Home Uncategorized 8 Experts Make A Case For Why “Physical” Recorded Music Still Matters

8 Experts Make A Case For Why “Physical” Recorded Music Still Matters



With all the news about streaming
music services and the state of the “new” music
many independents artists are wondering
whether there’s
still a need for physical recorded
product (i.e., CDs, download cards, vinyl, and USB flash
8 experts weigh in.


Guest Post by Bobby

1. Sydney Alston, Product Specialist at Disc

According to Sydney Alston, a representative at Disc
Makers, physical products make for a nice memento to fans at
your band’s concert. Furthermore, they are still useful for
certain promotional avenues, like submitting to college radio
(a format that often prefers submissions by

2. Michael Eames, CEO of Pen
Music Group

Michael Eames of Pen Music, a song-plugging company, says
that there is still a need for both physical and digital copies
when it comes to submitting music to music supervisors and
advertising agencies. It depends on the preference of each
company, so you must be prepared.

3. Philip Al-Hajj, Drummer of

The independent band Clepto, a group known for living out
of their van for years on the road, says that if it they didn’t
have physical product on hand to sell after their performances,
they might not have enough money for gas or food. In their
words, “Physical product is a face-to-face immediate cash

4. Brian Perrera, CEO of Cleopatra

Brian Perrera of Cleopatra Records says that physical
product allows for companies to create some really cool box
sets, which could include a vinyl record, CD, button, and
sticker. The sets can even be numbered and manufactured in
limited quantities to make fans feel they are getting something
extra special and exclusive. On that note, Perrera even knew
one band who sold raw cassette recordings of its rehearsals.
Okay, so cassettes might be going a little too far, but you get
the point.  

5. Bill Berends, Guitarist of

Berrends of the Progressive rock band Mastermind believes that
CD’s are still important, especially for bands of his genre
that attract a more mature demographic. Says Berends, “I’ve
found that older listeners over 40 that come to our shows still
prefer to purchase CD’s over downloads or streaming. There are
also the fringe collector types that like vinyl, so it doesn’t
hurt to have some of that product on hand too—the more stuff to
sell the better.”

6. Rick Torres, Composer,

Rick Torres, composer and former guitarist of the English
Beat firmly believes that physical product is a critical
component of a touring band’s income, and should not be
overlooked. A thumb drive is a nice value-added purchase that
can be used by the fans long after they’ve downloaded your
music to their devices. If you have your brand logo on the
drive, that’s continual promotion.

7. Justin Paul, Electronic

Justin Paul admits that most electronic fans look for
digital music on sites like Beatport, iTunes, and Spotify.
However, being that there’s still DJs and fringe fans who
prefer vinyl recordings, it doesn’t hurt to have a short order
of product printed up to meet the demand. Additionally, Paul
states that fans approach him occasionally during his live sets
to purchase his music, so having branded USB Flash drives on
hand is a good idea too. Says Paul, “It’s all about satisfying
fans. As long as they keep on asking for physical product—I’ll
keep on getting it made and selling it.”    

8. Randall Kennedy, Creative Director at Mack
Avenue Records

At a UCLA panel discussion, here’s what Randall Kennedy
had to say: “If you’ve got a roomful of people at your show who
are having a great time, then why not have a few copies of your
music available that they can take home as a “souvenir” of the
night? Don’t forget, people at shows drink, and drunk people
buy stuff.”

To be absolutely sure, this article is not about the fate
of physical product in relation to streaming music and new
streaming services, the devalued perception of physical product
by consumers, or whether music should or should not be free.
This article is about whether physical product is still useful
(even if just a little) to the independent musician today. So
what do you think?

DIY Cover
is the
author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician: Creating
and Executing a Plan of Attack On A Low Budget (September
2014). The book is available on Hal Leonard website under
“Trade Books” http://bit.ly/1po5FyO (ISBN:
9781480369528), AMAZON http://amzn.to/X4Fwst, or Bobby
Borg (www.bobbyborg.com). 


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