When Blank Media Costs Less Than Your Album

Chances are, blank media costs less than your album. What now?

image from www.maplin.co.uk Rarely, do I get a chance to listen to an album all the way through. Writing requires different type of background ambiance; almost familiar, yet not too overwhelming. Therefore, most of the time, when I write, I either listen to streams or non-disruptive titles. Some whole albums are my writing albums, but not many can fill that role; it calls for a certain group of songs and they are always changing. This weekend was different. I had planned to make a trip across state over the holiday and thought this would be the perfect time to catch up on my listening.

Since I’ve  decided to go without an iPod, for now, this meant that I would need to burn a number of my digital files onto discs. To my memory, I haven’t bought blank media since high-school. So, I meandered into Wal-Mart and went looking for a small packet of discs that would suffice for the task at hand. Back in electronics, I found what I came for and proceeded to the checkout. As the clerk rang up my thirty-pack of discs, I confessed that I was slightly confused about the price that came out: $10.18. That seemed about right, but I told him that I had come across a pack of fifty discs that were about $2 cheaper than that. I asked what the difference was between the two sets. Unsure, he and I walked back to the aisle. After a quick glance, he told me that the pack of fifty discs, same brand and everything, had been marked down. I swapped out for higher quantity set—that I didn’t need—and now my total dropped to $7.84. Perplexed as I walked towards the exit, I started to wonder as to what message this would send to someone else and how such a relatively cheap resource could be exploited.

What message do you think this sends fans?
Your CD=$10-15 VS. A 50 Pack Of Blank Media=$8

Now, I understand that artists have used this strategy in the past and uploaded cheeky YouTube videos that encouraged their fans to become small-time music distribution centers for their albums. However, I’m curious to hear your ideas on how artists have and can use the falling costs of blank media to their advantage.

How could you encourage your fans to put the love and energy they have for your music and creatively convince them to burn upwards of fifty copies of your album and personally hand them to their friends?

-Kyle Bylin

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