Wednesday, November 28, 2007

When did you last buy a CD?

When did you last buy a CD?
I have to ask this question, because aside from some recent UK re-issues it has been a long time since I did. Not that I haven’t bought new music, just usually from iTunes or amazon’s MP3 store.

I thought about this as I shuffled the 400 copies I have left of the Garland Cult album. Granted the problem with records is that they are not like soap, each one is different and people like them for different reasons, but still. Previously ESH albums had usually sold 400-500 copies. I knew sales had slowed and that the Garland Cult would not appeal to all ESH fans, so I cut way back (I thought ) and ordered 500.

Online sales have been ok, but not enough to replace 300 “lost” CD sales. I’ve done the usual stuff, College Radio promo, even streamed the entire thing online. Heck, I even threw in a “free” bonus CD of remixes.

I am sensing a trend here- older Cds still sell ok (but not as much) and new ones barely at all. For the new Alan Replica release I am going to press 200 copies, half for promo. We’ll see what happens. And I guess with Spray, despite their fairly healthy sales, I will just do 500 of the new album, despite tacking on a Remix bonus disc,,,


musical ranter said...

Hmmm. That's an easy answer. I buy CD's all the time. In fact, I much prefer having a tangible hard version of an album to having a digital version (which has no case or artwork, can be deleted easily and by accident, and as such has no real value)

I usually buy around 6 or 7 CD albums every week, and I buy them from high street stores. Although I'm aware that some bands have gained high positions in the music charts simply through downloads alone (eg Gnarls Barkley), this doesn't mean that they've earned any money. I'm sure that it's easy to enter the charts from relatively few downloads... The other problem is, of course, that it's easy to obtain a handful of tracks from an album rather than the full album. I think that CD's and vinyl will outlive digital music sales by miles.

Also, I never buy anything that hasn't proven itself to work in a nightclub, on the radio, or in a live environment. Advertising is all very well (meaning posters and adverts in magazines), but unless it's really caught my attention on a set of huge speakers, or made my hands tap on the dashboard if I'm driving, then I won't even pick up the record in the shop!

Fickle public...

Do the bands who make the music you're trying to sell have credibility? Meaning, do they gig frequently, run a scene or club, work with other artists or play at music festivals? If they're not pursuing an active interest or role in their own career (besides writing the songs) then they're not worth the time.

Aidan said...

Regarding a section of the comment above ... "If they're not pursuing an active interest or role in their own career (besides writing the songs) then they're not worth the time."
That's not a 100% fair comment to make I feel ... I've played gigs/toured and been part of a scene with Empire State Human and it's not the make or break answer to having success that you hint at. Everything begins with delivering good songs to Dave and Ninthwave Records. Judge that first and foremost ... I think pumping $$ in CD releases is a tough job but worth continueing albeit maybe on a smaller scale. I suggest digital and CDR runs in the short term for Dave and for the Ninthwave quality acts real CD once in a while ...


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