Monday, September 9, 2019

Vinyl outselling the fading CD?

In absolute terms, physical media sales suffer from the rise of streaming services, but few would have predicted the time when the humble LP would make a comeback to the point of outselling CDs. Seems we're at that point...

full story here 


Anonymous said...

So long as the faux elite (i.e., the "frAudiophiles") of the press and elsewhere don't poison the pond with their insistence on telling the new and returning vinyl enthusiasts what they NEEEEEEEED to be straining to "hear", I think, not feeeeeel that vinyl will continue to be a viable and FUN format for years to come.

I began buying records again about 7 or so years ago. Why? Because it was fun. I enjoyed listening to the music and again it that IS, fun. I also buy CDs and enjoy listening to the music encoded on them. I listen to the music, whether it be on vinyl, CD, tape or via my computer or one of my man internet capable radios or receivers. I listen to the music and NEVER to the equipment. The latter is ridiculous. And I will NEVER buy into that farce called MQA.

Records are fun. Obsession is the polar opposite and is precisely what the fraudulent ones want us to do. I enjoy your site. Whether or not you deem my words worthy of posting depends upon which side you are own. If it's all about the ego, then you won't print it. If you are for the music and the people that enjoy listening to music (not equipment) then you may well post my words.

Either way, I enjoy your site. Thanks.

PatrickD said...

Happy to receive all sensible comments. But why be anonymous?

Agree - records ARE fun...they're material, handleable, present, readable, and cause you to take a moment to set up and play in order to listen. Streaming is fine for convenience, but that's a different goal and context. Room for both and I'll always spin.

Jim said...

The long-promised (hoped-for?) demise of the CD is beginning to sound a little strained. Of course, streaming has hammered sales, but vinyl has never been the threat, because the two aren't really in competition. Many people have - or used to have - both record decks and CD players. As a classical fan, I couldn't get by with just vinyl - look at the massive explosion of recorded classical repertory that CD was responsible for. There are signs now that people are returning to the humble silver disc for the same tactile reasons as they did vinyl, but they're a demographic that don't want the interminable set-up and hardware decay issues that the latter requires/suffers from. With billions of CDs in circulation still the format isn't going away, much as some late-middle-aged reviewers who've never got over vinyl's original fall from grace might wish it to. On the last point - look at the biggest-selling LP titles the article quotes - looks a lot like recaptured youth to me (I'm guilty of it too, but I renewed all my 70s German prog-rock on CD)

PatrickD said...

Thanks Jim, good points. I am old enough to remember the hifi press of the late 80s slagging digital off but it seems a long time ago, most current reviewers are pretty digitally-engaged as that's how they grew up (I mean the CD is 35+years old by now). Still, there's a sort of unwritten assumption among most audio writers that you must hold vinyl up as the most natural sound against which even bleeding-edge digital suffers in comparison. Not sure how that happened to become the accepted truth but it lives on, testing be damned. And don't forget, there's R2R tape too.

Yes, I do think the materiality aspect is key....I'll accept Spotify and streaming around the house and in the car, and to check out a track I want to learn or steal a line from, but for me, it easy to setup and enjoy a record, and the act of engaging with a physical device and object just engages me actively in the music listening experience. Different task, different tools, for sure, but also we are physical beings and the material world is meaningful for us. Kindle might be more portable and space-saving, but I love my books too.

And as to the releases we find on LP...yep, it's too much of the same old catalog, sometimes it's hard to get excited by yet another version of Kind of Blue. Recaptured youth? You said it!

dysonapr said...

The numbers I saw say CD still outsells Vinyl significantly in Europe and massively in Japan. In any event, I predict we will continue to see a steady trickle of new, eye-wateringly expensive CD-transports. In a few years I expect to read that these have overcome all the earlier problems of CD reproduction, and are now the "best" source for music reproduction. About the same time that the market for eye-wateringly expensive Vinyl decks is thoroughly saturated.