Does the fact that CD sales are declining while digital music sales are increasing suggest that you should altogether forgo physical distribution in favor of a digital release? That depends, we guess. Adopting digital music distribution as your only means of expression and neglecting digital release has both benefits and drawbacks. Before determining whether digital is the right path for you, consider the benefits and drawbacks of digital music distribution.
Digital releases provide a lot of advantages, especially for independent musicians and labels. Online album releases eliminate the need to pay for pressing and artwork printing, making up most of record release expenses. A website that can accommodate your music’s download or streaming demands is all that is required for a digital release.
You don’t have to split the revenues with a physical publisher or retailer as you sell your record online. If you do not sell the record through your website, you will at most have to split a small amount with an online music distributor, but you will nearly always pay less to them than you would to a physical distribution company and a brick-and-mortar store.
Prices can remain reasonable. The outrageous cost of CDs is a typical gripe voiced by music lovers. Making your album pricing buyer-friendly is possible since you shouldn’t have to split the profits as widely, and you don’t need to work with a distributor or store to determine the prices.
As you publish a physical record, you must deal with artists and designers who are constantly late, producers who are constantly late, distributors who always seem to want to delay your launch date for one excuse, and so on. To ensure that everything occurs the way you want it to, you need plenty of time ahead of time, as well as the patience to cope with things when they almost always don’t. The release of the music from a digital album may be as simple and quick as a button click.
Online releases come with several drawbacks. Some of the more significant music periodicals are still reluctant to include a rookie artist or an internet artist. When a band like Radiohead releases an album online, they can garner a lot of press attention because they already have so much cache. Finding a reputable web promotion company might be difficult, and online advertising is labor-intensive.
The competition is fierce as well. It’s unclear how the internet copes with the flood of awful music it contains. However, even if you have the most amazing tunes in the world, you still have to persuade individuals to discover you among hundreds of thousands of sites owned by people whose HTML is superior to their music.
Music lovers used to frequently lament the cost of CDs, especially when some of the tracks were considered fillers and not always as good as the top tracks. The creation of the physical parts and the subsequent need to make several duplicates account for many of the associated costs.
It is possible to sell your music for considerably less money online than it would cost you if you were selling physical copies because many operational and production costs are reduced. When you charge less per song or album, your audience will be less interested in buying your music, whether by downloading a song to their device or subscribing to a streaming service.
So, if you still ask whether you should go completely digital or still go with physical distribution, it will mostly depend on the nature of your audience. Physical CDs are still in demand, more or less. Digital streaming is a trend of the hour. So, if you want to compete or survive in the industry, why not choose both options and get quality cover art that can complement both types of releases?