Sunday, May 03, 2009

They are so SMRT

Where were you guys 15 years ago, or hell even 6 months ago? If you're an indie artist and want your music on CD in your hands in a professional looking package but don't want to have boxes upon boxes upon boxes of those same cd's sitting in the corner of your garage/jam room, then this may be the answer. Now I am not endorsing this company as I have never personally used them or even read any feedback on them, but they are offering a service like I have never seen in my 15 years in the music business. CD one off's complete with digipack for $2.95! Yes I said ONE OFF's! That's the crazy part. Ok, $2.95 isn't exactly the cheapest I've ever come across, digipack or otherwise, but it's certainly the cheapest in quantities less than 1000!

But wait there's more! For $399 they will release your music to digital retailers such as itunes, as well as Soundscan, AND they take orders for your cd online. All you have to do is make the great music and promote the living hell out of it like you would anyway. It's like they've just taken half the work load off the indie artist.

At a glance it looks a tad expensive to me, but again I'm comparing to the 1000 units ordered price vs this system. I think it's worth paying more per unit and knowing that you won't be stuck with a closet full of cd's.

With the submission to itunes, and other digital retailers I'm a little suspect. I'm not sure if this service is really worth $399, but from past experience I know that it takes a lot of time to do all of this, so perhaps it's better worth it for your time to be spent on your music instead.

I would love to hear from anyone who has used this company, how the service was, and the quality of the product.

Here is an excerp from the company FAQ about how the process works. Check it out:
Take me through how it works exactly.

1. You decide you’re in. You have songs and you want them released.
2. You call us to set it up at 1-888-88-INDIE. At some point, we may allow this to happen online self serve, but for now, to be cautious, we prefer to handle the delicate set up ourselves. We are dealing with people’s babies here, there are a lot of variables and there are usually questions.
3. You pay the $399. We get the ball rolling.
4. We need to collect 3 parts from you in order to create your Test Copy: audio master, artwork and the signed agreement.
5. Once we have these parts from you, we send you a Test Copy of your release. This is SMRT’s greatest feature because you actually get to have a real proof of what it will look like. You check it out, you listen to the CD, you make sure it’s exactly the way you want it. If it isn’t, you resubmit artwork or master ($45 resubmission charge applies) and we send you a new Test Copy. Repeat as required.
6. The way you approve the Test Copy is by ordering your first order of CDs, any quantity of course. When we receive that first order, we know the release is real and ready to go, so we start sending it to digital retailers, and cataloguing it and doing all the data uploads. There’s no turning back at this point.
7. You order any number of CDs you need, anytime. They are ready for pick up or shipment by the end of the day, two business days after the order is received.
8. Over the next 4 to 8 weeks, the tracks will begin to appear in digital retailers and everywhere else we send it (All Music Guide, Gracenote, Soundscan, etc…).
9. When we receive retail or online orders, we create copies and fill the orders. We are stockless and make CDs when they are ordered.
10. You will receive monthly statements of your sales from digital, online and retail. We pay you monthly by direct deposit and will secure that information from you at the appropriate time.
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