Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Last year was crap financially, as was this last holiday season. Retail stores bitched and moaned about their losses, people were laid off… the recession continued. One indie music retailer, however, has somehow managed to increase their sales. remains a glimmer of hope in the current dire state of retail woes. A whopping 91% increase was reported for the month of December in 2008, as opposed to the same month in '07. Much like other retailers, their vinyl sales soared 130% in 2008.

Recession be damned! Indie rockers need their sustenance! (BTW has a free digital mixtape available now AND a post holiday sale. Can't beat that with a stick!)

Insound Sees a New Kind of Music Retailing Emerge This Holiday Season

For the better part of the last decade, Insound, the premier online indie store, had heard countless gloomy forecasts for music retailers. Although combined in 2008 with a weak economic environment, Insound’s surprising optimism proved well-founded as it enjoyed a 91% increase in total transactions in December 2008 when compared to the same month the previous year.

The marked growth was driven by dramatic up-ticks in vinyl, band merch and music gift and accessory sales. Insound is not a CD store or a digital store. While they sell music in both aforementioned formats, they excel in products that the most avid music fans desire — vinyl, band merch, gig posters, turntables, music related art-books, etc.

Insound’s success echoes recent Nielson reports indicating a significant increase in the number of music related sales in 2008, despite a distinct decline in CD sales. Aside from digital track sales, this trend is most prevalent in vinyl; Insound’s vinyl sales showed a staggering 130% increase in 2008, contributing to the national increase of 89% in vinyl sales reported by Nielson. Insound’s sales were spurred by its forward-thinking “LP +MP3” program, in which customers who buy select LP titles receive the MP3s of the album’s MP3s for free, immediately with purchase. “LP+MP3” includes nearly 500 titles from labels such as Sub Pop, Saddle Creek and Beggars.

While vinyl accounted for over 40% of Insound’s sales this past December, band t-shirts and posters accounted for over 15% of business. Insound works with leading indie labels and silk-screen studios to aggregate the best designed band merch in the market. Similarly, Insound’s selection of turntables, music books and well designed audio accessories reflect a new approach to music retailing that is driven neither by CDs or by MP3s.

In line with this approach, Insound recently announced a series of Pre-Order Product Bundles, that connect digital music to band merch. For the same cost of a t-shirt, each pre-order delivers customers an exclusive t-shirt designed by a renowned design studio and a digital download of an entire album (both of which ship on the album’s release date). The series kicks off with A.C. Newman’s album Get Guilty (Matador) with a t-shirt designed by Sydney Vermont. Future offerings include Beirut, designed by Delicious Design League, Handsome Furs, designed Andy Dixon, and The Thermals, designed by Bwana Spoons. Learn more here.

To learn more about Insound’s “LP+MP3” program, visit:

To learn more about the Insound 20, visit:

“The go-to for all things indie rock” — NPR’s “All Things Considered"

“A megastore for hipsters, Insound makes it simple to explore the newest indie boomlet.” — Entertainment Weekly, “25 Best Music Websites”