The Business of Record Store Day


By Taylor Berrier

I’m sitting outside a record shop in North Dallas an hour before it opens. The sun hasn’t even begun to light the sky for other early risers on their way to work on a Saturday. To report a story to you about national Record Store Day? No. I did this to be able to buy the one copy available at that particular outlet. A copy that may be one out of a thousand in existence.

Vinyl is so outdated. Fossilized pieces of molded plastic that when rubbed a needle across you get sound that is amplified into our eardrums causing brief moments of audible stimulation. One might ask how something is so deserving of the venerableness that comes with be awarded its own holiday celebrated globally. It might just be the official holiday for music in general. But it just sort of works logically considering the importance of the time it is centered around. Whether or not it was intentional is up for debate, however there is some significance to having the biggest holiday for music as close to 420 as possible. It’s not officially on the 20th of April this year, but it was in 2013 and will be again in 2019. Although RSD doesn’t have anything to do with marijuana reform and 420, it just so happens to benefit from the fact that stoners love music and the third Saturday of April will be very close to or exactly on 420 on certain years.

There’s a certain synergy that comes with having RSD being aligned with the holiday for stoners, but RST is really about one thing: Capitalism. The music brick-and-morter stores were dying with the oncoming and growing era of the internet of things – the digital expansion of streaming and downloading. Virgin Record stores, which were arguably the most renown and biggest brick-and-morters for media distribution, began a massive restructuring of the entire industry, shutting most of it’s doors and eventually merging with Capitol Records. Vinyl sales were at an all time low most everywhere in the world.

Now, thanks to the independent music shops, vinyl sales are the highest they’ve been in 25 years. In fact, there are hardly have enough factories to keep up with today’s demand. It’s not just for stoners, it’s not just for collectors, and it’s not just for music lovers. It’s about all of the above. And that’s just business.