Several years ago, I remember reading a DJ book that lamented and poked fun at the end of vinyl. The writers mourned at the closure of record shops, the increase in illegal downloads and called DJs who refused to convert… ‘vinylsaurs’. While this was quite funny it came with a great sinking feeling, for the old way of purchasing, listening and enjoying your music was fading fast.
What the writers didn’t anticipate was the scene making a slow transition for the better.
Amazon UK have announced that Daft Punk’s RAM has topped the bill with the best selling vinyl album on their website. The robots even overtook Adele with her 21 sob story and join the likes of Radiohead, David Bowie and Arcade Fire at the top. It’s also worth noticing that vinyl sales increased 100% on Amazon UK since this time last year.
The good news keeps on coming. According to the ERA, the vinyl market reached £5.4 million in 2012 while the first half of this year saw a 44% increase in independent record shop sales. Couple that with the news that music piracy has dropped a THIRD since last year… Damn. Surely things can only get even better?
Well I’m feeling pretty optimistic. The industries finally stopped moaning about their losses and changed to suit our needs. There’s Spotify, iTunes, the convenience and brilliance of online shopping, the novel social one-upmanship involved with buying your favorite artists on an aging format from some kooky, dusty record store (Like aren’t you cool for getting Adele on vinyl?)… It appears that legalities need no longer be frivolities.
Seriously though, it’s all good news. The ‘vinylsaurs’ aren’t facing extinction just yet.