Thursday, March 12, 2009

Economy 2009: Will the Vinyl Record Store Survive?

For the last 5 years the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has reported steady increases in vinyl music sales. This is remarkable considering that records were pulled out of most major music outlets more than a decade ago. Despite being regarded as a "dead" music format, vinyl has been kicking the Compact Disc ass up and down the street, as its sales have decreased by single and now double digits every year since 1997.

So why has the record held up so good against the CD, MP3, and other formats? For some it is the superior sound quality or the cover art, for others it is the nostalgia of reading liner notes, and for folk like me, its just simple: they are just cooler than all the other formats (yeah try to get into a lengthy conversation with folks about the CD format...without talking about the music on it....good luck).

Just as records are making a bonafide come back, the global economy is going haywire and folks are cutting back on there luxuries...records included. I am going to go around to local record stores and ask them whats up. I know that on EBay, this is a great time to buy records as folks are parting with the good stuff, and selling it cheap. I also know that a whole new generation of record buyers are buying up lots of cool 80's and early 90's stuff that I couldn't give away just 4 years ago. This group is really caring about the economy because of the constant Mom and Dad stimulus package they get on the regular.

Used records may fair pretty well with the change in economy when you consider that $1.00 will get you one song from Itunes or some other cite, but it will get you a whole LP at most used stores (*10 LPs if you catch one of our record sales...and you like older music). You can always sell or trade your records, sometimes for close to what you paid for them. I like to think that I am pretty good about getting more for my records than what I had paid. I shop mostly in the dollar record sections...after doing some homework. : )

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