Today, April 18th, music lovers worldwide will descend on local independent music shops to celebrate the second annual Record Store Day, a day that celebrates independent music stores and independent artists. USA Today reports that over 1,000 stores and 6000 artists are participating in the activities that include signings and live performances.
In a music world that is rapidly going online and digital, the idea of a day celebrating record stores may seem quaint and out of touch. Nonetheless, here it is. Happy second annual National Record Store Day.
The event was founded in 2008 as a way to get more retail traffic into stores. It has since grown in popularity and hype. This year, more record labels are involved, and they are offering about three times as many exclusive perks. And here’s the irony: Some retailers have discovered that for businesses operating on thin margins, managing all those perks and premiums can be tricky.
“(The day) is a great way to commemorate and celebrate the importance of record stores, particularly independent record stores and the communities they serve,” said Steve Wilson, a long-time music retailer. “Last year, record companies cooperated by offering free product or value-added product the customer could get with the purchase of another CD. This year it has exploded.”
“It hasn’t been an easy road for independent music stores. About 1,000 music retailers have gone out of business since 2003,” said Joel Oberstein, president of Almighty Institute of Music Retail, a market research firm based in California. “But 2,000 independent record stores have survived, and the store closings have leveled off over the past year.”
When’s the last time you want to an actual record store…a place where you have to walk through a door and can’t just click “download”? Record stores are pretty great. It’s where you talk to people face-to-face while trying to discover what new artist you might enjoy or who’s recording of a certain song is the best. It’s those sorts of stores where so much essential music learning takes place. If you haven’t ever been in a record store, visit one. It’s like another world.
What is this doing on a Clay Aiken board? Well, Clay is a recording artist and I would bet he has spent many hours digging through the bins at a record store. PLUS, until there is more Clay news, you will just have to be satisfied with related articles. Besides, you will always get a nice picture of Clay.