Indie artists in 2022 are living through the vinyl revival – according to a Variety.com article, vinyl sales experienced a 52% increase from 2020 – 2021. One would immediately assume that the vinyl resurgence would draw mainly from fans purchasing past discography, but 2021 current release sales grew exponentially faster than previously released material.
By releasing your music on vinyl, you are earning almost 4 times that amount at around $700-$800 for selling your album on 100 vinyls depending on how you price your vinyl for sale against the cost of production. You also engage more with your fans by providing more of a physical experience than through a passive experience such as Spotify, which greatly limits your ability to interact with fans. – David Reeves, Qrates
The numbers are clear – today’s fans are buying new vinyl at a rapid pace, with R&B & hip-hop holding a 17.4% market share. The vinyl renaissance has not just touched old heads. Studies suggest that younger fans are delving into vinyl collecting at astounding rates.
Independent artists may jump to the conclusion that vinyl and physical sales are exclusive; a realm dominated by label-backed musicians. In reality, they represent a tremendous way to expand and diversify overall sales. And the market has adapted as such, with platforms existing to streamline the production and sales of vinyl.
One such service is Qrates, who’s website states “We make it easy for artists to press vinyl so fans can keep pieces of the music they love.” Qrates uses crowdfunding to put the power of producing vinyl in the hands of indie artists without the associated cost. Users can customize their vinyl, get instantly quoted on production costs, and instantly profit on a new, physical revenue stream.
“One of the best ways indie artists can make the most of any of their independent releases is through physical sales. While one can hope for 1 million streams per track (which nets around $2400), that is a best case scenario. If you own 50% as a result of releasing through a label, your royalties are then halved at $1200.” shared Qrates Artist Relations Representative David Reeves.
Clearly, releasing music solely in a digital format is greatly limiting considering the minimal payout from DSPS. Reeves, and professionals who work in the physical music landscape understand the massive upside associated with the vinyl revival.
“By releasing your music physically, you are earning almost 4 times that amount at around $700-$800 for selling 100 vinyl albums. This depends on how you price your vinyl for sale against the cost of production. You also engage more with your fans by providing more of a physical experience. Spotify is a passive platform which greatly limits your ability to interact with fans. When you go on tour, it is also great to have for your merch table. You can also sign the records, again, increasing a level of intimacy through physical interaction and sales not possible through digital.”
Further, a physical presence builds brand awareness, which leads to a more authentic fanbase, and continued boosts in physical sales. Reeves also points out that selling vinyl allows artists to tap into a new audience. Artists can tap into vinyl collectors, who may not be as active on Spotify or Apple Music.
Utilizing the vinyl revival as a revenue boosting engine is paramount in today’s independent landscape. Not only does it hold massive profit implications, vinyl representation is one of the best brand building/marketing tools out there.