Commentary/Marketing Oddities: Multiple Releases

Commentary/Marketing Oddities: Multiple Releases

cd41873Today, Daywind Records is releasing two new albums by the Nelons – Stronger Together and Family Harmony. According to the press release from Daywind, the group recorded 18 songs total, and rather than pare them down to 10-12 cuts, they decided to use all 18, splitting them into two releases of 9 songs each, and release them both on the same day:

After nearly two years of writing, song-selection and recording, the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame members were faced with the challenge of selecting which of the eighteen recorded songs would make it onto their newest album.  The Nelons felt strongly that each song held an incredible potential to minister to and encourage listeners, so instead of narrowing down the selection, the idea of jointly releasing Stronger Together and Family Harmony was born. 

This isn’t necessarily anything new; artists release multiple albums on the same date often. Most notably, Bill Gaither, in an effort to maximize exposure, began releasing dual albums/videos in the early 2000’s in an effort to capitalize on the hours of footage captured during video shoots. In most instances, it was obvious that multiple releases came from the same sessions, often including “Volume One” and “Volume Two” in the title, or at least making the two connect somehow. Other artists also have done multiple [related] albums on the same date. The Collingsworth Family, for example, is releasing two albums of classic songs with newly-recorded vocals, entitled Collingsworth Classics, again with designations of “Volume One” and “Volume Two.”

In other instances, competing labels will release albums by the same artist on the same day, with one label releasing new material and a competing label releasing a compilation of older material. Petra saw this happen quite often, with Sparrow releasing an album of new material, while their previous label, Word, would release a compilation of older material (without specifically stating that it was a compilation), thus making it confusing for consumers on release day as to which album was the actually NEW album while simultaneously eating into the new album’s profits.

cd04405But in the Nelons case, both albums are being released by Daywind Records, and there’s no direct link between the albums other than being released on the same day. Different titles and covers essentially make these two albums stand-alone projects. That is, unless, you  already purchased the EP version of Stronger Together that was released back in April. That album had 6 of the 18 total songs on it, and of those 6, only 3 actually appear on the new, fuller release. The other three appear on Family Harmony, which creates SOMEWHAT of a link between the two albums. So if you already had the EP, at most, you’re only getting 6 new songs per project. Why not simply leave Stronger Together as an EP (rather than release it again with 6 new songs) and release Family Harmony as one 12-song collection?

I can see wanting to maximize the sales, but by releasing two [seemingly unrelated] albums on the same day means that you now have two products competing against each other for sales, not to mention the need to market both albums as new releases. There’s also the risk of one album being superior to the other (at least from a consumer standpoint), which means one release may trample the other; from a sales standpoint, that means you break even with the profits from one canceling out the losses from the other.

But then again, maybe that’s why I’m not a record executive….

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Kyle Boreing

Kyle has been writing for MusicScribe since 2008. He is a musician, producer, arranger, and occasional quartet singer, who pays way too much attention to recordings. He is an alumni of Stamps-Baxter School of Music and has shared the stage with many different artists. He also really likes movies that are "so bad they're good." Visit his website at, or follow him on Twitter @kyleboreing.

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  1. Reply August 12, 16:43 #1 Brad

    Even though these are mainline Daywind releases, I would imagine the bulk of sales will be at the Nelon’s concerts. I do not know how they will be marketing these CDs, but I can certainly see them being packaged as one CD for $15 or both for $20-25. I would imagine most concert attendees will chose to buy both if they offer a package like this. I know I am planning on attending a Nelon’s concert in a few weeks, and I am hoping to buy both for a good price!

    • Reply August 12, 17:08 Kyle Boreing Author

      The digital albums are $15 each on their website, or $11.76 on iTunes.

  2. Reply August 12, 18:17 #2 David Bruce Murray

    When Daywind decided to split the release into two CDs, they should have sent the Nelons back into the studio to cut two more songs. Customers expect a minimum of 10 songs on a full-price CD.

  3. Reply August 12, 19:58 #3 jeff

    I don’t understand why they did this. Their 2011 “Come On Home” cd had 16 songs on it.

  4. Reply August 15, 21:04 #4 Harry H.

    The Nelons charge 20 dollars per album and do not give a deal if you buy additional albums.I recently bought 3 albums from them at a concert and was charged 60 dollars.The new albums are compiled in such a way that even if you buy remaining songs digitally you have to basically pay full price.Since all 18 songs would fit on one CD this seems like robbery to me.

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