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The Second Coming


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The resurrection of vinyl surprisingly started November 2013. The resurrection was powered by the release of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories and classic rock reissued vinyl sales. Sales exploded that November according to Amoeba’s general manager, Rick Sanchez. Sanchez said, “It’s just continued since – it’s substantial, a really heavy spike, having a record in your hand is just way cooler than having a file in your iPod.” Around that time total sales soared 51% to 9.2 million. Vinyl now comprises 67% of total physical album sales. Indie rock and classic rock are the two best selling genres in the vinyl market. In record stores across the country vinyl selections are growing and taking over majority of the floor space. Even big box retailers, like Target, Urban Outfitters, Whole Foods, and Barnes and Nobel are selling vinyl. In 2014 digital album sales declined 9.5%, while vinyl sales showed a growth of 52%. In the last ten years we started to see a steadily decrease of sales in both CDs and digital downloads. However, vinyl sales have been on the rise and skyrocketed since.

Music consumers 35 years old and under make up 44% of overall music sales, but when it comes to vinyl the same age group accounts for 72% of all vinyl sales according to MusicWatch. Why does vinyl appeal to this age group and why do they consume more vinyl then any other age group? The top speculated reasons are that some consumers believe that vinyl just sounds better and consumers crave to collect physical and tangible products in a time when others move towards the cloud. Listening to vinyl takes more effort and makes the consumer focus more in their listening habits, instead of using music as background noise. Everybody wants to know if vinyl is a passing fad or a format that will stand the test of time. I believe that vinyl is not a fad, it is a preference that speaks to the serious music consumer. Vinyl artwork and exclusivity, along with creative marketing strategies appeal to these faithful consumers.

Record Store Day has helped promote and market vinyl with exclusive releases and limited units to drive sales.   Jack White whom had the number one selling vinyl album of 2014, Lazaretto, selling $1.3 million. He knows the power of vinyl in the marketplace. White adds his creative approach and does exclusive promotions, like, 2 hidden tracks under the center labels and holograms etched into the disc. He harnesses the spirit of Record Store Day throughout the year. Hence why White had the top vinyl sales in 2014. Michael Kurtz, the co-founder of Record Store Day said, “Once music fans adapt to vinyl, we find they buy two to three times as many albums as they used to. After all these years and different formats, vinyl is here to stay.



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Reader Comments (1)

No question vinyl is here to stay, especially given the bad rap CDs are getting. I was a late adopter when the labels decided to phase out LPs and begin the most lucrative sales period ever, fueled by a combination of far greater profit margins and an audience willing to replace their LP collections with far more expensive CDs.

What the vinyl numbers aren't reflecting is an enormous market of used albums being sold. Unfortunately, none of that revenue is being shared with the creators.

March 28 | Unregistered CommenterWill Buckley

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