Album Sales Fall, Of Course

from the who-didn't-expect-that dept

This will come as no surprise to anyone, of course, but the only significant area of the music business that is struggling is, once again, CD sales. Bloomberg has noted that album sales in the US declined 14% in 2008. Of course, digital sales continued to grow, and, as recently noted, the concert business is booming. Oddly enough, sales of vinyl records continue to rise -- a trend we noted last summer. To be honest, the fact that album sales only dropped by 14% seems rather surprising. If I were in the business of selling mostly obsolete plastic discs, I'd be thrilled they only dropped that much.
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Filed Under: album sales, recording industry

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  1. identicon
    a non e mous, 5 Jan 2009 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: CD Collection

    Excuse me while I choke on my coffee!

    All that is happening with currently produced vinyl is a transfer from an intermediate digital master.

    Almost everything currently recorded in large professional studios is captured and engineered in digital, before being mixed down to a digital master. Anything currently released on vinyl, including back-catalogue releases of older pre-digital era music, has been transferred via a digital medium during the manufacturing process.

    All of which makes the old "golden-ears" argument of analogue-is-better-than-digital very redundant indeed.

    The only way you bypass digital in any part of the performance/recording/playback process when using vinyl records of current release, is to buy only that stuff which is guaranteed to be completely analogue at every stage. Those recordings have always been a niche item, and now would be almost if not completely extinct.

    As to your comment about vinyl having greater fidelity:

    This may be true of you use audiophile quality analogue playback equipment (such as top quality turntables, styli/cartridge, tone-arms and preamps etc) and compare it to average consumer grade CD-based hifi gear. In other words, it's like comparing apples to oranges: best-of-breed on one hand versus Walmart quailty on the other.

    Very few people indeed can afford $5000 or more for their turntable, let alone another $5000 for the pre-amp, amp, speaker combo to match the turntable and sytul. Even fewer would go to the trouble of precise setup and installing a dedicated listening enviroment to achieve optimum sound reproduction.

    Compare a cheap affordable turntable with a cheap affordable CD player, like the rest of us, and digital wins hands down, provided that it is CD quality.

    However, if you are comparing vinyl to the squeezed-down crap digital sound that is iTunes, then I will concede that you make a valid point...

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