This Saturday we’ll join millions around the world in celebrating Record Store Day. Even as the explosion of streaming supercharges the music industry and changes how we listen, we need these physical hubs of cultural discovery more than ever.

 

Where would we be without the record store? For the non-vinyl enthusiast, it’s easy shrug at the question and switch to the next distraction. But even if you’ve never set foot in a record store, these institutions have undoubtedly impacted your listening. It’s from the depths of record store crates that DJs and hip-hop producers have unearthed the samples used on now-iconic tracks. And regardless of genre, it was in these shops that your favorite artists first discovered their biggest influences.

Make no mistake about it: Streaming is the future. We bet on that early, and the music industry is now growing again thanks to digital music services. Few are reaping the rewards of this streaming revolution as much as Sonos users are: With over 80 music services on our platform, there’s no easier way to access nearly all of the world’s music in one place.

As amazing as this boundless virtual record store is, nothing can replace the real thing. Long before algorithms figured out how to map our musical tastes and generate digital mixtapes, there was the brain of the clerk behind the counter. If you like that, you’ll also like this. No complex math required.

Then there’s the vinyl format itself. Some love it for the warm, pristine sound quality or the nostalgic crackling of the needle gliding through grooves. Others enjoy the tactile experience of opening a record, laying it on the turntable and focusing on just one thing—the sonic equivalent of putting down your phone and cracking open a paper book. Plus, as DJ and record producer Dan the Automator pointed out when we chatted with him recently, there’s just something special about a record’s 12-inch cover art that gets lost when you shrink it to fit on a phone screen.

It’s no wonder that vinyl sales have been growing steadily each year for the last decade, even as streaming has exploded in popularity. Every April, people around the globe flock to support their local independent record shops on Record Store Day and snatch up the latest exclusive releases and whatever other gems they may find.

Like many of you, Sonos will be celebrating Record Store Day this weekend, hosting several listening sessions and events at our flagship stores and cultural spaces around the world, including a record swap hosted by Dust & Grooves at our New York City store, a Rough Trade pop-up store at Sonos Home Paris, a Vinyl Stories event with Talib Kewli and DJ Natasha Diggs in New York and another with with DJ Nomad at our new Berlin store—just to name a few. Last week, visitors to our stores in London and New York learned about NASA’s Voyager Golden Record at events celebrating the 40-year-old record as it gets released on Earth for the first time.

We’re also marking the occasion with an exclusive turntable speaker set that includes a Play:5 and Pro-Ject Essential III Phono turntable, initially available in the United States at our New York store and on Sonos.com.

We hope you’ll join us at our store and attend an event if you can make it. At the very least, we hope you’ll go out and support your local independent record store—because the music you love simply would not sound the same without them.

Want to listen to vinyl on Sonos?

It’s easy. Hook up your turntable to the Sonos sound system and listen to your Record Store Day finds the way they were meant to be heard. In any room—or every room. Learn how here.

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