Thursday, September 01, 2011

Vinyl is making a comeback! #255

The Economist ran a few stories recently on the music industry - one of which was picked up in last Friday's NZ Herald business section. That story was called Spotting The Pirates, and looked at illegal downloading and media investment.

The 2nd story, Back To Black, observed the usual rise is vinyl sales, rattling off the numbers and so on. This number is worth having a look at tho... "In Spain sales have risen from 16,000 in 2005 to 104,000 in 2010. That is an increase from a tiny base, but any rise in media sales in Spain’s ravaged market is noteworthy."

So, how is Spain's market ravaged? "Last year IDC, a research firm, found that 92% of 16- to 24-year-old internet users (and fully 70% of 45- to 55-year-olds) in Spain admitted to using peer-to-peer networks. Music sales have collapsed. In 2010 barely 10m CDs were sold in the country—down from 71m in 2001. Digital sales are puny, too. “You can have a number-one album in Spain with 3,000 sales,” notes David Kassler, who manages EMI’s operations in Europe." Source
The story also notes that the rise in vinyl started in the late 1990s with a surge of interest in dance vinyl from teens, but that crowd has now replaced that with laptops and memory sticks (this peculiar line of thought is commonly called "Blame Serato"). The latest vinyl wave, The Economist suggests, is driven by rock music.

"Chris Muratore of Nielsen, a research firm, says a little over half the top-selling vinyl albums in America this year have been releases by indie bands such as Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes. Last year’s bestselling new vinyl album was “The Suburbs” by Arcade Fire. Most of the other records sold are reissues of classic albums. Those idiosyncratic baby-boomers who were persuaded to trade in their LPs for CDs 20 years ago are now being told to buy records once again."

The notion that you can tell baby boomers what to do is hilarious. Anyways...

"Many vinyl records come with codes for downloading the album from the internet, making them more convenient than CDs. And fans like having something large and heavy to hold in their hands. Some think that half the records sold are not actually played."

Some think that Elvis is still alive too. 

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