Vinyl Records Looking To Outsell CDs For The First Time Since the 80's
In the mid-year report released by the RIAA on Thursday, it seems that vinyl records are on there way to perform better than CD's for the first time since 1986. According to Rolling Stone, the sale of vinyl records has so far earned $224.1 million in 2019, while the sale of CD's has has earned $247.9 million. With the sale of vinyl increasing each quarter and the sale of CD's decreasing, soon enough vinyl will surpass CD's, and possibly by the end of this year.
While streaming is still the main source of revenue for the music industry, labels have been cashing in on the nostalgia of vinyl coming back. Although many Millennials may be discovering vinyl through their Baby Boomer parents for the first time, there are more social factors encouraging Gen-Z to give it a go.
The social ambience of the 1970's is more popular now that it was ever before. Everything from fashion and lifestyle, to experimentation with drugs has changed since the turn of the century, and trends are headed back to the seemingly more simpler time of hippies and flower power. Everything from high waisted pants to circular Lennon-stlye sunglasses is on trend again. Canada and many states in the US have legalized marijuana, and more and more music festivals seem to be popping up each year.
No doubt there is still a large portion of vinyl fans who listen to vinyl for the increase of sound quality the platform provides, or fans who listen to vinyl because it is one of the top financial ways to support an artist in 2019. Apart from that, there are also vinyl fans who listen to the medium because the social power it provides. Here at Rock Is Dead, we are in no way opposed to people listening to vinyl because it's "cool", again, financially it is one of the best ways to support your musical hero. However, with big fashion corporations like Urban Outfitters making vinyl out to be the cool, misfit, outsider thing to do, no doubt kids are turning to the platform in order to stand out from their smartphone, streaming obsessed classmates.
At the end of the day, a vinyl record is a tangible piece of art that you can hold in your hands forever. Whereas streaming is a rental on your music, which pays artists an average of 1/8th of a penny per spin. Novelties such as liner notes and album artwork have been lost in the digital era, but with vinyl on the rise it seems that some artists are prioritizing these things again.
However you decide to consume your music just note the following; physical music always supports an artist more than streaming. If you do decide to stream always pay for your service as it will maximize an artist's royalty cheques. Attending shows and buying merchandise are also great ways to help out a band. However if you are strapped for cash (like we all are) and are looking for free ways to support your favourite band, remember to; follow them on Spotify or Apple Music as it helps get their page noticed, engage on their social media platforms (not just liking, but commenting as well), sign up for an email list, and request them on your local radio stations. Streaming may be "saving" the music industry right now, but a big radio hit can still do wonders for a band.