I’ve acquired more vinyl in the last twelve months than in the last twelve years combined. While while vinyl sales account for a tiny, tiny sliver of physical music sales these days, it’s still a bright spot on the industry’s ledgers. Only last week I paid £20 for a copy of Ethan Johns new ‘Elpee’ just so i could have something for him to sign!
Who would have guessed that the rotating disc–a technology that’s more than a hundred years old–would be the saviour of beleaguered record stores? Clubspot has this to say on the subject.
For the fourth consecutive year, Nielsen reports that more vinyl LPs were purchased than any other year since they began tracking sales in 1991. In 2011, vinyl albums accounted for 3.9 million in sales, exceeding the previous year’s record of 2.8 million LPs, for an increase of 36%. Nielsen even concedes that this number is probably higher because 67% of all vinyl albums were purchased at independent music stores, which often do not employ SoundScan.
In terms of the evolution of musical formats, from vinyl to eight-track to cassette to CD to iPod, this embracing of older technology is akin to favoring a horse-drawn buggy over a Ferrari. But it’s happening from the Bay Area to Brooklyn, and mere nostalgia cannot explain why.