A homegrown phenomenon…. Record Store Day Prepared by Michael Kurtz. From Humble Beginnings….
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Record Store Day launched in April, 2008 with a few hundred enthusiastic stores and the endorsement of Metallica and Paul McCartney. In 2009 Record Store Day grew to include over 800 stores in the US and another 300 around the world. With no hype, and massive media coverage, over 1,000,00o people of all ages streamed into the stores to snap up over 100 specially made Record Store Day products form the likes of Bob Dylan, Iron & Wine, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Sublime, Radiohead, Tom Waits, and Wilco.
(photo is of parade outside Dimple Records in Sacramento, CA at the launching of Record Store Day)
In 2008, multi-platinum rock gods Metallica provided the kickoff for Record Store Day with a special event at Rasputin Music. Fans came from all over the country and the world. In addition to Metallica’s appearance, there were another 300+ artist appearances on Record Store Day.
In 2009, Gold and Platinum artists such as Wilco, Erykah Badu, Chris Cornell, Disturbed, Ashford & Simpson, TalibKweli, and Silversun Pickups all joined the party. In addition to these top tier artists there were an additional 600+ artist appearances.
On April 18th, 2009 “Record Store Day” more than doubled it’s exposure on Google from last year, reached the top 5 Google News items of the day, and was the 35th most googled term of the day.
Recordstoreday.com became more of a meeting place for music fans with traffic exceeding 700,000 page views for the day.
Local coverage of Record Store Day exploded with both local news stories as well as an AP circulated feature and local NPR stories. Local cover stories/mentions ran in papers as large as the LA Weekly.
National news media coverage included everything from the Weekend cover section of the USA Today to Billboard Magazine, to Source Magazine, to shout outs by Bruce Springsteen on CNN Radio and Ben Harper on the Carson Daly Show.
International coverage was extensive on both the BBC as well as Sky TV.
10% of all “tweets” on Twitter were about Record Store Day on the day itself.
In 2008, the Governor of Maine issued a proclamation declaring Record Store Day a state wide celebration, followed suit by a similar proclamation from the Scottish Parliament in the United Kingdom.
In 2009 the music retail world was set abuzz when NYC’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a proclamation declaring Record Store Day an officially recognized day for New York City.
In-store events for Record Store Day 2008 included everything from artists working behind the counter, to artists spinning records, to meeting their fans, to performing, to Guitar Hero contests.
The ages of attendees ranged from the very young to baby boomer music fans.
Estimated 2008 attendance nationwide was 300,000.
(*) The photo shown here is of Regina Spektor fans celebrating at the Sound Fix in Brooklyn, NY.
In 2009 stores participating in Record Store Day reported a huge surge in interest with music fans coming out to celebrate in mass. Lines formed outside of stores before the shops opened and as the various artist events took place music fans continued to stream into the stores throughout the day. Over 800,000 people celebrated in 2009!
(*) Photo is of the crowd of fans who showed up to celebrate Record Store Day 09 at Grimey’s in Nashville, TN.
With over 100 exclusive products created for Record Store Day, and over 600 artists appearances, Record Store Day became the place to be with young music fans in ‘09.
(*) photo is of 500 young girls who showed up for a 09 Record Store Day in-store event by Mayday Parade at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ
Recordstoreday.com is now the hub of activity for over 1000 record stores around the world as well as major and independent record labels.
Major artists such as Wilco, Modest Mouse, Green Day, and the Beastie Boys have all released new music through recordstoreday.com since April 18, 2009.
Recordstoreday.com received 700,000 page views the month of Record Store Day and receives another 100,000 page views per month throughout the year.
Coachella is the most important music festival in the world and Record Store Day is now their official retail-partner, catering to the 120,000 music fans who flock to the festival.
For the full three days of the 09 festival, Record Store Day’s Coachella store was packed from morning ‘til night with sales topping $100.000. Over 30% of all sales were vinyl, and included a classic indie record store product selection , featuring everything from toys to books, to DVDs, to vinyl. Over 40 artists , from Mastodon to Superchunk, came by the Record Store Day store to celebrate and meet fans.
With the full support of every major music distributor and many of their record labels RSD was able to produce 5 different urban samplers for customers.
Close to 60 urban stores participated with urban artist appearances by the likes of TalibKweli, Erykah Badu, NipsyHussle, actor Jamal “Gravy” Woodlard (aka Notorious BIG in the film “Notorious”) Killer Mike, MTV’s Little Mama, VH-1’s Yo-Yo, N’Damdi, K’naan, and Greg Street (broadcasting live from DBS Sounds One in Atlanta).
(*) Photo is of Grammy winning artist Ashford & Simpson with Basement Mix owner Ron Hill, and Crazy Dee and the various artists who appeared at his store on Record Store Day.
Over 300 stores outside of the USA signed up for Record Store Day from Japan to Italy to Canada to Sweden to the UK.
The 98 participating UK and Irish stores were the most organized and reported 100% sales increases over RSD 2008, with Tom Waits and Sonic Youth singles selling out within the first couple of hours.
Estimated international attendance: 200,000.
Like the US, the UK/Irish stores worked with a PR firm and ended up getting positive music industry coverage on Channel 4 News (London), the BBC, Sky News, Radio 1,2, 4 & 5, the Guardian, and 75 regional radio and print features.
(*) Photo is of music fans streaming into the indie Rough Trade shop at opening of Record Store Day in London.
In 09, over 250,000 free promotional products, including vinyl samplers, to 7” singles, to magazine/CD samplers, to lithographs, were given away free in the stores.
In 09, RSD commercial products grew to over 100 pieces and included releases from Wilco, Bob Dylan, Flight of the Conchords, The Decemberists, Whiskeytown, Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Beck, Iggy Pop, The MC5, The Smiths, Obitz, Brandi Carlile, Sonic Youth, Depeche Mode, and more
StreetPulse reported that indie record store sales increase 27.1% over 2008’s RSD sales.
Vinyl sales grow by a whopping 225.5%
DVD sales leap 13.80%
Nielsen/SoundScan reported similar data to StreetPulse, showing a 21% increase in sales for their version of the indie retail sector.