Data Proves That Record Store Day Is Working…

It started out slowly…

Week-over-Week Sales Gains on Record Store Day, 2008-present.

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Source: Nielsen.

Specifically, this measures sales gains on Record Store Day over the previous week.

A huge part of this success story is coming from vinyl: according to Nielsen, sales of 12″ vinyl boomed 3,100% over the previous week.  Even more incredibly, a major part of vinyl interest is coming from 20-somethings.


10 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    This doesn’t prove anything if folks are holding back their music-spending money in the weeks before RSD…

    People have learned to save up for RSD, leading to smaller sales in the weeks leading up to it, leading to larger week-to-week gains.

    No one is disputing that it’s a nice day for record stores, and a nice day for major label artists creating fake scarcity with reissues. As to whether or not it’s good for the industry overall, the jury’s still out.

    • jw

      How on earth could Record Store Day not be good for artists?

      Sometimes the cynicism on this site blows my mind.

      • Nina Ulloa

        bad for indie labels? yes

        great for indie record stores, vinyl, the industry, major labels , many artists? yes

        i think RSD just needs some restrictions so the major labels stop throwing money everywhere over it.

          • Jabsco

            I think what Nina is referring to is the new fad of major labels releasing a ton of worthless vinyl that no one wants (Katy Perry picture disc anyone?) to clog the RSD release catalog and push out indie labels.

            That said, RSD is great for independents no matter how you try to frame it. Any reason for people to go out to the stores and be excited about paying for music is a good thing.

          • jw

            The major label RSD releases could be a gateway into indie music for casual music fans, it’s hard to say.

            Personally, I feel like the indie backlash against the major labels’ RSD participation is a territorial issue, & an example of the type of behavior that drove consumers away from indie stores & indie labels to start with. Outside of the fact that there may be manufacturing issues that need to be sorted out after bringing a format back from the dead, my gut says that this is a rising tide lifting all boats… I really don’t see how a Katy Perry picture disc prevents indie fans from buying indie products on RSD.

            But any way you slice it, indie labels might not be profiting as much as they wish they were, but there’s no way you can construe the stats to say that this is bad for indie labels or for artists. That’s just absolutely absurd.

          • Anonymous

            If fans are saving their money in the weeks prior to RSD just to buy up major label fake scarcity bullshit, that’s not good for indie labels or indie artists.

            If fans are not able to buy new releases in the weeks following RSD because they have spent so much on major label fake scarcity bullshit, that’s not good for indie labels or indie artists.

            If stores can’t order new releases in the weeks prior to or after RSD because they need to extend as much credit as possible to get a chance to stock major label fake scarcity bullshit (which is happening more and more frequently), that’s not really good for anybody.

            Great that it gets lots of folks into record stores one day a year, many of whom don’t visit the store again until the next RSD. Great for the stores, assuming the weeks before/after RSD aren’t too awful.

          • jw

            So… it’s fine if music fans save up to buy indie releases, but it’s not fine if music fans save up for major label releases? Because they can’t afford to buy indie releases before/after RSD? lol.

            So it’s just bad if people are buying major label releases instead of indie releases, that’s your argument?

            I’d love for you to back up your extremely cynical views with some statistics. Because you seem to be confusing “less good than it could potentially be for indie labels/artists” with “bad for indie labels/artists.” Though I’ll reiterate that a rising tide lifts all boats, & the major label releases probably get fans into the door that lead to indie release sales.

            I think the bottom line is that indie vinyl sales seem to be growing by leaps & bounds year over year, & RSD is unquestionably the catalyst for that. Personally, I go to a record store on RSD, & order my (mostly indie) vinyl online the rest of the year (directly from artists when I can) or I buy it at shows. Which didn’t used to be an option. Now it is. Thanks in large part to RSD.

  2. Veteran - US MUSIC INDUSTRY 1970-today

    i think RSD just needs some restrictions so the major labels stop throwing money everywhere over it.

    You want to restrict someone’s right to do business as they’re able? That’s what you’re saying you know.

  3. FarePlay

    The guys who started RSD aren’t accountable for the abuses that take place from suppliers, although I sense the organizers will try and place some guidelines into the process next year.

    The numbers I’m really interested in are the ones that relate to overall annual growth, not simply the one day blowout sales. Anyone have those?