CDs Still Dominate in Church Media Publishing
Sep 21, 2006 4:38 PM
Despite the advent of web streaming, podcasting, DVD publishing, and other new technologies, a large number of churches continue to give audio CDs the central position in their outreach and media publishing programs.
In part, that’s because the technology is so thoroughly understood and commonplace. But it is also partly because churches embrace CD publishing as a way to get volunteers—especially young people—involved in church activities.
Actually, while some churches are moving to DVD publishing (particularly churches with a robust video production capability), an even larger number are adopting CD technology as they leave old-fashioned audio cassettes behind.
Amie Hoffner, public relations manager at Primera Technology, notes, “Churches generally tend to lag behind the technology sectors. Some churches continue to reproduce tapes, mostly for their outreach ministries, which tend to reach mostly elderly members.”
However, Hoffner adds, parishioners are increasingly unable to listen to these cassettes in their cars, a favorite listening venue, because new cars often come with CD players but not tape devices.
CD duplication systems have become extremely user-friendly and simple, Hoffner says, and may include USB links to computers, which enable new hardware and software to virtually self-install. Audio CDs are popular for outreach to housebound parishioners, as introductions to the church and its pastor for prospective members, and as a means of enabling members to catch up on classes and sermons they may have missed.
“It’s a good way of serving existing members while also going out and reaching prospective members,” says Hoffner.
One task, in particular, has been simplified and improved recently, fostering wider use of CDs: label printing.
“Separate, printed CD labels tend to get stuck in the CD player, no matter how thin they are,” Hoffner says. As a result, churches often want to upgrade to systems that print directly on the disc, using inkjet technology to produce full-color, high-resolution images.
Aaron Pratt, marketing and communications manager at Microboards, also cites this trend. “A handful of manufacturers have introduced an inkjetable blank media that is glossy, water-resistant, and scratch-resistant,” he says. “Organizations that previously held out on disc printing technology because of their demand for a more durable label are rapidly purchasing hardware because of this promising technology.”
Water resistance has been a particular interest, Hoffner comments, even though CDs are rarely used in a setting that threatens them with a lot of water.
CDs remain a popular tool in churches for another reason, both observers say. “[Creating and publishing CDs] is a great way to get junior members involved,” says Hoffner. “For teenagers who are interested in the music industry, this is a great way to get them into the process. Youths interested in graphic design may also be able to design disc labels.”
Pratt agrees: “[There’s a trend toward] churches expanding their technology capacity with the aid of young people and professionals who bring creative skills from their education and vocation and volunteer them in the church.”