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.”
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.”
More about Big Finish from our archives:
- There’s a new Dodo on deck in Doctor Who audio dramas
- Tom Baker marks 10 years with Big Finish Doctor Who line
- Penultimate Big Finish Doctor Who monthly release brings Fifth Doctor and Turlough full circle
- New details on Doctor Who’s Lone Centurion audio spinoff
- Third Doctor meets Cybermen as Big Finish upgrades Doctor Who audiobooks
- River Song and K9! Doctor Who’s wife meets his robot dog
- Doctor Who teases ‘Return of the Cybermen’ revamp
- New Fourth Doctor audio adventures for Tom Baker’s birthday
- New producers tease what’s coming from Big Finish Doctor Who range
- ‘Colony of Fear’ closes out monthly Sixth Doctor audio adventures
- ‘Doctor Who’ spinoff series ‘Jago and Litefoot’ gets new life as audiobooks
- First look at Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor audio adventures
- ‘Robots of Death’ reunion in Big Finish ‘Doctor Who’ spinoff
- Doctors-in-law fighting Cybermen in Paris catacombs? Big Finish audio opens ‘Gate of Hell’
- Big Finish’s ‘Masterful’ marks 50 years of Doctor Who’s renegade Time Lord