Expand your band’s merch offerings with wax cylinders

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Wax Cylinders

Is your band taking advantage of the current wax cylinder resurgence?

These days, music fans have so many different ways to listen to their favorite artists — so it’s sensible for you to make your music available in multiple formats: CDs, downloads, streaming on platforms like Spotify and YouTube, vinyl records, and wax cylinders.

That’s right: mechanical phonographs are making a strong comeback — 2013 saw nearly 90% growth in wax cylinder sales over 2012 — and if you’re not offering your latest single on the earliest commercial medium for reproducing sound, you’re missing out on sales opportunities AND disappointing your fans.

“A cylinder can’t hold nearly as much music as an iPod; they don’t sound as warm as vinyl does; and they’re not as crisp as compact discs,” says Rob Bennington, singer of the Brooklyn-based band Math Finish. “But there’s something magical about how our banjos and Juno-60s sound on wax cylinder. There’s that kind of inimitable tinny quality you just can’t get any other way.”

Edison's phonograph

CD Baby to offer wax cylinder manufacturing services for independent artists

When Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, the world was forever changed. By the late 1880s, recorded sound was being mass-marketed in the form of wax cylinders. What we think of as the modern music industry still operates in the wake of that sea change.

“When it comes to our music,” says Bennington, “wax cylinder is the best way to capture and convey a certain nostalgia for times gone by. Fans tell us that when they listen on phonograph, they can almost hear our untrimmed beards.”

Math Finish isn’t alone. Thousands of other bands across the United States and Europe are harkening back to a simpler time and offering wax cylinders (with an accompanying download card) to their fans.

Listening to wax cylinder

The most striking benefit to this format is its speedy degradation over multiple listens. “By the tenth or twelfth spin, the music is almost inaudible,” says Sarah Stewart, CEO of Wax Museum, a cylinder manufacturing plant in the Bay Area. “So you know your fans are really going to savor each note. And then if they want to hear the song again, they have to buy another cylinder. Everybody wins!”

Don’t rob your fans of such an intimate listening experience; order customized wax cylinders for your band today and get 20% off your first pressing.

Just use coupon code AprilFoolsThisIsTotallyNotReal at checkout.

But all kidding aside, you really SHOULD be distributing your music in all those other formats mentioned above: CD, vinyl, downloads, streaming, and YouTube. With CD Baby, we help you do that — worldwide.

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