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Increase your Returns on Investment with CD’s

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

The problem with any direct mail campaign is getting your prospect to open your package in order to view your marketing message and not throw it directly into the office bin. One of the best ways of achieving this is to create attention grabbing CD packaging and use the CD to deliver your message.

A study conducted by Cambridge Associates shows that using a CD can increase the response rate of a direct mailing campaign from typically 3% using only printed materials to 7%. This may be due to the fact that the recall of your content on a CD is typically 40-50% higher than if you were using a printed brochure. Your conversion rates may also increase by as much as 20%. Now it could be thought that the production and distribution of a CD is far more expensive than that of a printed brochure. According to the study, a CD campaign can cost 10-40% less than that of a brochure campaign. It is also worth noting that the high perceived value of the CD, your prospect is far more likely to pass it on to friends and family.

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Let’s say you transfer your 32 page brochure into an exciting CD presentation with links to your website. The content is replicated onto a CD and packaged in colour printed cardboard wallets for example. You post 10,000 CDs out to a mailing list of prospects. Firstly, you have already saved as much as 40% on postage costs because you are mailing a much lighter package. Secondly your prospect receives the package and discounts that it is junk mail. Your package is opened and your prospect views the contents of the CD. Your prospect can connect to your website for immediate purchase or they may supply further information which will assist you with future marketing. Extraordinary success is possible using a CD and a strong marketing message.

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CD Brochures – a winning format

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

The conventional way of winning new or existing business is to have corporate brochures printed that are eye catching whilst getting your sales message across to your potential client. However, there are problems associated with printed matter:

  • Require large volumes to retain the quality and keep the unit cost down
  • Wastage is high as information goes out of date fairly quickly
  • You may have multiple products that are grouped in different brochures
  • Storage can be bulky and distribution costs can be high

It would appear that nowadays people are 50% more likely to keep a CD or DVD brochure than a paper brochure.  Your company or business could benefit from crossing over to this new format to promote your services.

Let’s exam some of the reasons why.

A CD brochure is practically storage free and is much simpler to find what your potential client is looking for. If your brochure contains many products and/or articles, they can be presented in an index just like at the front of a paper brochure.

Digital CD Brochures will help you to:

  • Reduce costs of printing and distribution
  • Increase sales and profits
  • Increase circulation and readership
  • Expand your marketing reach
  • Create an all-inclusive and progressive presence for your company and product.

CD brochures provide a faster and more efficient way of targeting. It is fully interactive, meaning you can promote your product(s) or service(s) in an interactive environment – with video, high resolution images, specifications, articles and even videos of client testimonials. You are only limited by your imagination as to what you can display in a Digital CD Brochure. With wonderfully clear, full colour images, you cannot fail to impress your clients.

Huge savings can be made over traditional paper distribution. An existing paper brochure can be converted into a Digital CD Brochure in a matter of days, and at a fraction of the cost can be ready for Duplication, Printing and Circulation.

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Non-standardised DVD formats

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Digital discsBesides standard DVD format, there are some non-standard DVD formats. Below is some information explaining the differences of these formats.

DVD-VCD is a DVD-Video disc that has data on it which has been encoded by using the MPEG-1 video format with the same definitions VCD has.

DVD-SVCD is also not a valid DVD standard, since the DVD standard does not support the SVCD resolution. The term DVD-SVCD is used to describe a hacked, or non-standard DVD-Video disc that has SVCD compatible content on it.

DVD-MP3 is created with and contains only digital audio files in the MP3 format. It should be noted that not all DVD players can play DVD-MP3 discs.

DVD-D is a disposable DVD format that provides a limited play time with duration of up to 48 hours after the packaging has been opened. After the designated time has passed, DVD players are unable to read the disc. The packaging of the disc is airtight and the DVD itself has a special coating that begins to deteriorate when exposed to air. The DVD-D format is currently being used for video game and movie rentals where not only can intellectual property rights be better protected, but consumers have no need to worry about the hassle of DVD rental returns. According to the manufacturer’s Web site, both the DVD-D disc and the cardboard packaging it comes in can be recycled. The DVD-D format was developed by German company FDD Technologies AG, and while no official definition of the D has been offered, many use the abbreviation to mean DVD-Destroy or DVD-Destruct.

HD-DVD which is short for high definition-DVD is a generic term for the technology of recording high-definition video on a DVD. In general, HD-DVD is capable of storing between two and four times as much data as standard DVD. In February 2008, Toshiba issued a release stating that it would no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. Several major retail chains, such as Wal-Mart in the US followed with plans to no longer carry the product, and major Hollywood studios have also dropped plans to release productions in HD-DVD format as well.

Blu-ray Discs are distinguishable for they use 405nm-wave length blue-violet laser technology, instead of the 650nm-wavelength red laser technology used in traditional DVD formats. The rewritable Blu-ray disc, with a data transfer rate of 36Mbps (1x speed) can hold up to 25GB of data on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc. On a 50GB disc, this translates into 9 hours of high-definition (HD) video or approximately 23 hours of standard-definition (SD) video. The Blu-ray format was developed jointly by Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Thomson, Hitachi, Matsushita, Pioneer and Philips, Mistubishi and LG Electronics.

AOD and Blu-ray are similar in that they both use 405nm-wavelength blue-violet laser technology. While Blu-ray has a storage capacity of 25GB on a single-layer disc, AOD can store 20GB on a single-layer disc and has the capacity to hold 30GB on a dual-layer disc. AOD was developed jointly by Toshiba and NEC.

Several technologies are seen as successors to the standard DVD. These include HD-DVD, Blu-ray, AOD and HVD (Holographic Versatile Disc). With so many formats competing, it is similar to the old VHS versus Beta wars, but with one main exception; the difference in quality between VHS and DVD was extremely noticeable, and this encouraged consumers to quickly and easily transition to DVD from VHS. With these new standards, however, consumers are not seeing the drastic quality difference of, HD-DVD over DVD for example, and adoption has been slow.

Additionally, the media players and the media itself is still more expensive then standard DVD media. Overall the industry suggests that consumers are just not ready to leave DVD behind quite yet.

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Packaging Your Discs Attractively

Monday, November 12th, 2018

In order to make your discs look their best, it is very useful to consider the packaging you would like to put them in. A quick list of packaging types follows:

  • Spindles. Not very stylish, but they are very space efficient, these are the same kinds of packaging as you find bulk discs sold in. About the only things you can do for labeling are placing a piece of paper (or a stick-on disc label for that matter) on top of the box, or wrapping some kind of a label around the sides.
  • Plastic disc sleeves. These are thin pieces of plastic which have a closing flap like an envelope.
  • Cardboard disc sleeves. Unlike the plastic sleeves, these are rigid and can be printed with a full-color design on the front and back.
  • Digipacks. These are a combination of a rigid plastic tray and a cardboard cover. They can be printed in full color.
  • Clamshells. Hard, clear plastic allowing the disc design to be seen while it is protected from damage.
  • Slimline jewel cases. These are hard plastic cases designed to be thin. You can place at most a small booklet in the case front, and no back material is possible.
  • Jewel cases. These hard plastic cases can handle both front and back inserts.
  • Double jewel cases. They hold two disks instead of one.
  • DVD cases. These are the standard “tall” cases that DVDs come in at the store. They can contain a book in the front, and can have a full color printout inserted into them.
  • Double DVD cases. As before, but they are able to hold two discs.
  • Blu-ray cases. These are matched to the Blu-ray standards and look exactly like you’d expect: blue, and slightly different dimensions than a DVD case. They can have wraparound printed material inserted into them, as well as a booklet inside.

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In addition to the packaging types, you can choose from a variety of book and wrap styles to match your cases. Each option can of course be easily printed in full color. Your choices include:

  • 2 sided cards. This is in essence a single piece of paper printed front and back.
  • 4 sided cards. A longer piece of paper folded in half to give the appearance of a small booklet. Twice as much space, though it must be removed from the case to read the additional information.
  • 4 page DVD booklets. Like a 4 sided card but in DVD size.
  • 6 sided cards. Even longer and folded in thirds to make a “Z” this will give you half again as much space, with the same caveat of needing to remove the card to see the extra information.
  • 8 page booklets. Two 4 sided cards stapled together allowing for a fair amount of information and a booklet format.
  • DVD wraps. These are used to wrap around a disc case (Blu-ray or DVD) and form the outer jacket. They slip under the plastic for protection.
  • Double sided DVD wraps. These are exactly like the previous wraps but have been printed on both sides to accommodate clear cases. Particularly useful for Blu-rays, which are always clear.
  • Rear tray cards. These sit in jewel cases and are printed to make a “back cover” for the case. They sit behind the plastic, under the disc tray.
  • Double sided rear tray cards. These are exactly the same but have two sides to accommodate jewel cases with a clear tray. Generally the inside is printed with an image that translates well through the distortion of the tray.

In addition it is possible to package disc cases in cellowrap. This lends a professional air to your product that you can’t get without wrapping your cases. After all, nobody in a high street shop sells unsealed discs!

In the grand scheme you can pretty much pick and choose exactly how you want your discs to appear. They can be very simple, or extremely elaborate. The choice of how to present your discs is yours, and they should reflect the character of your project.

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Self-Promoting your Music

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Unless you have major label money behind you, the ability to self-promote your music is one of the most important skills you can have. When you don’t have money to hire PR people to run media campaigns for you, it is up to you to make sure people know about the music you are making. Getting started can be a little overwhelming, however there are steps you can take that will help you start out on the right foot.

Identify Your Goals –  Try not to cover too much ground. Have a specific campaign in mind to promote a specific thing, such as a new single or album, a show or gig, or a website. Once you know what to promote, you will be able to make clear goals for yourself. With these goals in mind, you’ll find it easier to come up with promotion ideas and judge their success.

Promote your music

Promote your music

Target the Right Audience – especially important if you are on a budget. No point wasting time and money letting a Hip Hop magazine know your new Folk album is out. With your promotional goals in mind, figure out who your target audience is. For example if you have a limited edition single coming out, your primary audience is your band mailing list, plus the media.
Have a Promo Package ready – this should include:

  • A press release
  • Any previous media coverage
  • A short band/artist bio
  • Contact details including email
  • Colour photo or web link to one
  • CD (this maybe a demo or the latest album)

Find your Niche – Try to find something that will make people more curious about you – give them a reason to want to know more. You don’t have to devise a huge, designed persona, but giving people a reason to check out your show or your CD before the others can only help.

Bribe Them – Even media people and label bosses love getting something for nothing, and you’ll whip your fans into a frenzy (and get new fans) by giving stuff away. One idea is to give away CD singles at a gig to every person who signs up to your mailing list.

Branding – Get your name out there. Make up stickers, posters, badges etc. and leave it anywhere you can. Soon, your name will be familiar to people even if they don’t know why.  And next time they see your advert for a gig – they may decide to check you out.

Keep Track of Your Contacts – Keep a database on your computer for the industry people you have met and another database of fan contacts. These databases should be your first port of call for your next promotional campaign.
So as you can see having CDs of your music is an essential part a campaign. It’s important to use a professional, effective and affordable company like Duplication Centre or Replication Centre to help create these CD used in this self-promotion process.

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Ultraviolet will preserve the market for physical media.

Monday, October 29th, 2018

The movie industry’s worst nightmare is not just that sales of high-margin discs will continue to fall – it is that, as digital services grow, new players (notably Apple) will come to dominate sales, just as it has taken the lead in music with iTunes.

Record labels let the computer industry corner the market. First, illegal file-sharing sites such as Napster became music distributors. Then, legal ones took over – iTunes has racked up almost 10 billion sales putting money into the pocket of Apple boss Steve Jobs, not the music industry.

Ultraviolet is a grand plan for Hollywood to get right everything that the music industry has got wrong.

Movies have one big advantage over music – digital film files are so big that they are hard to stream and download quickly. The new-generation 3D films are even bigger. That makes it more likely that consumers will continue to buy discs.
Moreover, physical discs are more user-friendly than downloads – you can take a disc to a friend’s house; pop it in any portable player or even play it in your car. None of these are possible easily with a digital download.

The idea behind Ultraviolet, or UV, is simple – consumers would buy a new type of Blu-ray disc with UV technology built in. The discs work on existing Blu-ray machines, and will cost about the same as normal Blu-ray discs. What is new, however, is that the UV discs are bundled with a licence to view anywhere, anytime, on any device for ever. As well as watching the disc instantly at home, we will be able to watch it by downloading it from the web and saving it so that we can watch it on a laptop, smartphone, tablet or games console. Also, we would be able to stream it live to a computer or TV while away from home, as well as legally make a single copy onto a disc.

All the big studios (except Disney) are members of the consortium behind UV, and Sainsbury’s will be the first big retailer to sell UV discs from next year.
UV is being launched in Britain first, as new figures reveal that we spend more on home entertainment than anyone else on the planet – and we make more digital copies of the movies we buy than anyone else.

When it comes to films, people like physical discs, but they also want to enjoy film in new digital ways. UV is a dead-easy way allowing them to do both. You buy it once but you can enjoy it everywhere – for ever. It’s user-friendly and future-proof!

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The digipak

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

When looking at packaging DVD’s and CD’s you could consider the Digipak as an attractive modern alternative to jewel box packing.

CD DigiPaks are especially popular in the music industry for CD albums as well as multiple CD disc sets. Digipak-style packaging is often used for CD singles or special editions of CD albums and the tall DVD Digipaks are often used as a premium package for DVDs and DVD sets. CD Digipaks were originally only seen as limited edition or specialist CD products. However improvements in CD production and CD packaging printing techniques has meant that this sleek CD packaging solution is now available at much lower quantities and at much lower prices.

What are digipaks and why are they special?

Digipaks are a custom printed card packaging that can hold one or more CDs which are held in place with plastic trays. These CD flexitrays are glued into the digipak packaging. As it is made mostly from thick card, the digi-pack is practically shatterproof as well as allowing for a fantastic graphic display.

The most common CD Digipaks is the 4 panel which opens like a book. However 6 panel CD Digipaks are also very popular, providing a larger canvas for CD artwork and text information about the CD. The 8 panel digiPaks is ideal when you have a lot to say about your music, with a total of 8 panels of print available, you can be sure there is lots of space to print your photos, band information and lyrics of your tracks. Many UK companies do not have the facilities to manufacture digiPaks, however Replication Centre can offer 4,6,8 and DVD Digipaks.

The DVD Digipak is a popular alternative to the DVD box. It is now widely used for feature film DVD releases which are special editions because it increases the value and creates a premium product.

Digipak-style packaging is made mainly from cardboard which can be considered the more eco-friendly packing solution however it can also be seen as less resistant to wear than CD jewel cases. Replication Centre solves this issue by applying a protective gloss or matt varnish to CD/DVD Digipak packaging.  As an extra plastic coating either matt lamination or glossy lamination gives the Digipack even more rigidity, providing not only increased durability but also making the surfaces more water resistant.

In all, Digipaks give a product an expensive professional look and feel – especially when combined with, well designed CD artwork, for an affordable price.

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Archiving and storage – still a promising market for CDs and BDs

Monday, October 8th, 2018
traditional archive and modern cd archive

Traditional archive and modern cd archive

Optical disc media is maintaining its strong position in the archive and storage industry. It seems like it has almost battled paper, microfiche and tape and is ready to face new challenges from hard drives, flash media and cloud – based systems. The global recordable and re-recordable optical disc production reached 18,6 billion disc in 2009 which holds nearly 50 % of global (re-)recordable optical disc production.

The secret of its ongoing success lies in three factors. It has the lowest cost- per-gigabyte compared to solid state and hard disc drives. It’s fully portable and easy to use. In addition, there are a plethora of compatible CD writers and burners available.

The future for optical disc media looks bright, especially that BD and DVD format are joining the game while new markets like video archiving, surveillance, law enforcement and medical services are emerging. The multilayer capability of BD – R provides large data capacity, up to 100 gigabytes on a single disc. It’s perfect for passing archiving, where there is no need for regular updates. The main drawback is its increased instability caused by its multi-layer capability. But there are solutions developed to guarantee the durability and reliability of the discs used by the archive industry. One of them is using 24-carat gold reflective layer, which prevents corrosion and oxidation.

No matter how sophisticated the solutions are, it is still recommended to test the archiving media at least once in two years to assure the data is still readable.

Another opportunity is a newly launched low-reflective M-Disc which uses DVD+R specifications. It allows for permanent storage and the DVD+RW reflectivity makes its production more economical, because less power is required to get enough power absorbed for recording the data.

In order to burn M-disc you need a special M- Writer which can be configured to act like a standard DVD-recordable drive.

However, if you want to be sure that your archives will survive as long as you want, the best option is still to use combined solutions as no media is perfect.

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Replicate or Duplicate?

Monday, October 1st, 2018

There are two distinct technologies available for producing Optical Discs, whether CD, DVD or Blu-ray, and the choice of which to use for any given project is not always immediately obvious.

In order to help with that decision, it is important to understand the differences and the effects that those differences can have:

The first thing to remember is that whatever process is used, the data at the beginning and end are exactly the same, though there will be slight differences in the appearance and performance of the finished product.

Duplication is the name given to the process whereby the data are written to individual blank recordable discs using banks of high-speed writers.  Artwork is then typically thermal printed or paper labeled.

Replication is a much more involved process in which a glass master is first created from the original data. This master is used to make metal stamping discs which are used in presses to press the data wholesale onto polycarbonate blanks.  A reflective aluminium layer is then applied, and the discs are then lacquered, sealed and artwork typically silk-screened or offset printed.

All retail discs are replicated.

Replicated discs have no compatibility issues – they will play in all players and drives, whereas duplicated discs will sometimes not play on older stand-alone players or set-top boxes.  Recordable media are also more vulnerable to damage by prolonged exposure to sunlight.

The big advantage of Duplication is very quick turnaround time, and digital printing with no prepress charges, BUT the unit cost is higher than for replication, and duplicates can only have one layer of information, meaning their data capacity is up to 4 times less.

With Replication, the unit costs are lower (after mastering and other setup costs are taken into account), and multilayering is possible so the data capacity is much greater.

Because of the need for mastering etc., however, the turnaround time is longer, and the setup costs make it uneconomical for runs less than 500.

So, the ultimate decision is yours: is a lower price or time more important to you?

In general, though, up to 500, discs will be duplicated; over 10,000, discs will be replicated.  In between, the decision is yours!

Please do not hesitate to call Replicationcentre where our knowledgeable staff will be pleased to advise based on your individual requirements.

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Green trends in Disc Replication, Printing and Packaging.

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Most often when discussing CD and DVD replication, the conversation revolves around the production aspect. We don’t often think about the destruction or, in other words, what to do with the waste. As in many other industries, the CD/DVD replication business is trending toward sustainable packaging and other eco-friendly means of production, so that when discs reach the end of their life, they’re making the smallest possible impact on the environment.

Packaging

In addition to regulations trending toward more pollution controls for trashed CDs and DVDs, individual companies are taking the initiative toward sustainable packaging and printing. Recycled papers and cardboards are being used in the production of CD sleeves, and jackets can be made from 100 percent recycled fiber. These materials are not only eco-friendly, they are comparable to traditional products in terms of durability and longevity and aren’t limiting in terms of printing options. Plus, this new style of eco-conscious packaging is typically lighter and, therefore, cheaper to ship.

Printing

When it comes to printing, it’s difficult to avoid some of the harsh, petroleum-based chemicals used in the production process, but now the printing process is trending toward more natural inks. Soy and vegetable extracts can be used as an ink base, and several ink producers have introduced products into the market that are compatible with existing printers. And with these “green” inks you won’t lose anything in quality; your print jobs will be flawless just like they’ve always been.

Our Commitment

Here at Replication Centre, we strive to be at the leading edge of currently available technology, and are always on hand to advise on every aspect of the replication process, so don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss your individual requirements.

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Address: Replication Centre, Gleniffer House, 2 Hall Road, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1NN.    Tel: 01702 530 357    Email: info@replicationcentre.co.uk