Record Store Day and Vinyl Keep Indie Music Stores Afloat in a Digital World
In an age where just about everything you could possible want can be purchased/downloaded from various websites across the internet, it’s kind of refreshing to hear that people are still buying vinyl records. In fact, according to Nielsen, roughly 61% of all vinyl purchases take place in brick-and-mortar record shops. Granted, I’m sure the antiquated format doesn’t generate the same kind of interest as, say, the latest Justin Bieber single on iTunes, but it’s good to know that people still enjoy the rich, warm sound that only vinyl and a good stereo system can produce. If you haven’t had the pleasure, I suggest you do so.
Record Store Day, which was started back in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave, and Brian Poehner, is a global celebration of independent music shops. The holiday has grown in popularity over the years, with artists releasing EPs, singles, and entire albums to coincide with the occasion. In fact, Lana Del Rey, Gorillaz, and rap group The Pharcyde are all releasing special edition vinyl as a way of showing their support. Of course, there are always individuals looking to make a quick buck off of an event that’s supposed to help drive traffic into these indie shops.
The holiday was officially kicked off in 2008 by Metallica at Rasputin Music in Mountain View. During its first year, 10 artists released special edition albums, including Death Cab For Cutie, R.E.M., Stephen Malkmus, Vampire Weekend, The Teenagers, Black Kids, and Jason Mraz. 300 stores helped launch the holiday, and the number has grown steadily with each passing year.
Despite all of the technology working against it, vinyl continues to hold strong, thanks to the format’s legion of highly devoted followers. Below you can find a nifty image that clearly illustrates how much indie record stores account for vinyl sales each year. It’s pretty impressive.
And remember: Record Store Day takes place on April 21st, the third Saturday of the month. Show your support by picking up a record or three.