Is it Christmas already? Is that Santa Claus you see? It's actually Record Store Day on 4/16, so close, and that's the bearded delivery man dropping off new music at your local record store. This Saturday marks the day when diehard music fans flock to a close by music store in search of rare albums that are exclusive to that day only. Every genre is represented well on the list this year: anything from Justin Bieber's Purpose to a soundtrack from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the grand scheme, the music industry still is struggling so I encourage everyone reading this to at least consider going to wherever music is sold and browsing. Here are some reasons why Record Store Day is music's holiday:
The value of artists' work increases.
In an age where access to songs is easier than ever, music is getting devalued in my opinion. With Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc. leading the way for how people discover new music, peoples' attention span for music is getting shorter and we all just want to find the next great song ASAP. Essentially the "shelf-life" of songs and albums are shortening with this trend. Vinyl, on the other hand, is something you can hold on for years and years after you purchase it because it is not only large, but physical more importantly. On top of this, a good portion of fans say that music sounds better and gives off a better feel on a record player as opposed to an iPod which is mind-blowing in how old each technology is. Also, it is important to note that the payout to rights holders per stream is between $0.006 and $0.0084 on Spotify. Yes vinyl is super expensive from the artist's standpoint to have printed, but artists make more money off of vinyl than streaming. All in all, it's simple economics to understand that demand will go up for the product if the supply is less and that's the point of this music holiday: to have you want to go out and shop because supplies are limited.
It's fun to search from a fan's perspective.
Even if you don't own a turntable, you could have a great time just browsing and nerding out over random albums you find. Strike up a conversation with a stranger and make a new friend over what you're passionate about because there's no reason not to. Sure, Record Store Day might be about the exclusive releases to some but you may just stumble upon something that you never though you'd find. If you have some extra chase maybe you could take a risk and buy a record of some band your friends having been raving about but you've never listened to. Days like these make it possible to build up a collection that you can be proud of one day. Enjoy this special one day treasure hunt!
The day helps local stores who need it.
I think we've all been by a record store or have been in one on days where there are absolutely not a soul to be found. Every so often you'll hear about a great shop closing down as well. It's just sad because even if you are a vinyl buyer or not, you know these places are hubs for music enjoyment but still are slowly fading in and out. With this as extra incentive of knowing you can directly support your community why not at least go out and at the least look? I say to even try out a new store that you've never even been to or maybe shop for someone else that you care about. Tis' the season of giving and giving back in all senses of the phrase.