Record Store Day 2023 is the most successful since its inception in 2007. We take a look at some revealing data – like how few record buyers own a turntable – and the biggest stars of Record Store Day 2023.
To those who don’t have their finger on the pulse of the record industry, Record Store Day might sound like a mad attempt to stoke enthusiasm for a niche resurgence of the physical format – even among some who appreciate the younger generation’s seeming interest in vinyl alongside the die-hard enthusiasts.
Record Store Day was created in 2007 to celebrate the fun and diverse culture surrounding independent record stores and the communities they serve. It has also become a way to promote and celebrate the unique culture of the physical music format space in an industry dominated by streaming.
But those who dismiss the sheer volume that Record Store Day can move need only look at the Luminate dates released after Record Store Day 2023 to see the value of the action and realize that it is this is more than just a nod to the comeback of vinyl in 2023 industry.
Record Store Day 2023 is the best vinyl week ever for independent record stores since their inception. Participating independent record stores sold 1.7 million physical units (LPs, CDs and cassettes) during the week – 82% of which was vinyl (1.4 million).
In addition, independent record stores made a significant contribution (64%) to the full week’s physical sales, while the week (Week 17) is the biggest week for physical sales so far this year with a total of 2.6 million units sold.
The rising star of Record Store Day in 2023 is what the event’s founders hoped for when it launched: exclusive content. Vinyl buyers overwhelmingly want to own content from their favorite artists that isn’t available elsewhere. In many cases these are fans who are buying to collect and not to listen to the physical format – the percentage of vinyl buyers who own turntables increases as the listener ages.
57% of Gen Z don’t own a turntable, while 52% of Millennials don’t. Now, 35% of Gen Xers don’t own a turntable, while only 16% of Boomers don’t. This means that 84% of Boomer record buyers own a record player and are most likely to buy a record to listen to.
The Stars of Record Store Day:
- Taylor Swift- Folklore: the long pond studio sessions
- pearl jam – Give Way
- The Cure – Show (Remaster 2023)
- Stevie Nicks- Bella Donna Live 1981
- The Rolling Stones beggar banquet
- Grateful Dead Boston Garden, Boston, MA 5/7/77 (Live)
- Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes – The B-sides
- Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires – The Sound Emporium EP
- Larry Lovestein & The Velvet Revival – You
- The Ramones – Pleasant Dreams (The New York Mixes)
Record Store Day 2024 begins on April 20, 2024.