10th August 2010 - Panic
Woke up at 6.30 the other morning in a bit of a panic. I’d set a deadline of October to complete this new album and I suddenly realised that gives me about 7 weeks to get everything finished. I’ve been making progress, got about 10 songs done, but there’s lots of recording and mixing still to do and I haven’t even started on the cover artwork yet. Oh dear. It got me thinking though about the best way to release the album and I’ve been debating the pros and cons of a CD versus a digital only release.
I like albums; I like to look at the artwork and read the lyrics but so much music is bought, distributed and played digitally it’s getting harder for an independent artist to get a product in real stores. It’s also pretty expensive to produce a CD without a record label and distributor backing you up.
I’ve also been wondering how many people actually listen to full-length albums any more. I’ve been in meetings where we agonised over the track order of an album because we were trying to make it flow or showcase certain songs. Hours spent discussing whether to put the most commercial song first or end with something mellow. If songs are downloaded individually and stuck on an iTunes playlist then this process is unnecessary.
I also hear a lot of talk about people not buying music when it can be downloaded for free. I’m not sure if this is industry whining about losing profits or if it’s really happening on a large scale but if it is then its exercise in vanity or futility (or both) to put out a glossy product that no one will buy.
When I first started out in music the advice was simple – record a demo, play some gigs, get some fans and then send the demo to record companies. If they liked you you’d get a deal and you were good to go. I realise that this doesn’t happen anymore - the industry has changed and I’m going to have to change with it if I want to keep doing what I’m doing. So, I’ve pretty much decided to put out a real CD, though probably on a limited scale, and offer downloads and single tracks for sale online to cover all the options.
Be interested to know what the consensus is out there - CD or download?