CDs vs. MP3s: Your preference for infoproducts and why

13 replies
I'm having an ongoing discussion with a client over selling both CDs and MP3s and we agreed to both keep our eyes open for data on who prefers which and why.

So this morning I was startled to get an order for a CD from someone who is in high-tech communications. I asked her why she didn't want the MP3, and she said because she wants to listen in her car, and her car only plays CDs.

Here is another reason in favor of CDs - I hate buying multiple-recording programs as MP3s rather than get them as CDs because I tend to forget about them when they're on my hard disk, but if they come in the mail I am 99% sure to listen to them.

On the other hand, some people prefer MP3s because they don't want to wait for shipping or because the postal mail to their country is undependable.

What other reasons do you have for preferring CDs - or for preferring MP3s?

Marcia Yudkin
#cds #infoproducts #mp3s #preference
  • Profile picture of the author edlync
    I actually prefer CDs because they are tangible, you own something and you can't lose it easily if the computer dies on you. I just had my desktop die on me and it's no fun when you lose important docs, software, downloads, etc. So this is my main reason for giving CDs kudos over mp3's.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeyman120
    Hello Marcia,
    I prefer selling mp3's for the simple reason that it can be offered as instant download. No shipping, no packages, no postage, no bubble wrap, no tape, no shipping labels and no going to the post office each day to wait on line to drop off orders. But that's just me, I'm into digital products right now. I would also like my product instantly if I were a buyer. You could also offer both cd and download.

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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      I prefer selling mp3's
      Just to clarify...

      I am not asking which you prefer as a seller but rather which you prefer as a buyer, and why.

      Thank you.

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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
        Hi Marcia

        For an info product, I'd tend to go for the MP3. It's instant and most info products originate from the US (I'm in the UK) so the shipping time would be a put-off.

        It's an easy matter to burn selected MP3s onto a CD for use in the car.

        Also, I suspect the recent trend towards physical products is a none-too-subtle ploy to simply obtain the customer's mailing address, rather than a technical requirement of the product (of course, there are exceptions).

        By the way, I realize you didn't ask, but I'd always prefer to have an info product as a PDF

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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers

          If we're talking just audio, I prefer MP3s for training materials, and CDs for music. It's a storage thing. Once I get the info in my head, training stuff can be shuffled onto an external drive and left in case I need to refer back to it. I don't want to take up a lot of physical space for things I'll probably never re-use.

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  • Profile picture of the author intromaster
    If I'm the buyer, mp3 (instant download, instant gratification)

    If I'm the seller, CD (I can charge more money being it's a physical product. Also, I can give a link to the mp3 too so they can listen to it while the CD is on the way)
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  • Profile picture of the author BigRedNotebook
    MP3. I get it right away. I'm using the computer because it's fast and convenient. It seems like a technological step backwards for me to wait around for the piece of plastic to show up.

    If I MUST listen to it away from the car, I can load it into my MP3 player, obviously. If I wanted to listen in a car without the MP3 jack, I could burn it to CD in a matter of moments.

    Obviously, though, it's going to depend a great deal on the target audience and their proclivities. I can think of many niches in which the good ol' CD would probably outsell the MP3 5 to 1.

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  • Profile picture of the author cheesy
    I actually buy wichever is cheaper, if the CD is cheaper, ill rip it onto the PC if i need it on my mp3, if the mp3 is cheaper, ill rip it onto a cd later
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  • Profile picture of the author TeddyP
    Definitely, definitely prefer MP3's.

    I do not like CD's at all for anything anymore.

    MP3 - you can get it instantly and put it on a CD very simply.

    Not to mention the fact that I can't remember the last time I used a CD - my CD player is collecting dust - MP3 players, portable hard drives etc.. have made CD's personally obsolete.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      Thanks, everyone for your input!

      This helps me round out my list of things to think about and investigate for any particular product and audience.

      Marcia Yudkin
      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    If I'm giving it as a gift, I like CD. It seems more thoughtful. But if it's for myself I'd prefer an mp3.

    I know some people prefer CD because it can be physically tracked and is easier for payment processors to cover a physical item. But if you're selling a time sensitive audio, or you're selling to a desperate market, then it's best to also offer an instant download. And with companies like out there it becomes very easy to offer both, without having to worry about packing and shipping.
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  • Profile picture of the author Allan V
    For an infoproduct, I would prefer CD, especially if I'm paying top $$ for it. And waiting for it to arrive in the mail, for some strange reason, makes it more exciting (I know, I'm weird, lol).
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Essi
      When it comes to buying a product that proposes these two options, I will definitely go with the MP3 version, and this is why:

      1. Once I pay, the material is immediately available to, the price is usually cheaper.
      2.If I need this material to be mobile, I can leave it as it is and simply synchronize with my PDA, or I can choose to burn it and put on a CD. Either way works for me depending on my location.

      Any deal giving me both, will definitely entice me more...especially if one of them is free!

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