Shoppers will be hitting their local indie music shops today for Record Store Day 2015 yet they won't be buying CDs or mp3s. Instead they'll be buying vinyl and even cassette tapes according to recent data.
Shoppers are viewing the CD format seems as outdated with retro modes of music winning favor with younger, hipper fans — at least the ones who still buy music instead of just streaming it off the web.
There's a long list of limited-edition releases being funnelled to independent record stores for Record Store Day — the biggest shopping day of the year for such shops. Hundreds of vinyl LPs, EPs and 7-inch singles are being offered, yet only a handful of CDs at most shops.
CD sales are dropping at a rate of 15 percent per year in each of the past three years. While vinyl record sales have been climbing since 2007 and saw a 52 percent spike last year, with 9.2 million albums sold in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“A lot of our older shoppers still buy CDs, but we’ll have kids in here who say, ‘I haven’t bought a CD in five years.” Bob Fuchs, retail manager of Electric Fetus, an independent in the Minneapolis area retail manager, said.
Fuchs attributes Record Store Day to adding spark to vinyl’s massive resurgence. Vinyl, in turn, has helped indie stores not only stay in business but actually increase profits in recent years despite the popularity of streaming and downloading music sites.
Chris Brown, the man credited with the idea for the “holiday”, said the point was to prove that “things really weren’t as dire for independent record stores as the media made it out to be” in the early 2000s.
“Chain stores like Tower Records were closing in droves, but those of us at the independent level knew that most true music fans still wanted to get their hands on this stuff,” said Brown, who is VP of marketing at Bull Moose Records in Portland, Maine.
Brown said vinyl’s role in Record Store Day is common knowledge because “vinyl just sounds better.”
Even teen-centric clothing stores such as Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic have brought vinyl back to the malls that once housed record stores such as Musicland and Sam Goody. The trend looks set to continue as younger music listeners tune into the nostalgia and better sound that comes with vinyl.