Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Vinyl sales up 101% in UK

According to an article in this morning's Metro (a free London-based newspaper, for all overseas readers), the British Phonographic Industry's sales figures for the last year revealed that vinyl is having something of a resurgence. So much for being a dead format.

I suppose the statistic of 101% growth is slightly misleading, given how the number of vinyl albums sold had been steadily dropping over the past decade, due to the success of other formats (CD, downloads). Apparently it's the younger music fans who are driving this change, possibly because of the unique nature of vinyl records now that everyone uses CDs, and it's not unusual to see DJs still using LPs for live shows: Serato be damned. I even met someone in London who DJs contemporary indie / rock sets using 45 RPM singles, so there is a kitsch factor in the mix..

I understand the reason why people want a physical copy when it comes to music, but I still think the question of superior fidelity is debatable. I would also wager that the higher cost of a vinyl LP also accounts for the added value of this format, thought it's interesting to see that 7.4 billion tracks were streamed in the UK last year - roughly double that of 2012. On the one hand, people are still making physical sales of music but are being more selective in their choices, whilst others are eschewing ownership completely.

I still haven't bought Spotify: Soundcloud keeps me busy enough!