Stores in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia are among those who will be holding special sales events, in-store appearances, and giveaways to mark this year’s event. Just don’t expect your local HMV to be taking part – the Record Store Day organizers only allow independent stores to officially participate.
Record Store Day began in the US three years ago, and over 700 independent record stores across the states are set to participate in this year’s event. Meanwhile, for an example of the enthusiasm for how Record Store Day is growing elsewhere, there will over 400 independent record stores in Australia participating. The organizers of Record Store Day Australia, the Australian Music Retail Association (AMRA), have acknowledged the affinity held by the record buying public who still wish to shop for their CD’s and vinyl treasures at their local indie store. “I think the great thing that happened last year with Record Store day was the amount of in store connection that occurred directly between artists and stores. With 408 stores involved there were lots of places where unsigned and signed artists were in-store to meet fans on the day. For a real fan the joy of shopping at a music store is alive and well, Record Store day is all about the celebration of that passion that the real fans enjoy,” said Gavin Ward, Chairman of AMRA.
To back that statement up, and to express the popularity of bricks and mortars record stores into actual figures, we were supplied data from ARIA, the Australian Recording Industry Association, that showed that while 94.33% of Single sales from 2009’s Top 150 Albums came from downloads, 91.7% of album sales came from CDs. So the market is now divided into two sections, as sales of Singles on CD are now just 7% of what they were five years ago but for album sales the focus is still on buyers wanting a physical copy, with downloads rarely accounting for more than 10% of the album sales for most releases. 2009 saw album sales increase by over 870,000 units, or 2.3%.
To find out if your local independent record store is going to be taking part, visit the official Record Store Day websites, listed below. There is still three weeks for stores to register to be involved in this celebration of independent retailers, many of which play a large part in helping independent and DIY acts make a breakthrough.