Author Archives: ferdiamacanna
One of the most surprising success stories of the digital era is the resurgence of sales of vinyl record albums. http://theweek.com/article/index/254901/the-baffling-revival-of-the-vinyl-lp. Supposedly made redundant over twenty years ago by the rise of CDs coupled with the dominance of music downloads on Digital marketing giants iTunes and Amazon, LPs have made a remarkable comeback. Now, along with music streaming, vinyl albums constitute a growth area in the music industry. http://mashable.com/2014/01/07/vinyl-comeback/
The big success story is Digital Streaming which increased by over 30%, achieving a record 118 billion total streams mainly due to the emergence of Spotify and Pandora. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/digital-music-takes-a-dive-as-record-sales-slip-again-in-2013-20140108
As a lover of vinyl albums, I am delighted by the renaissance of the LP. However, it is unlikely that the vinyl album will ever achieve the dominance it enjoyed in the 70s and 80s. To put things in perspective, in 2013, LPs sold approximately 6.1m, a fraction in comparison with the $15b in revenue achieved by US vinyl sales in 1999 but still an unlikely triumph. Last year, CDs sold 165m while downloads peaked at 118m. (http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/02/news/companies/napster_music_industry/)
However, though it is refreshing – as well as a real boost for music lovers – that in this age of instant gratification and accessibility the music market has re-embraced a technological dinosaur such as the vinyl record album, one big question remains: why?
There are many theories, including the appeal of owning a beautifully packaged artifact. Another reason could be a perceived backlash against digital music in general. However, as AFP’s Alfons Luna says, ‘Vinyl offers a richer sound than downloadable digital songs which although hiss-free, lack the ‘warmth’ of vinyl records.”
Digital Marketing has played a major role in offering the vinyl lover a better choice of product along with a richer online shopping experience, particularly since the emergence of specialist or niche online vinyl retailers Discogs (http://www.discogs.com/) and Amazon Marketplace (http://www.amazon.com/Vinyl-Records-Albums-LPs-Eps/b?ie=UTF8&node=372989011) along with small independent records stores like Disc-Covery (http://www.disc-coveryrecords.com/).
Now, the customer can avail of competitive prices and a wide choice of product from traditional (Bricks) selling (ie major retailers Tower and HMV along with independent record shops) as well as (Clicks) online marketplaces Amazon, Discogs and others. Irish vinyl retailers Spindizzy http://www.spindizzyrecords.com/,Freebird https://twitter.com/FreebirdRecords and R.A.G.E. https://www.facebook.com/RageDublin have yet to fully embrace online sales though most continue to increase Brand awareness and drive sales through maintaining a strong digital presence on social media including Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.
One of the great benefits of going online though, is that it’s possible to track down virtually any vinyl album ever released. Recently, I sourced a used copy of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 20 Greatest Hits. My budget was around 25e and I had several criteria:
– Reasonable price
– Easy to use online service experience
– Good quality or near mint condition of product
– Cheap shipping rates to Ireland
Amazon Marketplace’s search engine is easy to use and turned up a wide variety. However, accurate shipping rates to Ireland were hard to access. Prices were mostly in sterling which involved using a currency converter tool: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/
Discogs’ search engine is more elaborate and involves clicking on a number of links including ‘artist’, ‘album title’ and ‘media’ i.e. ‘vinyl’ before you arrive at a scroll down menu listing of available items. However, the site is relatively easy to use and within a minute I had a choice of over twenty records. Discogs provides easy to access and accurate shipping information on a link marked View Shipping and Payment Information). Many of the traders list prices in euro, which swung my choice. I bought from Discogs and received the LP within a few days. https://www.discogs.com/sell/order/2036419-9
The comeback of the vinyl album is for my money, one of the best benefits of the digital era.
By Ferdia Mac Anna