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:
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