A Reader Writes: Jewish CDs Sell Well for Those Who Have Their Own Bands and Pump their Music


jewish-musicDear Editor,

I’ve been a fan of Jewish music for a long time and I have noticed which factors determine how well an album is going to sell. Besides for the quality of the CD, perhaps more important is how well the CD is promoted .The main ways it gets promoted are:

 A. Advertising.

 B. Playing the songs at weddings.

The singers/producers that have bands are able to ‘pump up’ their album by playing songs from it.  For example, if you put out a great CD, but you don’t advertise it, and you don’t have a band, you will sell much fewer copies. This hurts the producer and the potential buyer.   

I have an agenda here. There is an organization I am a big fan of, namely, “A T.I.M.E.,” which helps many of our brothers and sisters. They recently put out a CD, with the proceeds going to tzedakah. Normally a singer is happy to spend $10,000 on advertising even if it only brings in an extra $5,000 in sales. This is because it results in an increase in concerts and wedding bookings, where he will eventually make his money back. The CD is essentially his business card, and he’s not necessarily looking to make money off the album itself.

It follows that for a tzedaka organization, it’s not lucrative to advertise. Also, A T.I.M.E. doesn’t exactly have a band that will play the songs at weddings. You may have noticed that while everyone loves Shlomie Gertner’s album, you hardly ever hear “Beni” or “Mimi kolaich” at weddings. This is because neither he nor his producer have their own band, and the only time it’s played is when someone requests it.

I’m not worried about them not selling enough to make a nice profit, because it’s good enough that it will sell through word of mouth. Also I think that a lot of the people (Shloime Kaufman, Abie Rotenberg, Boruch Levine, Dovid Gabay, Michoel Pruzansky  and A.K.A.pella, to name a few) involved either worked on it for free or next to nothing, so there’s very little overhead. I just want it to get the recognition it deserves.

Normally, I wouldn’t rant about this, because it’s the way of the world that advertising equals money. There are other albums that would fit this description. Now, however, since it is a tzedakah, and we know how badly tzedakahs need our help now, I feel the need.I don’t want your money going to a lesser CD because they didn’t advertise enough.

A Jewish Music Fan


  1. There a couple of real quality cd’s that have come out recently that just don’t get the publicity they should. Not everyone has someone to blow their horn at every wedding…

  2. Ladys and gentlemen introducing for the first time A T.I.M.E. band ! ha ha that has a nice ring to it !

    Whoops . I put the comment where I was supposed to put my name.

  3. Interesting way to plug your website. Anyway, Cd is great, twelve good songs. No fillers. Music is very original,but a little to modern for my tastes.

  4. Its mitigated however by the fact that its a tzedaka . and sells more copies. Thats why I bought it. Im a big fan btw. its definitely worth it.

  5. In a way its bad that Gershy Moskowitz is the number one producer. He would not have gone for most of the songs on this cd. He has very conventional tastes. We need more of this type of music.

  6. Whats funny was that I didnt buy it BECAUSE its a tzedaka. I figured any Cd that has to hide behind the fact that its a tzedaka is not good enough. But after I heard ‘ Yigdal’ in Eichlers……..

  7. When I was in Lakewood, R’ Lewinstien was very very good to me , even though I had no money and was a difficult case. If you are reading this thank you so much. Your an amazing shadchan and an even better person. Please continue what you do cause many people look at you as the silver lining in the otherwise grey parsha of shidduchim. I love you.