Record Store Day 2023 has become the most successful since its creation in 2007. We look at some revealing data — like how few vinyl record buyers own a record player — and the biggest stars of Record Store Day 2023.
For those who don’t have their finger on the pulse of the record industry, Record Store Day might sound like a madcap attempt to drum up enthusiasm for a niche resurgence in the physical format — even among some who appreciate the younger generation’s seeming interest in vinyl alongside the diehard enthusiasts.
Conceived in 2007 as a way to celebrate the fun and diverse culture surrounding independent record stores and the communities they serve, Record Store Day has also become a way to encourage and celebrate the unique culture of the physical music format space in an industry dominated by streaming.
But naysayers to the sheer volume that Record Store Day is capable of moving need look no further than the Luminate data revealed following Record Store Day 2023 to see the value in the promotion and to recognize that it’s more than just a nod to vinyl’s comeback in the industry.
Record Store Day 2023 is the best vinyl week on record for independent record stores since its inception. Participating independent record stores sold 1.7 million physical units (LPs, CDs, and cassettes) during the week — 82% of which were vinyl (1.4 million.)
Further, independent record stores were a significant contributor (64%) for the entire week’s physical sales, while the week (Week 17) is the biggest for physical sales so far this year, with a total of 2.6 million units sold.
The emerging star of Record Store Day in 2023 is as the event’s founders had hoped upon its inception: exclusive content. Vinyl buyers predominantly want to own content from their favorite artists not available elsewhere. In many cases, these are fans buying for the collector’s aspect rather than to listen to the physical format — the percentage of vinyl buyers who own record players increases as the listeners get older.
57% of Gen Z do not own a record player, while 52% of Millennials do not. Meanwhile, 35% of Gen X do not own a record player, while only 16% of Boomers do not. That means 84% of Boomer vinyl buyers own a record player and are most likely to buy a vinyl record to listen to it.
The Stars of Record Store Day:
- Taylor Swift – folklore: the long pond studio sessions
- Pearl Jam – Give Way
- The Cure – Show (2023 Remaster)
- Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna Live 1981
- The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet
- Grateful Dead – Boston Garden, Boston, MA 5/7/77 (Live)
- Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes – The B-Sides
- Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires – The Sound Emporium EP
- Larry Lovestein & The Velvet Revival – You
- The Ramones – Pleasant Dreams (The New York Mixes)
Record Store Day 2024 begins on April 20, 2024.