While it might sound counterintuitive to digital natives, sales of CDs, Vinyl, and Cassettes are still very much alive, especially in certain genres and global regions. Plus, the economics of physical sales can contribute to a small label’s financial success. With the huge resurgence of vinyl and fans continuing to demand tangible items at shows from their favorite bands, independent artists have a lot to gain from utilizing both physical and digital distro.
Here’s the rundown…
How Traditional Physical Distribution and Retail Work
The importance of physical distribution
Many audiences, young and old, still find that having a physical copy of an artist’s album a rewarding addition to their fan experience. In markets where cars are still the primary mode of transport, CD sales still matter. Countries like Germany and Japan, among others, remain largely a physical product dominated market. And of course, Record Store Day has become a huge annual event for indie shops everywhere.
Does Symphonic offer physical distro?
Here at Symphonic, we’ve partnered up with AMPED to offer select artists and labels the distribution of vinyl, CDs and cassettes in North America and beyond.
With AMPED’s unmatched distribution capabilities and direct relationships with thousands of major and independent retailers, we’re stoked to be able to offer artists and labels the deepest market penetration available in the industry.
How does Symphonic’s Offering Work?
- The label provides the metadata and assets required to set up the release
- We work together to develop a retail marketing plan and come up with quantities.
- The label oversees the manufacturing of the vinyl LP’s, CDs, etc.
- The manufacturer ships that product to the warehouse
- The release is solicited to retail
- Retailers buy the record!
- Product is shipped to arrive in time for street date
- Retailers sell the record!
For clients who qualify, Symphonic will distribute their vinyl, CDs, and cassettes to big-box, chain, independent, non-traditional and web stores across the country and beyond.
Not to mention, there are tons of ways to increase sales and optimize your efforts with physical distribution. You could set up in-store listening parties, host concert ticket giveaways and more. Get creative with it.
How can artists integrate physical outside of distribution?
- Selling vinyl, CDs, and cassettes at shows is still the most profitable way to send fans home from your shows with your music.
- Don’t forget about Bandcamp — a huge platform for physical product.
DON’T STOP THERE!
You must also consider the cost of making physical product:
- Vinyl is cool as f*ck, but there are tons of upfront costs. Make sure to do some research and make sure you can at least break even financially if you’re going to press records
- CDs are extremely cheap to make, and there are far fewer set-up costs. If you are in Europe, Japan, or rural areas, making a small run of CDs might be the way to go. Find the websites of other bands in your genre and see if they are selling physical product. If they are, it’s a good sign that you should be too.
Considering all the benefits in offering physical products for your fans, there’s no reason to miss out on this easy opportunity for potential profits. In the wise words of Olivia Newton-John, “LET’S GET PHYSICAL”. 💃🏾