The Vinyl Record Manufacturing Association (VRMA) has put the support of the association behind the newly launched Indie Sales Chart. The weekly sales chart is a partnership between StreetPulse, Record Store Day, and HITS Magazine that will track point-of-sale data from independent retailers—currently 200+, with more on the way. The chart was launched in response to the changes announced by Luminate, the entertainment industry’s preeminent data and insights company, and Billboard’s data partner, to their methods of reporting for physical sales (vinyl, CDs, and cassettes) from independent retailers in the United States and Canada. Historically and up until December 29, 2023, these sales were algorithmically determined. Luminate transitioned to direct reporting from independent retailers with less than 5% of retailers onboarded to the new process. The VRMA publicly expressed their frustration at the small number of record stores contributing to the weekly sales activity acting as the representative base for the entirety of the Indie Retail market segment in a joint statement with the Vinyl Alliance issued on December 4th, 2023 which can be read HERE.
The VRMA is committed to accuracy in data and reporting, and this change is a dramatic departure from the former practice and one that will unfairly minimize numbers creating a seismic change in providing true insight into the importance and scope of both physical media and independent retailers and their impact on the makeup of the music business landscape.
The sale of Vinyl Records has seen continual growth year-over-year for the past 17 years. The year 2022, was the first time in over 30 years that vinyl record sales surpassed the sale of CD’s. Lumiante’s 2023 mid-year report showed a 21.7% increase in vinyl sales in the United States, with 23.6 million copies sold compared to 19.4 million in 2022. Additionally, the week of December 21, 2023, marked the largest vinyl sales week of 2023 with 2.055 million copies sold, according to Luminate, which is the third largest sales week since Luminate started tracking digital sales in 1991.
“The 2023 numbers have indicated that the demand of vinyl is continuing to grow,” says VRMA President and Chief Creative Officer of Hand Drawn Pressing’s Dustin Blocker. “Luminate’s new reporting, with such a small percentage of indie retailers onboard, is an inaccurate representation of the strength of the record pressing industry, with the potential to have a negative ripple effect on pressing plants and the vinyl supply chain. We commend StreetPulse, Record Store Day, and HITS for being proactive in developing this alternative chart as a more accurate reflection of vinyl’s popularity.”
The VRMA is a professional trade association of independent businesses committed to the craft of vinyl record manufacturing through collaboration, advocacy, standardization, and education. The association serves to advocate and promote the vinyl record manufacturing industry while providing the latest and most accurate information to the industry at large. The association offers a forum for member companies to engage in ongoing discussions and provide external communications concerning various issues and opportunities related to other new technologies that may emerge.
For More Information Contact
Nicole Poulos // [email protected] // 310-908-3812