Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2 of 3 - shipping time

Hey again - you'll notice I listed the last post as '1 of 3', and this is '2 of 3'. There are three things I wanted to debate with you guys, the last will come tomorrow, but today is CD shipping time.

I think DFTBA do really well in shipping. We have a good ship rate and we ship anywhere there's an address. My only problem is on release days for new albums.

When Chameleon Circuit came out, we decided that the day of release would be June 1st. Alan made it clear from the beginning that this didn't mean you'd get your CDs on June 1st, but that they would start shipping on June 1st.

Nonetheless, there was obvious confusion, since I was touting 'June 1st June 1st!' in all the videos I made. June 1st wasn't the exciting day for people. People didn't say they couldn't wait for June 1st, cos that wasn't the day they got their CDs. Basically, we were all celebrating the day Alan went to the post office. June 3rd or 4th or 5th was the day WE got excited.

On professional platforms like Amazon, a pre-order of a product is valuable because it guarantees that you will be able to secure yourself a copy on the day of release. On DFTBA, I feel it's somewhat undervalued because it just means that you get it as soon as possible.

With this in mind, I've asked Alan to ship my first album 'Parrot Stories' a little differently. The release date for the CD is October 1st (Charlieissocoollike's birthday, coincidentally) so I asked Alan to start shipping pre-orders on September 28th. That way we can say "PRE-ORDER NOW TO GET IT BY RELEASE DATE!" and the date of October 1st will actually mean something - as well as being the day I make my big "AHH ALBUM OUT TODAY ARJGHEJGDT" video, it'll also be the day that hundreds of people all get my CD at the same time and open it and twitter and make videos, and it'll create this really exciting buzz around the product. (Unless they buy it on iTunes - re: earlier post.)

Do you think this works? Do you think having a big release day is better? Let me know what you think of this idea and if you think we should do this with other releases in the future.

Comment as always :D

PS: Thanks for all the comments yesterday. People were quite split, but the people who appreciated having good products definitely seemed to prefer jewels, apart from the breakability factor. Someone suggested that every DFTBA CD page should say on it what kind of packaging it is, which is a GREAT idea. Also, someone said that the way I wrote the blog having a 'dig' at other artists was unfair, but I didn't mention people by name or say "they make crappy cheap CDs", and I thought the direct approach was the best way to make my point, since it'd be the most effective way of opening discussion.


  1. Oh, I definitely agree with you, Alex. It is kind of lame that the "big release day" isn't a big, exciting day at all. It's like "oh, good for the band, that's exciting for them", but it's not "YAYAYYYY I HAVE A COPY WOO", which is lame for the fans. I'm glad you're doing that with Parrot Stories -- means I might actually have the CD the day it's released.

  2. I think the ship before the release date is awesome. I always liked the idea of getting something the DAY IT CAME OUT, the way amazon does it. However, you mentioned that when Cham. Circuit came out, that people got it at different times. So then Alan would have to know the ship time of every location so it would get there on time. While this is not difficult for a big company like Amazon, it might be a bit of trouble for a small company like DFTBA. if People didn't get it on the specified date, they will be all in a tizzy and then Alan would have to deal with those people. or if they got it before the release date, I'm not sure if that's something you want when you have a release date. haha so it's the little things that make me really think about which option is better.
    but I stick with my original choice of Mail before the date.

  3. Alex and Alan,

    As much as I enjoyed the exciting packing BlogTV shows, I think this seems like a great way to approach releases. Having an actual day of hype would definitely create more excitement in the community. I honestly don't really care, though. As long as I get my CDs. ;)


  4. I would rather get the album on the release date if I've preordered, personally. But, that's easy for me to say since [a] I'm not the one shipping the CDs and [b] I'm in the same country that the CDs are shipping from.

    I've always been one of those people who goes out at midnight on the release date to get the CD and listen to it right away. There's something exciting about being among the first to listen to an album.

  5. I know it might be a little more work to figure out, especially with international shipping, but I would prefer to get the CD on the day it's released if possible, because that way there's a big hurrah and as you said, allows for immediate reaction. At the same time, by virtue of it being DFTBA, I associate the label with eco friendly cool, so I feel like it's a perk to the people who buy it digitally because they're saving a lot of energy and they get it that little bit earlier, it's like an extra (whether or not that's the intention). I guess that's another reason I forgot to mention why I'm not a huge fan of jewel cases, they're just not eco-friendly and it doesn't seem to fit in with the ethos I'm assuming to be attached to the label. I don't know, I'm ill and blathering :D

    - Rosianna

  6. I'm still waiting for my package of Taking Leave, Trock On, I'm So Bad at This and Driftless Pony Club... I was emailed about it shipping last Monday.
    I think because of the generally huge distances and unreliability of the postal service there is always going to be one day that is the day Alan goes to the post office and a 3 or 4 day span of the majority of pre-orders being received.
    It's mainly because they're not getting sold in shops that the buzz about a release date is never going to be as big as a physical world wide shop release.
    I think it's something that buying from DFTBA is always going to have and we should just make do.


  7. I completely agree with you here too. For example, imagine if those people who pre-ordered Harry Potter on amazon didn't get it on the release date? That would ruin the whole point! It wouldn't be as exciting, and you wouldn't be able to experience the immediate excitement of the new product with everyone else.

    My only problem with ordering is shipping prices! (I'm in Canada, so its more.) Its so much easier, cheaper, and quicker to buy it on iTunes. I would only order if I got extra things out of it (i.e. extra tracks, booklets, etc.)


  8. I really like this idea and I'll be (hopefully) preordering my CD. The problem though is that not all the CDs will get to the same places at the same time. I live in Canada. The CD that Alan shipped on the 17th got to me today. Not bad mind you. But it took over two weeks for Hank's first CD to get to me. I live in Canada and I haven't moved. But I will be moving for school. Who knows how long it will take to get there, even though it's only two hours difference by car.

    I love getting physical copies of CDs and I don't need a set date to get them by. If I needed a set date I would get my music all off of iTunes.

  9. Having a big release day would be fun, and getting it on release day would be fantastic, being able to enjoy it with everyone else at the same time. But it was also kind of cool to see the videos posted by some people who got their cds before release day, like tiny little previews, or spoilers that don't ruin your fun, and just leave you looking forward to it a tiny bit more ^__^