Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Vinyl is making a comeback #267

OK, take your pick:

1: Vinyl forecast to ebb after hitting 2017 high note (Financial Times)

Signs of mainstream consumer interest in physical records waning, says Deloitte

"... Deloitte ... predicts vinyl sales will grow at a double-digit rate in 2017 for the seventh consecutive year. The format, which attracts an average selling price of $20 a record, has become a lucrative growth segment within the broader recorded music industry and is expected to generate between $800m and $900m in revenue in 2017.

It could be on the cusp of becoming a billion dollar industry for the first time since the 1980s when related products, such as turntables, are factored in.

Vinyl should account for almost a fifth of the sales of physical music products in 2017 and around 7 per cent of the $15bn that the global music industry is expected to take.

Yet Paul Lee, head of technology, media and telecoms research at Deloitte, warned against over-exuberance for the vinyl format, which he argued had been inflated by nostalgia and its fashionable image.

“In 1981, over 1bn albums were sold. In 2017 it will be around 40m. This is not the resurgence that is portrayed. It is a blip,” he said.

Mr Lee noted that the signs had looked good at the start of 2016, with UK vinyl sales up 61 per cent in the first quarter and new albums from heritage artists including David Bowie and Leonard Cohen selling particularly well on the physical format.

However, a 6 per cent fall in sales in the US, the world’s largest music market, in the first half of 2016, to $207m from $220m the previous year was evidence that the analogue revival may be fading, he said.

He argued that while hardcore music fans would continue to splurge on expensive vinyl reissues and deluxe repressings, less dedicated consumers buying records could fall away over the coming years.

He cited a BBC poll that showed that almost half of the people that purchased a vinyl record had not played it within a month and that 7 per cent of them did not even own a turntable. "

2. Sales of vinyl reach 25-year high: Do you own these valuable records?
"... More than 3.2 million LPs were sold last year, a rise of 53 per cent on 2015 and the highest number since 1991, when Simply Red's Stars topped the best-selling charts for the year, reports The Guardian.

Vanessa Higgins, chief executive of Regent Street and Gold Bar Records and an independent label member of BPI Council, said the reasons for the rise were twofold: "Older people are going back to vinyl, but I also think the younger generation are discovering it in a way they weren't before," she said.

3: and a local one... Why vinyl records have made a comeback (NZ Herald)

"... The University of Auckland's Dr Karen Fernandez teamed up with Professor Michael Beverland, of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, to investigate vinyl's continuing allure.

After interviewing 25 vinyl collectors from New Zealand, the United States and the UK, it became clear to the researchers that much of vinyl's appeal was tied up with the fact that records are material objects that can be held and displayed....
....Fernandez remembered one particularly poignant story told by a young woman who took part in the study. When the woman was buying a record, the seller told her it had a scratch caused by his young son, who had since died.

"Every time the needle jumped, he would remember his son. So the woman took on being the keeper of this scratch, every time she heard it she'd remember the man's son. That's been at the back of my mind for years: the power of a concrete thing."

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