Published on: September 9, 2019by Kevin Coupe
Rolling Stone reports that while it has become a well-known fact that vinyl records have become cool again, it appears that they;’re also hot - “Vinyl records earned $224.1 million (on 8.6 million units) in the first half of 2019, closing in on the $247.9 million (on 18.6 million units) generated by CD sales. Vinyl revenue grew by 12.8% in the second half of 2018 and 12.9% in the first six months of 2019, while the revenue from CDs barely budged. If these trends hold, records will soon be generating more money than compact discs.”
Now, this isn’t to say that vinyl is taking over the music world, or at least making a return engagement to dominance. The story notes that “records accounted for just 4 percent of total revenues in the first half of 2019. In contrast, paid subscriptions to streaming services generated 62 percent of industry revenues.”
I totally get this. I can’t remember the last CD I bought. But I downloaded several albums over the weekend after having streamed them and liked them. (I use Apple Music.)
But it is interesting. If you think of streaming services as being Amazon-like, providing a massive amount of content in the most convenient way, then maybe we can think of certain kinds of stores - like, say, Dorothy Lane Market - as being vinyl in this particular metaphor - focused on quality of experience, not necessarily quantity of sales.
In so many ways, if you can’t be Amazon (or Kroger or Walmart or pick another big retailer), then this lays out at least one of the alternative approaches - to do what the big guys can’t or won’t do.
The metaphor and the approach won’t work for everyone, but I do think that in some cases it can provide a guiding principle.
It is about looking for a particular sound and, in some ways, find a groove.
It could be an Eye-Opener. And maybe even an Ear-Opener.
- KC's View: