Black Dyke). Looks like CD's are here for the foreseeable future at least and for that I, for one, am very happy.
  5. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Midwest, USA
    iTunes made the idea of downloading one or more tracks from a CD a popular idea. You can now do it on Amazon and at World of Brass and many other places. In this way, you can skip melodies you might have 5 copies of, etc. In the long run, CDs will start being different. Bands will not put common melodies like Floral Dance, Stars and Stripes, Men of Harlech, etc. on CDs as often. CDs will not be published as often. As for joining tracks that are in three parts or more, there are programs that will let you connect them together. It is easy to do with free programs and store them on iTunes or another music program.

    Me too, I have done both. One problem with the download option is that most people put the music in a player program (I use iTunes) and I have two 500 MB external hard drives - one has my original iTunes library and the other has a backup.
    Things are already changing. You can download files as 192 kbps mp3s, m4as, and FLAC files. CDs will change even more as the technology becomes more and more commonplace. makes it easy to sell your band's CD and to sell it track by track. I just hope this does not slow down CD sales for the sake of the bands -- but I am afraid it might. CDBaby makes it easy for even the small bands to sell individual tracks.
  6. Michael Walls

    Michael Walls New Member

    I prefer CD, as with downloads you do not get the photo and information Text
    And I can still put it on my computer to play on USB in car or mp3 player walking my dog. Also they are not much cheaper
    David Evans and midlandman like this.
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