The New Music Business Has No Use for CDs

DragonCon was a pretty incredible, for many reasons. One of which was to see the changing landscape of the music business.

For a long time now, folks in the music business have warned about the demise of the CDs. I think my market has mostly been safe from this impending doom, because I'm playing folk music. A couple publicists who were submitting music to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast were a bit shocked to hear that I don't accept CDs. I only accept digital downloads. I'm the only one doing so in the folk market.

Most other markets are seeing the end of CDs. I understand Hip Hop is leading that revolution, being some of the first to embrace streaming music. But all are getting there. Every time I go to a convention, I have more people ask about digital music. “Are you on iTunes?”, they ask.

CDs are a novelty now. They are memorabilia and swag more than a means of listening to music. There's an artist who showed up at DragonCon and just got off a European tour, Pyrate Queen. I wish I had more time to talk with her. But she wasn't selling any CDs. Instead, she had songbooks with a Bandcamp download code.

That's the new world I'm seeing. That's the reason I am not mass-reproducing future CDs. Pirates vs. Dragons was my last. I'm only releasing a physical CD of As Long As I'm Flyin' for my Kickstarter supporters. And the Brobdingnagian Bards brand new CD Dragons and Virgins? It is ONLY available in September. After that, you'll have to wait for a digital copy. You won't be able to own a physical CD.

The future was revealing at my Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers show at DragonCon. My CD case was mostly packed with Bards CDs and my Celtfather Classics USB. I forgot to bring enough CDs to the actual show. I sold out of the physical CDs. But when listeners heard that I had three cat albums on the USB, they bought it. I sold more USBs at that show than I did all weekend.

Sure, it was a great deal for the cat lover. But it turns out, digital music is easier. It's what most of us want. That might not be you. But one day…

Get you copy of Dragons and Virgins while it is available!