The rising sales of…vinyl?
While it is easy to blow a small newsworthy phenomenon out of proportion in a world where there are far more news outlets than significant stories, this seems to hold water in the tumultuous industry of sinking CD sales. Vinyl is not yet back, but fans are driving previously necessary small supplies out of stock.
Though the Compact Cassette was created in the early seventies, it was only until the Compact Disc was created and popularized in 1982 that vinyl (1948) sales began their steady decline. The expensive and sometimes awkward record can require a serious personal and financial investment, but this in turn creates a greater dedication on behalf of the buyer. This could be the reason why sales have always enjoyed a sold base of DJs, collectors and the aural-obsessive. Not only that, but simply the size and shelf-life of a 12-inch allows it to maintain a somewhat grand, or even antique, status.
In 2007, LP record sales doubled from three million to six million units (hitting an all-time low only a short time ago in 2006). Turntable sales increased as well over 80% from 2006 to 2007. Mike Allen, the vice president of international marketing, was quoted as saying, “There’s a reaction against the commoditization of music…with vinyl there’s something that has innate value — a physical object.” Metallica’s Death Magnetic was completely bought out of the recently-established and growing Amazon vinyl store. Not only that, but major acts like Van Morrison and U2 are re-releasing a few of their old albums. However, whether or not the groovy disc will break out of the ever-popular modern and weak determination of ‘the marketing tool’ is another story altogether.
Though vinyl is in no way retaining the crown it once held, simply an increase in sales has raised eyebrows around the industry – surprising, but less so after considering the benefits. People still seem to care about the physicality of artwork, analog sound quality and a DJ’s creativity.