AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
Record Sales News
Hint: Have a news tip? Submit us news.
Record Sales
Inside AP.net

Has Record Store Day Been Corrupted?

Posted by: Ryan Dennehy (04/18/14)
The Quietus has a great piece up about the negative effects that the 2014 Record Store Day has been having on the industry it's designed to help. The essay is filled with comments and quotes from small labels about the effects RSD has had on their schedules, releases, and a number of other problems. Who's to blame? In the minds of some, it's the major labels elbowing their way onto the scene and saying "What can we shit into the form of a record and shove into the hands of the wanton masses?" If you're planning on hitting the shops this year, does this change any of your purchasing plans?
  
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 72
06:06 AM on 04/18/14
#2
caveBEAR
( ω )
Online
User Info.
caveBEAR's Avatar
of course it's been corrupted by major labels - if you've been doing RSD for a few years, you can just look around and see that. it's also really, really, really easy to not support those large labels (by not buying their shit) and the smaller record store I frequent only orders RSD items that people want/have requested, so his shelves aren't filled with pointless soundtracks and old re-issues Beach Boys 7"s for $25.
06:18 AM on 04/18/14
#3
Gaugzilla
and one head can never die
Offline
User Info.
Gaugzilla's Avatar
Outside of the plant issues, these seem to be the same complaints stated every year: It's too corporate, stores are too full, it doesn't support indies, etc.

It comes off to me as some labels don't want to adjust to this, which they absolutely have to. Like the above poster said, they have to listen to what their patrons want and not worry about ordering every single rsd release if they believe people won't buy it. If they know RSD will push back the release of a vinyl, then plan ahead or release it after the fact.
06:28 AM on 04/18/14
#4
prefix-core
Andy Adores Alliteration
Offline
User Info.
prefix-core's Avatar
You know, I actually understand the major labels wanting to jump on-board. And in some cases? There's some interesting and unique releases. That are also a total bitch to find... Which can be fairly deflating. And quite a few of the smaller, indie releases that interest me are regional-only. Also fairly deflating.

What confuses me is how ineffectively some of those major labels know their audience. Every year there's spill-over from the year before (i.e., unsold releases) that wind up getting front placement at the local record shops near me in sort of a "RSD of Years Past" box.

And I swear to you, there's still something like, 6-10 copies of Godsmack's "Cryin' Like a Bitch" in every fucking store.
06:39 AM on 04/18/14
#5
luvsickcatalyst
wander eyes, ocean high.
Offline
User Info.
luvsickcatalyst's Avatar
of course it's been corrupted by major labels - if you've been doing RSD for a few years, you can just look around and see that. it's also really, really, really easy to not support those large labels (by not buying their shit) and the smaller record store I frequent only orders RSD items that people want/have requested, so his shelves aren't filled with pointless soundtracks and old re-issues Beach Boys 7"s for $25.
Exactly this. Some bigger record stores have no control over what gets sent to them (I know a Newbury Comics near me that doesn't know what they're getting until the day before), but I know a bunch of record stores that ask at checkout if the customer will be at RSD/what records they'd like to see stocked from the list. Works because it promotes the event and everyone gets exactly what they want without extras.

Beyond that, this just sounds like complaining from indie labels and record collecting "purists" attacking an event for getting successful. I started going during Record Store Day's second year back in 2008 and there were major label releases dominating indies back then too. Business is business, unfortunately...although yes, the plant issues are terrible. I go every year because I love visiting this record store I hardly get to go to anymore because it's far out of the way for me, getting some rare releases, and stocking my collection with records I've wanted for a while. Most people I know are the same, which means the spirit of RSD is at least partially alive...just not to guys like Hickman that have a business to run against major labels.
06:47 AM on 04/18/14
#6
j-dogg_69
At Full Speed
Offline
User Info.
j-dogg_69's Avatar
Everything in that article is completely true, certainly in the UK (which is where the following refers to). There's a One Direction 7" this year. These are aimed at teenage girls who will literally buy ANYTHING with their faces on it, regardless if they have the equipment to use it/play it. This is a pressing that has taken up an order in the pressing plant that will never actually be used for its purpose. OK, yes, the record store benefits financially, but will those buyers become returning customers for the shops? I believe they wouldn't, based on the music that most indie shops stock compared with a teenage One Direction fans taste. Then there are the pointless re-issues. Many of which are available second hand from Ebay, Discogs, second hand sections in store. It just feels wasteful (both, in terms of a pressing and the material being used to create the pressing).

This is just my opinion, of course, and I'd welcome any discussion to it.
06:48 AM on 04/18/14
#7
Holly HoX!
*
Offline
User Info.
Holly HoX!'s Avatar
Outside of the plant issues, these seem to be the same complaints stated every year: It's too corporate, stores are too full, it doesn't support indies, etc.

It comes off to me as some labels and stores don't want to adjust to this, which they absolutely have to. Like the above poster said, they have to listen to what their patrons want and not worry about ordering every single rsd release if they believe people won't buy it. If they know RSD will push back the release of a vinyl, then plan ahead or release it after the fact.
My advice to small indies regarding RSD: don't participate

And what do you mean they absolutely have to adjust? That doesn't make any sense.
06:53 AM on 04/18/14
#8
Gaugzilla
and one head can never die
Offline
User Info.
Gaugzilla's Avatar
My advice to small indies regarding RSD: don't participate

And what do you mean they absolutely have to adjust? That doesn't make any sense.
Agreed. And I rephrased that. Labels have to adjust to the demand placed on record plants. They can say they're waiting for the bubble to pop in this, but that's a fool's errand. Adjust for that demand and set your releases accordingly.
06:56 AM on 04/18/14
#9
codedwire
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I've given up on RSD. Last year it took me 6 hours to get through the lines to purchase a handful of records. There's nothing I really *need* to dedicate that much time to it. Maybe a RSD once every couple of months would be better: there would be a smaller number of releases each time, the crowds would not be as bad, it would get people into the records stores on a more regular basis (instead of once a year), it wouldn't have a huge impact on the pressing plants, RSD releases that did not sell from the last RSD might have a chance of selling at the next RSD, etc.
07:01 AM on 04/18/14
Holly HoX!
*
Offline
User Info.
Holly HoX!'s Avatar
I'm not against RSD in theory, but it has been high-jacked by majors to the point that it's not even feasible for small (and in some cases mid-level) indies to participate. When you opt into an RSD release, you are obligated to distribute to shops no matter what the demand is. Saying something like "Support Independent Music!" regarding this event is a joke at this point. You're misguided if you feel that way.

"If you've got small labels who support record stores all year round saying, 'We don't like it,' that's a bad situation – very bad. Those are the guys that will go, 'Fuck you, we'll just sell our releases exclusively online.' Then stores are really in trouble."

That is a really telling quote from the article as well. When I buy records nowadays, more often than not I'm supporting indies who are small communities and one-man-shops who run all their own mailorder out of their house. Watch when smaller tier indies just say fuck it and only sell shit via BigCartel for example.

Money talks
07:05 AM on 04/18/14
Holly HoX!
*
Offline
User Info.
Holly HoX!'s Avatar
Agreed. And I rephrased that. Labels have to adjust to the demand placed on record plants. They can say they're waiting for the bubble to pop in this, but that's a fool's errand. Adjust for that demand and set your releases accordingly.
You're thinking about it completely wrong. Majors are high-jacking an entire release season, do you see that? It takes roughly 2 months for a record's completion through the printing process.

At this rate, Q2 will become obsolete for small indies unless they give into the pressure of releasing on RSD. That's bunk as hell.

The plants need to tell the majors NO or put restrictions on 1. the number of records they are allowed to press 2. the quantity they are allowed to press. This way, indies can still release a record between March-May and not be burdened by a capitalist "holiday" they do not wish to participate in
07:14 AM on 04/18/14
Holly HoX!
*
Offline
User Info.
Holly HoX!'s Avatar
One more thing and then I'll let others chime in...

Someone brought up the point that small labels should adjust to demand by printing their records months ahead of time in order to beat the RSD rush. While that's good in theory, it's only in theory. The reality for small labels is they are running on very very slim budgets. When they put down money to press a record - which for mid-level and majors in small change - they need to be able to release those records for pre-order etc to try and make back some money asap. They can't just simple have that capital sitting on a shelf for months on end waiting for a release day.
07:23 AM on 04/18/14
caveBEAR
( ω )
Online
User Info.
caveBEAR's Avatar
haven't some record stores started doing
another record store day for independent releases or am I making that up?

and to the guy complaining about the One Direction 7", yeah that sucks, but at least it's current and may get some kid who would have never discovered a record store before into the scene.
07:26 AM on 04/18/14
coreysetfail
I Blue Myself.
Offline
User Info.
coreysetfail's Avatar
All I want is that 'Because The Internet' vinyl. I'm driving an hour to wait in line in hopes to get just that record.
07:33 AM on 04/18/14
caveBEAR
( ω )
Online
User Info.
caveBEAR's Avatar
All I want is that 'Because The Internet' vinyl. I'm driving an hour to wait in line in hopes to get just that record.

i'm sorry.
Options
Related News Stories

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate