Record Sales Are Up 39% For The year

AR-vinyl2.jpegAccording to an article in The Economist, sales of vinyl LPs are running 39% higher this year in the US. Last years' biggest selling LP was The Suburbs from Arcade Fire. That's not exactly an audiophile favorite.

What's obvious from these sales numbers is that most of this new sales growth is from hipsters, not audiophiles. Sure the two categories can overlap, but most audiophiles aren't the ones scarfing up albums by Bob Iver and the Fleet Foxes.

Interestingly, the Economist doesn't list "sonic quality" as one of the reasons folks are buying vinyl. Coolness is the driving force behind the vinyl resurgence. According to Steve Redmond, who's a spokesperson for Britain's Annual Record Store Day, vinyl "is just cooler than a download." The article also mentions as an aside that half the records being sold "are not actually being played." Since many vinyl albums also come with a download code, fans are buying the albums, downloading the music via the code, and not listening to the vinyl at all. Some purchasers probably don't even own a turntable! Ah, the coolness factor.

One final quote from the article, "Now that almost every track is available free on music-streaming services like Spotify or on a pirate website, music fans need something else to boast about. That limited-edition 12-inch in translucent blue vinyl will do nicely."

Any audiophile who believes the "vinyl resurgence" is due in any part to the inherent sonic superiority of vinyl releases has been smoking something WAY stronger than I can get legally in Colorado...

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