I talked about vinyl records here back in March so with year end music sales figures just released this seems like a good excuse to revive that piece. I’ve been releasing vinyl records since 1995 when my first 12 inch single crawled onto London’s house music scene. To see that same medium still making waves thirteen years later is encouraging news in an age when music as a medium has become fast food.
For all its convenience, flipping through the 10,000 tracks crammed onto my iPod has given me the attention span of a common house fly. When I was buying vinyl it was more of an event, you read the sleeve, you held it up and admired it, hell, you even read the label and the etch scratched on the run out groove by the mastering engineer. My first vinyl single was mastered at London’s Abbey Road studios, my last one in 2005 was done on a laptop in a home studio set up. You can’t stand in the way of technology.
Ironically one of my old tracks was recently signed by underground house label Suesse Records and in all likelihood the new remixes will be issued as high bitrate MP3’s and will be found at download stores like Beatport and TrackitDown instead of on the shelves of one of those fast diminishing underground DJ vinyl stores that used to pack London’s Westend.
Figures released by Soundscan reveal that 1.88 million vinyl albums were purchased in the USA, more than in any other year since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking LP sales in 1991. That was an increase of 89%. The previous record was in 2000, when 1.5 million LP albums were sold. More than two out of every three vinyl albums bought in 2008 were purchased at an independent music store.
Industry observers say vinyl record sales have skyrocketed because new buyers are discovering the value of owning albums, with their cover art, large liner notes and warm sound. According to Computer World who spoke to one of the few vinyl pressing plants left in the US, Rainbo, they’d doubled vinyl production from 2006 to 2007 and more than doubled record output this past year.
How To Press Up A Vinyl Single……. (Buzzsonic.com)
Back To The Future:Vinyl Record Sales Double In ’08, CDs Down (ComputerWorld.com)
Web Music Sales Up, Album Sales Plummet (P2Pnet.net)
2008 U.S. Music Purchases Exceed 1.5 Billion; Growth in Overall Music Purchases Exceeds 10% (MarketWatch.com)
Coalition Of Independent Music Stores (Cimsmusic.com)
Almighty Institute of Retail (AlmightyRetail.com)