An interesting and relevant story in today’s New Yorker…
This Saturday, thousands of retailers around the world will participate in Record Store Day.
From Toronto’s June Records to Vienna’s Supersense to Ulaanbaatar’s Dund Gol, music fans will line up, in some cases for many hours, to buy records, meet musicians, and otherwise express their love for melted-plastic disks. There will be free concerts and free beer, and millions of dollars worth of vinyl will be sold.
Since the event generic began eight years ago, annual U.S. sales of new vinyl records have grown from 1.88 million to twelve million. But, as the day has evolved from a small publicity stunt into a modest economic force, it has begun to attract criticism from some in the music industry, who fear that its success is distorting, even endangering, the vinyl revival that it helped spawn. These concerns have included standard consumer gripes about lines and crowds, and more particular ones like the propensity for aggressive record dealers to buy up limited-edition Record Store Day releases, then scalp them online at several times their face value. But, for the past two years, the most pointed critiques have come from musicians and labels, who say that Record Store Day has led to a production logjam.