#1
I know a guy who is starting his own label. He's been part of the scene for a while, and he has his own band that is fairly unknown. He wants to pay for printing a run of five hundred cds or so of my album, and pay for mastering, and he wants to sell these cds under his label, giving me a quarter of them. However, we agreed that he would only be selling the cds, there is no contract, he is just a supplier. The problem is, I don't know much about legal jargon, and I wonder if I shouldn't just print my own run, as I do have the money, and release it independently? I could always send these copies to music labels all over, but perhaps I am passing up an opportunity? I don't know much about promoting, but I do feel I have a solid product that could be marketed to atleast a niche group of listeners.
Last edited by zerzic at Oct 29, 2015,
#2
Is there any reason to think he can find people/opportunities you can't? What's his outlet for sale? What's your take from his sales? To promote, someone actually has to get your album sold and get you profitable gigs.

And why CDs?

The market for making money is online, which you don't need someone else to set up for you unless you're already doing a lot of business. And if you have no contract, you have no contract, so there's no obligation on either side.

Who knows if it's a scam, but I'd say it's far more likely you'll lose something to a person who has no idea what they're doing.
Last edited by cdgraves at Oct 29, 2015,
#3
I have absolutely no experience with any of this stuff, but I'll comment anyway because sometimes a different perspective can help.

Who the hell (in the US anyways) under the age of 30 (your best bet of a demographic) has the means to conveniently play a CD, let alone the wont to buy CD's anymore?

Forgetting for a moment the notion that it's an almost extinct medium, how will they be distributed? Where and at what price? Locally at nickel and dime shops where grammas will pick one up for little jimmy for chirstmas?

Depending on how much capital you have tied into this or how likely it is for your intellectual property to be damaged it's likely a bad deal.

It sounds like a long shot. It sounds like there's a much better way.
#4
Quote by coman91
I have absolutely no experience with any of this stuff, but I'll comment anyway because sometimes a different perspective can help.

Who the hell (in the US anyways) under the age of 30 (your best bet of a demographic) has the means to conveniently play a CD, let alone the wont to buy CD's anymore?

Forgetting for a moment the notion that it's an almost extinct medium, how will they be distributed? Where and at what price? Locally at nickel and dime shops where grammas will pick one up for little jimmy for chirstmas?

Depending on how much capital you have tied into this or how likely it is for your intellectual property to be damaged it's likely a bad deal.

It sounds like a long shot. It sounds like there's a much better way.


Wait a second. What do you mean no one under 30 has the means to conveniently play a cd? Vehicles for the last 20 years have come with CD players. And am I seriously behind the times so muc that people don't own stereos or is it a completely different world in Canada?
Sure, cd's are dying out, and I myself have slowed down this past year buying cd's, mostly because there's not much new out that I enjoy enough to get the hard copy. But still, you can buy CDs almost anywhere.
#5
Make sure you keep all publishing rights and have a written contract with direct access to sales numbers and monthly royalty checks. Sounds like he is assuming most of the risk so what have you got to lose? If the first 500 sell quickly, make more. If they don't sell, it's his problem not yours.
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Last edited by Cajundaddy at Nov 1, 2015,
#6
Quote by esky15
Wait a second. What do you mean no one under 30 has the means to conveniently play a cd? Vehicles for the last 20 years have come with CD players. And am I seriously behind the times so muc that people don't own stereos or is it a completely different world in Canada?
Sure, cd's are dying out, and I myself have slowed down this past year buying cd's, mostly because there's not much new out that I enjoy enough to get the hard copy. But still, you can buy CDs almost anywhere.


I get you but still must under 30's either don't drive, don't have cars or both. But not to get stuck in the weeds. CD's are out MP3 and streaming audio are in. You are forcing someone to buy a CD so that they can RIP it and so that they can have it in another form of media
#7
^^^ Whilst what you are saying is true for larger, national artists, I can assure you that as a band on the local scene you will sell far more music physically at gigs, rather than through itunes.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#8
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ Whilst what you are saying is true for larger, national artists, I can assure you that as a band on the local scene you will sell far more music physically at gigs, rather than through itunes.


In which case there's still no point to a promoter/marketer/whatever. The purpose in hiring someone to do that stuff is to be where you aren't.
#9
CD's are not near death. This is the first year(2015) that download sales have surpassed CD sales and there still Billions of dollars being spent on CD's.

"Global revenue from music downloads and subscriptions has overtaken sales of physical formats for the first time. In 2014, digital revenue grew nearly 7 percent to $6.85 billion, while physical sales — of which CDs make up the vast majority — fell 8 percent to $6.82 billion. These figures, from a report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), also reflect the growing popularity of digital music streaming, with revenue from services like Spotify growing 40 percent to $1.57 billion.

"downloads still account for 52% of digital revenue"

However, despite the increased popularity of streaming music, downloads still accounted for 52 percent of digital revenue — even though the format showed declining sales, falling 8 percent in all established markets. Despite these fluctuations, however, the industry as a whole is relatively stable, with overall revenue falling just 0.4 percent to $14.97 billion for the year 2014."
http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/15/8419567/digital-physical-music-sales-overtake-globally

I'd rather have people listening to my recordings on CD rather than some MP3 compressed download.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 1, 2015,
#10
If you deal with any contracts, GET AN ATTORNEY.

As far as this opportunity, ask him, point blank, what value he offers you.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


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#11
Quote by cdgraves
In which case there's still no point to a promoter/marketer/whatever. The purpose in hiring someone to do that stuff is to be where you aren't.


It depends what the service is. In this situation it's not clear.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#12
Quote by zerzic
I know a guy who is starting his own label. He's been part of the scene for a while, and he has his own band that is fairly unknown. He wants to pay for printing a run of five hundred cds or so of my album, and pay for mastering, and he wants to sell these cds under his label, giving me a quarter of them. However, we agreed that he would only be selling the cds, there is no contract, he is just a supplier. The problem is, I don't know much about legal jargon, and I wonder if I shouldn't just print my own run, as I do have the money, and release it independently? I could always send these copies to music labels all over, but perhaps I am passing up an opportunity? I don't know much about promoting, but I do feel I have a solid product that could be marketed to at least a niche group of listeners.


1) I'm a bit at a loss to see how him paying for mastering and the physical cd's without a contract stripping you of your rights is a scam... The scam is when they get you to pay them money or when you sign away your rights. based on what your saying here, I don't see an issue since you're taking no financial risk - just don't sign away ownership.

2) cd's - these will only sell at shows - so unless you gig regularly or the promoter plans on throwing a launch concert, don't expect to sell any. If you do gig regularly and have good attendance, then you should probably just print and sell them yourself. If you don't gig, then cd's are a complete waste of money and you should go digital.

3) you said that his band is fairly"unknown" - that's kind of a problem... if he can't successfully run his own act I'm not sure what you're getting teaming up. Maybe that's a typo.
#14
there are still bands doing split cassettes in the indie circles. CDs are fine
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#15
Quote by Hail
there are still bands doing split cassettes in the indie circles. CDs are fine


On the other hand, I think it's a lot "cooler" to buy a cassette than a CD. I know I sound like an elitist hipster (I never claimed I wouldn't be one, though), but I don't buy physical copies because I want to listen to the music, I have my phone and the internet for that. I buy physical copies because, well I don't know, it makes me feel better? I think it's cool. But the CD is imo the least satisfying form of physical music out there. I probably have about 10 times more music on vinyl than on CD (which isn't saying much since I have probably 2-3 CDs lying around). But I'm not sure if I'm the average consumer here. I guess I am, I don't see how I differ from the next guy.

What I'm saying is that if you want to sell a lot of copies and make your music heard, I'd invest in streaming and digital copies first and foremost. Not that I know anything about the market though, just my two cents.
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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#16
As someone in a band who's distributing CDs worldwide, they are absolutely worth it. We make more profit from international sales, but even still, if we sell every CD in a batch, we can afford another batch instantly, so there isn't a downside. Yes, digital sales do give a great profit, but it costs about £30 for digital distribution from a place that gives you a fair share of the income, and that's nothing, so why not go for CDs? The great thing about CDs is that it puts your brand in people's houses, even if they instantly rip the CD onto Itunes, somewhere, that box is in their house, and they have a physical product, which is still worth so much nowadays. People can post pictures of themselves receiving your CD to their Facebook page and show it off to their friends, which digital downloads, you can't do that.

That said, the real question is whether you should go with the promoter. My concern is, if you can distribute CDs worldwide for free and get them produced yourself, why is the promoter needed?
#17
CDs are at a disadvantage in the sense that you can't go into your average record store and find a section with, like, merzbow in it, so there's not much of a venue to sell CDs outside of shows and online - and if it's online, the shipping cost and everything included, i better really dig the band

that being said, i almost only listen to music while driving, and i prefer my CD player to mp3s because i'm the kinda person that enjoys listening to an entire album as an album rather than a collection of songs. these people exist. while you should obviously prioritize digital media, youtube, bandcamp, whatever for advertising and people being able to see and hear your effort immediately by googling it, alienating a core audience is just silly. CDs really aren't that big of an investment. just use the money you'd buy for your wireless kit - because, you know, you might get to open for a band that doesn't play on a stage the size of a broom closet one day.

something people forget as well is the "morning after" effect of CDs sold at shows. if you see a random band and you're buzzed and you're like "wow i dig them but i will not remember their name in the morning", you can pop out $5 or $10 for a CD, throw it in your jacket and go on with your evening. then the next day, or in a week, or whenever you clean out your glove compartment, you see a CD with "silly indie mcdweebzils" printed on it and decide to pop it in. delayed advertising just got somebody to listen to your music, and potentially become a fan*

*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
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#18
Quote by CelestialGuitar
As someone in a band who's distributing CDs worldwide, they are absolutely worth it.


That's actually great to hear, nice to see the market isn't completely dead.


Quote by Hail
that being said, i almost only listen to music while driving, and i prefer my CD player to mp3s because i'm the kinda person that enjoys listening to an entire album as an album rather than a collection of songs.

something people forget as well is the "morning after" effect of CDs sold at shows. if you see a random band and you're buzzed and you're like "wow i dig them but i will not remember their name in the morning", you can pop out $5 or $10 for a CD, throw it in your jacket and go on with your evening.


These are valid points, and now that I think of it, I do know a couple of people who do exactly these things. I was at some festival once with a couple of friends, and one of them bought 4 CDs or something totally blind, practically based on the album covers. One of those CDs belonged to a band that is now probably among our all-time favorite bands, so I guess I should thank the CD market.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here


Yeah, my friends. I have friends, sure.
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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#19
CD's are also handy to get a bands autograph. You can't autograph an mp3.
Another angle is to buy a bunch of cheap thumb/jump/flash drives (whatever the current cool term is) and offer your songs in mp3 form on a drive. A few years ago I was at a KISS concert where they offered a flash drive of that nights show recorded off the board immediately after the show was over. The quality was excellent. You can buy jump drives in bulk (100) for under $2.00 each and some places offer free imprinting on the case.

Most CD's still sound better than an mp3 especially the recordings after they have been squashed a second time on YouTube.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 3, 2015,
#20
The CD is as good as dead in Canada - they get purchased as gifts at stores like HMV or at shows - that's it. If you are successful enough to have your CD distributed in stores like HMV, then you aren't on this forum asking questions about distribution.

People listen to music on their phones, Ipads and computers. Newer vehicles have interfaces for your phone to play music - CD players are out or on the way out - everything is gearing towards apps.

Anyone who's ever used Google Play Music or any similar service will tell you - buying copies, even digital, of albums is an obsolete concept that will play itself out over the next few years.
#21
You can only go with what is available at the time and is convenient for your target audience. In my life I have seen so many formats and owned almost all of them. Vinyl records, cassette, reel to reel (yes, in the 60's early 70's you could buy albums on reel to reel), 8 track cartridge, CD, DCC (Digital Compact cassette), DAT (Digital Audio Tape), ADAT, MP3, MP4, FLAC etc.

Who knows what the next format will be? I hope it's better than MP3 but as long as most people have CD players in their cars the format is viable. People still buy CD's at my local Wal-Mart and every concert I go to offers CD's from that nights band so till the format disappears use it.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 3, 2015,
#22
I think the question is a bit narrower than the viability of CDs in general. Yes, there are still stores full of them and they still sell for a lot more than most are worth.

The issue is whether CDs are a worthwhile investment for an act nobody has ever heard of and that has no other commercial exposure. CDs and other merch work at shows because people are right there hearing the music and are excited about it. What's the point of distributing CDs from a band nobody has heard or even heard of?

The CD is only valuable when people already like the music and are willing to pay $5-15. The cheap or free download eliminates that barrier, and then gains fans who might then be willing to pay more for a physical copy.
#23
I agree if you are not out there actually performing regularly, going out and paying to replicate CD's is a waste of money (an expensive waste of money). My comments were more toward comments about the CD being a totally dead media. It will happen as every format disappears eventually and CD's have had an incredible run but for now they are still a viable way to distribute original music.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 4, 2015,
#24
Quote by cdgraves


The CD is only valuable when people already like the music and are willing to pay $5-15. The cheap or free download eliminates that barrier, and then gains fans who might then be willing to pay more for a physical copy.


it's more of a hassle for me to download. i'll listen on youtube, but half the time even then i don't bother, honestly.

plus it's not like they're mutually exclusive
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#25
I haven't purchased new music in forever, hence my cynicism about physical media. Having come of age when digital media was getting big, the idea of having a physical copy of something almost seems quaint. To me, having a bunch of CDs is like having a flip phone.

I probably overstated the case that CDs are dead, but I really don't think they're functional as the pillar of a marketing strategy. Like with visual media, Netflix hasn't killed the DVD yet, but television networks know that it's a shrinking number of people who are still willing to sit down at a specific time and place to watch something.

As for the original question, I think the counter-question is "What can't you do well for yourself?", because that's the stuff you should be paying someone else for. Getting a decently packaged CD on your merch table at a gig is definitely not something you need to outsource until you really are just that busy.
Last edited by cdgraves at Nov 5, 2015,
#26
I agree with all of this. I know the CD is a media that's on life support but it still has some value. If you are marketing yourself to an agent, a publisher or just Bill the manager at the local bar trying to get your band a gig you still need a physical CD to hand out. You can hand him a business card and say check my stuff on (insert web site name here) but I doubt that will happen.

I know a local band that has been selling CD's for years and just put together a new one. They own a four bay CD duplicator and print the CD's on an Epson printer that prints on printable CD's (I have the same printer. Epson XP-610. About $115.00 at Staples) They sell their CD's for $5 at their gigs. They are pretty popular and I would guess that they sell an average of 20 a night and I have seen them play outdoor summer gigs where they sell many times that number. If the band plays about 80-100 gigs a year (which I think is about average for them), that 's $8,000-10,000 a year. and as an advertising tool it works. It promotes them with a collection of cover songs they play regularly and some originals so their audience gets to know their original tunes and ask for them at gigs. It's a win/win all around.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 5, 2015,