Friday, January 2, 2009

More On Vinyl Sales

The underrated KnowGoodMusic just posted this article (which I linked over in my "Best Blog Posts" section), with more about vinyl sales going up while CD sales continue to decline. I suggest you also read his source articles from Wendy Day and The Associated Press. Let me point a few details out:

First, the non-vinyl (from AP), "Lil Wayne had the year's top-selling album, 'Tha Carter III,' with 2.87 million units sold... The top selling digital artist was Rihanna with 9.94 million tracks sold, followed by Swift and Kayne West." Souljah Boy may've just accused Nas of killing hip-hop, but it still seems to be dominating the sales charts.

Now, let's look at the vinyl (also from AP). First the good news, "Ironically, as digital downloads grew, vinyl album sales also climbed. In 2008, more vinyl albums were purchased (1.88 million) than any other year since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991." Woot! Right? So how come all our hip-hop labels and artists are bypassing vinyl presses now of all times?

Well, let's read a bit further, "More than two of every three vinyl albums were purchased at an independent music store during the year, the company reported. The top selling vinyl albums were Radiohead's 'In Rainbows' (26,000 units), the Beatles' 'Abbey Road' (16,500) and Guns 'N Roses' 'Chinese Democracy' (13,600)." This really just seems to confirm my theory I've been building for a while now, based on my armchair research and discussions with artists and indie label owners online. For whatever reason - whether you blame the mp3 blogs, the urban economic demographic or whatever - wax is on the rise in every genre except hip-hop, the one genre that used to be the only ones holding it down.

Why is that? I don't know. The theories have certainly been tossed around and around, and it won't amount to much than that until somebody grows the balls to test a few of them. But it certainly seems to be true that none of the major hip-hop players are marketing/ advertising towards the vinyl side of things, or even acknowledging that it exists (you'd think at least Vestax or somebody would spring for a few XXL ads, right?). Instead, they seem to be deadset focused on chasing those dwindling CD sales down the tubes and becoming ringtone rappers. And that feels like everybody's loss.

Update 1/12/09: I'm refraining from making a whole new blog post on the subject, but here are a couple more links with some very interesting info on the rise of (apparently non-hip-hop) vinyl:
Will Merriweather Post Pavilion Vinyl Sales Land It On Billboard Charts? - Click through that article to a write-up on the same subject on, too - a vinyl-only double album hitting the Billboard charts in '09!
Radiohead, Neutral Milk Hotel Help Vinyl Sales Almost Double In 2008 - The title says "almost double," but in the article, they go on to specify "89 percent more LPs were sold last year than in ‘07." Again, click through that article to another of theirs called "Vinyl Returns!"

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Thanks for commenting over on my blog. I must've forgotten to update my rss reader because I'm just now seeing your new pages. I have some catching up to do.

    I was surprised to see that so many people purchased a Guns & Roses album on vinyl. I can see Radiohead & definitely the Beatles. But GNR?