Indie Labels

Records Store Day Fuels 2 Million Album Sales

While much of the industry has been impacted by the current pandemic, Record Store Days remains a hit among vinyl buyers. This year broken up into three separate weekends, RSD resulted in almost two million album sales.

Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

Record Store Day continues to be a big draw for vinyl buyers even in the midst of a pandemic. The event was broken down into 3 separate weekends this year because of Covid, but that didn’t quell the enthusiasm of buyers, who wound up purchasing almost 2 million albums.

Artists and labels have certainly helped RSD along by dropping new releases and this year was no exception. Many have released unique or limited edition albums strictly meant for this event. For the latest and last RSD 2020 weekend of October 24th for instance, some of the releases included include a green vinyl pressing of the U.K. edition of The Rolling Stones’ MetamorphosisMiles Davis’ Double Image: Rare Miles From the Complete Bitches Brew Sessions on red opaque vinyl and the first vinyl release of The Who’s A Quick Live One: Live at the Monterey International Pop Festival.  

According to Billboard, the 3 RSD events added up to “1.95 million CD and vinyl albums sold at indie stores, with 1.41 million of that in vinyl LPs. In the 13 weeks between July 31 and Oct. 29, a total of 5.73 million CD and vinyl albums were sold at indie stores, while 3.72 million of that sum was in vinyl LPs. Thus, the 1.95 million sold in the three drop weeks represents 34% of sales during the 13-week tracking period, while the vinyl LP-only sum of 1.41 million equaled 38% of vinyl LP-only sales at indies in that same span of time.”

To understand how important RSD is to music retailers, “CD and vinyl album sales grew 72% at indie stores (comparing 378,000 to 649,000). Meanwhile, vinyl LP sales, in an average drop week, doubled — growing 103% (comparing 231,000 to 469,000).”

There is still a segment of music buyers who love vinyl albums and even more that love CDs. Record Store Day is one way that the industry can still bring them into the store, and even brave a health hazard.

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