Unpacking the Variants Strategy

By James Guerra
, Customer Success Associate
Customer Success Associate
June 11, 2024
— 2 min read
By James Guerra
, Customer Success Associate
Customer Success Associate
June 11, 2024
— 2 min read

Billie Eilish made headlines this Spring when she commented on the practice of manufacturing and marketing multiple vinyl variants by top artists in an interview with Billboard. While our data can’t speak to the environmental impacts of this strategy, one thing we can take a look at is how popular the move has become in terms of sales. To begin, we can analyze the cohort of albums that has appeared in the Top 10 of the weekly Billboard 200 albums chart and compare it to weeks past. Indeed, the data shows that the average number of distinct physical products (defined here through distinct UPCs per project) sold in relation to a Top 10 album has trended upwards since 2019.

Physical variants for Top 10 Album. Average number, Billboard 200 from January 4th, 2019 to May 2nd, 2024. The chart displays an increase from 1/10/19 to 3/28/24.

The Physical Music Consumer and Sustainability

Turning our attention to the consumer, Luminate Insights consumer research data reveals that 32% of U.S. music listeners cite sustainability/re-usability as a cause they care about. Interestingly, physical music purchasers (Vinyl, CD, Cassette) are +16% more likely to cite this than the average music listener, suggesting that initiatives around recycled packaging or other sustainable elements would likely resonate with this audience.

Look out for Luminate’s 2024 Midyear Music Report coming in July for more stats like these.

Upcoming

By Eliud Mburu
June 18, 2024
— 3 min read

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