LPs are now outsellng CDs

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

LPs are now outsellng CDs

Post by John F » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:29 am

Believe it or not. But pay streaming services such as Spotify are the best sellers.

Gen Xers, millennials and even some Gen Zs choose vinyl & drive record sales upNovember 3, 2019 8.07am ESTMarina Eckersley

Vinyl sales have been surging in the last few years, as CD sales stay flat and digital downloads decrease. In the United Kingdom, data from 2016 reveals that vinyl LP sales revenue surpassed that of digital downloads. And in the United States, LP sales are on par with the sales of CDs.

In an era when so much music is at our fingertips through streaming services for under $10 a month, who is spending their hard-earned cash on vinyl? Streaming is currently the primary and cheapest way to buy music. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) database, paid subscription streaming services such as Spotify dominated music sales revenue in the U.S. in 2018, accounting for almost 50 per cent of revenue. But cassettes, CDs and digital downloads have all held that position in the past.

Teens of the 1980s (now aged approximately 45 to 54) and the ‘90s (now aged approximately 35 to 44) were the two largest age demographics buying vinyl in 2018, accounting for 24 and 21 per cent respectively of new vinyl sales in the U.S., according to 2018 data from the RIAA.

Vinyl’s lasting influence

Sales data shows that cassettes first surpassed vinyl LP sales in the U.S. in 1983. Then CDs surpassed cassette sales in 1991. At that point, vinyl LPs disappeared from most music stores, remaining only a DJ specialty. They accounted for only 0.8 per cent of total music sales.

Tim Ford, vice-president of purchasing at Sunrise Records, says he recalls feeling forced to buy CDs in the '90s because they were cheaper than vinyl and more widely available for him as a broke teenager. Now, Ford and many other '80s and '90s kids are working adults with disposable incomes. Ford says 35-to-40-year-olds want music from their generation like their parents had.

These consumers are used to the concept of owning music, but now they want vinyl, because they think it’s better quality, and they have the money for it.

Michael Greaves is another example of this type of vinyl consumer; he was a DJ in the '90s and has a collection of 1,200 CDs — many of which he bought eight for a penny. Now he works full-time as a music administrator and is an avid vinyl collector.

Greaves says he buys vinyl because “with vinyl you get a warmth you don’t get with CDs.” There’s just something about the crackle of a vinyl record that makes people feel at home.

Owning a physical copy

No artist is forced to put his or her music on streaming services and not every artist even has the legal right to do so. The popular albums of the ‘80s and ‘90s that aren’t being widely reissued are going for hundreds of dollars on resale sites.

A mint-condition vinyl LP of De La Soul’s 1989 album 3 Feet High and Rising, for instance, is selling for more than $360 on Discogs. That album isn’t being widely reissued and is now unavailable on paid subscription streaming services such as Tidal, which is said to be because of artist and label disputes.

The initial excitement about streaming services seems to have worn off since Spotify launched in Sweden in 2008. Consumers are now seeing flaws in streaming, one of them being that we can never be fully assured of access to their favourite songs without owning a physical copy of them.

Andrew Winistorfer, editorial director at Vinyl Me, Please, a record-of-the-month club, says that young people today accept that you don’t own music. CD sales were at their height at the same time that music piracy became popular and almost destroyed the music industry.

However, the young today still account for part of the new surge in vinyl sales. Winistorfer explains that vinyl is “the cooler way to have … a physical manifestation of this music that you like.”

Willing to pay

RIAA data shows that 25-to-34-year-olds and 18-to-24-year-olds accounted for 19 and 16 per cent respectively of U.S. new vinyl sales in 2018. This is valuable to artists who are not being paid what they’d like to be on streaming services. For artists, selling other merchandise has become increasingly important.

Luckily for them, some fans are willing to pay for exclusive merchandise and experiences on crowdfunding platforms. A 2013 Indiegogo campaign for the Canadian band Protest The Hero raised nearly $450,000 to fund an album and 1,299 copies of the signed, limited-edition vinyl LP were claimed as rewards.

Katy Perry has a vinyl record coming out soon. It’s a record-first release but her truest “Katy Cats” will surely snatch up those 4,000 copies quickly to be able to hold a piece of their favourite artist in their hands.

Consumers have less control than they might think over what music they can access. What will happen if one day your favourite artist doesn’t have the resources, desire or legal right to keep your favourite songs up on a streaming service? What if you simply want to hold the music you love in your hands? Teens of the 80s and 90s would probably tell you to buy the album — on vinyl.

https://theconversation.com/gen-xers-mi ... -up-125541
John Francis

maestrob
Posts: 6543
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: LPs are now outsellng CDs

Post by maestrob » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:19 am

Who would have thought? Are we a retrograde society or what? :mrgreen:

I agree that LPs were the ideal format for reading about the music contained therein, but I was never comfortable with Snap, Crackle and Pop as part of my musical experience. That young people are willing to compromise their listening experience to such a degree is alarming to my ears. I treasure the CD experience of potentially flawless sound, uninterrupted by side breaks for Beethoven IX, or a Bruckner symphony. I wonder what sales figures are like for classical LPs, though this is not the scope of the article.

My bet is that, off the top of my head, classical music lovers will stick to CDs in the long run. I know I will. The hype about a fantasy "warmer sound" doesn't cut it for me.

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: LPs are now outsellng CDs

Post by John F » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:03 pm

As usual, the article is entirely about non-classical recordings, which is where the money is. My guess would be that streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube get far more play in the classical repertoire than CDs, which in turn are likely to top LPs.
John Francis

maestrob
Posts: 6543
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: LPs are now outsellng CDs

Post by maestrob » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:36 am

John F wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:03 pm
As usual, the article is entirely about non-classical recordings, which is where the money is. My guess would be that streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube get far more play in the classical repertoire than CDs, which in turn are likely to top LPs.
Your guess may be right, but it's not true in my household, nor, I wager, in Lance's. Those of us audiophiles who revel in great sound from modern recordings tend to shy away from the constricted sound of streaming services, even Music Choice channels on cable, let alone the limited selection available. If CDs magically disappeared, I would greatly miss not only their wonderful clarity and depth, but the ability to choose the repertoire of my daily listening. Not to mention dealing with the annoying ads on youtube, which have gotten so out of hand, without an ad blocker.

That said, I think it's a positive that we all have the many choices we have to experience music in all its formats.

Belle
Posts: 2366
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: LPs are now outsellng CDs

Post by Belle » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:23 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:19 am
Who would have thought? Are we a retrograde society or what? :mrgreen:

I agree that LPs were the ideal format for reading about the music contained therein, but I was never comfortable with Snap, Crackle and Pop as part of my musical experience. That young people are willing to compromise their listening experience to such a degree is alarming to my ears. I treasure the CD experience of potentially flawless sound, uninterrupted by side breaks for Beethoven IX, or a Bruckner symphony. I wonder what sales figures are like for classical LPs, though this is not the scope of the article.

My bet is that, off the top of my head, classical music lovers will stick to CDs in the long run. I know I will. The hype about a fantasy "warmer sound" doesn't cut it for me.
The "Rice Bubble" LP experience is definitely one I wouldn't want to have back!! There have been some tremendous recordings on CD in terms of sound quality and you can sometimes feel as though you're there in the concert hall. I never had this experience with the LP. The ultimate irony is that contiguous with increasingly good recording technology there has been a similar decline in my own hearing!! I'm not really able to get the benefit of it - but I don't want Tinnitus combined with frying eggs, as one gets on the LP.

Perhaps Jazz enthusiasts prefer the LP; I suspect many of them are idiosyncratic types who like the format the way it was - back then!!

Sydney's last fine music outlet is closing in December!

https://fishfinemusic.com.au/

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18290
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: LPs are now outsellng CDs

Post by Lance » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:12 pm

There is NO question: I will be sticking with CDs for music listening and broadcasting. I, too, never appreciated the snap, crackle and pop of LPs, even from among those labels considered to be the best quality, such as Philips, DGG and Decca for a long time. On the other hand, with an LP collection numbering 70,000+, collected since I was 16 or 17 years of age, I rarely play them anymore unless I do not have an CD counterpart. It has been years since I have made purchase of an LP, and then, it was only rare recordings (now) of the bass-baritone Owen Brannigan, who has not seen much reissuing on CD. CD sound seems to have improved dramatically, even in transfers of 78rpm discs, since CDs were first introduced. And I don't necessarily "buy" the thought that CDs are "warmer" in sound in the A-B comparisons I have made. As we move down the road, I think CD sales will still be strong for classical music but, perhaps, not so strong for pop, rock, country, etc. It is unfortunate, however, that I see former classical music CDs can only be downloaded in many cases, which I will not do. Hence, buy the CDs when they are first issued so you don't have to face that.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

barney
Posts: 3545
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: LPs are now outsellng CDs

Post by barney » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:39 pm

Wow, Lance, 70,000 LPs. I have about 1100, and I put them all on Ebay as a collection earlier this year for $1000 Australian (about $690 US). Not one nibble. A request for the catalogue of them from a US dealer, but I wasn't willing to let him cherry pick.
My turntable is covered in 100 or so CDs, when my daughter "tidied up" for a function she held at our house. It hasn't been used in three or four years. I am with the CD fans here.
I wanted to sell the LPs so I could use the storage space for the piles of CDs on tables, my desk, the floor etc.
And just home from NZ to find the new Philips Beethoven 2020 set has arrived! Complete works, with many duplicated in historic recordings :D I'll post about that later. But the Bach 333 was the best set I ever got, alongside the Philips Great Pianists, so my expectations are stratospheric.

absinthe
Posts: 3617
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:13 pm
Location: UK

Re: LPs are now outsellng CDs

Post by absinthe » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:32 am

A couple of years ago I decided to revert to vinyl when I can. Having to buy "used" is always a risk but with the music I listen to the discs are usually in very good condition. Problems with crackle and pop can near enough be avoided with careful handling.
.
I find the ritual of "playing a record" more satisfying and I'm more likely to sit back as if at a private concert, rather than slap some music on and it plays in the background, which I do with CDs.
.
The most recent one I bought was Barber's Knoxville Summer 1915 with Leontyne Price. I re-bought it as with the event of CD I gave too many LPs away.
.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 23 guests