As CD sales continue to decline, vinyls find their niche

By Nick Mojica


The store is packed with young customers perusing the shelves. Some are looking for the newest Shins album while others are looking for the classics. Some are finding bargains, like a Marvin Gaye album for five dollars, while others are just looking at the cool covers. They take their new purchases home and gather around the speakers, listening to the music and looking through the linear notes. No, these customers aren’t at Best Buy or FYE buying CDs, they are at mom and pop record shops buying the newest and oldest vinyl records they can find and they are sitting at home listening to music on a turntable.

With CD sales on a continuous decline, 5.7% drop in 2011; vinyl sales are continuing to rise. This year, vinyl sales have risen 16.3% and this does not account for the number of old and used vinyls that are being purchased. Vinyl sales also saw a 36% surge in 2011.

But why the sudden interest in vinyl records, especially from the younger generation? The younger people are getting to try something out that many of them have never done before. Listening to vinyl gives you a certain connection to the music. It’s not just taking a cd out of the case and pressing play. You have to be gentle with the vinyl, put it on the turntable and put the needle on the record. In a way, you can really feel the music. Some also say that vinyl sounds better than CDs do. Others like the cracking and popping noises you get out of playing vinyls.

The rising sales of vinyls have also been good for stores selling vinyls. Stores are staying in business and with annual days like Record Store Day, customers are showing their appreciation for the stores.

While vinyl records are not going to replace CDs or MP3s, (they only make for a little more than 1% of total album sales) they have once again found their spot in our pop-culture.

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