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Selling CD or Giving Commercial?

Selling CD or Giving Commercial?

Every since the sound of music has been recorded and delivered through a tangible form (something you can put your hands on), there has been a constant evolution towards a smaller and less tangible medium. In 1900 the vinyl record was introduced and although it took 55 years for it to become the most popular consumer container of music, only 30 years later, cassettes where the most popular container of music (and along with cassettes came the home made demo). Within 10 years CDs made cassettes obsolete and within only 8 more, most music (and demos) were no longer delivered on anything tangible.

Why did I give this brief history of music mediums? To show that with a trend like (55>30>10>8) it isn’t hard to see that if you are in the business of selling music on something tangible (vinyl, cassette, CD, etc) the end of your business is eminent. We are in the very last years of selling music stored on a hard piece of material and considering that record companies were based off of the idea of charging you for the part of the music that you put your hands on (vinyl, cassette, CD) their business model is shot too!

So where does this leave the music artist? Well if they have a true talent it leaves them in a very good position. It means that now they can (or have to) depend on their talent as a performer to make their money. The CD then, whether its and album or a single, becomes only a commercial that says “this is what we sound like, get to know us and come PAY to see us live!” I can hear someone writing the new “Death of…” song now. It’s called “The Death of the Recording Artist” No wonder why record companies want 360 deals. Because they know that trying to sell your CD is not profitable. They know that the CD is only a commercial to get consumers to pay to see you live.

Bottom line – if you are an artist and your mind is set on selling CDs, the game is over. Use your CD as your demo, commercial or business card and quit trying to sell it. I would address mp3s, but come on – how many mp3’s did YOU pay for this year? A good attorney friend of mine, DR. WILLIAM ASHBOURNE said “there are 33 ways to make money with your music.” If this is true, I hope that artists are scrambling to learn the other 32!


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