As we’re well into the streaming era, one might wonder what are CDs and should anyone really care about them? The truth is, the CD is no longer relevant as a release format, but there’s still a surprising amount of interest in owning a physical copy of the music on CD or Vinyl. Vinyl, despite the production problems the industry is having (old machines, production closed down, limited materials, errors), has a very specific type of appeal that goes beyond the music itself and into a warm and fuzzy feeling of analog perfection when done right. It’s not too difficult to understand its specific allure.
The CD, on the other hand, doesn’t have either nostalgia, warmth, or analog appeal. Still, it’s a physical object you can hold, gift, or collect, with artwork, booklets, notes, etc., and it does contain a perfect, uncompressed copy of the music you can rip to any device, should your streaming service du jour no longer have it. Now, I’m not saying we should go back to CDs, no way, but I think they do still have a place in the world, especially when you really want to have something of the music or artist you love in physical format.
That’s the reason I’ve always offered CD versions of my music, in spite of the low sales volume. Where my album Apocalypse: The Doll Chronicles (Original Soundtrack) has had hundreds of thousands of streams on Spotify, for example, its CD sales would be minuscule, even maybe in the dozens, if my previous suppliers hadn’t disappeared, but copies would sell, making it worthwhile to have it available. My last supplier, CreateSpace, was purchased by Amazon and subsequently shut down not long after. Looking back, it seemed obvious this would happen, not just because of the low sales volume of CDs, but because of the immense drop in quality after Amazon took over, with printing errors galore.
So, until I can get a new, reasonable supplier that doesn’t force printing and storing a large amount of discs or, in a dream world, a similar case for vinyl, my music will no longer be available in a physical format. Hopefully that will change in the future, especially since I know there’s a group of fans that do want them, but sadly, the reality is: no more CDs… for now. 🙁
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