Producer slams “hypocrisy” of artists who release physical records while championing “save the planet”

“Artists are awful for hypocritical bandwagonery,” says Robin Millar.

A woman browsing through a box of vinyl records.

Image: Lechatnoir / Getty

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Robin Millar, producer and co-founder of artist label Blue Raincoat Music, has argued that the vinyl revival is exposing the “hypocrisy” of artists who champion environmental causes.

In a new interview with Guardian, Millar says he’s “baffled that no large record company has had the backing of a big-selling artist to stop making physical records.”

The producer notes how CD and vinyl records are packaged with “chopped-down trees and plastic” and shipped to customers worldwide, saying “How can anybody stand up and say ‘save the planet’? Artists are awful for hypocritical bandwagonery.”

According to Millar – who claims he’s no “militant climate warrior”, the quality of digital songs are now comparable to vinyl. He also slams the pollution caused by the global touring of artists, saying shows can be screened online instead.

Earlier this year, it was reported that sales of vinyl records in the US have surged by over 20 per cent in the first half of 2023.

The report, generated by the Californian data analytics service, revealed that 23.6 million LPs were sold from January 2023 to June 2023, up from 2022’s 19.4 million sales.

Physical album sales overall also saw a notable rise of 13.3 per cent in 2023, with 41.5 million physical copies sold compared to 2022’s 36.7 million.

Demand aside, it’s unlikely that we’re seeing the end of physical record production and tours anytime soon as they’re often cited as the main source of income for musicians, who have long lamented the struggles of making a living from music streaming alone.

Berlin-based electronic composer Hainbach, for one, revealed last week that his 1 million Spotify streams have earned him a total of “$2160 a year or $180 per month”, a sum he reckons is enough to cover his utilities bill.

The artist also says going to a live show is “still the best way to support me and other artists”.

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