Sunday, May 15, 2011

Forget Digital Music–Vinyl Records Are Back!

Nielsen reported vinyl record sales are up in 2011 by 37% versus last year. While this segment is less than 2% of total music sales, the buzz around this throwback format is heating up. The genre is mostly rock & roll which makes up 90% of these vinyl sales. Consumers are likely baby boomers who are heavily vested in music collections.


Music aficionados say you can hear the difference in sound and that vinyl is better than CD or digital files. On paper this would be hard to believe since you are converting a high end digitally made file and pressing it onto a piece of plastic that will be read by a needle. Certainly it is better than the vinyl pressed 30 years ago, since the original recordings are now digital rather than lower quality tape masters. The recording equipment used today is far more advanced as well.

Vinyl record growth is all about a better overall experience. Older music lovers grew up falling in love with rock & roll through vinyl records. Many remember buying a new album, removing the cellophane wrapper and opening a full visual package along with the record itself. Once on the turntable they would take in the liner notes, the artistry and pictures. It was all set to the music of the artist who would whisk us away in a multi-sensory experience. Records were replaced by new formats, each smaller than the previous where liner notes offered very little experience due to their size and lack of artistry and excitement. Imbedded video tried to replace the experience, but again, viewing it on a tiny file storage device has the same issues.

The list of top selling vinyl records last year shows that top sellers go back to the early days of rock & roll



1. The Beatles, Abbey Road (35,000)
2. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs (18,800)
3. The Black Keys, Brothers (18,400)
4. Vampire Weekend, Contra (15,000)
5. Michael Jackson, Thriller (14,200)
6. The National, High Violet (13,600)
7. Beach House, Teen Dream (13,000)
8. Jimi Hendrix Experience, Valleys of Neptune (11,400)
9. Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon (10,600)
10. The xx, The xx (10,200)

Source: Nielsen Soundscan

Digital music is here to stay and so, it seems, is vinyl. The lesson for the music industry is about consumer experience. Music lovers will pay top dollar for a great experience which is something the heavily pirated digital music industry should try harder to deliver.

Article first published as Forget Digital Music - Vinyl Records Are Back on Technorati.

1 comment:

nishant kumar bhakta said...

It's good to know that. I hope it will increase in future as well as possible....
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