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Monday, January 16

Epitonic: "Could vinyl save music retailers?"

Bob Hopkinson over at Epitonic writes:
...there are more sales of vinyl records than in the previous ten to fifteen years. Couple this "cool factor" with the record store's ability to offer of a product that subscription streaming services can't (music ownership) and what digital outlets lack (a physical product of superior audio quality that is impervious to computer crashes) and the independent record store has a viable product to help sustain its business. Only two years ago there were claims that albums were becoming obsolete. Now it appears as though albums may be revitalizing the music industry and saving the record store.
It's important to remember that while vinyl sales are increasing, they still occupy a teeny, tiny niche of all music sales. Through October 2011, overall music sales were at 249 million albums, with the booming vinyl market occupying a mere 1.6% of overall sales. The good news? Indie record stores, labels, and distributors have always occupied a niche, and most of us like it here. We are nimble.

I think it's disingenuous to imagine that file sharing doesn't affect album sales. When I talk to kids, kids that buy albums, they almost all say that the majority of their friends don't buy music and never have. How can this not affect music sales? Saying that piracy doesn't affect sales is like telling somebody that their hernia surgery is "only minor." The good news is that there is still a subset of music consumers who find value in purchasing music. Some combination of sound quality, ownership, and supporting artists compels them to actually pay for music. Serving this subset keeps us in business, and for them, we and the artists they support through purchases, are grateful.

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