Record Store Day, now just less than a month away, is an unequivocally good thing, right? Not so, according to UK distributor Kudos, who have explained why in an open letter.
In a nutshell, what started out with noble intentions - supporting independent record shops - has been hijacked by major labels seeking to create a buzz by releasing supposedly limited edition products on the day. Smaller independent labels often do this too, but are finding themselves at a distinct disadvantage because pressing plants are regularly fully booked by the majors in the run-up to the event. You can see their point: the list of exclusive releases for this year's Record Store Day is enormous.
While the shops themselves may benefit from these exclusive releases, both by selling them and making incidental sales due to the increased footfall, many of the limited edition records purchased go straight onto eBay where they make a hefty profit pocketed by the original owner rather than the shops. The real winners are, sadly, the major labels - something which runs counter to the whole ethos of the event.
Time for a rethink.
(Thanks to Matt for the link.)