STHoldings Ending Vinyl Distribution This Month, Continues With Smaller Roster [Updated]
UK-based STHoldings launched in 1998 and grew to be an important electronic and related music distributor, both physical and digital, though noted in particular for vinyl distribution. In May they announced the end of services for around 150 labels with the intent to continue working with a group of 30 labels. This is likely good news for those in the 30 but certainly not for those who are losing a unique specialty distribution service at the end of the month.
[Update: Supposedly they announced that they closed entirely. Coverage is ambiguous. I don't know where people are getting this information. Would it be too much to ask for STHoldings to post on their FB page or website? Or for someone to tell us where they got the information?]
STHoldings is described as:
"A name many of you might recognise from your vinyl collection, ST Holdings launched in 1998 and swiftly rose to become one of the premiere distributors in the bass arena. Working with hundreds of labels, ST Holdings virtually cornered the market in drum 'n' bass, grime, dubstep, UK garage and more."
According to Clash they cut ties with 150 labels but the statement from STHoldings posted in May is no longer available and the exact number seems unclear. That said, whether it's 140 or 150, that's a lot of labels losing vinyl distribution.
The missing statement is said to have included the following:
"Things have changed… the ethos is getting lost and STH and its labels are dissatisfied. Personally I do not feel that STHoldings can and should continue on its current path. I have decided to hit the reset button and for STH to return to its roots … Starting today, we are only going to work with a small number of approximately 30 record labels that reflect this ethos."
I can understand why there's some dismay but it's a potentially really strong move for Andrew Parkinson and the rest of the folks at STHoldings as well as for the labels with whom they're working.
Of course it's also a reminder that the current vinyl infrastructure is having serious trouble keeping up with the needs of labels releasing vinyl.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) also blogs at DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.
this is incorrect. the distributor scaled down its label roster back in may, but has now announced complete closure of the business effective end of july.
please correct the article.
Where is this supposed announcement?
I’d love to see it. I can only find secondary info.
any distro pulling it’s content off streaming sites and then re-uploading as they got their facts wrong, to then get rid of 180 labels and then expect to survive can safely assume it doesn’t work.
We’re scaling it back.
When STHoldings started in 1998 it was born out of a love of independent music. We set out to build something that empowered the underground independent artist and gave them freedom to focus on their art.
Looking at the situation today, things have changed… the ethos is getting lost & STH and it’s labels are dissatisfied. Personally I do not feel that STHoldings can and should continue on it’s current path. I have decided to hit the reset button and for STH to return to it’s roots. It is time to get back to what matters… underground music.
Starting today, we are only going to work with a small number of approximately 30 record labels that reflect this ethos. Regrettably this means that some labels are being let go, to whom I am sorry.
Yes “stephen reel” you’ve posted the statement from May from which I quoted in the piece.
But people are getting all agitated and telling me they’re shutting down entirely now, that it’s not just a reduction.
Yet no one can give me anything updated other than “confirmations” in EDM blogs without supporting evidence.
This is starting to remind me of writing about hip hop business back in the previous decade.
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