Vinyl Sales Are On The Rise Again – Here’s Why…
Almost 10 million vinyl albums have been sold so far during 2017. According to Nielsen Music, the information tracking & sales system, physical and digital sales of music have been facing a rapid decline due to the popularity of music streaming. In contrast, vinyl sales have risen by 3.1% during the past 12 months.
Chad Dahlstrom, the COO of online vinyl retailer Discogs, revealed his thoughts about the current market:
"What we're experiencing in the growth of contributors and submissions to the Discogs Database only echoes the thriving passion for music's physical formats. The Discogs Database mission will never lose focus on preserving physical releases in any format imaginable from every part of the world."
(Photo courtesy of The Industry Observer)
Over 2.13 million vinyl units of Ed Sheeran’s Divide have been sold, and yet digital sales on the decline. What could be causing this?
It has long been debated whether music streaming services such as Spotify help or harm musicians. After all, you have to get an extraordinary amount of plays just to earn the national living wage of the USA.
The ability to pay just $10 a month and have instant access to an almost infinite library of music is a thought that would’ve been unprecedented 20 years ago. Despite this amazing opportunity for listeners, it has had dramatic effects on the economics of the music industry.
No longer do people want to pay $2 for a single or $12 for an album. Why? Because they can receive thousands of albums to download “on the go.” The simple fact is that music is extremely accessible to almost anyone on the planet.
But music also is, however, very diverse. Bedroom producers, Soundcloud rappers, and many other groups of people within the music industry are now able to be heard because of the internet. Platforms such as Soundcloud & YouTube have enabled users to be able to distribute their content and monetize it, launching the careers of thousands of artists who in decades previously would never have escaped their at-home studio.
For better or worse, the the low cost access of music streaming has forced companies to adapt to the changing market. You only have to look at Apple Music to understand that iTunes was in major trouble when Spotify initially launched. Is the uptick in vinyl sales a last-ditch effort of high-snobciety music fans to get their hands on the last bit of exclusive music available? More likely, perhaps, it is merely a nostalgic remembrance of that amazing feeling to hold a vinyl record in your hand - knowing that it’s yours forever to keep.
That is something that simply cannot be achieved with digital streaming.