The scene at Fords, New Jersey's Vintage Vinyl during Portugal. The Man's set on Record Store Day. (Photo: Jerry Rubino)
Record Store Day produced explosive sales gains at indie stores, that helped the U.S. industry slightly outpace the prior week's album sales.
For the week ending April 22, indie stores posted a whopping 26.6% gain in album sales to 528,000 units from 417,000 for the prior week ending April 15, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That gain of 111,000 units was responsible for almost all of the U.S. industry's overall gain of 113,000 units over the prior week with album sales growing to 5.72 million from 5.61 million units.
However, in a year over year comparison overall album sales declines 11.6% from the 6.5 million units scanned in the corresponding week of 2011.
Vinyl album sales at indie stores grew 182.7% to 147,000 units from 52,000 units in the prior week. Likewise, indie store singles sales grew 1,016.7% to 67,000 units from 6,000 units, while 12-inch sales in those stores grew nearly 3,000% to 61,000 units from 2,000 units in the prior week.
Record Store Day Ambassador Iggy Pop at Miami's Sweat Records being presented with birthday offerings
(Photo: Teajay Smith Piersall)
A press release from Record Store Day contained anecdotal evidence that sales for the event increased. "A solid estimate is that stores are reporting double-digit sales increases from last year," the release said. "This is a 10% increase for some stores and as much as 50% increase for others."
Co-founder/organizer of Record Store Day Michael Kurtz said in a statment that, "with over 300 special releases, and over a million people who turned out to celebrate around the world, I'm excited, and a bit frightened, to say that Record Store Day was bigger than ever this year."
Looking at year-over-year sales comparisons for RSD, however, is a little bit trickier since Record Store Day fell on April 21 in week 16 of the SoundScan year in 2012 while in 2011 it fell on April 16 in week 15.
So in order to compare apples to apples, Billboard.Biz added together both weeks from both years and found that overall industry album sales were down 11.4% during the two week period to 11.3 million units from the 12.8 million units scanned in 2011. Likewise indie album sales were down 11.4% during that period to 945,000 units from 1.13 million units in the prior year.
However, NARM president Jim Donio points out that 2011 sales benefitted by a late Easter, which last year fell on April 24. That meant that the week-ending April 24 last year had stronger than usual sales, thanks to kids being out of school, people on holiday and companies closed for religious day observances.
Within album sales, indie vinyl album scans grew 1.5% for the two week total to 199,000 units this year versus 196,000 last year. Singles sale displayed greater growth than album sales, posting a 19.7% gain for the two week period to 73,000 units from the prior year's total of 61,000 units, while 12-inch singles grew 16.7.% to 63,000 units from 2011's two-week total of 54,000 units.