3 Top Tips For Unsigned Bands Releasing Their First CD

If you are an unsigned band or artist, you may be wondering how worthwhile it is to release your music on CD before you have found a label that is willing to back you.

Some people still see CDs as a bit of a dead format now that streaming is so popular, but in actual fact, they are still selling extremely well. In 2017, sales from vinyl and CDs actually outdid those of digital downloads as reported by the Register, which just goes to prove that people still like to own their music in a physical format.

There are many reasons for this, as digital downloads can be accidentally deleted, streaming often relies on having data or storage space on your devices, and there’s something dependable about being able to put on your favourite album whenever you feel like it, whether that be in your car stereo, home entertainment system, or anywhere else.

CDs are also a great way of getting your name out there and generate revenue for your band, so they are worthwhile in more ways than one.

So, if you’re thinking about releasing a CD of your own, what do you need to bear in mind? We’ve put together a few top tips to help guide you through the process.

Put a plan into place

With most things in life, having a plan in place before you get started helps to make sure things go as smoothly as possible and you don’t forget anything important when you’re caught up in the flow of trying to get everything finished.

This tends to include:

Recording and mixing the music

Creating your artwork

Band photoshoots

Registering for royalty payments

Getting your album mastered

Getting it put on CD

Distribution and promotion

Establish your rights

In order to receive royalties for your music, you will need to establish your rights and register with the right organisations. In the UK the main organisations to consider are PPL PRS and MCPS, both of which do slightly different things.

PPL and PRS for music joined forces to form PPL PRS, but as a music creator, you still have the option of joining either PRS, PPL, or both. You will definitely want to sign up with PPL, as they will provide you with an International Standard Recording Code which you will need before you have your music mastered and at various other points.

If you’re still not sure about how the whole process of royalties and rights works, this guide does a really thorough job of explaining the whole process of self-releasing your own music, even though it was written several years ago.

Have your CDs made

The last point in the process is to find a company to make your CDs for you. Here in the UK, we have companies such as VDC Group who are an official UK Partner of Sony DADC and provide both CD replication and duplication services with a quick turnaround time.

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