Vinyl sales in 2016 were the highest in 25 years, outperforming digital sales. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the move toward streaming has meant that paying to download intangible files has lost its’ allure – why pay for such a file when you can stream it whenever and wherever you want anyway? And in many ways streaming has become a support system to vinyl. As a try before you buy-type mechanism, streaming allows you to fall in love with a record while vinyl allows you to commit to that record, purchase it, own it and fall in love with it all over again. Yes, there are all the arguments about sound quality (and whatever about the cd versus vinyl debate, the sound quality of most streams sucks compared to both) but, forgetting that, there is something about the artwork, shelves chock-a-block with records and simply possessing something which can change the way you feel within seconds. Clearly as a vinyl lover and accumulator, I am super-pleased about the return of vinyl and the fact that new generations are discovering it and getting as excited about it as I have done over the years.
In fact, this upturn in vinyl sales is representative of a music industry boom in general. Warners reported of their greatest profits in 8 years and streaming revenue in the US increased by more than half on 2015. Over the next few years, vinyl is expected to become a billion dollar industry again. These are positive signs for an industry which has been through testing times over the last decade or so. Hopefully, these upward swings will continue in 2027 and beyond, with vinyl at the heart of that resuscitation.
16 January 2017 Shane Galvin Blog artwork, billion dollar industry, intangible files, Music Industry Rude Health, new generations, record shelves, resuscitation of music industry., return of vinyl, sound quality, streaming, support system, try before you buy, Vinyl Growth in vinyl sales, vinyl lover, Warners