Record Store Day 2020 to be spread across three new dates later this year
(Credit: Clem Onojeghuo)

Major record labels overhaul their vinyl distributing service

Major record labels such as Matador, 4AD, Domino and more have ended their relationship with Warner Music Group’s Alternative Distribution Alliance amid complaints about their vinyl distribution.

Beggars Group—the collective group of labels that includes the likes of 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade, Young Turks, and XL Recordings—have joined Domino and Saddle Creek after Warner made the decision to transfer its business to a company known as ‘Direct Shot Distributing’ in April last year.

The move, it would seem, caused a major stir across the music industry as complaints of severe delays in vinyl deliveries began to mount. Some case also claim that certain orders of vinyl would disappear entirely after major delays had already caused confusion.

Now, in a report issued by Billboard, the aforementioned record labels are abandoning their relationship with Direct Shot Distributing and have instead agreed a deal with North Carolina-based company Redeye.

“Historically, independent labels have always seen getting records into stores as the first business decision they need to make,” Beggars chairman Martin Mills said in a statement. “But now that physical is such a small and decreasing part of the majors’ business, for indies, to whom physical, and especially vinyl, is so much more important, to partner with the majors for distribution has become arguably anachronistic.

“Beggars works with great, fully independent distributors everywhere else in the world, and believes in bringing the advantages of our scale to the sector; and much as we’re sorry to leave ADA, with whom we’ve had incredible success, we’re very happy to be fully independently distributed at last in the USA.”

Beggars president, Matt Harmon, added: “As George Harrison once sang, ‘All Things Must Pass.’ While our relationship with ADA has ended, we leave with feelings of close camaraderie and the memories of so many impossible successes that we have shared over the last 20-plus years.

“At the same time, we are massively excited for our relationship with our new physical distribution partner Redeye. Their enthusiasm for the music is infectious. We look forward to working together to bring that music to the fans for years to come.”

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