Big Finish to go digital-first and delay physical releases amid coronavirus pandemic

Doctor Who audio producers are still in active production, but have also halted recording sessions

Doctor Who – Big Finish

Doctor Who audio drama producers Big Finish have announced that they will be moving to a digital-first release schedule, with physical releases being sent out at a later date.

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The company ordinarily releases stories simultaneously on CD and download, with customers receiving their digital downloads immediately and physical copies shortly afterward.

However, Big Finish has now instructed its warehouse staff to stay home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that the physical release of stories will be delayed.

The news comes after it announced the company was putting a hold recording sessions, as well as cancelling its annual Big Finish Day convention.

“As previously reported, we took the precaution of pausing in-studio recordings last week, and are now working with our producers, directors and actors to record future releases remotely in home studios. Some of these sessions are already in progress,” said Big Finish chairman Jason Haigh-Ellery.

“The majority of Big Finish staff are freelance and are fully capable of working from home. You may have also seen a number of regular Big Finish actors posting images of their home studios on social media.

Colin Baker records a Doctor Who story for Big Finish
Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford recording for Big Finish

“However, in order to protect the health of our warehouse staff, we have now asked them to stay at home for as long as the coronavirus situation continues. All our staff will be paid during this period.”

The move means that Big Finish releases, across all ranges, will move to a digital-first schedule in the short term, with any orders taken for previously-released collector’s edition CDs and box sets, up to and including 11.59pm on Tuesday 24th March, being posted out before their warehouse closes.

Digital sales will continue as normal, with downloads still immediately accessible.

“All physical orders will be fulfilled, but you will have to wait longer for your CDs to arrive, particularly if you are overseas,” said Haigh-Ellery.

Big Finish’s Creative Director, Nicholas Briggs, added: “Together with these schedule tweaks, we’re developing plans for all sorts of exciting new productions — and, of course, the whole team is working hard on bringing the many productions already ‘in the can’ to our listeners.

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“Although we all recognise the seriousness of the current world situation, our enthusiasm and creativity is unbowed in the face of it.”