Music Industry

The way vinyl sales are tracked is about to change

Luminate is the company that tracks all the music charts compiled by Billboard, the most influential and most-watch charts of them all. That means anytime Luminate makes a change to the way they compile, weigh, and analyze data is watched carefully by the recorded music industry.

The latest alteration has to do with how they report vinyl sales from indie record stores. Bottom line? These two organizations believe that Luminate’s changes will underreport what’s actually going on with not just vinyl, but also with CDs and cassettes sold at indie record stores.

Digital Music News summarizes things this way:

“In Autumn 2023, Luminate announced a change to how it reports physical sales (vinyl, CD, cassette), relying on a direct representation of sales reported from indie retailers in the U.S. and Canada who have agreed to participate in Luminate data reporting. Historically and currently, indie sales are algorithmically determined due to the small number of record stores contributing to weekly sales activity.

“Both the Vinyl Record Manufacturing Association and the Vinyl Alliance believe this shift will unfairly minimize numbers, creating a change in the true insight of indie sales at physical retail stores. ‘With less than 5% of independent physical retailers currently reporting directly to Luminate, the data collected will be a grossly inaccurate representation of the sales of physical products,’ the group believes.”

Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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