Vinyl sales appear to be engaging in a game of he said/she said.
Back in June, Charlotte Hassan reported that vinyl sales have actually gone up, according to Nielsen reports. Yesterday, however, Paul Resnikoff reported that vinyl sales have actually taken a 9% nosedive. So, which is it?
Let’s take a look at the numbers for the first half of 2016. Nielsen reported back in July,
“Physical album sales are down 10%, despite continued record-setting strength in Vinyl LPs, which are up 12% to 6.2 million units.”
Yet according to the RIAA,
“albums were down 6% by value.”
Taking a quick look at the full report from the RIAA shows that in the first half of 2015, vinyl sales made up about 0.4% of overall music revenue at $4.2 million, beating out the CD singles by .1%, although it did get hammered by physical CD sales which sat at 43.8%, raking in $531 million. This year, however, vinyl dropped only .1% to $3.2 million, while physical CD sales took the hardest hit, down to 38.9% of total music revenue, raking in only $443.9 million.
So what can we actually say about vinyl? Is it time to place the final coffin? In this writer’s opinion, I would only cautiously warn that we take a closer look at the full results of 2016. Vinyl sales do appear to have slowed down, but not enough to dismiss the format yet. I would actually be more inclined to believe that the CD may be wiped out before vinyl based not only on these numbers, but also financial reports from other countries. But I’ll leave you with DMN posters’ thoughts.
“The RIAA’s numbers are for new units produced and shipped. The vinyl production industry has been in a severe backlog for years, however new plants are coming online and existing plants are adding more presses and shifts to handle the demand. Millions of new LP’S & 45’s are out at retailers already”
“Key phrase here: “…even bull markets have their ups and downs, which makes it hard to draw firm conclusions or projections from just six months of data.”
Combined with the reader-suppled information that sales have actually increased, and the fact that a large percentage of vinyl transactions take place below the reporting radar, we get a big yawn here.”