I am no rocket scientist but this seems like a no brainer. Lets say we are just talking about the world of college radio. If you are overnighting a record to radio
( let me take a second to say how stupid this is in the first place, It has become so easy to send a record, a single, anything over the internet instantly why ever ... and I mean EVER would you need to overnight a CDR or a cd? EVER!)
So back to what I was saying if you overnight a record to radio it is going to end up costing you ( on the low side because they do so much volume and thus get a "deal" ) five dollars a pop. So you are sending this record out to 1000 people at least, that's a waste of 5000. Then you do this for the next single and then for the full record. thats 15000 you could of saved from one artist. Believe me when I say these numbers are on the low side of things.
How much would it cost to send all this out digitally? I believe that would be too small of a cost to meeter really.
And yet it seems the major labels, for the most part, are more hell bent on protecting the CD. Going after anyone and everyone that makes them loose money from missed sales due to downloading. When really major labels are hurting themselves more than the consumer ever could. How can you say a CD is worth 10-15 dollars when you WASTE 1000 cd's for promotion.
My friend told me well they can't stop sending records people will complain. Let them complain I say. If one of the major labels were to stop sending promotional copies out and only service records digitally, slowly they all would.
When something gets too big it becomes hard to manage. Things fall through the cracks and poor decisions get made. While cutting mailing CD's to radio stations and press people might not "save the record industry" It would save them a TON of money.