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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The recent turntable thread got me to thinking, "Hey, how good are vinyl record sales REALLY doing right now?".

Turns out, better than I thought. As of 2016 they're back up to about 6% of total music industry revenue, and sales for vinyl are higher than they've been since 1988.

Still don't think streaming and downloads are going to wake up in a cold sweat or anything – at least in most markets – but it is pretty amazing nonetheless.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...santa-for-a-turntable/?utm_term=.468599374f1c


 

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Yep.....Funny how it works...I go to the bookstore and they are selling Kiss Destroyer in Vinyl?? We have a Vinyl Record store here now. Actually pretty cool since they, besides selling new/used vinyl, have CDs...and a good selection at that. I actually get to hold/feel what I am going to purchase. I love seeing the Vinyl Jackets again....some of the Jacket Art is just cool. Something really unsatisfying about purchasing digital music these days and I, for one, hope this Vinyl trend continues. CDs are still my preferred choice though...Thanks for the post!
 

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It was fun flipping through records . . . that soft, "thump" sound as you're fingers walked atop each jacket, teh smell of vinyl and dust; always a surprise as each new cover was revealed.
 

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The recent turntable thread got me to thinking, "Hey, how good are vinyl record sales REALLY doing right now?".

Turns out, better than I thought. As of 2016 they're back up to about 6% of total music industry revenue, and sales for vinyl are higher than they've been since 1988.

Still don't think streaming and downloads are going to wake up in a cold sweat or anything – at least in most markets – but it is pretty amazing nonetheless.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...santa-for-a-turntable/?utm_term=.468599374f1c


Vinyl went away not because it wasn't popular, but because it was pushed out by the record industry. They made more money on CDs. The final blow came when they stopped buying back unsold LP inventory from record stores. After that, stores only bought popular titles, which tilted the balance even more toward CDs.

Now LPs are making a comeback because the record companies can sell them for a premium.

It's a shame. I've always preferred the sound over digital.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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How close are vinyl sales to CD's? I didn't see it in the report. I do note that streaming was half of total sales so records are actually pretty big for whats left.

I do feel for the youngsters out there who only know music from horrible downloads and tiny little speakers. It seems that music quality has gone full circle back to the sound of the close and play 45's.
 

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Vinyl went away not because it wasn't popular, but because it was pushed out by the record industry. They made more money on CDs.
the way i remember it, it was demand, not supply, that pushed vinyl out of stores to make way for the necessary shelf space of the format customers were demanding, cassettes.

you could play cassettes anywhere, especially in your car, where a lot of hi-fi dollars were being spent. this was before cd's even caught on.
 

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Things change. Formats change. I have some 7" 45 rpm box sets inherited from my dad. Anybody want to hear the sound track to the movie Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick? I've got my share of prerecorded cassettes from the cassette era. Some of 'em in Dolby! I've got 78's, though I haven't had a player to play them on since the 1970's. I've got several 'welcome to stereo sound' lp's from the late 50's-early 60's that feature stuff like trains roaring by and tap dancers tapping. I have an early 1950's mono lp that welcomes us to the wonderful new world of hi-fi The lp features soundhorn-to-wax performances from the early 20th century matched up with performances newly recorded in New Orthophonic High Fidelity. Toscanini in the Teens vs. Toscanini in the Fifties.

I still don't have any hardware to play straight-on digital stuff. And yes, my best vinyl does sound better than my best CDs and SACDs. But the bug is biting me. And some of those CDs/SACDs sound extremely good, in any case.

Just as it is with most everything else, the skill and artistry of the maker is more important than the actual materials or tech.
 

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Yeah, and the record industry is making sure they make money from vinyl. New records cost like three times what a cd goes for these days. That's just robbery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, and the record industry is making sure they make money from vinyl. New records cost like three times what a cd goes for these days. That's just robbery.
There's some truth to that, but 'three times' seems like a stretch, at least on average. For instance, Led Zeppelin IV on vinyl from Target is $21, the CD is $14.50. The Beatles' Let It Be, $19 and $13, respectively.

I think it's more difficult/costs more to press a good-quality record than to make a CD. And inflation-adjusted, vinyl prices on the 'sane side of the street' are about what they were in the '80s.

But you're right, there's also an 'insane side of the street' too. There are prices on some vinyl ($35-40) that are pretty laughable. As with anything cool, there's going to be a certain # of greed-heads out there wishing to exploit it. All you can do is 'just say no' to them, and maybe with poor sales they'll catch the clue on pricing.

But the bottom line for me is, if my system can make a record sound quite a lot better than a CD, then I don't really want or need the CD. The buying/owning experience also seems better... the large artwork, the look, the feel. You hold vinyl in your hands, and it's like, Hey, I got something here.

Others' mileage may vary.
 

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Led Zeppelin IV on vinyl from Target is $21, the CD is $14.50. The Beatles' Let It Be, $19 and $13...
i had the fourth zeppelin album on vinyl. it had a gatefold. let it be is probably normal packaging.
 

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So I found this site, mainly a place for new artists/emerging musicians, kinda interesting.
Music Promotion For Independent Musicians | Disc Makers Blog
They will make you 200 vinyl records, with all the packaging, sleeve, wrap, etc - soup to nuts - for 1700. shipped. That's $8.50 / record - *cost*.
So vinyl does have inherently higher costs than digital, there is literally more material involved. And btw, it weighs more, so costs more to ship in volume.

On the same site, they have a really good history of vinyl sales, and talk about the resurgence of records. The club scene, it turns out, kept the few records plants that were left alive after the 80's. Underground club DJ's who play LPs exclusively, for dance music, spawned a new genre of vinyl music artists and buyers.
 

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I still have most of my the records I bought in the 80s and early 90s. I've noticed a lot of my old and somewhat rare punk rock stuff is worth a decent amount of money now. I recently bought a cool U-turn turntable. But I still don't play them. I like Spotify.

I'll probably sell most of the collection in a few years and keep a few, maybe frame them for the wall or something. Love a lot of the old artwork.
 

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Here is the article reference ^ above on vinyl sales history.
The vinyl record revival is good news for indie artists

They compress the entire history very well -
"The 33 1/3 RPM album became the dominant release medium in the late 1960s and ’70s, as American record buyers moved from 45 RPM singles to albums. Fans anxiously awaited not only the latest music from their favorite artists, but the album package itself, which became a palette that artists used to express themselves in a seemingly endless procession of funny, shocking, thought provoking or elegant pieces of artwork.Cassette albums and singles took off in the 1980s, which replaced the older, clunky 8-track cartridges in cars and allowed fans to make their own custom tape compilations. When the CD was introduced to consumers in 1982, the digital age of music was upon us and record labels saw the CD as the ultimate profit-maker as fans started to replace their aging and scratchy vinyl with the nearly indestructible compact disc. Record stores rightly were concerned that carrying vinyl, cassettes, and CDs on each title would require new fixtures and much more real estate. So labels and retailers rapidly phased out vinyl albums in favor of CDs. Soon after, by the mid-90s, cassettes were phased out too, leaving the more profitable CD as the primary record release medium for the music business from the late 1980s until the advent of the iTunes store in 2003."
 

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Then on to today
"DJs used vinyl as the basis for their art form. In fact, the thriving underground club culture, which consistently supported a small but loyal market for 12” vinyl releases, is what kept the few surviving vinyl pressing plants alive through the 1990s and into the new millennium.So-called house music, which grew out of DIY dance parties held in warehouses in Chicago, Detroit, and New York, relied on vinyl as the optimum format for creating live sets. The term “cratedigger” refers to DJs with massive vinyl collections built up by scouring thrift shops and used record stores searching through hundreds of crates, bins, and boxes to find obscure albums that contained music suitable for their performances."

"In 2006, a strong uptick in vinyl sales was noted, largely spurred by millennials, to whom the LP was actually a “new format.” The combination of the 12” sleeve and its artwork, with the realization of the warmer, richer sounds emanating from the turntable when compared to an MP3, created a loyal following of vinyl lovers that has been steadily growing.
According to Slate.com senior technology writer Will Oremus, “Many prefer [vinyl], whether for the sound quality, the nostalgic appeal, or simply the beauty of a vinyl record as a design object. Within the music industry, vinyl’s renaissance is also tied to notions of ‘the album’ as a cohesive artistic statement, usually by an actual band.”
The tangible album spinning on a turntable has a coolness factor that blows away MP3s, while liner notes, colored vinyl, and the delicate sound of the needle hitting the run-in groove are once again becoming anticipated experiences for vinyl fans young and old."


 

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Cool and a bit saddened by some of those graphs/charts. Cassettes? I found some at a pawn shop a week ago but I no longer have anything to play them on...A video vaguely associated with the glory days of CD shopping...
 

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Inherited my uncle's vinyl collection as a teenager (he left all his records at my grandparents' house, and they told me to just take it.) He had great taste- lots of Beatles. I loved it.

Stored the records at my father's house, which got flooded by Hurricane Sandy. Really miss the art and the lyrics, but at least I can still enjoy the music online.

Also miss my 45s collection. Got a lot of those on sale at a pizza place that was converting its jukeboxes to CDs or something, back in the eighties. They were like 25 cents each or so. Those were fun too, though not valuable.
 

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Still don't think streaming and downloads are going to wake up in a cold sweat or anything – at least in most markets – but it is pretty amazing nonetheless.
It doesn't hurt that they often package the digital download and/or a cd with the vinyl. I haven't bit, because I don't have a record player any more... but I've considered paying a few bucks more for the package in order to gift a copy to one of my hipster friends.

I honestly don't hear the difference in a meaningful way... and I'm a snob about analog over digital synths and tube amps over solid state. Record scracthiness cancels out any benefit of warmth imho.
 

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