Monday, July 18, 2011
Vinyl Will Definitely Outlast CDs...
One's going down, the other is resurging. But will vinyl ultimately outlast the CD, a decade or more from now? "Vinyl will definitely outlast CDs because of the resonance, the sound," Warner Music Group top executive Lyor Cohen recently told Forbes. "The quality is closest to the way the artist wants you to hear it."
A simple mathematical exercise supports the theory, at least over the long term. Vinyl gained 41 percent during the first half of this year, to reach 1.9 million units in the US, according to Nielsen Soundscan. Meanwhile, physical CDs dropped 6.4 percent to 103.3 million units during the same period. If those percentage rates hold steady, eventually vinyl outlasts the bottoming CD.
Then again, vinyl remains a pittance of total CD sales, and an even smaller percentage of overall albums. How small? Well, according to the same set of stats, vinyl represents just 1.22 percent of overall album sales of 155.5 million during the first half, a figure that includes both physical and digital albums.
That strongly supports the theory that this is just another music industry fad, a ringtone-like bubble that ultimately goes pop. Or, fails to ever scale towards the serious and sustained levels enjoyed by the CD.
It also supports what sources have been telling us for years about Lyor Cohen, specifically that this is an executive with a deft skill for shifting with political and popular winds. Which makes sense, especially when you consider that the CD made Cohen rich, not vinyl.