Sunday, November 10, 2013

Three Reasons Why The CD Is Still Important

CDs image
Everybody knows that the CD has died, replaced by a digital world where files and streams are the main methods of music delivery. The only problem with that statement is that the CD is not yet deceased by a long shot, and it’s still a real tool in the belt of artists and bands everywhere. Sure, it’s rapidly diminishing in importance, but important it still is. I know that most of you reading this don’t believe me, so let me give you three reasons as proof. 

Reason #1: Last year there were 211 million CDs sold in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. While this number is down 78% from the format’s peak in 2000, it still amounted to around $2.5 billion in revenue, or about 35% of the income of the entire industry in the US. If you think that there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth in the business now (although it’s far more quiet than it’s been in the recent past), you’d hear some real wailing in record label boardrooms everywhere if the format were to disappear into the ether tomorrow.

Now 211 million of anything is a lot of units, but keep in mind that these are only the sales that the RIAA could count through their traditional distribution channels. This doesn’t account for all the CDs sold independently by artists at gigs, shows, church services, or online, and who knows how many other outlets.  And keep in mind that CDs are a high-margin item that makes not only more revenue per sale but more profit as well. An artist or band selling a few units per night might not seem like much, but this is occurring by the the thousands daily, which adds up to real money that’s not on the books anywhere and never will be. Read more on Forbes.

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Jef Knight said...

My "fans" (such as they are), 40-60yr olds who still want 70's style music and young people brought up on same, tell me they insist on CDs. But the youngsters also accept download cards etc, whereas the Vetran Rockers dig the physical product. Me too.
They still especially like cover art.
Lordy, I miss full scale album art.

Shaun said...

Good point Jeff, it all depends on your audience and what they expect. CDs also sell well at gigs still, even in some genres which don't generally get a lot of music sales.

Anonymous said...

Many musicians consider CDs a tangible form of validation.

Rob Arnold said...

Hey Bobby! Just wanted to let you know that something might be wrong with your site here (three reasons why the cd is still important). Each time I come to your page (from twitter), it sounds like one of your courses comes on automatically. I can't see any video, but I hear you talking about search engine optimization, etc. Just wanted to let you know in case it was a glitch! Cheers! -Big fan


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