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.




Couple things...

#1 - @ghdprentice - Budget systems go up to $50K? Are you kidding me? Maybe $5K or $10K is pushing it, so for MOST people vinyl can sound better for the buck if you know what you are doing.

#2 - back in college (early 80's) when I started collecting LPs actively, regular pressings were around $8-$10, audiophile ones were $15-$20, and UHQRs were $40-$50 (if I my memory serves me correctly, which is optimistic - I may be off a bit). Say inflation is 3-4%, that would equate to regular records today being $32-$40, audiophile ones being $60-$80, and UHQR's (or One Steps) being $160-$200. Things cost more now. I don't think the prices for new records are a rip off. The One Steps and UHQRs are the closest to being an even deal. 4% growth is better than declining. I do agree that the industry could be more efficient in releasing back catalogue titles, but they are a business and are trying to make money and expect blockbuster sales immediately upon new reissue, like movies at a theater. Thankfully we have companies like Acoustic Sounds (Analogue Productions), Music Direct (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab), Speakers Corner, Blue Note, etc. that are keeping things moving forward. But even they won't do a reissue if they don't think it will sell. But I think they are closer to the market with expectations for sales than the regular labels are, who seem to be more conservative these days. 

Most of the people buying the vinyl are older people like me.I'm not buying a album that I could of bought new back in 1969 for $3 bucks .So we here oh a,$30 dollar album is like buying a,$3 buck album 50 years ago.Ok but I'm not paying 30 for it or 100 or 125 for a MM album. WHICH we were told was analog from start to finish......

The state of analog records is frustrating and the article is c/w my experience. We have about 500-600 LPs, mostly pre 1990 recordings. At this stage our analog output sounds significantly better than the digital. If I want to buy a  LP by contemporary jazz/classical my options are very limited- Wand, Olaffsson, Jarrett, Pink Martini. Even then, their offerings are limited. Forget about less mainstream but still wonderful artists- say Cafe Zimmermann. And yes, the new stuff is expensive. For a young person making their way in the world, spending even $500-1000/yr to build up a collection along with the expense of the hardware- If I was in that position, I would not spend my $ that way. It's another manifestation of the rent rather than own model an increasing portion of the population is being forced into.

  @limomangus   - new regular pressings are between $22 - $25 for the most part, not $30. Many, like Blue Note, represent tremendous value and sound great. Most of the people buying vinyl are not your age. Certainly many are, but there are plenty of 20 and 30 somethings that like them (and 40's 50's and 60's), not to mention the hipsters of all ages that just think vinyl is cool. 

If you are happy with your record library and don't want any additional records, whatever floats your boat. For the rest of us, vinyl is not much more than new CDs and they cost more to make. If you want to rent and stream, that's a great option for people that can't afford to own a record, CD or HiRez DL.

Yes true What ever floats your Boat.I find it great to go to Local Thrifts and find Cds for a Buck.I dont have the money to buy expensive vinyl any more.Yes I have over 2,000 Lps.,4 ,000 cds ,cassettes and Reel to Reel tapes.Cds are coming back ,Big Time.