Vinyl records outsold digital download in the UK last week


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/07/vinyl-records-outsold-digital.html


#2

I have a pile of vinyl, but I’d need to sell it to buy a decent turntable.


#3

Looks like overall sales have fallen though? Bit grim


#4

Provided you already have an amp and speakers, you can get a good budget turntable for around 200-ish bucks or pounds, cheaper if you spend some time hunting through estate sales (but then you need to know more about what you’re buying and how to assess condition).


#5

Maybe it’s because, since Brexit, the UK has been traveling back in time. Soon they will be sending Her Majesty’s Navy to annex the US.


#6

Yes, the Guardian’s coverage was similarly upbeat, but the BBC mentioned the key point:

Downloads have been in sharp decline as consumers switch to streaming services.

So it’s not analogue beating digital, but subscription beating purchase.


#7

They better hurry if they’re going to get here before the US is annexed by Russia.


#8

That was my intuitive guess. While I prefer downloads, most people I know are just using streaming these days.


#9

“Ultimately, in this digital world our customers are continually looking for a tangible, physical way to celebrate their love for their favourite artists – something that digital services simply cannot offer."

Maybe true, but in a way, it’s the best of both worlds.
I like to find interesting old stuff on vinyl and I like to buy new at times. But, with the new I also get a digital download card (or if on Amazon, often an immediate download) so I get to enjoy the tangible record but can also add the album to my itunes library and pull it up to stream on my stereo via my Apple TV. And if I’m just shuffling the whole library, more songs to randomly pop up.
I also have no idea when I bought a CD last and see zero reason to.


#10

Since the Royal Navy is currently about as successful as the USS Zumwalt, we’d probably have to be rescued by the Icelandic Navy, or a few Russian tugs.
Yes, we’re travelling back in time, but it’s to the 14th century (Black Death and population shrinkage), not the 18th.

[edit - we do have one advantage over less well established navies; we can furnish every ship with a whole admiral and have some left over in case of emergencies. So much scrambled egg, so little wet steel.]


#11

This makes some sense. People want it both ways now; they’ll use streaming services for general music consumption that they can take anywhere and vinyl for items of music that they really want to own and appreciate. Vinyl is still pretty expensive, though maybe prices will fall as big retailers get (back) into the business?

Some of it is trend driven though. People fancy themselves as audiophiles, or they’ve at least been convinced that high-fidelity recordings are something they should value. Having a vinyl collection and stereo system are becoming status symbols.


#12

Funnily enough, I ended up in Diesel R&D because my first job offer, as an engineer with Garrard, fell through when they had a major strike and then ceased trading. Once upon a time I knew more about turntables and cartridges (and preamps) than I care to think about nowadays, as it’s about as much use as a knowledge of the design of late Victorian steam engines. I have a terrible record of being interested in things just before they become totally obsolete, only to see them become fashionable again when I’m not in a position to do anything with them.


#13

Both ships?


#14

It’s pretty clear that vinyl is the most social of music mediums: It’s fun to pull out records at a party. Everyone can see clearly what’s being played and even pass the cover around. Eventually, the paper inner sleeve is lost, or turned sideways for easy access. Then the record leaps out and rolls clattering to the floor. A capsized bottle of champagne rolls across its abandoned surface. The click hiss of the needle hitting the inner circle repeats endlessly, but nobody notices. The party is now in full descent.


#15

UK has finally a royal yacht again?


#16

More likely, we are finally repudiating the 80s with its Reagans and Thatchers and globalizations and monetizations and the like. Things didn’t quite work out the way everyone expected.


#17

[Emphasis mine]

Considering that vinyl records as a recording medium are older than digital downloads by several decades, I’m finding it hard to accept the “ever” at face value.


#18

From that same BBC article:

… people who listened to music on streaming services were more likely to buy vinyl - often as a goodwill gesture to an artist they loved.
But 48% of those surveyed said they did not play the vinyl they bought - while 7% did not even own a turntable.


#19

People buy vinyl before Christmas because it makes a nicer gift than a bunch of MP3 files. After Christmas this trend will reverse with a vengeance as people use the iTunes gift cards Santa brought them to download stuff onto the new iPhones that Santa brought them.


#20

Hokey recordings and analog playback devices are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.