OT: Selling CDs at shows

JonnyFranchi$e

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Selling CDs at shows is not really a thing anymore is it?

I was thinking I have a small batch of CDs I made (I only got them turned into physical discs because it was super cheap). I've been making my own CDs for a long time. Home-brewed stuff but decent songwriting and I think pretty interesting.

I imagine saying hey our drummer's limited edition, SIGNED CD is for sale over there, and then a few folks reach into their pockets for loose bills to buy a CD. Even typing it feels like I might be on drugs or something (I'm not, BTW, I don't think).

I was thinking make if I let people know ahead of time - hey I'll be selling the CD that night so BRING SOME CA$H! Maybe...

Any thoughts? Have any of y'all had any success in the past, say, 5 years, selling literal CDs for literal ca$h at shows?
 

EvEnStEvEn

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If the artist delivers an enthusiastic sweaty performance and the songs are really good, certain listeners will visit your merch table or ask about cds at gigs end after they've danced and had a few drinks. At least that's been our experience. You might sell none or you might sell ten.
Depends on each venue and their customers, really.
 

jb78

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Do many people buy CDs anymore? I haven’t touched one in years.
 

Tilter

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No recent experience with selling, but from the other side of the merch table, I still like having the opportunity to buy from artists if they're offering discs. It's not just about the music; I appreciate the thought and energy that goes into the design and layout of any artwork and printed lyrics on a cover card or booklet.

I may be in minimal company, but I still like the idea of having a physical representation of an artist's work.
 

bpaluzzi

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If you have the ability to interact with the audience after the show, CDs are great for getting band signatures. You can sign on the booklet, and the signatures are protected by the jewel case. Make sure you have either a black sharpie or a silver "paint pen", depending on the color of your booklet. We used to sell 10-20 discs a show just for people to get signatures on (and more than that in big rooms).
 

Redbeard77

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My band released a CD in 2018 and made 200 copies and sold all of them at shows. We recently partnered with a label in England to print even more copies on vinyl. While there may be less people buying physical copies of music, demand is still there, and in a way buying it at a show is a souvenir like a t-shirt or other merch.
 

A.TomicMorganic

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CDs can sell well if your band turns in a good performance. If the crowd is happy and responsive, you will sell CDs. If they are not.......
 

bpaluzzi

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My band released a CD in 2018 and made 200 copies and sold all of them at shows. We recently partnered with a label in England to print even more copies on vinyl. While there may be less people buying physical copies of music, demand is still there, and in a way buying it at a show is a souvenir like a t-shirt or other merch.
Vinyl is a whole other thing. We sold a ton of vinyl 7" singles -- they also make for good signature bases, but found that they sold well even at an unmanned merch booth -- hipsters love their vinyl :D
 

TheBeachBoy

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I believe we sold about 1000 copies of our first album and close to 3-400 or so of our recent one. We released the second album in Oct 2018 and obviously haven't gigged much this year to promote it, so that's just over a year of sales. It's not much, but I think some people still appreciate the physical media and I think our bass player did a great job with the layout.
 

Deafmoon

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Well I still collect cds. Blue Note Jazz, European Fusion (France, Italy, UK, Spain, Belgium and Germany particularly) MPS Label stuff, Quebec prog and jazz rock. Generally, though most people that do still press some newer discs just give them away.
 

Polska

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I buy CDs as well as downloads and I almost always buy a disc at a live show if I like the band. Doesn't hurt to bring a few to a gig and mention it.
 

dcrigger

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Selling CDs at shows is not really a thing anymore is it?

I was thinking I have a small batch of CDs I made (I only got them turned into physical discs because it was super cheap). I've been making my own CDs for a long time. Home-brewed stuff but decent songwriting and I think pretty interesting.

I imagine saying hey our drummer's limited edition, SIGNED CD is for sale over there, and then a few folks reach into their pockets for loose bills to buy a CD. Even typing it feels like I might be on drugs or something (I'm not, BTW, I don't think).

I was thinking make if I let people know ahead of time - hey I'll be selling the CD that night so BRING SOME CA$H! Maybe...

Any thoughts? Have any of y'all had any success in the past, say, 5 years, selling literal CDs for literal ca$h at shows?
CD's might be questionable - though might not - there's always a big souvenir factor to these "live show" purchases.

What is not a thing is... CASH.

Square, Paypal and who knows how many more companies offer the ability to do credit card transactions right from your phone - sure there will be a fee/surcharge (though you can usually lay some of that onto the buyer - or just build it into the price). Many of these services allow you to collect contact info as well - you want the email address of the fan that just came to a show and bought a CD, don't you??? :)

In my experience, none of these services have monthly fees or minimums to meet - usually just a small fee for the hardware thing that sticks on your phone. I can't imagine doing in person merch these days and not take credit cards. Obviously you can still do cash as well - but getting into doing electronic, just opens up the door for say, selling downloads of the music (for those folks) and anything else you can think of.

Just a thought...
 

swarfrat

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I still buy CDs. I would buy wav files on microsd too, or whatever but I like to have uncompressed sound files without the butchered initial 100ms that mp3 players do. I don't give a rip for encoding past 160kbps but every song I have where two tracks were originally hapless or has an opening transient is butchered in whatever random mp3 player my car decided to oem
 

Ian S

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CDs might be a little outdated, but durable mementos. I'd at least print off a few to have on hand in case someone walked up and asked for it. I'd hate to be empty handed in that scenario.
 
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JonnyFranchi$e

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Thanks guys.

sounds like CDs are at least somewhat still a thing but ca$h is a problem. The time and technical savvy to implement this tech is my issue. I'm a drummer for the love a pete!

I'll look into it though if I can. Thanks
 

Ox Han

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Bands still sell cds and people still buy cds of bands that put on a good live show. It’s a way to remember the show they just saw even if they don’t listen to it. But, in general cds are declining because it’s the same format as streaming and streaming is so much more convenient. No more burning, copying, carrying around the physical cds.

What has been booming is vinyl. It may not be as popular as cds but vinyl sales are growing and have been a thing in underground scenes for decades. It also sounds different than a digital copy of the same mix of the same song. Another great thing about vinyl is that it can be its own collectible piece in addition to being a music format. The color options for the actual record, the album cover, the size, the potential to be displayed on a shelf or wall all make vinyl desirable. Cd just look disposable next to vinyl.

Cassettes are also kind of coming back. Again, it is a medium which has a sound that is distinct from digital media. My last band out out a cool blue cassette in 2015.

More on cds; I recorded a band in 2017 and they had to repress cds at least twice, but they play out non stop and toured China. I saw them live in January of this year (2020) and they were selling a lot of cds and had already begun getting ready to do a 2nd press. I think they sold T-shirts and hats as well but not sure which sold better.
 

Ox Han

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Thanks guys.

sounds like CDs are at least somewhat still a thing but ca$h is a problem. The time and technical savvy to implement this tech is my issue. I'm a drummer for the love a pete!

I'll look into it though if I can. Thanks
Check out cassetro/national audio.

They were pretty affordable last I checked and offered download codes. It would be different than cds and offer something more unique.

just make sure you get the respective engineers to mix and master a cassette version of your album
 

Tornado

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I'm not going to do anything with a CD. I'll buy a t-shirt though.
 


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