Record Store Day and the Vinyl Comeback


Story by Anne Erickson

Vinyl sales are on the rise, and Record Store Day has helped with the upswing

A record collection is no longer a phenomenon of the past, pushed into storage to gather mounds of dust. In today’s music world where digital downloading and streaming websites such as iTunes, Spotify and Pandora rule, vinyl records are making a comeback.

The numbers prove a vinyl trend. According to Nielsen SoundScan, vinyl sales jumped from 4.5 million units in sales in 2012 to 6 million in 2013, totaling a 32 percent increase. Meanwhile, CD sales fell 15 percent between 2012 and 2013.

This was actually the sixth consecutive year in which vinyl albums have recorded their highest sales mark since the start of Nielsen Soundscan in 1991. These are vinyl sales levels record stores haven’t seen since the ‘70s and ‘80s.

While not the only reason for the vinyl tend, Record Store Day has certainly helped. Now in its seventh year, Record Store Day supports independent record stores with loads of exclusive releases, most of which are vinyl, available only at independent record shops. Last year’s Record Store Day set a record high for vinyl album sales, pushing 244,000 units.

This year’s Record Store Day is on target to be the biggest yet, with more than 400 exclusive releases arriving at local record stores. Some of the big names include Nirvana, Aerosmith, Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes, Linkin Park and Jay-Z, the Ramones, Mastodon, My Chemical Romance, R.E.M. and Soundgarden.

On the whole, sales of vinyl records still make up a small percentage of all albums sold. Still, record sales are moving in an upwards direction, and not showing signs of slowing down.

For more information on Record Store Day, which happens Saturday (April 19), visit Record Store Day’s official website.



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