Goa-trance sales: an insight and overview

Suntrip Records - May 2016

There are always a lot of articles and comments online about the music industry. Mostly they are clear: music labels are dying, artists only get money via gigs/performances, the vinyl is back and the future is digital.
We, at Suntrip, thought it was about time to have a look what is true and what is not. What you see is a (partly) result of a huge job. We gathered ALL sales from all different media last 12 years and the result was an excel file with over 300.000 data! But ok, we managed to have results… And even surprising results! Have a look! (and make sure to read everything, because things are not always as they seem…)

1.) Total sales per year for Suntrip

So, 2016 was the best year for Suntrip sales in our history! Yihaaa! Or not? Well, depends on our view.
It is clear, we had a lot of sales in 2015, but this is caused mostly by the fact we started with a lot of special auctions on the Suntrip site. (with over 15 orders with our whole catalogue). These orders of old cds caused this result… Once you go to "new" releases you will see it is pretty sad (that graphic comes later).
Another thing, in 2016 at the moment we are at 55% of the sales of last year… So next year will have a much smaller graphic for sure.

But ok, let's not complain, we had a good amount of sales, that is cool!
As said, this is mostly because of our "backstock" (old cds). This is clearly viewable in the following graphic. Red are the sales of releases of the mentioned year (so, for 2015, that means all releases that were released in 2015), the dark green are sales of the year before (so for 2015, the dark green means the sales of all titles of 2014) and the light green means all the sales before that! (so for 2015, all sales of releases between 2004-2013)

So as you can see, "old" cds take a big part of our sales… is this because there is a new generation that keeps on finding new stuff between the old ones? Or do we have many customers only buying once every 2-3 years? We are not sure about this…

2.) Sales per release

But as said, there is no need for euphoria… Why? Simple: the cd is dying. Partly caused by the new culture. Cars and lap tops/computers only have a cd reader as an "extra option", even 70% of the djs end up downloading their stuff for free, while waving hands during the mix… But ok, let's go to the facts. Below you see the sales of our releases the first 3 months after release. Red is the cd, green is the amount of digital sales.

And we are afraid it is clear… Cd is selling only between 25-45% of 10 years ago the first 3 months… A dramatic change. So then you hope digital will take over? Well, not at all. We do have digital orders, but as you can see, the amount is much smaller as cds. Also, the revenue of digital items is much lower…

If you look at the sales the first year, it is clear some cds get a certain hype and sell better after a while… Still, this is 50% less as when we started in 2004

3.) Distribution

So, are we doomed as a label? Yes and no… The backstock keeps us alive, and also we invested a lot of effort into different kinds of distribution. Before Arabesque was the only place who would distribute our cds, now our music is available via many more platforms. This is one of the things that keeps us alive… People ordering directly from us! It gives us a better revenue and more returning customers! Our Suntrip shop is yellow… Clearly that is the big winner, while red… Arabesque, keeps on fading away.

4.) The digital age?

And in the end, to make clear Digital is not taking over at all… Have a look to the percentage of sales that are digital… It is about 20% of our total sales of our latest releases…


So, what now? Well, we are stubborn and old school music lovers, so we keep investing in cds… In the end it is a great thing for collectors, but we will also continue playing on the digital market… let's hope this will mean, we have a great future ahead as music label! :)

We thought it was nice to share this with all of you… To make everyone realise how the things go with the labels, and of course, to make it clear it is important people still support the artists directly via the labels! :)
If you want new music, please… pay for it. 5 cds a year = 50€… 1 tank if gasoline, 4 times to the theater, 2 big psy-trance parties, or even… 1 good meal with your parents! :)

- Anoebis, Suntrip Records -