By Patrick Prince
“Vinyl Tuesday.” Goldmine likes the sound of that. It is void of alliteration but we’ll take it over, say, social media’s trendy “Throwback Thursday.” It shouts out a lot more promise to our collective ears.
Vinyl Tuesday is an international initiative started by independent retailers to highlight and promote vinyl record releases every Tuesday. Furthermore, it’s a way to support and celebrate physical retail in this digital age where information on new vinyl releases can easily be overlooked or forgotten by the consumer.
Think of it as a vinyl bookmark every week.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. So let’s get all the details straight from the source, Record Store Day co-founder Michael Kurtz. Record Store Day as an organization will be managing and monitoring Vinyl Tuesday.
GOLDMINE: Explain the concept behind Vinyl Tuesday and what it will mean for both the record retailer and consumer.
Michael Kurtz: We are launching Vinyl Tuesday to draw attention to the awesome vinyl records that will be released every Tuesday. Record Store Day will be working with our label partners and artist managers to create unique records for the day, but we’ll also be using Tuesday to draw attention to the vinyl version of albums as opposed to the digital versions. Record stores will have an opportunity to not only sell cool new releases but also offer special sales and promotions for their customers. For the consumer, they will be able to get records and CDs that are being offered each Tuesday and get good deals on records in the stores.
GM: How did the idea for Vinyl Tuesday come to be?
MK: We’ve been wanting to do something special on a weekly basis for some time. When the lawyers who run an international music industry lobby group, called the IFPI, essentially pushed everyone into adopting a Friday street date, we saw an opportunity to create a special day for artists who want their albums released on vinyl but not have it be lost on a Friday street date that is presumably designed for digital releases and streaming services.
An interview about 2015’s Record Store Day
GM: And Vinyl Tuesday will definitely happen internationally? When does it officially go into effect?
MK: When we launched Record Store Day it was done with a small group of stores and almost no independent record labels. Now we have over 2,000 stores involved on an international basis and the vast majority of RSD records are on indie labels. This took time and we expect it will take a few years to get Vinyl Tuesday fully off the ground internationally. We are going to launch it in July.
GM: Explain the several types of releases that will come out on Vinyl Tuesday.
MK: There will be some special releases made just for the RSD community of stores. And there will be some releases that are made for all retailers that carry vinyl. This includes stores outside of the RSD community. There will be releases made for collectors and hardcore fans, and there will be releases that will simply be launched on Vinyl Tuesday but will be widely available. And there will be vinyl releases of new albums where the album comes out on vinyl before it is released digitally. We’re also working on CDs that are inspired by vinyl.
GM: The fact that albums will be released on vinyl before an album goes out on sale digitally is a pretty huge score for the vinyl industry/format.
MK: Both Built To Spill and Brand New launched their new albums on vinyl on Record Store Day before their albums were released digitally. Both created huge buzzes for their new albums and had very successful launches. We expect other artists will want to do this on Vinyl Tuesday as well.
GM: And albums formerly only available digitally, or on CD, will now be released on vinyl. That’s a huge score for the consumer/music fan.
MK: Some of these will be made for just the RSD community of stores and some of these will be available wide outside of our community with retailers who carry vinyl. These are mainly catalog reissues, but we will attempt to work with the labels to make them special for music fans.
GM: The record companies will be loving this, for sure — after everything the industry has been through with the file sharing of the MP3 format. But you have to wonder how this will effect the resale of this vinyl on reseller sites like eBay?
MK: I don’t pay that much attention to eBay. They are no different than all aftermarket online entities. And I really have no opinion on how it will effect them.
GM: Will every week have “special edition” vinyl? If so, will this flood the market, so to speak? Will it be a too-much-too-soon scenario for consumers?
MK: We are going to attempt to have special releases each Tuesday but don’t expect it to be overwhelming to either fans or stores.
GM: The bigger picture is that the consumer will have more alternatives than just the usual MP3 and CD format.
MK: Yes, and we’re hoping that stores will have weekly events to remind music fans to support their local record store and retailer who carry physical music every week.
GM: Will the creation of Vinyl Tuesday give the record companies an opportunity to make more mainstream (Top 40) vinyl releases available? It seems that indie record stores are the only real brick-and-mortar retailers to carry mainstream (Top 40) releases on vinyl right now — if they do at all. You don’t see Target or Wal-Mart selling vinyl. Yet. Do you think that will change?
MK: If a major artist like Taylor Swift would release her new album on vinyl before it goes digitally it could engage retailers like Target or Wal-Mart, but it would take something like that to have a big impact. It could happen but I don’t know if it will.
GM: You do, however, see more culturally in-tune, mainstream brick-and-mortar retailers like Barnes & Noble and Urban Outfitters selling vinyl now. In fact, recently walking into a local Barnes & Noble store, right up front, the bookstore was promotionally pushing — not books — but vinyl records! It’s a pleasant surprise, to say the least. Any thoughts on this?
MK: I think this is a good thing and I’m looking forward to working with retailers like Barnes & Noble on Vinyl Tuesday.
GM: Are you worried this “vinyl resurgence,” as the mainstream media is now calling it, will become a bubble that might soon burst?
MK: I never want to come off like I know everything but new stores are opening on a regular basis, existing stores are adding expanded vinyl rooms, vinyl manufacturers are expanding, as are turntable manufacturers. I take all of these as signs that vinyl is here to stay.
GM: Last words about Vinyl Tuesday?
MK: We are having very creative conversations with our partners, so I think there will be some nice surprises for music fans in the months to come.
Go to, www.recordstoreday.com for more info.
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