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Any money in CD duplication ?

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Anonymous
June 27, 2005 12:11:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

A friend of mine is a really good musician and I was thinking of
helping him produce CDs of his band. I saw that disc makers has a
reflex 7x box for $1,000 that can make 100+ cd's per hour. Using that
with a thermal primera printer or something, I could wip out tons of
CD's for him to send to radio stations, record companies, sell and give
out. It also occured to me that although I am a software engineer with
a good job, it's allways possible I may find myself between jobs. I was
wondering if I could make any money making CD's for bands or any
companies that need CD's copied ? What appeals to me is that I could
work any hours I wanted
and even bring the duplication equipment with me while traveling
someplace. If I got large orders I could get my mother or friends to
help or buy better equipment. I live near boston. If I can make 100
CD's per hour and make 20 cents profit on each CD, that would mean I'd
be making $20/hour which seems not bad.
On the one hand, I'd just be making some money to help get some of the
money back I spent on the equipment and maybe make some connections
with bands as well which would be good since I play guitar. On the
other hand, possibly it could turn into something bigger, but I don't
know, just wondering. A friend of mine thinks there is too much
competition and not enough demand. On the other hand, I may not be
looking to make alot of money, just flexibility in a job that may not
be very hard.

More about : money duplication

June 28, 2005 4:58:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

Your friend is probably right about to much competition.The proper equipment
is a big investment just to get started.Then you have to find your own
suppliers for CDs ect.

I would pick up your local yellow pages and see what your competition is as
you may not be able to make enough to be worth the trouble.Big outfits buy
large quantities of CDs for the best pricing.As a small business you may
not be able to compete.

If you figure on making $20 per hour and spending thousands on
equipment....it will take you forever to pay it off.

Don't forget paying for all that advertising every month......without that
you won't get very far :-) (I don't think your $20 per hr will cover much
advertising)

I have been doing this for years and there was a time when it was
good......but for someone new starting out its pretty tough.

I bet there are hundreds of places in Boston offering this service.

Do your research before you spend all that money.Running a business takes
hard work and creativity.Just because you can do it dosen't mean people will
come knocking down your doors.


Good Luck






<wbsurfver@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1119885078.599907.132800@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>
> A friend of mine is a really good musician and I was thinking of
> helping him produce CDs of his band. I saw that disc makers has a
> reflex 7x box for $1,000 that can make 100+ cd's per hour. Using that
> with a thermal primera printer or something, I could wip out tons of
> CD's for him to send to radio stations, record companies, sell and give
> out. It also occured to me that although I am a software engineer with
> a good job, it's allways possible I may find myself between jobs. I was
> wondering if I could make any money making CD's for bands or any
> companies that need CD's copied ? What appeals to me is that I could
> work any hours I wanted
> and even bring the duplication equipment with me while traveling
> someplace. If I got large orders I could get my mother or friends to
> help or buy better equipment. I live near boston. If I can make 100
> CD's per hour and make 20 cents profit on each CD, that would mean I'd
> be making $20/hour which seems not bad.
> On the one hand, I'd just be making some money to help get some of the
> money back I spent on the equipment and maybe make some connections
> with bands as well which would be good since I play guitar. On the
> other hand, possibly it could turn into something bigger, but I don't
> know, just wondering. A friend of mine thinks there is too much
> competition and not enough demand. On the other hand, I may not be
> looking to make alot of money, just flexibility in a job that may not
> be very hard.
>
Anonymous
June 28, 2005 5:41:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

wbsurfver@yahoo.com wrote:
>
> If I can make 100
> CD's per hour and make 20 cents profit on each CD, that would mean I'd
> be making $20/hour which seems not bad.

What do you plan to do for the next hour?

Your money might be better spent on some business 101
courses. I've heard there are several good business schools
in the Boston area.



TM
Related resources
Anonymous
June 28, 2005 1:19:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

<wbsurfver@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1119885078.599907.132800@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> What appeals to me is that I could work any hours I wanted

A friend of mine likes to say "the good thing about working for yourself is
that you get to pick which 80 hours a week to work."

Hal Laurent
Baltimore
June 28, 2005 4:06:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

T Maki <tmaki@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:42C0AB2E.454D3C92@earthlink.net...
> wbsurfver@yahoo.com wrote:
> >
> > If I can make 100
> > CD's per hour and make 20 cents profit on each CD, that would mean I'd
> > be making $20/hour which seems not bad.
>
> What do you plan to do for the next hour?
>
> Your money might be better spent on some business 101
> courses. I've heard there are several good business schools
> in the Boston area.
>
>
>
> TM

Very good advice
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 5:19:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

There's decent moeny if you do it right. You'd also be wise to
diversify a bit.

You need to learn a bit about CD duplication though. Cartain CD plaryes
struggle with CD-Rs, so you ned to understand why when customers
complain about somethign that is not your fault. Also, when people get
1,000 CDs the expect stampered CDs. Also, you going to need to spend a
ton on a printer for the artwork and find someone to do your stampered
work. The market for hose machines is the short runs - 100-200 at a
time. On a run of 10 CDs you should be making $3-3.50 profit per disc
(I am assuming that your definittion of profit is the price you paid
minus the cost of the blank CD which is techincinally not the correct
formula for profit).

Also, word of mouth will be key and it takes a bit of time, so expect
to be subsidizng the business for 6 months to a year and realize taht
you will be competing with people who do this full time. But, it is
possible to make money at it if you do it right.
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 12:56:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

In rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers, On 30 Jun 2005 01:19:38 -0700,
"Mike Caffrey" <mike@monsterisland.com> wrote:

>
>There's decent moeny if you do it right. You'd also be wise to
>diversify a bit.
>
>You need to learn a bit about CD duplication though. Cartain CD plaryes
>struggle with CD-Rs, so you ned to understand why when customers
>complain about somethign that is not your fault.

If some of the CDR's you burn don't play in customers' players (or
custoners' customers' players), it IS your fault, whether you
understand why or not, unless you are going to tell them you don't
guarantee your work and they are okay with that (I strongly suspect
having a guarantee and honoring it would help increase business).
If you understand what's going on, there's a better chance of
giving them a replacement that works, or even using CDR's and
recording speeds that are more likely to play on vintage CD players.
Making CDR's play on as many CD players as possible can be a very
important goal, depending on the target market. If a big-label person
gets your hoping-to-be-signed band's CDR and it doesn't play, chances
are he won't ask for a replacement but he'll drop it in the trash and
pick up the next band's CD in the pile. Likewise with a bar manager
looking for a band for the weekend.
For more on this (technically why a CD-R might not play in a CD
player), there's <http://www.cdrfaq.org&gt;.

>Also, when people get
>1,000 CDs the expect stampered CDs. Also, you going to need to spend a
>ton on a printer for the artwork and find someone to do your stampered
>work. The market for hose machines is the short runs - 100-200 at a
>time. On a run of 10 CDs you should be making $3-3.50 profit per disc
>(I am assuming that your definittion of profit is the price you paid
>minus the cost of the blank CD which is techincinally not the correct
>formula for profit).
>
>Also, word of mouth will be key and it takes a bit of time, so expect
>to be subsidizng the business for 6 months to a year and realize taht
>you will be competing with people who do this full time.

This sounds like most any business, though the "6 months to a
year" timeline seems shorter than what I've heard for starting a
business.

>But, it is
>possible to make money at it if you do it right.

-----
http://www.mindspring.com/~benbradley
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 4:01:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

A wholy different take on CD duplication.

I offer it as part of my recording service. Clients can get a concert
recorded for a fee and receive a CD. They can also contract for graphic
and duplication services. I'll create cover art, a CD Insert containing
program notes, and a tray card with the CD information. All in a package
deal.

I probably collect 75% or more of my gross revenue from the duplication.

But I can't say that I make money at it, given the time required to create
and duplicate the graphics, and the expense of buying and maintaining the
duplication gear.
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 4:01:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

"Carey Carlan" <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns9685CBB791DD3gulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191...
>A wholy different take on CD duplication.
>
> I offer it as part of my recording service. Clients can get a concert
> recorded for a fee and receive a CD. They can also contract for graphic
> and duplication services. I'll create cover art, a CD Insert containing
> program notes, and a tray card with the CD information. All in a package
> deal.
>
> I probably collect 75% or more of my gross revenue from the duplication.
>
> But I can't say that I make money at it, given the time required to create
> and duplicate the graphics, and the expense of buying and maintaining the
> duplication gear.

How do you handle the mechanical licensing?
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 5:57:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

"Richard Crowley" <richard.7.crowley@intel.com> wrote in
news:D a21pf$2q7$1@news01.intel.com:

>
> "Carey Carlan" <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns9685CBB791DD3gulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191...
>>A wholy different take on CD duplication.
>>
>> I offer it as part of my recording service. Clients can get a
>> concert recorded for a fee and receive a CD. They can also contract
>> for graphic and duplication services. I'll create cover art, a CD
>> Insert containing program notes, and a tray card with the CD
>> information. All in a package deal.
>>
>> I probably collect 75% or more of my gross revenue from the
>> duplication.
>>
>> But I can't say that I make money at it, given the time required to
>> create and duplicate the graphics, and the expense of buying and
>> maintaining the duplication gear.
>
> How do you handle the mechanical licensing?

That's the responsibility of the recording group. I don't sell them to the
public, just to the group that hired me.
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 10:40:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Xns9685CBB791DD3gulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191> gulfjoe@hotmail.com writes:

> I probably collect 75% or more of my gross revenue from the duplication.
>
> But I can't say that I make money at it, given the time required to create
> and duplicate the graphics, and the expense of buying and maintaining the
> duplication gear.

That's a shame. Do you have to offer this service as a near giveaway
to get the recording gigs? Or are you just hesitant to quote what it's
worth and risk the client taking your recording (which I assume is
profitable) elsewhere for manufacturing? That would leave you more
time for fishing and sitting on the porch playing the banjo and
drinking mint juleps.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 5:14:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote in news:znr1120179767k@trad:

>> I probably collect 75% or more of my gross revenue from the
>> duplication.
>>
>> But I can't say that I make money at it, given the time required to
>> create and duplicate the graphics, and the expense of buying and
>> maintaining the duplication gear.
>
> That's a shame. Do you have to offer this service as a near giveaway
> to get the recording gigs? Or are you just hesitant to quote what it's
> worth and risk the client taking your recording (which I assume is
> profitable) elsewhere for manufacturing? That would leave you more
> time for fishing and sitting on the porch playing the banjo and
> drinking mint juleps.

It's because I'm the son of Depression-era Puritan parents that convinced
me that with enough hard work, I'll make it in the world.

Actually, I'm still convinced that with enough tweaking, I'll (a) get
good at it (meaning both fast and pretty) and (b) discover the right
combination of gear to make it easy.

Remember that I'm still not a "real" recording entity. I sometimes match
my software income with my recording income, but only when software is
down (I do contract work). Most of my recording is for groups that I
care about personally, so I do what I can to make them look good as well
as sound good. As for the rest, I use it as a tool to get and keep
clients.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not so), most of my customers really don't care
how good the recording sounds. They're listening to the performance. As
long as it starts at the beginning and goes to the end, they're happy.
But most are really impressed by full color, high res photo graphics with
all their names inside.
July 1, 2005 5:48:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns9685DF6C9F0DAgulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191...
> "Richard Crowley" <richard.7.crowley@intel.com> wrote in
> news:D a21pf$2q7$1@news01.intel.com:
>
> >
> > "Carey Carlan" <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:Xns9685CBB791DD3gulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191...
> >>A wholy different take on CD duplication.
> >>
> >> I offer it as part of my recording service. Clients can get a
> >> concert recorded for a fee and receive a CD. They can also contract
> >> for graphic and duplication services. I'll create cover art, a CD
> >> Insert containing program notes, and a tray card with the CD
> >> information. All in a package deal.
> >>
> >> I probably collect 75% or more of my gross revenue from the
> >> duplication.
> >>
> >> But I can't say that I make money at it, given the time required to
> >> create and duplicate the graphics, and the expense of buying and
> >> maintaining the duplication gear.
> >
> > How do you handle the mechanical licensing?
>
> That's the responsibility of the recording group. I don't sell them to
the
> public, just to the group that hired me.

Actually its your responsibility not to duplicate anything illigal.Why do
you think pressing houses ask for the paper work ?,they are not selling to
the public either.
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 10:04:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <Xns96865E12F332Cgulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191> gulfjoe@hotmail.com writes:

> Surprisingly (or perhaps not so), most of my customers really don't care
> how good the recording sounds. They're listening to the performance. As
> long as it starts at the beginning and goes to the end, they're happy.
> But most are really impressed by full color, high res photo graphics with
> all their names inside.

Sigh!

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 11:23:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

wbsurfver@yahoo.com wrote:
> A friend of mine is a really good musician and I was thinking of
> helping him produce CDs of his band. I saw that disc makers has a
> reflex 7x box for $1,000 that can make 100+ cd's per hour. Using that
> with a thermal primera printer or something, I could wip out tons of
> CD's for him to send to radio stations, record companies, sell and give
> out. It also occured to me that although I am a software engineer with
> a good job, it's allways possible I may find myself between jobs. I was
> wondering if I could make any money making CD's for bands or any
> companies that need CD's copied ? What appeals to me is that I could
> work any hours I wanted
> and even bring the duplication equipment with me while traveling
> someplace. If I got large orders I could get my mother or friends to
> help or buy better equipment. I live near boston. If I can make 100
> CD's per hour and make 20 cents profit on each CD, that would mean I'd
> be making $20/hour which seems not bad.
> On the one hand, I'd just be making some money to help get some of the
> money back I spent on the equipment and maybe make some connections
> with bands as well which would be good since I play guitar. On the
> other hand, possibly it could turn into something bigger, but I don't
> know, just wondering. A friend of mine thinks there is too much
> competition and not enough demand. On the other hand, I may not be
> looking to make alot of money, just flexibility in a job that may not
> be very hard.

Hello.
I work for a place that has about 90 drives' worth of duplicators, 2
specifically-color CD printers and 3 printers to do B/W (but will also
do color, albeit not as sharp-looking as the other two). We just spent
$38k upgrading from 28 burners and one thermal B/W printer.

We can produce results that look quite good for amateurs/hobbyists on
CD-RW's, but we would never presume to call ourselves a pro CD
manufacturer, even though we can print and duplicate thousands of CD's
per day (depending on color depth).

....and the place I work is a church. We give 'em away for free.

Trust me when I say you don't want to get into the CD-duplication
business, unless you're charging outrageous immediate-gratification
fees.

-dave
www.themoodrings.com
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 2:00:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1120244618k@trad...
>
> In article <Xns96865E12F332Cgulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191>
> gulfjoe@hotmail.com writes:
>
>> Surprisingly (or perhaps not so), most of my customers really don't care
>> how good the recording sounds. They're listening to the performance. As
>> long as it starts at the beginning and goes to the end, they're happy.
>> But most are really impressed by full color, high res photo graphics with
>> all their names inside.
>
> Sigh!

Mike, why are you sighing? You've often said that it's the music that
matters, not the recording (a position I agree with).

Hal Laurent
Baltimore
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 12:01:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

All good points, Mike.

In my experience, the average 7-tray tower will complete a run of CD's
in an average of about 4 minutes depending on the amount of material.

So you load all 7 trays and start the process. You now have 4 minutes
to fill your coffee cup and come back. Right about then, the first run
completes. You replace the burned CD's with blank ones, and start the
next one. You now have 4 minutes to sip your coffee while you read your
emai.... oops, that run is done.

You swap-out the CD's, and decide to go back to your email. You type a
reply. Another run finishes.

You get the idea. Your life with duplication-gear is a process of
living your day in 4-minute increments. If you have more than one
machine, you can be steadily loading, unloading all day long.

With our first 3 duplicators we easily duplicated 1000 copies of an
original 7-song CD in about 3 hours. However, we had spent the entire
week printing the labels on them (we made a total of 6000 units).

Our first printer, a Rimage Prism Plus (I think) with an autoloader can
print its maximum load of 300 B/W disks in 90 minutes. BUT, full color
takes 4 times as long, since it makes a single pass each for black,
magenta, yellow, and cyan.

It's LOUD too. You don't want this machine running anywhere near your
studio.

Oh yes, and the printer plus autoloader costs like $6000. So, for say,
$10,000 you could get a moderately-serious CD-printer, three 7-tray CD
duplicators, and a few extra ribbons. I think we print about 4000 CD's
per B/W ribbon. Replacements for us are about $50 each. A color ribbon
will last one-fourth as long, and will certainly cost more.

So the printing -even at its simplest- takes significantly longer than
the duplication.

At the end of that $10,000, you will still be printing and duplicating
on consumer CD-RW's; which still makes it an amateur enterprise. So you
COULD be the best amateur around, but the time, energy, cost, and
maintenance is really not worth it.

I think the duplicators are cool machines, and if you want to make 100
CD's a week, one of those is perfect. But if you are intent on sending
out unsolicited demos, buy a Neato adhesive labelling kit with a
stomper, and do full color printing on your inkjet.

If you are serious about having a professional finished product, send a
master CD off to a serious duplication house.

-dave
www.themoodrings.com
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 2:02:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <lzmxe.10$ZI1.1550@news.abs.net> laurent@charm.net writes:

> Mike, why are you sighing? You've often said that it's the music that
> matters, not the recording (a position I agree with).

Because the recording matters to the engineer. (but it matters even
more if the music is good)

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 2:02:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

wbsurfver@yahoo.com wrote:

> A friend of mine is a really good musician and I was thinking of
> helping him produce CDs of his band. I saw that disc makers has a
> reflex 7x box for $1,000 that can make 100+ cd's per hour. Using that
> with a thermal primera printer or something, I could wip out tons of
> CD's for him to send to radio stations, record companies, sell and give
> out.

Think business plan: How many, in reality, is "tons?" How many will he
be willing to give away, how many does he plan to sell, what about the
rest of the package (liner notes, jacket, box), and most important,
how much will you get paid per disk?

If he orders 1000 CDs at a dollar each, it's easy for you to say that
you'll pay for the machine in one order, and you can do it in a day.
But that's just part of the cost. The blanks, if you use decent ones,
will cost about a quarter a piece, plus shipping, plus your time to
order them, in realilty it will take you more than 10 hours to run
1000 CDs because of loading and unloading (still, think of it as a
full day), and then the hard part - you have to package them. Even if
you just stick them into plain envelopes with no printing on the disk
or envelope, you'd be pushing to stuff 100 per hour, working all day.
If you have to print something on each disk, print a liner and cover,
and assemble a jewel box, you're probably talking close to a week for
the job, and even at $2 a disk, (he's your friend and you're doing him
a favor, right) can you live for a week on maybe $200? Possibly for
one week between jobs, but not for very long.

So if you decide to charge him $5 a piece, he'll tell you that he can
get them done by Diskmakers for less than half that, and that they're
professionals and won't be learning on his time.

A dupllicator like that is good for a short run of 25 disks that
you can do for the band while they're packing up after a session. They
can each take a copy for reference, they can have a few copies to send
out to reviewers or take to the radio station when they schedule an
interview, or maybe get 50 to have to sell at a gig where their loyal
fans would feel special having an early copy without the fancy
mastering and packaging. For jobs like that, you can charge $5 per
disk and the clients will be happy to pay it. But unless you have a
lot of clients like that, you won't pay for the duplicator right away.
If it pays for itself in a year, that's not a bad plan, but it's going
to be a supplement to a related business, not your only business.

You don't think that Diskmakers will really sell you something that
allows you to compete with them, do you?

> On the other hand, I may not be
> looking to make alot of money, just flexibility in a job that may not
> be very hard.

Maybe you can get some chicks. And while the job may not be hard, you
can be sure that it's boring.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 3:18:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:

> In article <Xns96865E12F332Cgulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191>
> gulfjoe@hotmail.com writes:

> > Surprisingly (or perhaps not so), most of my customers really don't care
> > how good the recording sounds. They're listening to the performance. As
> > long as it starts at the beginning and goes to the end, they're happy.
> > But most are really impressed by full color, high res photo graphics with
> > all their names inside.
>
> Sigh!

Yep! The general public listens with its eyes.

--
~ Adrian Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 6:08:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 01 Jul 2005 13:14:47 GMT, Carey Carlan <gulfjoe@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Surprisingly (or perhaps not so), most of my customers really don't care
>how good the recording sounds. They're listening to the performance. As
>long as it starts at the beginning and goes to the end, they're happy.
>But most are really impressed by full color, high res photo graphics with
>all their names inside.

Yup. As a performer, I have to constantly re-evaluate what the
customer is actually buying. I can become obsessed with my musical
skills. The punters are enjoying a package of which they form a
part. But, surprisingly, maybe not the dominant part :-)
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:46:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro,rec.music.makers (More info?)

I ran a record label for a while that distributed music almost
exclusively on CDRs. We did 2 releases on "pressed" CD and about a
dozen on CDR. We burned them ourselves, and screenprinted them by
hand. The screenprinting looked quite good, when all was going well.
We also did this type of duplication for some other labels for a while.
Now, it's been about 4 or 5 years since we did this, so the numbers
might have changed a bit. But at that time, you could get a spindle of
500 pressed CDs with color printing on them from a real CD pressing
plant for about $450 or so, including glass master and everything. I
think film for the printing was a bit more. Anyway, that comes out to
$0.90 per disc.
Another thing to bear in mind is that pressed CDs look more
professional and are more durable and error-resistance than CDRs. I'm
saying this as somebody who went to great effort to make CDRs that
looked completely professional, because I wanted independent artists
and labels to basically have no bottom limit in terms of quantity when
it comes to selling their own records and getting media attention.
The cost of CD duplicating equipment, the speed at which it works, the
number of simultaneous burners you can have running, and the overall
quality of the burners and the printing have surely improved
dramatically since the time I was doing this, but you can also be sure
that the price of CD pressing has probably come down as well.
The point is that there is a clear point where a pressing plant makes
more sense for CD manufacturing than a CDR lab. When I was doing it,
that point was about 300 discs. There were a few titles we burned as
many as maybe 600 copies, but that was spread out over a long period of
time and we didn't know we would need the 2nd 300 until after we had
burned the first 300. In any case, I think the idea of finding
customers who routinely pay you to burn 1000 CDRs is a bit naive,
because they could have CDs pressed at a very competitive price.
Unless you can sell them duplicated and printed discs for under about
$0.75, they're going to go to a pressing plant for anything over 500
certainly, and probably anything over about 250 in most cases. And of
course people who want less than 50 or so discs will generally do the
duplication themselves.
This leaves you with customers who want to make 100-200 discs to pass
out to their friends and family. There's a market there, but these
customers in many cases are going to be settling for 100 CDRs because
their band doesn't have the funds or the following to justify a
pressing of 500. In other words, they're broke. Expect to spend a
fair amount of time chasing invoices and verifying payments.
Which you'll have plenty of time to do while you're stuck in front of
the tower of CD burners, shoveling polycarbonate into them at the rate
of 7 discs every 4 minutes. That won't get old for at least an hour.
You could get a robotic arm duplicator that does the loading for you,
so you can leave it unattended and have it do the work for you. But
that's a larger investment, and typically uses only one CDR drive for
an affordable model, which means your output and your investment
recovery will be slower.

How does your plan sound now?

ulysses
!