◎在三月份的冠狀病毒迫使廣泛封鎖後不久，(Secretary Group)的每月唱片俱樂部(Secretly Society)注意到直接對消費者的銷售有所增加。(Secretary Society)美國營銷總監（Hannah Carlen）表示，增長速度很明顯的超出預期。到秋天，訂閱量增加了一倍以上。
◎（Hannah Carlen）認為，訂閱量的增加是全球封鎖的結果，對某些人來說，這是沒有現場音樂表演的產物，希望這些人成為終身的黑膠購買者。為幫助鼓勵新的黑膠發燒友，(Secretly Society)在2020年初進行升級，以提供為期一年的訂閱（美國客戶每年200美元，國際用戶每年300美元），以及三個月和六個月的訂閱。儘管忍不住想知道黑膠唱片市場將如何應對現場音樂的回歸，但（Hannah Carlen）有信心將繼續增長。
Shortly after the coronavirus forced widespread lockdowns in March, Secretly Group’s monthly record club, Secretly Society, noticed an uptick in direct-to-consumer sales.
“As we got deeper into the spring, it became clear this was A: growing faster than I anticipated and B: growing more durably than I anticipated,” says Hannah Carlen, Secretly Society’s U.S. marketing director. By the fall, subscriptions had more than doubled.
Longtime record-of-the-month club Vinyl Me, Please has had a similar spike, reporting a 108% increase averaged between subscriptions and e-commerce since April, while Discogs recently reported its best six-month period to date. Overall, according to the RIAA’s 2020 midyear report, vinyl sales outpaced CD revenue for the first time in nearly 40 years; plus, despite the pandemic’s impact on physical retail, vinyl accounted for 62% of physical sales, up 46% from the midpoint of 2019.
Carlen believes the increase in subscriptions is a result of global lockdowns, perhaps replacing what fans would have spent on concerts. “This is another way of articulating that fandom and that enthusiasm,” she says. “I think for some people, this is a holdover in the absence of live music — and hopefully, those people become lifelong vinyl buyers.” To help encourage new vinyl enthusiasts, Secretly Society upgraded its model earlier in 2020 to offer a yearlong subscription (at $200 annually for U.S. customers and $300 annually for international subscribers), in addition to subscriptions for three and six months.
When the club announced its exclusive Bright Eyes pressing — the only multicolor version of the band’s August release, Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was — Carlen says its club numbers “went way up.” Secretly Society also offered a midtier bundle that included merchandise and a “super-deluxe bundle” with multiple formats and a registered celestial star for each buyer. Even after the three-month window of subscriptions that title would have generated, she has found retention rates to be holding steady — a positive indicator of what may come post-pandemic.
And though Carlen can’t help but wonder how the vinyl market will react to live music’s return, she’s confident growth will continue. “It has felt more a part of [an album] campaign than ever before,” she says, “and I don’t think that’s going anywhere.”