The art and responsibility of promotion is assigned to the label or aritsts/band is they are acting as their own label which we’ll call the suppliers. This is getting buyers, customers, fans, partners, mom and dad to actually engage in the act of BuyingThis(Tm) release verses another or none.
The suppliers are soley responsible for this function unless the project is covered under a P&D deal. This is the hard part for labels that are really the creators to understand. That, yeah! they think it’s great – They made it and better think it’s the bees knees; However, getting someone to come and click or pickup it over the 2500 other releases that come out each Tuesday is a very big task and it’s why suppliers receive the split of the sales for retail. Frankly they helped to drive someone there to purchase it and way too often artists, bands and labels fail to promote paid or via social media the retailers carrying the release.
After a few weeks physical goods are endanger of becoming returns and once that happens the shipping cost alone will often put a large dent in the suppliers cost of goods sold. Retailers and other trading partners don’t want releases that don’t Sell Thought to the fans. The average record store is a couple of weeks from going out of business and carrying any releases that don’t sell is a burden. So if you are considering physical product to be part of the release strategy than understand intended for stores you have to market to them to carry it and it don’t sell its on the supplier. And so are the costs associated with a bum release.