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  #1  
Old 09-18-2017, 03:19 PM
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Default What do you do with your recorded music?

Having been involved in playing music for almost 25 years, I'm amazed at how things have changed...especially in buying and selling music.

Back when I first started, bands were still doing cassettes, and then it was CDs. These days, I have no idea what to do with recorded music. I know vinyl sales are up, but it simply costs too much to produce unless you are moving a boat-load of product. I think our target audience (an over-30 crowd) still buys CDs, and we play a lot of Americana/bluegrass/country-type music which according to research, still prefer physical copies of music. If we do decide to do have CDs made, we will probably limit it to maybe 100 copies for now. Either way, it's a weird time to be musician when the answer to "What to do with recorded music" is even an issue.

What do you do with your recorded music, and is it working?
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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  #3  
Old 09-18-2017, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
Don't do anything with it because it will be stolen? Is that what you're suggesting?

(Not being sarcastic or mean. I'm just curious as to what you are saying.)
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I think our target audience (an over-30 crowd) still buys CDs, and we play a lot of Americana/bluegrass/country-type music which according to research, still prefer physical copies of music. If we do decide to do have CDs made, we will probably limit it to maybe 100 copies for now.
It definitely depends on your demographic, and its size. I agree that CDs are still viable in that they're more accessible to a wider audience, than downloads would be across the same audience. And, you will sell some CDs.

In general, the digital crowd is less likely to buy files. Even if you just post :30-40 sec song samples (so they can't just listen to the whole song for free,) it doesn't encourage many sales.

A small run of CDs is fairly expensive. I'd suggest 500 or even 1,000 to start. At cost of about $1/CD, it won't take long to break even of you sell them for $10, and the leftovers are pure profit. Heck, sell them to us, $10 incl postage! Pure profit.

Some of my local bands have CDs, and they still sell at every gig.

Bermuda
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

It depends on the goal.

With my band, we've always had a mix between physical CDs and online downloads. The CDs would either get sold at shows, or they'd be shipped along with a promo or campaign pack, encouraging radio stations to play certain songs. Sometimes we'd try to get stores to put certain songs in their music rotation.

Our upcoming album has been five years in the making. We're not gigging anymore, and this album is also a musical, so I don't really know what we're going to do. I've seen some of the characters drawn out in some nice artwork, so this might mean that we'll have another CD. I'm not certain at this point.

That project is industry-focused. They know that they'll get a lot of play on college radio, Dr. Demento, and similar types of outlets.

Sometimes I'll record stuff and put it online, just because. I used to write for others, and sometimes the opportunity might come up, or maybe I'll write something that I feel is worthy of submission.

But most of the time, I just write for me. My band is a great creative outlet, where I can write and record with the goal of being heard by others. On my own, it's just for me, so I throw it on SoundCloud or YouTube, not monetized.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

I record it, show it to my friends. Nobody gives a crap. Then I forget about it because nobody gives a crap. It's just another forgotten file in my computer now.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
It definitely depends on your demographic, and its size. I agree that CDs are still viable in that they're more accessible to a wider audience, than downloads would be across the same audience. And, you will sell some CDs.

In general, the digital crowd is less likely to buy files. Even if you just post :30-40 sec song samples (so they can't just listen to the whole song for free,) it doesn't encourage many sales.

A small run of CDs is fairly expensive. I'd suggest 500 or even 1,000 to start. At cost of about $1/CD, it won't take long to break even of you sell them for $10, and the leftovers are pure profit. Heck, sell them to us, $10 incl postage! Pure profit.

Some of my local bands have CDs, and they still sell at every gig.

Bermuda
Thanks Bermuda. The company I go through charges about $250 for 100 CDs. I basically have to sell 17 CDs to break even. I've done the 1000-CD runs before...and I have boxes of leftovers to prove it. :)

I think we may go with CDs eventually. With our demographic, I think it will work.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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I record it, show it to my friends. Nobody gives a crap. Then I forget about it because nobody gives a crap. It's just another forgotten file in my computer now.
Exactly my situation except I put them on bandcamp where even less people give a crap.

Got 1 genuine follower and made 2 sales! :)

I download everything these days but I pay for it, mostly through bandcamp where the artists are guaranteed a decent percentage
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2017, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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What do you do with your recorded music, and is it working?
Depends on your definition of working. I make records for CD release on Origin, an independent Seattle jazz label. They also put them up on Spotify and some other streaming outlets. I put them on Bandcamp just for my own ease of sharing online. The label has distribution, but most of my sales happen at shows.

Writers and radio people still want CDs. I think a jazz audience does, too-- I don't think they'd go for just paying for a download code. I think not having physical product devalues the recording and makes the purchase redundant-- it's too easy for them to say eh, I'll just listen to it on Spotify. An actual professionally produced CD says that you're invested in your product, and that you're giving them something of value-- though that doesn't necessarily mean you'll make more money on sales in the long run.
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Thanks Bermuda. The company I go through charges about $250 for 100 CDs. I basically have to sell 17 CDs to break even. I've done the 1000-CD runs before...and I have boxes of leftovers to prove it. :)
$250 isn't bad, and recovering the cost faster makes sense. You'll make that back in a gig or two. :)
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  #11  
Old 09-18-2017, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

You NEED to have your music accessible on all streaming services.
iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, even YouTube.

Aside from that it's ALWAYS a good idea to have physical CD's at the merch table at gigs. If you can swing it, Vinyl and Cassette tapes have become collectables and will sell in the right markets and to the right demographic (millennials).
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

I might live in a bit of a bubble, but in the Raleigh scene, CDs are basically nonexistent. I mean, I have them, most bands have them, but they're an afterthought after shirts, stickers, buttons, and cassettes or vinyl, both in sales and actual product. Most of the bands worth their salt in the indie/punk/rock/country scenes have a cassette or an LP.

I guess the cassette covers the lower end of music delivery and the LP covers the high end. We all have phones these days, so if you have a CD player in your car you probably have an 1/8" input as well, so I can just look up your music on Spotify or BandCamp on my phone. A bunch of people in town have old cars, so they're stuck to the cassette player and the radio; at least, that's what I can figure as to the cassette thing - I don't personally have any way to play a cassette. If I really like your band and you have good artwork, I'll buy a shirt and wear it.

CDs are cheap, but I have some other friends that were able to make a bright translucent pink vinyl single that they were selling for 7 dollars apiece. I think their cost was four or five dollars (not sure how many they had made) and they sourced the various components from a few suppliers, but you could easily sell it for ten or fifteen bucks and have a cooler product than a Digipak CD.

Shoot, I recorded thirteen bands' sets at a house show a couple months ago, with each band getting one song on an hour-long cassette. I guess I'll have to let you know how well it sells.
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  #13  
Old 09-18-2017, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Don't do anything with it because it will be stolen? Is that what you're suggesting?
No, I'm saying that you aren't going to make any money from recorded music until a few things change in the industry.

If you can get 250 made at a decent price, go for it. That's probably CD duplication vs replication though, which isn't a bad thing. If you're proud of the music, I'd say get 1,000 replicated. Then just use them as promotion and sell them whenever you can.
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by Living Dead Drummer View Post
You NEED to have your music accessible on all streaming services.
iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, even YouTube.

Aside from that it's ALWAYS a good idea to have physical CD's at the merch table at gigs. If you can swing it, Vinyl and Cassette tapes have become collectables and will sell in the right markets and to the right demographic (millennials).
I wholeheartedly agree. As a musician, you do not get to choose which outlet your customers will use to listen to you. The listener chooses an outlet, and you aren't going to convince someone to sign-up to Spotify just to listen to your band. If you don't put your songs on Youtube, someone else will.... And it might as well be you making money from your songs, rather than someone else.

Physical media (CDs, Vinyl, etc) are now treated as merch. They're the same as T-Shirts, antenna caps, and (bumper) stickers. They're basically souvenirs that fans buy to show appreciation, and not the main method to distribute audio.

Side note.... In my teenage years, each band member was allotted a bit of merch to be given out for free. Ashamedly, the name given to this merch was "Chick Bait".
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

I'm doing a very limited cassette release of my own material soon. I've done the artwork, etc. and will be offering a cassette with an online code for the digital release. As far as I'm concerned the cassette is the 'actual' release.

I've dubbed the cassettes myself from a CD but there are plenty of duplication services in the UK that will deal with cassettes and CDs. All of my work is distributed online at a low cost - but it is very niche and I'm not selling to make a living.

There's also a project I'm involved with that may end up partially being sold as library music. That still has a bit to go - mixing at the moment but it's been slow progress as I haven't had the time free at work (where my 'professional' studio is).

Physical releases will always have a place. I think it's worth releasing on CD or appropriate format for the genre. Most of my stuff is noise and there's a big noise tape scene - so it works, for more traditional Rock, vinyl or CD would be good - but inevitably costs more to replicate professionally.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
I record it, show it to my friends. Nobody gives a crap. Then I forget about it because nobody gives a crap. It's just another forgotten file in my computer now.
This ^ lol..............lol
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

My main band is on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud....etc all the main streaming sites

We also have CD's you can buy through our website and at shows but have noticed a drop in physical sales in general.

We hardly sell any (which is the same for all the bands in our circuit, no one hardly buys cd's in London) and no ones merch areas are ever really touched anymore at gigs. More people sign up to the mailing list than buy a physical cd. A shame but I guess it's the modem times, people know they can stream it for nothing.

We were going to go down the vinyl route also for our debut release but so glad we didn't do that now! Would have still been out of pocket 12 months later.

Our guitarist has even given cds away for free at times to get rid of them, which I don't agree with at all as it's devaluing things but there you go.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

So to borrow an idea that other national artists have done:

"Give" a CD, tape, etc. to everyone that pays a cover/buys a ticket to one of your shows. You simply build the cost of the CD (or whatever) into the cost of the ticket. You can make it easier on the fans by doing it as close to your cost as possible. If you're trying to make money, then consider a bump of what you think is fair.

For example: You're door charge/ticket charge is normally $10. It costs you $2 for a CD. If you don't care about marking up the costs, then the ticket now costs $12 and everyone leaving gets a CD. If you want to mark it up figure out a percentage or dollar amount you want.

In theory, by doing this you actually get to count the ticket sales as album sales. I think there are some verification procedures as it's been a while since I've looked into it. Others who still do this may be able to give you better guidance on that part.

Edited to add: OR you could take a pay cut on a few shows by handing them out to everyone as they leave. Basically you'd be subsidizing your own music distribution by earning a little less for a few shows -depending on how many units you have made and your average attendance. I've seen a couple bands do something similar to this at venues in different cities, billing them as "CD release parties."

Last edited by Lee-Bro; 09-18-2017 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
I record it, show it to my friends. Nobody gives a crap. Then I forget about it because nobody gives a crap. It's just another forgotten file in my computer now.
Ditto .
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
I record it, show it to my friends. Nobody gives a crap. Then I forget about it because nobody gives a crap. It's just another forgotten file in my computer now.
If this isn't a spark for a blues tune, or a country tune, then I don't know what is lol. With a little fleshing out, there's a whole song in those 4 lines.

But, yea, then that will just be one more song that no one cares about ha ha.

You rock Paul.

Hey put it up here, we care, honest :{
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

We do the online stuff as well. Itunes has been good for us.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

A bit off topic but why do people pay to listen to Spotify? It's just radio.

Forget all the crap about it knowing what you want to listen to, every time it suggested something to me I either already had it, or thought it was crap.

It's only worth it for established artists but if you already have their stuff why bother.?

Dont people want to own their own music collection any more? Why anyone would want to rely on their Internet connection just to listen to music is beyond me, mobile coverage I still pretty shit in england
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by JohnoWorld View Post
A bit off topic but why do people pay to listen to Spotify? It's just radio.

Forget all the crap about it knowing what you want to listen to, every time it suggested something to me I either already had it, or thought it was crap.

It's only worth it for established artists but if you already have their stuff why bother.?

Dont people want to own their own music collection any more? Why anyone would want to rely on their Internet connection just to listen to music is beyond me, mobile coverage I still pretty shit in england
While I agree with the sentiment, I found Spotify useful recently for finding all the songs in the set list for a covers gig, rather than having to buy the songs (it's not stuff I'd listen to normally). I did however purchase songs on iTunes that I needed to slow down or change the key of so I could feed them into "Transcribe!" on the Mac, excellent tool for learning songs.

Any music I love, I buy the CD or sometimes even the Vinyl (original pressing if I can from the time, like 1970's Pink Floyd).

If the CD of a great small / local band is available at the gig, I don't hesitate to purchase it. It doubles as memorabilia :-) And helps the band out.

As for my recorded music, I usually tear it to pieces and bin it ;-)
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

Our songwriter has two bands, but posts both bands and all her solo demos under the name of the band I'm playing with.
It's very confusing for anyone other than her, so I take all the recordings I'm in and post them to my own Soundcloud account and nobody listens to it but me, and only so I can self-criticize it.

I thought it would be nice to give out, or sell cards or tyvek printed bracelets with free download QR codes, but hardly anybody uses those QR code readers.
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by JohnoWorld View Post
A bit off topic but why do people pay to listen to Spotify? It's just radio.

Forget all the crap about it knowing what you want to listen to, every time it suggested something to me I either already had it, or thought it was crap.

It's only worth it for established artists but if you already have their stuff why bother.?

Dont people want to own their own music collection any more? Why anyone would want to rely on their Internet connection just to listen to music is beyond me, mobile coverage I still pretty shit in england
I've wondered this as well. I gave one of those streaming services a try, and quickly figured out that this is why I don't listen to radio, and why I don't use the shuffle feature.

When I get in a specific mood, I want to hear specific things. Albums and playlists foot that bill nicely.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

I pressed 2 CDs (2000) with my old internet band. Then found out the main composing member could not play what he recorded (Photoshop fake virtuoso arrangements/guitar), among other things.
So I quit. Had almost 700 CDs left. I gave them away to the trashman. Deleted all digital media distro and wiped my hands clean.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

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Originally Posted by JohnoWorld View Post
A bit off topic but why do people pay to listen to Spotify? It's just radio.

Forget all the crap about it knowing what you want to listen to, every time it suggested something to me I either already had it, or thought it was crap.

It's only worth it for established artists but if you already have their stuff why bother.?

Dont people want to own their own music collection any more? Why anyone would want to rely on their Internet connection just to listen to music is beyond me, mobile coverage I still pretty shit in england
I listen to Spotify because it is NOT just radio. I can listen to whatever songs and artists I please when I want. I can make playlists of certain songs. I can listen to a million genres and Spotify will combine into groups and give me 6 different lists to listen to daily. I have discovered almost all music I listen to on spotify. The vast majority of bands I've gone to see and bought merch from, I discovered on Spotify. I don't have to pay 10 bucks to try out a bands music. If I like it I will listen a lot and go to shows and buy merch. And listen more. And discover new artists. Really its a lot more convenient than buying 600 physical copies and lugging them around on my bicycle lol!
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: What do you do with your recorded music?

I record everything I play. You never know when it might have some value. I just released a full-length record with 9 different album covers this week. If I'm lucky I will break even, but hopefully I won't have to pay to do it again.

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