Duplication vs Replication

CDs and DVDs can be reproduced either by Replication (Manufactured) or Duplication (Short Runs). There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, and reasons to choose one over the other.

The primary considerations are usually quantity and how fast you need them. Smaller runs (less than 500) are usually duplicated, while larger runs are usually replicated. Secondary considerations include budget, print quality, durability, and compatibility.

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DATA OR MUSIC ON A DUPLICATED AND A REPLICATED DISC. Also, production methods are the same for music, data or video.

Production Method Decision Chart
Also Known As Short Run, On Demand Manufactured, Pressed
Production Method Burned (copied) Pressed (cloned)
Production Time 1-3 days 2-4 weeks
Quantity No minimum 1000 minimum
Best Use Promo, Emergency, Custom, Market Testing, As Needed, Small Quantities Retail/Commercial, Mass Distribution, Large Quantities.
Cost per disc $1.00 – $6.00 (including packaging) .50 – $2.50 (including packaging
Durability Excellent Excellent
Playback Compatibility Good Excellent
Time to Create 3-15 minutes each 3.6 seconds each
Reproduction Quality Excellent Excellent


Why don’t I recommend manufactured quantities less than 1000? Think of it this way: You’re a band and a club owner wants to hire you to perform. He offers you $50 per song. You and your 4 other band members rehearse, drive there, set up, tune up. Then the owner then says, “OK, just play one song.” That wouldn’t be worth it, would it? It’s the same with manufacturing – they simply can’t make any money on quantities less than 1000 because the same amount of setup goes into a run of 500 as it does for a run of a million.