Monday, January 4, 2016

Can You Make Money Selling Vinyl Records?

I doubt very much that this will continue:

Music retailer HMV has revealed that they sold one vinyl player every minute in the week running up to Christmas.

As reported by The Scotsman, the company also predicted vinyl sales of around two million in 2016 as the ‘vinyl revival’ continues.

Ian Topping, Chief Executive of HMV, said: “Entertainment products form a major part of the Christmas shopping list. The gift of the year in 2015, though, has to be a turntable as we have seen a huge resurgence in the sales of vinyl.”

Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for industry body the BPI, stated, “Having faced near-extinction in 2007, when only 205,000 LPs were sold, it’s likely we’ll see the best part of two million copies purchased this year.”

He continued: “While some fans are buying vinyl simply to own and collect it, many, naturally, want to be able to enjoy its warm, authentic sound, but unfortunately no longer have access to turntables. So it’s no surprise if retailers are reporting a surge in demand for record players as one of the ‘must-have’ Christmas gifts this year.”

Barnes & Noble used to be a book store. I know because I worked there! Now it's a toy store. And in the middle of the toy store, they sell vinyl records. The problem is, this is reissued vinyl cut from the digital masters used to produce compact discs or music downloads. 

Many of these recordings were made "natively" by a producer and engineer team that employed software such as Pro Tools. Their work went through this digital process (and was not intended at all for a vinyl release) or was converted to a digital master from tapes. You're not getting the same product that you would have gotten thirty years ago when they were still producing albums in vinyl and CD format at the same time. One of the last vinyl albums that I bought was Hold Your Fire by Rush (among many others, but 1987-8 was the "stopping point" for vinyl for me as I was kind of a late adapter to CDs). 

Everything sounds about as good as the equipment you play it on and the speakers you set up. Don't buy this new vinyl expecting something magical--it's all crap. Buy old records and see if you can't tell the difference. If you don't care and can't hear any difference, buy what you like. Old farts have no business telling people what to do.

If HMV can make money doing this, someone needs to get with the clowns at Barnes &Noble. Their abandoned bin full of uncategorized vinyl sits in the middle of the store and does nothing except confuse people looking for the toys their kids asked for a month ago.




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