Why do artists release multiple variants of their albums?

Billie Eilish blasted artists for this practice, then people pointed out that she released 12 variants of her ‘Happier Than Ever’ album in 2021.

One striking trend in the vinyl revival is the release of multiple album variants by musicians. Olivia Rodrigo, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish have all done it in recent years.

But Eilish isn’t too happy about it. She recently told Billboard thatthis trend is “irritating” and “wasteful.” Then, of course, people pointed out that she was guilty of this, though she used recycled material for the 12 variants of her 2021 album Happier Than Ever.

She said, “We live in this day and age where, for some reason, it’s very important to some artists to make all sorts of different vinyl and packaging … which ups the sales and ups the numbers and gets them more money and gets them more…”

“I can’t even express to you how wasteful it is. It is right in front of our faces and people are just getting away with it left and right, and I find it really frustrating as somebody who really goes out of my way to be sustainable and do the best that I can and try to involve everybody in my team in being sustainable — and then it’s some of the biggest artists in the world making f***ing 40 different vinyl packages that have a different unique thing just to get you to keep buying more.”

“It’s so wasteful, and it’s irritating to me that we’re still at a point where you care that much about your numbers and you care that much about making money — and it’s all your favorite artists doing that sh**,” she added.

Yesterday, she clarified that she wasn’t alluding to anyone in particular as Swifties came out with receipts of Olivia Rodrigo and Eilish herself selling more variants than Taylor Swift.

But why do artists do this? To make money, of course. Streaming services dominate the music industry and offer artists minimal compensation; vinyl sales, on the other hand, are a lucrative revenue stream, generating additional income.

But it’s not just about the money.

Fans crave unique and limited edition and by offering different colored vinyl, picture discs, or special packaging, artists create a sense of exclusivity and rarity around their releases. Collectors are often willing to pay a premium for these limited editions, driving excitement and demand for physical copies of the album.

It’s also an expression of the musician’s creativity as vinyl records provide them with a tangible medium to express their creativity beyond just the music itself.

The design of vinyl variants allows them to collaborate with visual artists, designers, and photographers to create stunning artwork and packaging that complements the music. Each variant can tell a different visual story or convey a specific mood, enhancing the overall listening experience for fans.

Scroll through TikTok and Instagram, and you’ll see fans excitedly discussing and comparing different variants, sharing photos of their collections, and participating in limited edition releases or pre-order campaigns. This interaction strengthens the bond between artists and their audience, turning the act of purchasing a vinyl record into a shared experience.

For significant album releases, such as 1989 Taylor’s Version, these editions feature bonus tracks, remixes, or remastered versions of the album, making them collectibles for fans who want to celebrate the albums—and their favorite musicians.

The new lifestyle.