Digital music and the download phenomenon have had a negative impact on the audio packaging sector. There is much speculation nearby the future of physical media on music and no one has the right prediction. Downloads have “knocked out” conventional music formats as clients can listen to music at the click of a button, eliminating the need to purchase CDs and LPs and, of course, the packaging they come in.
Specialists said that the invention of iPhone was very opportune to music consumers, because it is a mini device that has the ability to store an entire CD collection. Besides, a client could buy any record on iTunes anytime and anywhere, a thing that they couldn´t do with physical media. This handle and suitable gadget spoiled the CD music market.
However, the place of packaging as a source of information on the CD booklet (lyrics, liner notes, history of the disc or the composer, pictures, etc.) as well as an artistic “portrait” could remain. How the packaging music industry is fighting back against the digital revolution?
Against this situation, CD packaging must find new ways to add value to the products. In order to reach that purpose, they manufacturers should be more creative and ingenious. If music labeled on CDs want to compete with downloads, they must be positioned as a higher value gift.
Consumers are likely to be positively influenced by innovative packaging that delivers content benefits and original designs to store, making the product a value object they want to keep for long time. Packaging, as an extra, will be justified if it is seen to add value.
Extra content and value
When packaging used to have a practical purpose – protecting the disc within – record companies could justify its existence and additional cost. It soon became that decorating the package was desirable and even a bonus to sales. Today that “protection purpose” has disappeared, so music companies should think in something else.
The idea is to introduce an interesting packaging and content into the release, to get something different and extra from downloading a single from iTune.
Customer of physical products has grown as digital download sales have increased. Sales of box sets and collectors’ editions of CDs, special or limited edition discs that warrant a higher price, have grown in volume as a result.
I want to hold your hand
With the CD (and its packaging), the consumers get the music in a form that is ready to play and that is also easily transferred to other applications. They get an object that can be stored and collected on the client´s shelves and, besides, they obtain extra information (lyrics and credits) and the visual, artistic, “scene-setting” experience.
Music labels, also realize that a Special Edition Set could be a great gift to a music fan. They love the history of the band or their favorite pop stars and having them on beautiful packaging whit a special and exclusive content like picture and sayings or interviews of the band. Today, there is an important market for Special Edition box sets and the consumers want supplemental goodies that accompany them, like documentaries, tour posters, pictures and more.
That business process it is part of a generational thing. When it said that digital is killing the physical media industry, it should look at the generational impact. How many kids are buying music? Maybe a teen don’t care about a beautiful packaging and interesting liner notes. So soon, CD and LP´s packaging will be placed on pedestals in a museum.