Kniteforce Distribution: All You need To Know (Blog 1 of 3)
Welcome to blog one of three...there will be another tomorrow talking about Acen and his Monolith Box Set, and then one on Wednesday revealing one of our major headliners for Knite Club. So its a busy and exciting week.
With that in mind, I am gonna jump right in and talk about distribution.
First up, our whole scene was somewhat rocked by the news last week that Unearthed Distribution is calling it a day, and closing up shop.
This is very sad news because Unearthed did a terrific job of selling our music worldwide. For me, and for many of the other labels in our scene, it feels like we have lost a business partner, a resource, and some very good friends as well.
The reasons for their closure are ones we have all felt - but in a nutshell, Covid, then Brexit, then the Cost Of Living Crisis have led to difficulties in selling vinyl records. Combined, the latest hit was one hit too many for Unearthed.
Like most labels, Kniteforce is build upon direct sales via our own website and Bandcamp - thats our bread and butter and how the label survives. We absolutely rely on you who are reading this buying directly from us, in other words, and we are deeply grateful for your support.
But the distribution part, where records are sold to stores worldwide to sell to customers? That was handled by Unearthed, and while it usually isn't the main part of the business for Kniteforce and other labels in our scene, it was still an important part. To survive nowadays, you need every sale in every country you can get.
For most small labels in our scene, it was already very hard to find decent distribution. Partly this is because there are a lot of labels, and partly this is because what distribution there is is also spread thin. Just like record labels, distributers have to try and get sales in every way possible to survive. And for them, that means selling every genre they can.
That is to say that Unearthed covered every type of electronic and dance music, and was considered quite specialist. Most sell everything from disco to techno to rock. They worked hard to sell our music, but their concerns were spread to many other styles too.
Basically, circumstances have dictated that there has not been a distributor that is dedicated to our small slice of the overall music in a long time. Unearthed was the closest we got, and they did really well...but...this is the world now.
Because of how many releases we put out, and the variety of labels Kniteforce looks after, we were already considering doing our own distribution later in 2023 anyway. My experience in this industry always seems to lead to the same conclusion: If I want it done the way I would want it done, then I have to do it lol. Which means I had plans in place, but they were more theory than practice.
So while I was very sad to see Unearthed closing up, it seemed like now was as good a time as any to do it and the plans went from theory, to "lets do this" within the sapce of about...err...3 days.
KNITE FORCE DISTRIBUTION
I have invited my friends in the industry to join me in this venture! Many have already comitted to it, and more are sure to follow. Together, we intend to build a distribution service that is designed specifically for our scene, and caters to the best within our scene. So far, we will be distributing:
Just Another Label
Second Drop Recordings
Out Of Romford
and very shortly:
We have already started distributing our own labels. Our web portal for stores and labels will be up within 2-4 weeks. We are just getting started, and its a lot of work, but it is already working.
So if you are a store looking to stock our products, or a label looking for distribution for your music, get in touch via the link above, and we will see what we can do for you.
Some of you are reading this and thinking "ok, fine but how does this effect me?". Well, if you are a customer at our store or on our Bandcamp page, it wont effect you too much, and after a month or two of chaos, it should actually be a positive thing. Many of the records from outside our label that we stocked were purchased from Unearthed. So that is obviously not going to happen anymore. But on the other hand, as more labels join us for distribution, the Kniteforce store will have a greater variety. That has already started with the welcome addition of Paranoid Recordings. Each week we will no doubt be adding more. It's just gonna be a little weird for a while.
If you usually buy from your local store, or outside of the UK, then its gonna be tougher. Until we are up and running with everything, you would be better off buying directly. I know it will cost more for postage, but right this second, I cannot say when stores such as Deejay in Germany (for example) will have the latest releases. I hope soon. But, yeah. I dont know yet.
So thats where we are. Its gonna be a crazy few weeks - last week was a lot of long days and late nights making space for extra stock and setting up the distribution company. But at the end of it, we will have a superb distribution service dedicated to our music and scene above all else.
And thats the end of this exciting blog! More tomorrow....