Long Live Vinyl

Two weeks ago we outlined emerging trends in digital music promotion and today we’re giving love to our analog brothers. While the digital world presents countless opportunities and curiosities every day, this does not mean you must throw out the old for the new. If the first musical instrument was the human voice, we can argue that Adele set fire to the rain in her tribe tens of thousands of years ago. It is part of human evolution to innovate on the tried and true. So to be successful, you need both Yin and Yang.

Bands used to go on tour to promote their CDs, which made them money. Today, bands make their music available for free and make their money from touring! There are many exciting things happening in the touring space (that’s why we exist), but today’s post will be dedicated to vinyls. Since it’s so easy to gain access to a low-quality MP3 file, people are craving the high fidelity of LPs. And it’s not just hipsters. Something is lost when all your music is in the cloud and it’s not just quality – fans yearn for a physical connection to music and the rise of the LP proves that. If your fans love you, they will buy a permanent record (pun intended) of your existence that will forever be alive.

Still don’t believe me? Let’s play the charts game! Between 2002 and 2012, Vinyl LP sales in the United States had increased by 250%, while total recorded music shipments had dropped nearly 50%.

This doesn’t even include the fact that Record Store Day in 2014 was the most successful ever.  If you have the resources, you can go extra fancy like Jack White did with his “Ultra LP” which, among other neat tricks, includes two hidden tracks and a hologram. A HOLOGRAM. I’m sure there are more tricks from more artists to come. And hey DJs: Turntables have USB ports now! Yin and yang, yo.

Check out Nielsen & Billboard’s 2013 US Music Industry report where you can see that vinyl sales had a +33% change from last year, CD was at -14% (lol who buys CDs anymore?), and digital sales at an astounding 0% change. And hey! The largest vinyl record pressing plant in the US is expanding. Numbers! Charts! I know, it’s a lot to take in. So here’s a cat being hypnotized by a ball. Sorry hipsters, vinyls have officially gone mainstream. Maybe you can buy a Walkman and make CDs cool again, but you’ll lose that high quality sound you’ve been trumpeting all this time. Cue existential crisis.