What is a DIGIPAK? Essentially a DIGIPAK offers the audience a lot more in terms of content than a disk with a regular CD cover. It is a marketing tool intended to offer the buyer and incentive for purchasing the hard copy from a high street or online retailer rather than downloading/ streaming the music. It is particularly important as sales of albums have dwindled as buyers often prefer to download their favourite track(s) rather than pay out for the full album. The incentive is basically extras added to the CD/DVD in addition to the actual disk and its case with front and back covers. The hardcopy consists of; Front, Back, Spines and CD.Extras may consist of; membership postcard, flier, lyric section, disk impression, band info section, booklet, free image, poster or set of postcards.
My Experience at High Street Retailer Whilst visiting one of the largest high street retailers selling music, HMV, I was took by great surprise when trying to view the music collection to only be able to view music albums, DVD, video games and electronic goods. I then spoke to one of the sales assistances, who told me that the only singles were on the cashier deck; for such a large store, I couldn’t understand why the location of singles were on that desk, which I couldn’t even view as it looked like I was pushing in, and at Christmas rush that doesn’t go down well!! I then decided to ask another sales assistant for the names of the singles they have, who turned out to be the store manager, who went on to tell me that, singles simply do not sell anymore, everyone ops for downloading of singles, but the buying of albums still remains pretty popular, and in the recent two years vinyl’s (records) have seen a growth in sells, he said ‘the growth in technology has thrown off the music hardcopy industry, they don’t know what to make or how many, some artists have considered bringing out vinyl’s instead of singles on hardcopy, such as Take That, it is such a confusion as the singles downloading chart is doing very well, along with singles music videos, but singles hardcopy are not bringing in the money that is needed to produce them.’ Having this conversation with someone who was clearly very interested and knowledgeable with the industry he was working only help and grew my knowledge. The store manager then went on to say ‘HMV use to use the slogan ‘Top Dog for Music’ but in recent years they have taken the tag lines out of its use as we simply don’t sell music like we use to, before all the downloading, now were more like video game sellers, then again super markets are investing into the gaming industry too, and to be honest they can be cheaper, and a better location, but it’s a bit of waiting game until the power of the internet has been fully developed, and the store can decide whereabouts’ it fits in.’ The manager then went to get one of each of the singles they did stock and returned with, Matt Cardle – When We Collide, Rumer – Sings Bacharach At Christmas, X Factor Finalists – Heroes, Michael Jackson: Akon – Hold My Hand, Joe McElderry- Ambitions and Shayne Ward – Gotta Be Somebody. Rumer was an HMV exclusive and Shayne Ward came with a free poster, so I decided to buy Shayne Ward’s single to further investigate. I also quickly noted that all the singles were from the pop genre.
My Experience with Online Retailers Two of the most popular websites to buy music is Play.com and Itunes Store. Play.com is one of the cheapest online retailers to buy hardcopy CD’s, Itunes is one of the most popular websites to download music from as it is extremely cheap. Both websites include exclusives but hardcopy exclusives are more popular, Itunes exclusives consist of hidden tracks, free tracks, or the only place to buy it. Online retailers tend to be cheaper, easier to find products, clear to what product you are buying etc, online retailers have a bigger appeal as they are more continent and you can shop and access when is suits you. However this just mean less human interaction.
Conventions of a Pop CD Conventions of a pop CD cover, simple colour scheme, simple design, few or no characters, colour of band name stands out, hidden meanings, a title that explains/ sums the album up, bold, simple fonts if any and some CD’s, although less likely of the pop genre, will have a Parental Advisory on the front cover. Conventions of a pop back cover, name of band at very top, then name of album, list of song titles, usually centred, name of record company, copyright and year, the name of copyright owner, and the distributor. Conventions of inside covers colour scheme that is the same as the rest of the album, plan backgrounds and few or little text. Conventions of spines name of the record company in recognised font or logo, name of artist, song title, same font as front cover and a linking symbol to the record company.
The artist is known to be a ‘hot’ and ‘fit’ artist – this is shown by the artist not wearing a top. Shayne Ward’s target audience is usually girls or females, so this idea feeds into the image/look created for this artist, influencing fans to buy the CD. Front Cover Analysis. Only the artists name and single title are clear, because these are the two most important information needed for the audience. Black simple background complying with conventions. Along with the male artist conventions. Small print writing is also clear from photograph and text background stating the exclusives. This is used as the final push for a sale. Clear photograph of the face of the artist, as the artist is the main selling point. The artist eye colour stands out amongst the artists skin tone, the strength of his eyes as if he looking directly at or for someone in the distance, this will attract the audience, feeling as if the artist is directly addressing them making the CD personal. Handwriting stands out-> capital letters make it bold-> simple clear hand writing make it to the point, like a single. The song title suggests a plea to buy the artists single.
Producers logos stand out compared to background, sometimes this information can help fans to track or find other artists who have signed with the same label. Back Cover Analysis. Barcode is needed for purchase of product. The black background continues along with the lettering scheme, the cantered text makes the content clear. The continuation allows the audience to comfortably read the contents of the CD quickly and significantly. Management and photographers are named in small print, as their level of importance is low, the CD is there to attract fans, therefore this information is unnecessary to fans. The website is in the same size font as the song titles suggesting its level of importance. Websites are used to incise fans, to carry on following the artist and their career, this keeps the artist popular and money rolling. Copyright information in small print.
Spines Analysis. The black background is continued, this gives the audience a comfortable setting as everything on the CD is kept simple making it easy to read. Shayne Ward (artist name )is in clear capital letters and white colour font, making this the first sight for the eyes to attract to. Single title is not as clear as the artist name but reasonably stands out because of the small amount of text used on the spine, showing that the song title is still important. The artist is usually the largest selling point for a CD, as the artist is what usually attracts the fans. This is the product code, the same code as the barcode on the back cover, used for detecting the product via computer/till systems.
Inside CD Analysis. Black and white theme suggests an formal event or party. Which may reflect into the song. The artists name is in the largest font, followed by the single title they are split by a line suggesting a balance between the single an the artist, depending on each other. Song titles are in bold letters clearly shown to explain the contents of the CD – high level of importance. The white CD stands out from the clear black background. Info of song, producers and writers etc. are named, some fans may find this information interesting, but it remains in small print because it is unlikely to change the sales figures. Copyright information are wrote in small print, as their level of importance is low, the CD is there to attract fans, therefore this information is unnecessary to fans and will in no way change weather the audience would buy the CD. Management are named in small print, as the level of importance is low, the CD is there to attract fans, therefore this information is unnecessary to fans. Producers logos stand out compared to background, sometimes this information can help fans to track or find other artists who have signed with the same label.
Booklet & Exclusives Analysis. The artist is usually the largest selling point for a CD, as the artist is what usually attracts the fans. Black background is an continued theme. This topless black and white poster, appeals to his female fans, his name is printed on the side of the poster this can also be used as an advertisement for the artist, incising more females to follow him. Website and twitter page are placed on the booklet to attract fans to continue following the artist and buying into their goods. CD Cover Poster allows the fans to advertise their favourite artist, the CD cover will make advertise the single.