(RANT MODE ENGAGED)
So, today I received an “Overstock Notification” from CDBaby, with whom I’ve been distributing both my physical and digital releases for quite a number of years now. This is the second such notice I’ve received from them, with the first about a month ago concerning an older project that had 9 CD in stock and hasn’t been selling much, so they want the inventory dropped down.
However, today’s notice was for another album with much different inventory numbers, and it read like this:
We have too many copies of Dream Tower Blueprints based on your sales history.
We can either return the excess stock to you at your expense or recycle it at no cost.
We have too many copies of the following titles:
Artist: Har, Album: Dream Tower Blueprints as of 1/14/2013, you have 2 total, with excess stock of 1
CD Baby’s Inventory Management Wizards.
Yes, you read that correctly: CDBaby saying that my current stock of TWO CDs is too much, and what do I want them to do with the ONE additional CD that’s apparently too much for their warehouse - have it sent back to me at my own cost, or have it “recycled”. This in light of the fact that when I originally signed the contract with them years ago, it basically said something along the lines of “don’t worry, we will keep your stock forever”.
So for the want of - what? - approx a quarter of an inch of additional vertical stacking space….time to take immediate action, pal. But hey, remember….CDBaby LOVES you!
Meanwhile on CDbaby’s own Facebook page, they chattily ask: “How have you determined your CD’s selling price?”
Well, I can tell you how I have to now: low enough to try to liquefy the CD inventory of all three of the CD albums I have with CDBaby down to just the one disk each, that they apparently feel is right amount for their warehouse.
The funny thing is, they still are trying to encourage people to sell physical CDs over digital-only releases. No big surprise there, considering CDBaby was bought up by the company DiskMakers who’s business it is to - you guessed it - make disks.
But apparently now things have become just tooooooo much for their widdle warehouse to handle anymore, so…they’ll be glad to send them back to you at own cost (barring the fact that the current inventory levels were based on their OWN restocking requests in the past)….or, they’ll be glad to trash them for you. But hey, THAT they’ll do at no cost.
So - I’m sad to say that this marks the beginning of the end of my physical CD sales altogether. Once my already-tiny inventory of CDs is depeleted with CDBaby, I’ll not be restocking them.
The truth is: being an independant musician dealing with once-wonderful companies like CDBaby to try to distribute physical CDs that it seems the majority of the music-buying public no longer desire, is just no longer a cost effective option anymore.
Meanwhile, I’ll be starting to move all of my albums over to Bandcamp where they’ll be available for digital purchase only going forward - as will my various future musical releases. You can find my most recent digital release already there at http://ambientguitarist.bandcamp.com, with more to follow very soon.
The end of an era. A shame.
(RANT MODE DISENGAGED)