Vinyl Record Sales Soaring

Here’s a headline I wouldn’t have predicted: Vinyl record sales double in ’08, CDs down. Of course the vinyl sales remain a niche market, increasing from what had dropped to a relatively low number. This is also not a true sign of old technology winning as the big winner in recent years has been MP3’s. Computerworld reports these numbers:

In 2008, 1.88 million vinyl albums were purchased, more than in any other year since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking LP sales in 1991. The previous record was in 2000, when 1.5 million LP albums were sold. More than two out of every three vinyl albums bought in 2008 were purchased at an independent music store, according to SoundScan.

Vinyl record sales rose 14% between 2006 and 2007, from 858,000 to 990,000. In contrast, CD sales plummeted over the past three years, from 553.4 million in 2006 to 360.6 million in 2008. MP3 sales grew from 32.6 million to 65.8 million during the same time period, according to SoundScan.

Industry observers say vinyl record sales have skyrocketed because new buyers are discovering the value of owning albums, with their cover art, large liner notes and warm sound.

“There’s nothing like a vinyl record. It’s analog. It sounds as close as you’re going to get to the artist. If you’re that guy who sits in that optimum space in your living room, you’re definitely going to hear the difference,” said Steven Sheldon, president of Los Angeles-based Rainbo Records.

“Now, with that said, 99% of the public listens to music as a background off of iPods and everything else,” he said. “That’s by far the worst sound quality, but it’s also the most convenient — and convenience sells.”

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