Vinyl Has Successfully Found Its Niche
A few decades ago, records were totally outdated as they have been pushed out of the worldwide market. But contrary to many predictions, this way is back to top now. Not only that, the black gold is even making a big comeback. Record sales have been increasing for several years. The industry recently achieved a new record. For the first time in 34 years, record sales overtook CD sales. After all, that is astonishing because the CD replaced the record as the preferred medium for music lovers many years ago. This high-altitude flight took place in the USA in the first half of 2020. In the rest of the previous year, the trend continued.
If you look at the music market as a whole, this development is not surprising. The trend towards the analogue is also continuing in other areas. As convincing as the innovation of e-books was, the printed books still have an outstanding market share. With records, this not only has to do with the feel and the covers, but also with the sound. The CD was considered a cold medium from the start. It never reaches the warm sound of vinyl. So it is not surprising that numerous fans are now picking up records again. But that also presents the industry with unexpected challenges.
Long Waiting Times In Production
The numerous plate press plants were closed in the last few decades, and the owners sold the machines. Now there is often a lack of the necessary capacities. Anyone who wants to have a record pressed today, above all, needs time and patience. The waiting times are sometimes enormous. Those companies that operate these plants still use the original pressing plants. They repair them themselves and develop the technology as best they can. Therefore, the producers need a corresponding lead time to have their records pressed in good time.
At the same time, CD sales continue to decline. The music market is developing in two extreme directions. The large masses turn to stream services because they make an enormous music collection available to their customers. The fans can access these at any time. That doesn’t mean good for the downloads either. The number of albums purchased is also falling significantly here. Music lovers have established themselves on the other side of the spectrum. They prefer to buy records. They are even willing to spend more money. The average prices are significantly higher than for CDs and downloads.
That applies above all to the numerous new editions of the classics. These often appear in large boxes that fetch their price on the market. Many of them sell out. The quiet comeback of the record has picked up speed again. It was never completely gone, but now the public’s headlights also point to the black gold. Records are a reminder of a time when art was still at the centre of industry efforts. The artists got time to develop. Music on record was an art form in itself. The covers encouraged viewing and enjoying. Collectors are taking this nostalgia back, and there is no end in sight to the trend.