Here are a couple points to ponder:
- Physical albums are declining in popularity as more users switch to digital downloads and streaming. Even at live shows, it's becoming less common for fans to buy albums. The usual excuse is something along the lines of "I'll look for it online." The problem is that people often forget to look your band up, forget what your band was called, or maybe they simply change their mind.
- A physical album is its own marketing tool. Think about the time we all spent inside record stores, looking at album artwork, and reading the track list on the backs while checking it out at the listening station, or going to a friend's house and going through their collection? That was a huge part of discovering new music that doesn't exist when modern music fans discover music online.
- Many modern laptops are being shipped WITHOUT a CD/DVD drive, and more and more car radios are converting to Bluetooth or aux input jacks. That means either you count on streaming services, or you need a new way to deliver your music to fans.
- Digital Streaming is an efficient way to gain your band exposure. The problem is that it doesn't earn real money for anyone that actually creates music. Streaming sites make money, distributors make money, labels make some money, but bands are lucky to make a couple hundred dollars per year. It's still valuable because potential fans get to check out your music with no risk of purchasing something that they end up not liking; but services like Spotify and Pandora don't return enough money to be a viable form of income for the musicians that make the music.
- Digital Downloads (as sales) are a much more effective way to earn money from music. Unfortunately, you really need to have a large pre-established fanbase in order to sell large volumes. The problem is that not many people are willing to spend money on an unknown album. Most people only buy after they hear it on the radio or through a streaming service - and if it's already streaming, why bother buying it?
It's hard to sell physical copies of albums - and that means they are not the promotional tool that they used to be. Aside from exposure, it barely pays anything to put your album on streaming sites. And, most likely, only existing fans are going to be willing to pay for a download of your album.
Part of the reason physical albums were so successful is that they were necessary. Unfortunately, that's no longer the case. Instead, Tunepatch allows bands to change their approach, and make things that people want to buy and then reward them by letting them download music.