When artists approach me to listen to their music I always request a stream. I can deal with a download too, but prefer the effortless of a stream. What I can’t deal with anymore is a CD. And I don’t mean this ideologically, but practically. I do not own a single device that plays CD’s anymore. I haven’t had a CD player in years, though I have a record player, and my computer is a Macbook air which comes without a CD drive.
There are some that still prefer CD’s, whether it be to listen to the music in their car, or simply because they like the physical object as a memento. For those folks we still release CD’s for most albums at Family Records, but we’re getting increasingly creative in our physical release strategies to pull in those more like myself that have no use for a CD. When walking my dog this morning we came across this box of CD’s left for dead. It’s been on the street for 3 days and no one has taking anything from it. This is telling.
Just because some don’t want a CD, doesn’t mean they don’t want support their favorite bands by buying something physical. Most know that artists get paid very little by streaming services like Rdio and Spotify, so we have to get creative in our offerings in the physical realm. For Pearl and the Beard‘s release show for their extended single “Prodigal Daughter” we decided to marry two forms of art and release these four new songs “on” the gorgeous limited edition silk-screened poster you see below. Band member Jocelyn explained it best from stage last week. Rather than releasing this set of songs on a plastic circle that you end up throwing away, it made more sense to make the vehicle for the music a separate piece of art that can long outlive the purpose of the aforementioned plastic circle. And for those who have no interest in the print, we of course offer the music as a simple download. There’s no point in complaining about the death of the CD. First of all because there’s still plenty of folks who like them, and second of all because it opens up the opportunity to be much more creative with our releases.