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:
- Doctor Who’s Ace joins Torchwood spinoff audio adventure
- UNIT: Nemesis – Between Two Worlds launches new Doctor Who audio spinoff saga
- Trailer, cover art and story details for Doctor Who – The Fifth Doctor Adventures: Forty Volume 1
- ‘Doctor’s Daughter’ Jenny faces Cybermen and more
- More 12th Doctor audio adventures from ‘dead ringer’ Dudman and Big Finish
- Reverse the polarity, Sweetie! Third Doctor joins River Song’s U.N.I.T. audio adventures
- Further Third Doctor Adventures a duo of daring adventures featuring Draconians, Devon and a devil in disguise
- Dalek Universe audios wrap with Tenth Doctor, River Song and TV’s Davros
- Paul McGann and India Fisher reunite for 4 new Doctor Who audios as the Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard
- Paul McGann’s audio Eighth Doctor meets the Judoon, TV Doctor Who’s rhino-headed space police
- Colin Baker returns to Blake’s 7 as Bayban the Butcher
- New details for The Year of Martha Jones and Marina Sirtis’ Doctor Who debut
- Blake’s 7 audio drama revisits The Clone Masters
- New Jacob Dudman audio adventures for Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors
- Christopher Eccleston returning for more Ninth Doctor audio dramas in 2022-23