CDs vs Digital Downloads vs Streaming: Which Should Bands be Considering in 2018

We are living in the digital age, something which has brought about a huge amount of change for practically every industry, particularly the music industry. In a relatively short space of time, the way we purchase and listen to music has transformed. With such a huge change in such a short space of time, many people just starting out in their music careers are left wondering how they should approach an ever-changing industry when they want to have their music heard.

Has Music Gone Digital?

In 2018, we’re living our lives online. We carry one device in our pockets which has it all – communication, photography, entertainment and music. With streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music being so popular, it’s clear that artists have to pay attention to these platforms when they are sharing their music with their fans.

According to The Guardian, these digital services have led to the fastest growth in UK music since the late 90s. However, music lovers aren’t just streaming music, they’re also buying digital copies.

Are CDs Redundant?

While it may seem as though digital is taking over the music industry, that doesn’t necessarily mean that other forms such as CD and vinyl should be ignored. In fact, according to The Verge, CDs and vinyl are now more popular than digital downloads.

We spoke to VDC Group, a disc and digital service provider who said,

“Of course, the way people consume music has changed in recent years, but CDs and vinyls still play a major part for artists. Millennials are a particularly nostalgic generation who love to hold on to the best parts of their childhoods, and physical formats of music played a huge part, so we don’t see them ditching CDs anytime soon.”

So, How Should Bands Be Sharing Their Music

One of the biggest concerns for bands is that as many people hear their music as possible, so with this in mind, it’s important that they seriously consider all options available to them. It’s important that their fans are able to access their music on popular streaming services as this is a great way to ensure that their music can be shared online and through word of mouth.

However, also offering fans access to physical formats of music such as CDs and vinyls is a great way of starting a fan base and maintaining a sense of familiarity. Fans still want to be able to buy CDs after gigs, so where there is demand, bands should consider being able to supply.

There’s no denying that the way we listen to music and interact with our favorite bands is changing. Being able to access the music of all of your favorite bands is incredibly appealing, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve quite given up the love for CDs and vinyls – not just yet.