Wherever there is a consumer trend, licensing will follow. The presence of licensed examples among the exclusive vinyl releases for Record Store Day, the 2016 edition of which took place on Saturday (April 17), illustrates this truism.
Record Store Day was launched as a way to support independent stores that continue to offer new and used records, CDs, and even cassette tapes in this era of digital downloading. The popularity of the annual effort has led many record labels and musicians to issue special editions and limited releases on that day, available only through independent stores, or to debut new titles at the indie shops on Record Store Day before going wide. The growing embrace of vinyl records over the past few years has resulted in the majority of these releases being vinyl LPs or EPs, including picture discs.
Capitalizing on this trend, a handful of licensed character/entertainment properties made an appearance on the list of Record Store Day products this year. They include Hello Kitty: Hello World, a 12-inch picture disc featuring 11 exclusive songs, in an edition of 1,000, from the Phineas Atwood label; a 2,500-unit run of Dr. Who: Genesis of the Daleks, an LP from Demon Records; a Star Wars: The Force Awakens 10-inch soundtrack picture disc in a quantity of 15,000, featuring “March of the Resistance” on one side and “Rey’s Theme” on the other, from Walt Disney Records; and Disney Favorite Songs, a 5,000-unit LP, also from Disney Records.
All were released exclusively to independent music shops across the country or regionally.
A reminder: Raugust Communications’ monthly e-newsletter goes out tomorrow (April 19, 2016). April’s Licensing Trend of the Month is the proliferation of “in-world” licensed products, representing the antithesis of logo-slapping. If you are not yet a subscriber to this free publication, sign up here.