Doctor Who audio drama producer Big Finish starting to limit CD availability

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Big Finish Productions, who have held the license for official and original Doctor Who audio plays since the turn of the century, announced Monday it was starting to cut back on offering physical copies of its content.

New releases will be pressed onto compact discs and will be available for purchase in that form for at least a year, but then demand will be analyzed and lower-selling titles may be allowed to go out of print in CD form.

“In the last five years, we’re proud to say that we’ve managed to buck the general trend in the audiobook market specifically, where physical releases are now few and far between,” the company explained in a statement. “But with physical production costs increasing and with 20 years of back catalogue to consider, we’ve been obliged to re-assess our approach in order to safeguard our ability to continue producing the stories you love.”

Doctor Who Big Finish David Bradley First Doctor

The company said it has managed to buck the audiobook market’s general trend toward fewer physical releases over the last five years, but in the last year and half has observed significant changes in how listeners consume their releases. That has mean a big increase in download-only sales and a corresponding drop in demand for physical media, Big Finish said.

The company also said there may be more releases with a strictly limited CD run, such as the recently announced Class spinoff series, but cases like that will be clearly promoted as limited edition.

“On balance, we’d very much prefer to invest in creating brand new stories rather than in stock which could end up gathering dust in our warehouse for a number of years,” Big Finish said.

“I’m an avid collector of physical merchandise and I know a lot of our customers at Big Finish are as well. I much prefer having a boxset with artwork to look at and a booklet to read, so I will always try to ensure that Big Finish continue to produce as many of our releases on CD as possible,” said Big Finish chairman Jason Haigh-Ellery. “However, Big Finish has not increased CD prices since 2004. During that time, CD production costs have inevitably increased. This change in policy will ensure that those that wish to buy physical copies will still be able to do so and will be alerted if a production is due to be discontinued on CD.”

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