Last week, Variety reported on lagging CD sales—down 11 % from a year ago, no surprise there—and the steady growth of digital downloads. Buried in the article was the following tidbit: "Sales of vinyl albums are up dramatically.... 803,000 have been sold in 2008 vs. 454,000 in 2007."
Now, that's news! Most folks don't even know that new vinyl albums are still being produced—they went out with the Reagan administration, right? But the fact is that this all but obsolete format is experiencing phenomenal growth. It's a niche market, for sure—you won't find records at Best Buy—but you can now buy record players at Target. And at music shops like Sound Garden and Normal's, you'll find high quality reissues of classic jazz records alongside new releases by the likes of Bjork and Beach House.
And here's a marketing/sales tool that's helping fuel the up-tick in record sales.... these days, when you buy a new record, it often comes with a code that enables you to download the songs in digital form. So you get the vinyl record and the MP3s for your computer/iPod. It's analog and digital, the best of both worlds.
Look for record sales to spike again next year.