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It's Just Business

Vinyl Sales Are Way Up, But Will It Save The Music Industry? (No!)

Posted by on September 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Whole Amazon.com might be selling a metric ton of vinyl per year (and increasing), the music industry is still sporting a huge frown. Apparently the physical medium is dying way more than we thought it was… for now.

745% sounds like a ridiculously massive number, doesn't it? Well it's really not all that great. According to The Verge:

"Amazon's reported growth in vinyl sales is consistent with an industrywide trend. Nielsen SoundScan estimates that vinyl unit sales will grow to 5.5 million in 2013."

And:

"Download sales are soft and the CD is headed for obscurity. Most in the music industry say what's hurting downloads is the rise of subscription music services, such as Spotify and Rdio, and web radio services like Pandora. Unlike a growing number of competitors in the online music area, Amazon hasn't branched into subscription or web radio in any significant way."

Still, I think vinyl could be a big part of helping a physical medium stay alive despite the numbers being pretty terrible. In five years the sales of vinyl is over septupling, which is great. Vinyl affords collectors what CDs don't- a big ass piece of artwork and lots of pretty stuff to look at along with a giant medium that they can hold with both hands and collect. It's not the same as CDs; of course they're headed for obscurity. In my experience, CDs are something I'm holding in one hand next to my pocket across the shop toward the counter- vinyl I'm really carrying with a sense of pride and happiness toward the register. It's something that adorns my living space and it's just… better. It's not surprise vinyl is keeping up, and with all the limited edition records bands have released over the past few years, I hope it only continues to grow.

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