Vinyl Is Cool, But …

"Vinyl Love," © 2009 Kyle Saric, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license.

“Vinyl Love,” © 2009 Kyle Saric, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license.

That seems to be the sentiment for most people in the music business. Yes, vinyl sales are going up, but no, it’s still not a huge part of where the money is coming from.

Rolling Stone recently reported on this trend, saying:

“This sentiment of ‘we love vinyl but . . . ‘ is common among top record executives. ‘We welcome it. It’s a sexy, cool product. It represents an investment in music that’s an emotional one,’ says Tom Corson, president of Sony-owned RCA Records, home of Usher, Justin Timberlake and Sia. ‘It is a small percentage of our business. It’s not going to make or break our year. We devote the right amount of resources to it, but it’s not something where we have a department for it.'”

Jim has also talked about the growing popularity of vinyl, and he agrees that it’s not going to “save” the music industry. If anything, it just shows how important live music and creating an experience are for the success of musicians. As he said in an earlier post:

“If it’s true that people are buying albums for such reasons as sound quality, the souvenir value of the packaging, the liner notes in larger print, or to help support the artist, you can in fact be sure that the market share of vinyl will stay in the low to mid-single digits. In the mass market, those reasons just won’t trump convenience and price.

That doesn’t mean that this can’t be a very meaningful niche market. I think it probably can. But the simple fact that so many different cultural and economic factors have to come together to get a very small portion of the music-consuming public to buy these albums reinforces the reality that, at its core, recorded music, unlike live music, has dropped in value to the point where it’s a struggle to sell it at all.”

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