Did vinyl sales just hit the proverbial brick wall?

Interesting read here about the state of vinyl. Personally, I had no idea what the percentage of vinyl sales was “merchandise” never to be opened or played.




@edcyn: I'm thinking about getting a good bike again. Last one I had was a Bottecchia, fully Campagnolo equipped, sew-up tires (never again!). My area has some real nice bike-riding streets.

That article had gotten a lot of hype and is poorly-researched at best. No way 50% goes unopened. 

Boomers who are unaware of the number of young people buying vinyl these days reveal their ignorance with their comments. 

And yes, the market for vinyl, like all "collectibles" and home theater, and home gym equipment, skyrocketed with Covid lockdowns...and will come back down to Earth.

And yes, the reissues of everything are overpriced, especially if you live in an area where you can find a lot of good used record stores. 

As Boomers die and their wives unload their collections on the market, prices will fall further and only the great stuff will remain in demand. the vast majority will be landfill fodder for lack of demand. Even some "good" stuff. 

There's a very strong market for all hip hop on vinyl. Always was always will be. I purge my collection frequently to keep it lean and mean, when a better sounding version comes into my possession, I unload my previous versions... I've had a much easier time selling hip hop classics than Boomer classics. 

Market research. Not long-held assumptions. Do your homework.



Vinyl, despite the Record Industry's spurious claims that it is the best selling format by $value, but CDs still outsell vinyl and streaming overwhelms them both on a per unit basis. Even digital downloads do better than vinyl. Keep in mind, the Record Industry isn't just located in the US so people all over the world are buying the most convenient format (CDs and downloads) to listen to music. Not everyone has access to reliable wi-fi or cellular access for quality streaming either. Heck my in-laws, who live in south Louisiana, have terrible cellular and internet services so streaming anything high-res is out of the question. 

"Vinyl", realistically has, for the last 25 years, been the domain of collectors and music enthusiasts. A majority of music listeners under the age of 50 aren't that into collecting music (vinyl, CDs, downloads) per se. Nor are they investing heavily in hi-fi or mid-fi setups. Most  listen to music as wallpaper. Most are listening with noise-cancelling IEMs that aren't costing more an $150. Most are streaming through their TV or phone via a soundbar or bluetooth speakers, respectively.

I buy & collect music in the following formats - vinyl, CDs and downloads. For certain artists, my format of collecting is dependent upon the format I started collecting them in. Some artists never released anything on vinyl - only CD, some both, some release only digitally and some release across all 3 formats. For example, I have The The's entire catalog on CD, Cabaret Voltaire on CD, Calexico on vinyl, Neko Case - CD and vinyl, Miles - vinyl and CD, Monk - vinyl and CD. You get the picture. I buy direct from artists or artist labels and hard to find or original/2nd pressing stuff on Discogs. New vinyl is hit or miss in quality so thinking it's the greatest sounding thing since spliced tape is dubious at best.

I have original jazz and blues pressings I inherited from my father that I have on CD because at that time in the early 90s I was in college, CDs were the most convenient format to move around as an apartment hoping student. When my father passed I pulled my favorite albums plus obscure stuff that will never get re-issued or put onto streaming services. I have CDs by artists that will never get reissued, are out of print and not available on streaming. 

Vinyl is ridiculously over-priced because many of the new pressings are special issues or remasters (that aren't necessarily better than a 1st or 2nd pressing). In fact I've found some great bargains buying 2nd pressings vs. 1st and they sound as good if not better.


I guess it's with motor vee-hickles where our tastes finally diverge. My pride-of-ownership car is a 2016 Mazda Miata me and the wife bought new off a dealer's lot in Northridge. It had apparently been sitting there for two years plus, probably because of the manual transmission (a six speed!). Finest assembly quality of any car I've owned. No conceivable space to ever put a decent radio in it. Got it for the proverbial song. The only true problem with it is that it is so small it's absolutely impossible to find in the mall's parking lot. You gotta remember exactly where you put it.