Record Store Day Sees Huge Sales Gains

Childish Gambino: Vinyl solution.
Childish Gambino: Vinyl solution.
 Kyleen James

You can’t blame the music business for wishing every day was Record Store Day.

The national promotion set marks for week-to-week gains, with overall album sales at independent record stores up 91 percent and up 11 percent from last year.

"Record Store Day keeps shining the spotlight on the experience that independent record stores uniquely brings to music fans," says Nielsen Entertainment senior vp client development & insights David Bakula. "Propelled by Record Store Day, independent record stores had their highest weekly physical album share in SoundScan history. It has become a major music event that compels artists to deliver premium content and drives music consumers to independent record stores."

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Last year, independent record store sales were up 59 percent week over week, while in 2012, they were up 27 percent.

Independent record stores represented 19.4 percent of the total national volume of all physical album sales this week, their highest share since SoundScan started tracking sales by store strata. This week represented the second-highest sales volume for the independent retail sector in a nonholiday week since 2008.

Vinyl LP sales at indie outlets were up 280 percent versus the prior week and 58 percent over the week including Record Store Day last year. It was the most successful Record Store Day week for vinyl LPs ever.

Fueled by Record Store Day exclusives, independent record stores represented 85 percent of the total national volume of vinyl LPs this week. In 2013, independent record stores sold 82 percent of the total national vinyl LPs.

Vinyl LPs accounted for 52 percent of all album sales at indie retail this week. The week of RSD 2013, LPs accounted for 37 percent of all album sales at independent record stores.

Of the top 50 vinyl LPs in the U.S. this week, 43 titles were either exclusive Record Store Day releases or were widely released for the first time this week. The top 50 vinyl LPs combined to sell 35 percent more copies this week than during the week of Record Store Day in 2013.

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A total of 68 different vinyl LPs sold more than 1,000 copies this week, compared to 17 vinyl LPs exceeding 1,000 copies sold during the week of last year’s Record Store Day.

Year-to-date vinyl LP sales are now up 36 percent over the same period last year and are on pace to exceed last year's record-high volume.

Albums by Childish Gambino (Because the Internet), Afghan Whigs (Do to the Beat), Notorious B.I.G. (Life After Death), Bruce Springsteen (American Beauty) and Jimi Hendrix (Live at Monterey) topped Billboard’s Vinyl LP chart for the week ending April 20, while Nirvana (“Pennyroyal Tea”), Flaming Lips & Devo (“Gates of Steel”), The Cure (“Just Like Heaven”), David Bowie (“1984”) and Love/Rush (“7 and 7 is”) topped the Vinyl Singles tally. 

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