Go to the attic, find that old record player, and dust off those albums! Vinyl is making a comeback!
Sony Music stopped producing records in 1989. Cassette tapes introduced in 1963 were compact, portable, and had better sound quality. Then came the compact disc, digital MP3, and streaming. Now, surprise! Sony has announced it will resume production of vinyl records after a lapse of 28 years.
Why you say? It isn’t all that strange or unexpected. Vinyl record sales have grown by 10 percent annually. In 2015, sales jumped to $416 million, the highest level since 1988. A format, almost a century old, generated 3.6 percent of total global revenues in 2016.
So, why is there a problem? Much of the music industry like Sony, no longer pressed vinyl. Those that still do cannot keep up with demand. Only 16 operating presses remain in the United States. Artists who book a record release show months in advance don’t have the record available at the merchandise table because more people are using the vinyl format and people who have always pressed vinyl are doing more than ever before.
So, what’s your personal reason for pulling out your vinyl?
- Are you a hipster in your early 20s and early 30s who wanted a way to differentiate their music listening?
- Do you crave the hisses and pops digital music erased but that added a depth and warmth to the music?
- Are you seeking the more intimate experience of a large, more substantial format that turns the design of the cover and the inserts into satisfying artworks in their own right?
- Is it the interactive motion of putting on a record, listening to a side and then flipping it over to the other side making the listening experiences something that is physically and emotionally involved?
- Is it because it’s social and fun in contrast to the passive experience of CDs or digital?
So what’s your story? Is vinyl back to stay? What do you think?
Source: The Star-Ledger, July 2017, Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post