/ And then there was Vinyl /

And then there was Vinyl

08.26.2014


Many of our clients are keeping a keen eye and ear out for vinyl – and we’re quite happy to pitch in and pass along some of their latest offerings!

Vinyl sales can be a key source of revenue in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace for music; meanwhile, artists will often want to ensure that their work is released in vinyl formats by way of an expressly-worded release commitment.

Album Covers Blog 1

The photo above displays some new and notable releases from some of our artist and label clients: [top row, left to right:] Unseen Worlds Records, RVNG Int’l, The Mylene Sheath, Robotic Empire, Budos Band, Yellow Year Records, Friends of Friends, [bottom row, left to right:] WHORES, Chuck Johnson, PAN Records, and Awesome Tapes from Africa[AT1] .  This list shows how broad a swathe of genres is going strong in the vinyl format today; contemporary classical, metal, electronic, Americana, experimental, and contemporary African music, all of which are represented here.

Although music revenues are shrinking, according to Statistica.com, vinyl sales have been growing for the past six years. While vinyl may still only represent a small share of the overall market, lean and mean indies can derive sizable revenues from vinyl by using savvy marketing while being fiscally responsible.

Graph Blog 1(Illustration courtesy of Statista.com)

2014 sales also look strong so far – Statista reports that 4 million units have been sold in the US in the first half of the year alone.  If the rest of the year’s sales follow this trend, 2014 will post another year of very sizeable growth.

With regard to rights considerations, artists can not only try to negotiate for a release commitment from the label to ensure that their records are released on vinyl; they can also sometimes receive copies of those records in lieu of royalties or at a reduced rate for touring and online sales.  Many indie bands are able to make tours profitable thanks to merch sales at shows by including vinyl records in those sales.

Further, some vinyl releases now come with download codes so that the purchaser can enjoy the hard format at home while listening to the digital version on portable mp3 players.  Artists and labels alike should be conscientious of implications that this kind of dual format release may have on the calculation of record royalties and mechanical royalties.

Last but not least, many music lovers prefer vinyl over CDs and digital formats for aesthetic reasons.  Fidelity, warmth, larger art, and other add-ons are all factors that lend themselves to greater listening enjoyment and collectability. Few pleasures compare to taking the shrinkwrap off a new piece of wax and putting it on your home turntable!