RSD provides nice sales day, but down compared to last year

News / Record Store Day 2015 / April 23, 2015

Nielsen has unveiled the official Record Store Day sales data, leading to both good and bad news. Let’s get the bad out of the way. According to the report, in the indie sector, “overall album sales…fell 12 percent this year versus the week of Record Store Day last year.”

On to the good. The indie sector accounted for 532K album sales during the RSD week, which was 11.9 percent of total sales (the highest percentage the indie market has claimed since 2003). It was also a huge, near 200K increase, over the week prior for indie stores.

And overall for the year, the indie stores are experiencing a near 5 percent growth, with 5.6 million album sales so far. Vinyl sales, in particular, were up 53 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

The Billboard vinyl chart was actually led by a non-RSD release, as Sufjan Stevens’ full length effort, Carrie & Lowell, topped the charts for the second week. The White Stripes’ reissue of Get Behind Me Satan was 2nd, the Run The Jewels picture disc EP was third and Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes was sixth. And what’s really curious is the next stat Billboard throws out. They state that the “best selling Record Store Day release” was the Metallica cassette, No Life Till Leather. This sold nearly 3,000 units and from what I’ve heard….that was a 10,000 copy run. Talk about some leftovers.

This differs from the Buzz Angle report, which had The White Stripes first and Metallica second. It must have been close. Run The Jewels was third in both reports.


Christopher Lantinen
Chris Lantinen is the owner and editor-in-chief of Modern Vinyl. Along with his modest collection of sad sounding records, he collects his share of soundtracks and previously adored indie up-and-comers. Chris is currently a professor of journalism and public relations at Edinboro University in the Erie, Pennsylvania area.

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