As a musician, you no doubt want to get your music out into the world and in front of as many people as possible and make use of all the avenues of distribution available to you.
One of the best ways to share your music with prospective fans is by distributing CDs, even in this age of online streaming. While some people may be under the impression that the CD is a dying format now that services like Spotify and Apple music make music so accessible to everybody on the go, CDs actually generated a revenue of £468m in 2015, according to the Financial Times.
There is plenty of evidence to show that people definitely do still favour physical formats, and different formats are of value to different types of music fan, so putting your music on CD is something that is definitely still worth considering.
It is one of the best ways to share your music with fans who may see you at a gig for the first time and want to go home and listen, and a lot of people still favour CDs as their preferred format for listening to music in their cars.
When it comes to actually getting your CDs made, there are a few things you need to know about the options available to you. Read on for a quick guide to CD duplication and what it involves!
Put together a plan
Before you begin, you’ll want to sit down and plan out the process to give yourself an idea of timelines and exactly what you’ll need to do. As a rough guide, this tends to include recording and mixing the music, designing album artwork, registering to make sure you receive any royalty payments, and the promotion and distribution once you’ve had your CDs produced.
You’ll want to think about exactly how you’re going to schedule this, as, for example, you’ll want to make sure you have your album artwork sorted before you have the album mastered.
Get your CDs made
Once you’ve put a plan in place for production, you’ll need to find a company to make your CDs who have the knowledge and experience to advise you along the way.
If you’re on a budget, you’ll need to find somewhere that provides CD duplication services. This is essentially the same sort of process as burning music to a disc at home, but on an industrial scale. The data is burned onto pre-manufactured discs using lasers, and then your disc is finished off and packaged.
Typically when you are having CDs produced you have the option of either duplication, or replication, and for small runs duplication tends to be your best bet as it is more cost effective.
Replication on the other hand is a far more labour intensive method of manufacturing CDs, but it does produce a CD that is of a slightly higher quality. Discs made by replication are pressed from a glass master disc, and the data is written into the disc at the point of manufacture resulting in a better sound quality.
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