BDS metadata for vinyl music albums is proving to be the first choice for independent record shops.
It may be what the music commentator Simon Reynolds dubs “retromania” but the demand for vinyl in the UK has been so pronounced it has recently spawned an official vinyl LP album and singles chart.
“It is an incredible achievement after all that’s happened this year that retailers have not only matched vinyl’s 2019 sales year-to-date, but exceeded them by nearly 5%,” said Kim Bayley of Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) in an interview with Music Week in October 2020. “It’s a great example of what happens when retailers get to work their magic with a product people really want. The vinyl success story goes on and on.”
Huge Demand for Vinyl
In 2019 more than 4.3 million records sold. Vinyl LP sales have grown for 13 consecutive years. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reports an approximate rise of 2,000% since the format’s nadir in 2007, and the highest level of demand since the early ’90s. One in eight albums sold are now on vinyl, while the average yearly spend per consumer was more than £90.
Such growth requires excellent metadata to source, purchase, manage and present albums online to the public.
“BDS is the first choice for the best vinyl retailers,” say Barry Smith, Director of Trade Sales at BDS. “I’m regularly talking with independent record shops who have quickly realised that increased demand requires responsive systems to manage their business and attract repeat custom.”
New enterprises and long-standing vinyl legends have come to Barry recently in recognition of the need for the quality of BDS metadata versus the partial solutions achieved by homespun databases.
The Need for Quality Metadata
Since October 2019 The Record Hub, based in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, has been using BDS metadata, while a recent convert currently integrating BDS metadata into its online system is Sister Ray Records in Berwick Street, a famous Soho music haunt in the heart of London.
“The Record Hub is huge in Ireland while Sister Ray is a music shop legend and has been selling music for over 30 years,” says Barry. “The fact that two such famous retailers in vinyl have come to BDS says it all.”
The story doesn’t end there. A revitalised Head Records based in Leamington Spa and Bending Sound based in Bangor, Northern Ireland have also adopted BDS as their metadata solution, as has Red Robin Records (www.facebook.com/redrobinrecords) based in Aberdeen, Scotland.
“The energy in the vinyl market and the sheer enthusiasm of its aficionados means this is a growth sector and,” adds Barry, “the retro culture lends itself to local retail built around shops of unique character. Of course, the increasing dependence on online sales brought about by the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns has meant great metadata is more important than ever.”
Record Store Day 2021
Certainly, the market shows no sign of shrinking. Record Store Day 2021, due to take place on Saturday 12th June, supported by BBC Sounds, is the day of the year when hundreds of record shops in the UK come together to celebrate their unique and independent culture and the art of vinyl. Special vinyl release exclusives take place with parties and live performances taking place in record shops all over the UK. Fans of the “warmth” of the vinyl sound will be listening, and BDS metadata is sure to be playing its part in connecting the right sounds with the right listeners.