Soaring vinyl sales put music industry in a spin

Global Business

CDs and digital downloads were supposed to kill off vinyls, but in true rock and roll spirit, vinyl has refused to die. In fact, demand has been surging to unprecedented levels. CCTV America’s Owen Fairclough reported the story from Washington, D.C.

Soaring vinyl sales put music industry in a spin

Soaring vinyl sales put music industry in a spin

CDs and digital downloads were supposed to kill off vinyls, but in true rock and roll spirit, vinyl has refused to die. In fact, demand has been surging to unprecedented levels. CCTV America's Owen Fairclough reported the story from Washington, D.C.

Kurt Vile’s latest album is hot property at Crooked Beat records in Washington, D.C. Sales of vinyl LPs are rocketing.

“In 2015, Vinyl basically runs the music industry now,” Bill Daly, Crooked Beat Records owner said. “Downloading is still a factor but there are just a lot more people who want to go back to the tangible or the medium of buying physical vinyl again.”

Vinyl LPs usually retail at twice the price of a $10 digital album on iTunes. For the fans, it’s all about atmosphere and a tactile experience.

“Whenever I listen to jazz, or think of jazz, I always picture a smoky jazz hall with waitresses clinking glasses people talking in the background,” vinyl lover Bob Clayton said. “When I hear it on vinyl it sounds that way, as opposed to the purified version you get on CDs or streaming.”

Vinyl is a small part of the U.S. album sales market, with just over 9 million LPs sold in the country in 2014 compared to 140 million CDs. However, sales grew to a huge 52 percent while both CDs and digital declined.

“Vinyl is not mass produced like it was in the 70s and 80s so a lot of times the record … there’s a shortage of pressing plants here in the U.S. and Europe and Asia,” Daly said. “They dismantled most of them so there’s a lot of records that will come out that they’ll do small runs of, and maybe a couple thousand copies. And they sell out and it might take six months or a year for it to come back in.”

Meanwhile, vinyl album are also enjoying unprecedented demand in the U.K. and a similar lack of pressing capacity.


Imani Cheers of George Washington Univ. discusses music industry’s vinyl boom

CCTV America interviewed Imani Cheers, assistant professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University about the latest trends in the music industry.

Imani Cheers of George Washington Univ. discusses music industry’s vinyl boom

Imani Cheers of George Washington Univ. discusses music industry’s vinyl boom

CCTV America interviewed Imani Cheers, assistant professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University about the latest trends in the music industry.