Friday, November 9, 2007

Vinyl sales skyrocket as CD sales plummet

Both youths and adults contribute to boost

Even though CD sales are on the decline, the old medium of vinyl is on the rise.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, who represents more than 90 percent of retail music product sales in the U.S., vinyl sales have risen from 640,000 in 2006 to 782,000 in 2007, while CD sales have dropped from 416.5 million in 2006 to 338.3 million in 2007.

Virgil Dickerson, owner of Vinyl Collective and Suburban Home Records, said he has seen an increase in sales through Vinyl Collective.

Miguel Milano, The Compact Disc Store employee, said the store has been selling more vinyl, and their supply has grown tremendously during the past few years.

"I think there's more appreciation [for vinyl]," he said. "The format has definitely stood the test of time."

While Milano said The Compact Disc Store has been known for its vast collection of used vinyl, younger kids are coming in to buy newer pressings by contemporary artists.

Milano said he sees children come in with their parents to flip through their used collections. He said college kids usually buy the newer vinyls, but used records are popular with young and old alike.

"We don't carry anything too out there," he said. "But it's cool to see kids buying old jazz and soul records."

Jermaine Butler, international studies sophomore, said he started collecting vinyl just a few years ago. Mono's You Are There was the first record he ever bought after seeing the band at the Spanish Moon. Butler said he had to own the sound he had just heard on the vinyl medium of music.

He said his neighbor was always into records, and another friend sold him his first record player, well after Butler already owned a few records.

Butler said he enjoys the artwork of vinyl records as well as the sound. He doesn't enjoy the digital sound of music today.

"I really didn't like the digital overtone [of my iPod]," he said. "[Vinyl] is the way music should sound."

Butler said the previous record he bought was cheaper than a CD, and it came with a digital download.

Dickerson said his record company is embracing the sale of vinyl packaged with a digital release.

The Playing Favorites, one of Suburban Home Record's newest bands, is releasing its vinyl and CD formats for pre-order this month. Dickerson said along with the pre-order, fans will receive a digital download of the album two weeks before the release.

Merge Records, Saddle Creek Records and Sub-Pop Records have practiced this trend for years with their vinyl releases, Dickerson said.

Milano said he thinks the digital aspect is an added incentive, but he doesn't think it is why people buy vinyl. He said the incentive could still be a reason some consumers are riding the fence because he understands that consumers still want their music on the go.

Dickerson said there was a time when getting CDs was exciting, but the digital age is pushing them out.

Dickerson also appreciates the artwork and collectibility of vinyl. He loves the infolds and overall sound of the records. Beyond all of that, he said it's the fact that only about 100 people own the pressing.

"Vinyl puts the art back into music and allows bands to offer their fans their albums exactly how they had envisioned it," he said. "It gets fans excited and gives them something to be passionate about."

Source [
LSU Daily Reveille]

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