Fad or Explosion?: A closer look at Vinyl’s rising popularity
You’d think vinyl was dead? Not quite. Nor is its market as black and white as dead or alive.
Signs of life: the 52% leap of vinyl sales in 2014. A statistic seemingly convincing of a vinyl comeback for music sales. Managers and record labels, however, are pumping the brakes on that sentiment, perceiving the sudden jump as merely a fad. Last year’s explosion (or the explosion that wasn’t) left the US’s remaining 15 vinyl suppliers and pressing plants struggling to keep up with consumers’ overwhelming demand.
According to Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl sales compose 6 percent of overall album sales. While distributors will not be quick to close up shop at the few lingering record plants, industry professionals understand that vinyl’s future cannot be predicted based solely on last year’s staggering numbers.
Universal Music Distribution general manager Candace Berry calls it a “great marketing opportunity” and tells Rolling Stone growth should continue, but that exact projection remains unknown. “I know a lot of people in the business who’ve gotten back into vinyl the last couple years,” she says, “but I’m not sure they’re playing their vinyl every single day like they’re listening on their device.”
Industry leaders like Sony’s RCA Records president Tom Corson and Fall Out Boy co-manager Jonathan Daniel also understand that vinyl’s sentimental value does not equate to their monetary value. Would it be sensible for labels to pour their resources into a sector that has become less significant to artists’ profiles while their fan bases are streaming or digitally downloading the music?
Daniel, whose clients beyond Fall Out Boy include Sia and Wavves speaks from two perspectives. “On a personal level, I love it. I grew up with vinyl. I have a record player. I buy records. It sounds better to me.” However, on a business level, he says “I don’t think it means anything. It’s so small relative to Fall Out Boy or Sia or any of our artists. It’s still not a meaningful part of their business.”
Via: Rolling Stone