So I dove into the data, and pulled this out:
While lagging well behind CDs and digital downloads, vinyl still has a consumer base. One in ten of our respondents say they made a vinyl purchase in the past year, with more activity coming from 18-34s rather than Boomers, the folks who grew up listening to LPs (and even 45s).
Nielsen SoundScan reports that vinyl sales increased 33% (1.8 million in 2008 to 2.5 million in 2009. While that is still a small percentage of all music sold (<1%), it’s a high water mark since this data has been tracked since ’91.
There has long been an appreciation of vinyl, especially among audiophiles, who unshakably feel that scratches and all, it is the superior format for music listening. It is also interesting to note that a few radio stations and DJs continue to celebrate vinyl – including The Sound in L.A. and WMMR, thanks to the enthusiasm of Pierre Robert.
In a blog post earlier this year, we also talked about some of the other advantages that vinyl offered – large album art, liner notes, and easy-to-read lyrics. And there is a simple fascination even for children to see an album spinning on a turntable – a way to see the music that you hear being played.
Some may disagree with me, but you truly haven’t lived unless you’ve cued up a record in a radio station control room. (Most DJs still have those occasional nightmares about the record running out and somehow there’s nothing cued up on TT2.)
And there is still something incredibly nostalgic and rich about visiting a truly great record store and experiencing the museum-like thrill of thumbing through bins of old albums. Given that younger people are discovering the virtues of vinyl, it speaks to the lasting value of music.
Thanks to KSWD’s Dave Beasing for the inspiration for this blog post.
Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend. JacoBlog will return on Tuesday, September 7.