Vinyl records are really hot right now, and we’re also getting new requests to bring back cassette tapes.
After scratching my head, and thinking, “Do music fans really want cassettes?” we came up with with a solution that I think is even cooler for artists to sell: cassette USBs. It is a cassette shell that can be custom printed, but instead of cassette tape, it’s got a USB inside.
As an artist, you can put much more than your music on it. You can make something really deluxe with music, video, photos, journals from the road… whatever you want. It’s a super premium item for you to sell to your fans — and you don’t have to worry about whether they have a cassette deck or not.
We customize the cassette shells and load the USBs with your data. We offer lots of USB drives: USB cassettes, regular thumb drive USBs, 3D flash drives in shapes like guitars and lipstick, USB music cards — which are like custom-printed business cards — and a whole lot more custom flash drive options.
So for artists, creatives, and businesses, we have lots of really cool USB options that are only limited by your imagination.
“The Indie Music Minute” is a video series that features Tony van Veen, CEO of Disc Makers, distributing bite-sized nuggets of information and actionable ideas to help you make the most of your career as an indie music artist. Head to the Disc Makers YouTube Channel for more videos, and keep checking back, because there’s always more to come!
This video sparked some chatter on our Facebook page. Here’s a taste.
You should reconsider getting back into the cassette industry. It’s by far a richer, more dynamic, and busier corner of the music world than selling flash drives.
Some bands are having incredible success selling USBs. (And we can pinky promise we’re not getting back into the cassette market).
Now you can have the cassette and it doesn’t have to sound like ass.
And you can put photos, videos, and loads of music on these.
I really don’t understand the resurgence of hype behind cassettes. They don’t sound good.
That’s why we offer USBs and decided to start offering this unique shape. It’s all about offering creative options at your merch table.
Why are people buying cassettes? For nostalgia? It’s certainly not for the sound quality!
Not sure, but it’s hard to make an argument that they sound better than the other options out there.
Very cool idea, BUT I would think only a fit for fans/buyers that are of an age to know what a cassette is (was?)
Maybe! The good news is that we offer a dozen different styles of USBs, like wristbands or swing drives, plus you can create your own custom design if you wish.
People who want cassettes are not going to want a USB in a cassette shell. That’s the opposite of why people are asking you for tapes.
Maybe not, but then there’s everyone else who might not want a t-shirt, vinyl, or your CD. These cassette USBs are a great alternative for those people. You can put loads of music on them, plus photos, videos, etc.
I’m hopeful that the market will get strong enough that someone starts making decent tape heads again.
Tape stock is the current issue — NAC is out of the NOS pancake tape that’s been used for the last decade, and now they’re trying to make their own (to mixed reviews so far). A few other companies are experimenting with making new tape stock, but they likely couldn’t scale up to the quantities NAC runs through every year.
They’re both issues. Only one company currently manufactures new heads and they’re very low quality.
Slapping a thumb drive in a cassette casing is “super premium”?
It is — you can charge a premium for offering a unique product that stores a TON of content. Make it exclusive with personalized messages, photos, videos, song lyrics, documents, or whatever your heart desires. For example, I Fight Dragons sold their USBs for $100 a piece, filled with exclusive and valuable content.
These are more than double the price per product of cassettes. Why would I order 100 USBs priced at $4+ dollars each when I can order 100 cassettes at roughly $1.50/$2 a cassette?
USBs have an advantage over cassettes because these can hold loads of music, plus photos, videos, and more. It’s a really great way to provide more value to your fans. Cassettes don’t offer that opportunity. You can put 16GB of content on a USB and fill it with whatever you think your fans will want to have.
Get social with Disc Makers
Follow Disc Makers on Facebook for daily updates on sales and promotions and get expert advice on music marketing, songwriting, recording, and navigating the new music industry. Plus, you can interact with our musician community, meet fellow musicians, and much more!
Join us on Twitter to chat with us about being an #IndieArtist and get updates on the latest industry news, answers to your questions, sales alerts, and much more.
We’re on YouTube! Follow us to check out our curated playlists and get notifications when we add new music, product overviews, and inspirational videos.
Follow Disc Makers on Instagram for videos, inspiration, and to get an inside look at Disc Makers and tag along when we hit the road.
Is it time to sell your music on USB drives?
Disc replication vs. disc duplication: The Indie Music Minute
The Indie Music Minute with Tony van Veen
Selling your music on USB drives: Tips from I Fight Dragons’ Brian Mazzaferri
#TourLife hacks: CDs, merch, and fan appreciation with The Accidentals