Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tunecore's blog has an interesting article regarding the relevancy of the CD in the age of digital downloads. As CD sales fall and digital sales increase, an important question to consider is how bands can sell their music when they tour. Most major label bands don't need to sell CD's at their live shows because their distribution is such, that the releases are pretty much everywhere, but for the rest of us, losing CD sales on tour is a not insignificant hit to our incomes. What is needed is a practical way to allow for digital sales at the merch table. One idea the article mentions is the sale of download cards. These would be customized with the band's artwork and the name of the album, and would include a code the buyer could enter on the band's website to collect the digital files they just purchased. I think this is a very interesting idea, but it does entail some rather significant technical hurdles for the average band who might not be made up of computer programmers. Perhaps companies like TuneCore will provide the service by producing the cards and providing copy and pastable code the bands can insert onto their own website. So what do you all think of this idea? If you buy music digitally, would you buy a card like this at a show, or would you prefer to just hit iTunes when you get home (keeping in mind that direct sales would mean a higher percentage of the sale going directly to the band). If you don't like the idea, what other possibilities would you like to see?